I went on my first diet the summer before my freshman year of high school. Weight Watchers.
I remember hysterically crying over how unattractive, unworthy, and uncomfortable I felt, and I just wanted something to take away the pain.
I remember asking a boy what I could do to get a boyfriend. It’s amazing the things that stick with us, that shape us. He said to lose weight and get my braces off.
Counting points became a game that gave my anxious mind something to focus on. Agonizing over every morsel that went into my mouth momentarily took me away from the pain of not feeling loved and accepted just as I was.
My body shape became the predictor of how I would feel about myself on a day-to-day basis, and the magazines I was reading, the conversations I was having with my friends, and the media I was consuming were affirming that this was “normal.”
If I could go back in time and talk to myself, here is what I would tell me:
“You are vibrant. You are so much more than your physical appearance. You are and will continue to be so loved, deeply accepted, and celebrated for who you naturally are. Do not diminish your light just to fit in.
Be big. Be bold. Be loud. It’s alright to speak up. You deserve to be seen.”
So many of us were not met and seen and held and heard the ways we needed to be when we were younger. As adults, we get to be the parent, the sibling, the friend we always needed.
What does your inner child need to hear today? What was that defining moment that shaped how you viewed yourself? If you could go back to that moment, what wisdom would you relay to yourself?
Transforming our current beliefs can heal old wounds as we acknowledge what is no longer serving us to hold on to any longer.
Tell yourself the things you have needed to hear. You deserve to hear them.
The more we reshape our internal dialogue to one that feels nourishing, the more we can hear our body’s wisdom in what is going to feel satiating physically and emotionally in any moment.