CLEAN LIVING Ponderings

Body Image

Body Image, it’s something we are all faced with every single day.  I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while.  I know you might be thinking how does this have to do with gurlgonegreen….well a lot actually.  I believe in order to live a life of green beauty, green eating and green living, one must accept themselves.  Because all the clean eating, green beauty products and smart living aren’t going to change who you are.  How you see yourself is a big thing.  It’s something I’ve struggled with in my own life.  Insecurities come out of the woodwork daily.  From seeing a magazine cover with the model looking sleek, and slim.  To social media, or just a friend who always has had that “perfect” body.  Isn’t it crazy how we are so hard on ourselves?!  I know for myself I tend to be extreme, and I’ve had to find a balance when it comes to body image.

Here’s a little of my journey:

The year after high school I gained about 15-20 pounds. Yeah, I guess you could say it was the freshman 15+!  I was used to playing a sport nearly every season in high school and being super active.  The activity stopped and the weight came on.  Not only that, but I lost all the muscle I had.  We all know muscle weighs more than fat, so I probably looked even bigger, because all my muscle was gone.  I remember it was more than just the weight I gained, but the feeling I wasn’t healthy or living a vibrant life.  Thankfully, I have an amazing brother who is not only a naturopathic doctor, but a personal trainer too.  We went to the same college and he taught me a lot in those first few months when I took control of my body again.  I lost the weight through cardio, and weight training, but more than that I changed my mindset.  I remember having talks in the car with my brother about body image, and he would tell me to stop comparing myself to others.  He’s pretty amazing!  I journaled during that time, and still look back to remember how far I’ve come.

Now, it doesn’t mean I never struggle anymore with body image, but I have stopped constantly looking at others.  I can honestly say I love my body.  Is it perfect, not at all. But I have a different outlook now.  I’ve always heard the word “skinny” thrown around among women and I cringe.  What does that even mean??  Are you skinny because you are the one that starves yourself?  Or just got handed a perfect genetic makeup, and you eat whatever you want but don’t gain weight?  Or you go on some fad diet where you starve yourself for 6 weeks, only to gain it all back when you start eating again?  Health is not being skinny…in my opinion.  Health is having muscle tone, getting a good sweat everyday, eating a balanced diet, and living with the least amount of stress.  It’s about balance for me and not perfection.

When I look in the mirror I see a body who gave birth to a nine pound baby girl naturally.  A woman who is strong and has run 2 half marathons.  I see some inner stretch marks on my thighs from when I was growing up.  I see my beautiful mom (whom I look like).  I see someone with hips, thighs, and a bootie.  I see a REAL woman.  I challenge you to stop seeing your flaws as flaws…who told you they were flaws anyways?  Were they the same people who have told you you’re not thin enough, smart enough, or pretty enough?  Yeah, they weren’t telling you the truth!  You are enough!  There is only one you, so be your best version.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Whitney Bates
    May 14, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Wow! This is incredibly said and very much needed in the lives of so many women in today’s society! Thank you for sharing and being so transparent.

    • Reply
      suzala
      May 15, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Whit! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alice from Wonderland Organics
    May 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Suzi, thanks so much for writing this post! We’re constantly bombarded by photoshopped photos of women in the media, so it’s wonderful to celebrate what we look like naturally. Great article on loving yourself 🙂

    • Reply
      suzala
      May 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks Alice! I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

  • Reply
    edenology
    May 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    So beautiful of a post. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s timely for me, as I’m the most unsatisfied with my body right now than I have been in many years. The dissatisfaction is really more than my body’s look. I really appreciate your definition of health, including low stress and getting a good sweat every day. Thank you!

    • Reply
      suzala
      May 20, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you, means so much! Sometimes it’s daunting to put yourself out there, but my hope is that it will encourage someone. We all go through seasons where we aren’t happy with our body image. Hang in there, I always tell myself it’s just one day at a time! Sounds like you have a healthy mind, which is the first step towards overall health.

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