How I created a healthier relationship with exercise

May 08, 2017

Loving yourself is the greatest revolution
 We don't change overnight our perception of ourselves. It's baby steps after baby steps that we can see how far we have come already.

Dear diet industry.

You will no longer make money off my insecurities. Because I'm fine with how I look and I know now that I am so much more than my appereance. It's good to be in shape. But how about shaping correctly your self image first ? To have a realistic goal you can strive for. How about if I decided now that I am beautiful and that we can all feel beautiful for once.

Dear diet industry, I think we don't understand how much you hurt us. How can we all fit such restricted ideas of beauty in a world where every single one of us is different ?

Until recently, I've struggled so much with my body image. My confidence started decreasing when, growing up, I didn't understand why my body was different than the ideal body I was supposed to have. I thought I had a problem! That's when as I heard my first comments about my weight (even though I was in a clearly healthy and "thin" shape), I started to want to fix my body. And more, I was repeatedly reminded what I shouldn't eat to stay in shape, more I started craving those bad foods. And more I was exposed to the diet culture and those ideal images more I thought I needed to restrict what I ate.

I started thinking that if I wasn't as thin as the other girls it was obviously because I ate to much. As I was also reminded of that by people. And so I started restricting. And binge eating and restricting again as my confidence got lower. I exercised to loose more weight faster and often to punish myself because I ate to much the week before. But most importantly I exercised because I wanted ultimately to change the way my body looked. I would beat myself up as I was struggling to exercise. Because of course restricting to much and working out doesn't go well together. You need the proper fuel to get your body to build muscle and lose fat as having energy.

But we are exposed to so much bullshit on how to loose weight fast or change our bodies in unrealistic shorts amounts of time. We are in a vicious cycle where we are searching for a quick fix to be in shape for the summer. Because being healthy is not as important as having the right body for the beach!

I found myself in this vicious cycle until, that because it caused me so much anxiety, I quit exercising for a while and actually thought I gave up on being in shape. I was so focused on how to change this body I was in because I hated it so much.

And your body hears what your mind says.

 And of course my fear of gaining weight became a reality. And people don't realize how many subtle comments we get on a day-to-day basis from our close ones and people around us that actually know us. But of course how can people thaught us things differently if they were brought up exactly like us ? Having a good appearance being a predominant issue in their lives. So of course if they have already a judgmental look on themselves they will have their opinion on you as well.

Even if it's as subtle as : "Oh you look good in this picture" or "Wow! you are going hiking ? Wonderful! I bet you will come back in such good shape!"

There is nothing mean about those comments but it just shows how this obssession about how we look is so deeply inplanted in us and seems to be a part of our daily lives without even us knowing.

But how about my aspirations ? Why am I actually going hiking ? How about how did I actually reconciled myself with sport instead of asking me if I lost weight ? 

I decided that I had it with low self esteem. I had it with being afraid of showing my legs. And I had it with preventing myself from doing so much activities that I loved because of how I looked and the fear of being judge for it. I decided to take back my body as my own without trying to change it to fit people expectations and make them happy. 

I remember one year when I had lost a lot of weight because I didn't eat anything. Everybody was praising me on how fit I looked. But deep inside I just felt the same. I still didn't love my body. And was miserable because I had to watch everything I ate. It wasn't being fair to me and to the precious vessel the universe gave to me.

The day I took the ownership on my body back changed my life. I was so mean to my body and harmed him so much. From baby steps to baby steps I started hitting back the gym, going swimming, going biking, doing yoga, and so much wonderful things. I just tried for once to enjoy physical activities instead of focusing on how I was going to loose weight.

I stopped dieting and decided to eat with my intuition. To trust my body for once as he knows what he needs. Of course it's important to know what is good for you. But actually instead of focusing on what was bad for me, I started focusing on what was good for me. So I started wanting more good things instead of craving what was "bad". 

And I finally learned to be patient with my body. I understood that if I wanted my body to be in shape in a healthy way I had to give him the time to express itself. It's never an overnight change it's a journey. And we need to enjoy it with everything in life. I hit the gym, go swimming and engage in physical activites because I just love my body and I want to be healthy. As giving myself challenges and see how strong I can get.

I don't care anymore if I don't fit people's expectations of a healthy body. I love my body and I deserve to be healthy and happy.

You are all beautiful just as you are. Exercise and workout should come from a loving place and not from the need to change yourself to fit others expectations. Even if we all worked out our shapes and sizes would still be as different as they already are, because we are all one of a kind.

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.

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