I sat there in silence with tears streaming down my cheeks trying to answer the question I was just asked-
“Kallie, I want you to tell me one thing you like about your body. “
There were no words as I quickly sorted through my thoughts, trying to come up with an answer. Nothing was registering. The longer I sat there, the harder I cried. My reality was that I did not LIKE anything about myself in that moment. The problem is I had felt that way for 18 long years. I finally answered-
“my eyes” I whispered.
At the time my thinking behind that was not that I really had beautiful eyes but that they were what showed me my truth. They showed me what I really looked like and therefore I liked them. Just typing that moment from my past out, transports me back in time to that very day . The day that started a chain of events that would change the way I saw myself and my body.
That memory is from the very first day I started my recovery from Anorexia.
Here in Utah one of the local news shows “Studio 5″ is doing a “Body Love” challenge. Since this began I have seen pictures all over the internet, sharing a picture of something they LOVE about their body. This makes me smile…like the Cheshire cat smile. Because of my journey with an eating disorder, my heart lies in taking back what is ours as women when it comes to our bodies. I will be one of the first people in line fighting the ugly monster that our culture has created when it comes to body image.
Because I have drowned in the depths of self hatred and loathing when it came to my body and my appearance, I now choose to fight EVERY SINGLE DAY to help women love themselves. For years I starved myself so that I could fit the mold of what the world tells me I should look like. For 18 years my pant size determined my worth. I lived that life for 18 years because I listened to what the world told me was my reality. I have been in the trenches of recovery for 2 years trying to make peace with the image staring back at me. Trying to find my worth after the pants no longer decided it. I have fought everyday because NO ONE should EVER feel how I felt.
So when I see others fighting back my heart is happy. When I see others choosing to love themselves instead of hate- I smile. That is a world I am proud to be apart of. A question that I get often is- How can I love my body? Here is the cold hard truth… Our obsession with weight , shape and appearance is partially fueled among women because WE encourage it in each other. Our culture and we as women have made it impossible for us to be at peace with our bodies because WE LET IT! If we want this body shame epidemic to end it STARTS and ENDS with us. We can create the change we all deserve. In my 2 years of recovery I have walked a LONG road to loving myself and on that journey I learned a few things that will hopefully help some of you too. Here are 10 Ways to help you develop BODY LOVE-
1. Get ready on the inside. How many hours a day do you spend getting ready in the mornings? Doing things like showering, working out, putting on makeup and doing your hair. Now think about how much time you take getting ready on the inside. How often do we take the time to connect to our soul and who we are? Do you think if we spent the same amount of time getting ready on the inside as we do physically getting ready it would make a difference in how we feel about ourselves? I promise, happiness starts on the inside and if you want to be truly happy that is where you will start. If you don’t start there it will NEVER BE ENOUGH. There will always be something better or smaller than where you are at. Focus on who you are first. Some ideas for getting ready on the inside- Meditate, Write in a journal, perform an act of service, pray, find a purpose greater than yourself.
2. Words of Truth. Our thoughts are POWER. They either have the power to destroy us or they have the power to make us unstoppable. The funny thing is YOU CHOOSE. You have the power to choose each day how you talk to yourself. I will not sit here and say this is easy. Each morning I wake up and remind myself that I can choose how I talk to myself today. If we talked to others that way we talk to ourselves we would have no friends. In order to love ourselves completely we need to change our self talk. When I have a negative thought here is my step by step process – you need to first recognize your negative thought, then you need to challenge it and last you need to replace the negative thought with a positive thought or as I like to call them my Words of Truth. Each day I challenge you to look in the mirror and speak words of truth about your body out loud.
3. Body Love Journal. Each day take the time to write down something that your body allows you to do. Our bodies do AMAZING things but often times we forget how awesome they are because we become consumed in what they look like. When you take the time to truly see it as the gift from God that it is, you can then appreciate it. I also suggest physically writing it down because on bad days you can go back and read it and be reminded of why your body is amazing.
4. Each day focus on who you are not what you look like. Who you are is your talents, passions and personality. Focus on all the things you like about yourself because that is WHO YOU ARE. If you need a reminder make a list of all the things you do like about yourself and hang it where you can see it. Don’t give your power away by playing small. YOU ARE MIGHTY!
5. Find an exercise routine that honors your body- Exercise to honor your body for all the extraordinary things it does for you and keep it healthy and strong. Don’t exercise to change it. I want you to really think about these question before you answer them. If you never again had to step on a scale or look in the mirror, how would you judge what you look like? Would it even matter? Or would how you FEEL become how you judge yourself? Start listening to your body. It will tell you what it needs to stay healthy if you will take the time to listen.
6. Stop Comparing. What you see in others you also have within yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for comparing. It is part of our human nature to want to see where we fit into the social fibers around us. Use this as a checking in point and send yourself some extra love. Let the emotions bubble up and be seen. Realize that we are all sent here to shine in our own way and let others bring out the strong points in us. We are all in this together but each of us were sent here with our OWN unique voice and there are people out there waiting for your voice.
7. Avoid the media. The media fills you full of lies when it comes to what bodies look like. What you see is a Photoshopped Goddess. We are talking- instant boob jobs, lipo, plastic surgery. Inches are shaved off waistlines, legs and arms. Blemishes are erased with a click of the mouse. Teeth are whitened. Don’t believe me…Google it. What they can do with Photoshop is down right scary. The funny thing is the media will tell you “it is common knowledge and an industry standard to alter photos” I beg to differ. So next time you go to pick up a tabloid or Magazine know that what you see is not real and you should NEVER compare yourself to that. The media promotes bodies and when we only focus on bodies we don’t get to see the best parts of people and that is WHO THEY ARE and not what they look like.
8. Let go of the mold. Our culture has created a monster mold. We walk into a department store and have to try and find clothes that fit our bodies. What happens when we can’t find pants that fit right? We think something is wrong with us. When in reality it is what our culture has done to us. In other countries they have tailors who make clothes to fit their body. How do you think our body image would change if that were the case here? You don’t have to fit the mold because the mold is an all out lie.
9. Dress for your body. Wear clothes that highlight the things you do like about your body. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and show off your personality.
10. Body Kindness. Show that amazing body some kindness. Take a nap, get a massage, take a hot bath, get a pedicure. Pamper it. Take care of it so it can keep taking care of you.
all my love,