body positivity
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I've Learned To Love My Body Through Thick And Thin

Our body is a vessel for our soul.

I've Learned To Love My Body Through Thick And Thin
Gloria Ikeji

At the youngest age of six children start to become dissatisfied with their body due to social and cultural factors. The constant cycle of weight loss ads, conversations overheard by older authoritative figures about negative conversations about bodies and diet, and parental comments have a lasting effect on kids that are more aware than people think.

I remember the first time I realize that my body had value due to society based on my looks and weight when I was eight years old at summer camp in my swimsuit and was comparing myself to other girls. I didn't feel comfortable and didn't realize this was the start of a lifelong battle of loving my body.

Around puberty, boys self-esteem stays constant while a girl's self-esteem may plummet due to body changes and more outward societal pressures that are apparent. Girls can even start giving fewer opinions, dress differently, and stop participating in certain activities because they feel bad about how they look. I remember wearing baggy clothes and strapping down my chest until maybe high school when I started regaining confidence in myself. I would hear comments from important people in my family that for a man to respect me I had to stay a certain weight or that bigger individual was not as respected. I would even be monitored to the point of how much I ate at times. As much as I knew that wasn't true and did not listen to those remarks they still had a conscious effect on me.

As I got older and was becoming more self-educated on my body and nutrition, I gained confidence. I became interested in eating healthy and working out. I did not let others opinion deter me to become unhealthy. I felt safe in my body. As I was becoming my own, I still noticed other friends were still battling to find theirs. I would often have conversations on being skinny and dangerous diets such as juice cleanses or working out three hours a day. This can be due to the pressure of thinking being skinnier would somehow fix other problems and that although knowing that emphasis on appearance isn't healthy, the behavior isn't going to change. It was disheartening that my friends and I did not feel that although we knew what we were doing was wrong, we felt it was still okay because it was being enforced everywhere we went. That your image is part of your identity.

Then I entered university, and this was my oasis. I struggled with binge eating and moments of being healthy. I would start to lose weight but then gain back the weight and more and constantly hearing the comments about my body from family members. I did not know how to feel about it although I had a great love for the body that I was given. This capsule of life was here to nourish and let me create and support myself and others around me. We treat food as a religion that it should be used as a punishment or a reward when it really is just fuel for our body. And we treat our body more than just a vessel for our soul. If you are able to your body is capable of allowing you to breathe, walk around, see our surroundings, talk to the people we love, create things we care about. We give more importance to objects than our bodies at a time, then what does that say about us and our culture?

I began eating nutritional food to nourish my body and feeling good about myself inside and out. I began going on walks outside to see nature and going to the gym. I fueled my energy with passions that I loved again such as writing, painting, poetry. I took care of my mental health by being prescribed the right medication for me and seeing a therapist regularly and meditating. I realized that at the end of the day my body is going to carry me through this life so I should treat it with a respect that it deserves. It takes time and patience to learn to love your body and that's the important message.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments