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January 22, 2023

It’s Time to Start Loving Your Body, Flaws and All

The human body absolutely amazes me. The things our bodies are capable of doing blow my mind. To me, all bodies are beautiful. All shapes and sizes. But, for most of my life, I didn’t love my own.

I spent the better part of adulthood hating everything about my body. It was a long journey to get where I am now, but the peace that comes from loving and accepting yourself fully and completely is really quite beautiful.

I have been every size, from 4-20. I have been thin, overweight, fit and average. Here are a few things I have learned along the way:

  • My powerful legs have walked tens of thousands of miles during my lifetime. They have carried me to some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
  • My arms, which I accept as being both flabby and a little bit shapely, have given thousands of hugs. They have rocked my babies to sleep on more nights than I can count. They have held friends and family who were going through a tough time.
  • My belly has grown and protected two babies. It has grown and stretched and shrunk again multiple times. The stretchmarks and loose skin remind me of the life I carried within me, and the pounds I have lost and gained over the years.
  • Over the course of 43 years, my body has run half-marathons, danced the night away, and healed from illnesses and injuries. No matter how badly I treated it, it has always protected me and kept me safe.

I have also learned that I was the only one who was harshly criticizing my body. The important people throughout my life never loved me or judged me based on my body shape or size.

I have come to appreciate that food can be delicious and deserves to be tasted. Food fuels us and satisfies us and is meant to be enjoyed.

I have realized that a healthy body looks different for everyone. And different is beautiful, truly. Imagine how boring life would be if we all looked the same.

It’s hard work getting to this place of acceptance, but it is so worth it. I encourage you to list the things that you love about your body and the amazing things it has done for you. Please remember that you are unique and special in the most beautiful of ways.

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Melissa Patrick  |  Contribution: 41,275