Welcome, one and all – to another installment of Krasey Real Talk, because I’m making that a thing, now. 😉 Every so often, I feel the need to jump up onto my soap box and wax poetic about a topic that I am very passionate about. Today, it’s body confidence – more specifically, my journey on finding it.
If you have followed my story, you’ll know that my fitness journey has been 5 years in the making, and that it has been a long and winding road for me. As someone with a history of anorexia, body dysmorphia, and emotional eating, my relationship with my body has been strained, at best. Having gone through three distinct and dangerous anorexic episodes, I can definitively say that although I am considered “cured”, the anorexic thoughts will ALWAYS be with me. They have plagued me daily, no matter my physical state. How do I get past the toxicity of those negative thoughts?
When you are your own worst enemy, it is very easy to convince yourself that you don’t “deserve” the things you want, like a well-earned treat, a compliment, or even the “right” to wear something outside of your norm (short-shorts, or a skintight dress). Body Dysmorphia runs rampant in my perception of self, and often are the times I find myself being a bully… to me. I would pick apart my own flaws and focus on my shortcomings, and no amount of compliments could convince me that I was “good”, or “worthy”. Someone once asked me to tell them ten things I liked about myself. When I realized I had more that I didn’t like, I knew it was time to turn my thinking around, and be a little kinder to myself. With that shift in my paradigm, I eventually found a confidence – both in body and mind – that I hadn’t possessed before.
When I had initially faltered on the aforementioned self-like listing exercise, I took the advice of someone to speak to those closest to me – family and friends – and ask them what THEY liked about me. Having that list was my crutch in the road to self-healing. Whenever I get particularly down on myself, I just refer back to that list, and it helps quiet the negative thoughts and stifle the negative behavioral patterns I would previously fall back on.
A shift in my mentality begat a shift in my physical appearance, as well. With a greater sense of self-worth, I was able to immerse myself more deeply in the fitness lifestyle, because I accepted that I deserved to look and feel my best. Ultimately, my ongoing commitment to self-transformation paves the way to me becoming the best version of me. By focusing on my journey, my progress, and stories of those I’ve inspired to do the same, I’ve learned to look past my own (sometimes self-perceived) flaws, and instead make the conscious decision to focus on my positive attributes (there’s that list of things I like about myself, again). At the end of the day, if there is something I really don’t like, I can work on changing it for ME. That, my friends is a very empowering thing.
Because nothing is ever instantaneous, and sometimes I need all the help I can get, here are other things that I’ve done that have helped my self-confidence along:
I found a creative outlet – writing and seeing my ideas brought to life on this blog helps me feel accomplished at the end of the day.
I shifted my focus from being thin to being strong – when you have body dysmorphia, you can’t be trusted to judge how you’re doing by looking in the mirror. My anorexic mind tells me I’ll never be thin enough. By focusing on increasing my strength numbers, I am looking at quantifiable information that matters. As I’ve put on more muscle, I’ve watched my body change (for the better), in the process.
I hit the weights – others ask me this all the time – how did you transform your body? I ditched excessive cardio in favor of heavy lifting and supersets. When my focus shifted, my body started to change for the better.
I’ve learned to love myself, flaws and all – no one is perfect, not even the models, actresses, or Instagram celebrities that we see, daily. I know I’m not flawless, and I’m okay with that. Oh, and learning to love myself included learning to take a compliment.
The road to self-love and body confidence is long and winding, with several bumps along the way. Sometimes, moving forward just means winging it, and I’m okay with that, too.
And there you have it – the things I have done to get to a place where I can finally be happy with myself, and comfortable in my own skin.
Hopefully, you enjoyed reading this type of post. I’d love to hear from YOU if you did. Stories, comments, I welcome them all!