I've always been pretty average size my entire life. Up through high school, I was extremely athletic, jumping between horseback riding, rowing, and crossfit training every single day of the week. However, even at my thinnest, there were always things about my body and my appearance I hated – no matter how skinny I was. As I've become older, I realized this would never change: I would always end up obsessing over something I didn't like.
But, as one usually does, I've found a source of constant inspiration in a very unlikely source: the EDM community.
So, what does electronic music have to do with body image and self-love?
Ever since I attended my very first EDM music festival in Atlanta, Georgia last May, I was amazed by the unfiltered love and support from the "raving" community. Blown away by the endless amounts of self-confidence emanating from all of the women around me, proud of their bodies and how free they were to creatively express themselves, I was inspired like I had never been before.
No matter the size or the body type, these women were dressed in every way imaginable: from t-shirts and jeans to just pasties and glitter, everyone there seemed to completely own their style to the highest degree. How were they able to be so confident?
As I started to dive deeper into this community, I began to understand just how deep the ideology of "P.L.U.R." really ran: "Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect" wasn't just a code of conduct for how you interacted with others, but it was a philosophy on how to treat yourself and your own body as well.
This is what I love most about the EDM community. Unbridled passion and a shared love for the music is incredible, surely, but the ability to express themselves in an environment devoid of judgment, shame, or insecurity is what moved me beyond belief. Being a part of this circle is what is slowly but surely giving me my own confidence to not only accept things about myself I previously shunned, but to actually celebrate them.
Are there still things I'm working on changing during my health journey? Of course. But, in the meantime, I've decided it's okay to not to okay about every part of myself while still being able to fall in love with who I am and what I see when I look in the mirror. Weight loss is about the journey, not just the destination, and it's meant to bring your physical and spiritual halves together to create a cohesive being capable of conquering anything and everything.