Yes you, reading this right now – hello!
I want you to try and remember the last time you looked at your body in the mirror. I mean really looked at it. All the bumps, the scars, the lines – the firm bits and the not so firm bits, the fluff and the fuzz – the stuff you like and the stuff you’re not friends with yet. When did you last pledge to love the very bones of you? When was the last time you appreciated what your brilliant body can do?
I bet you’re reading this and thinking “Lottie mate, what are you actually on about no one does that“. Or maybe you’re reading this and struggling to remember. Maybe you’ve never done that. Well, I think it’s time you actually did.
I’ve seen you doubt yourself. I’ve watched you as you’ve pulled on clothes in the morning and sighed at your visible belly outline. I’ve felt the sigh escape your lips when you’ve decided nothing quite works in your wardrobe. I’ve heard your brain whirring whilst you figure out how many calories are in a peach – and I’ve felt the disappointment when you realise that half a stone has crept back on over Christmas. I’ve been you – hell, I still am you. But I need you to stop, just for a second, and breathe.
You’re more than numbers on a scale. You’re more than outdated markers of health that don’t take into account muscle mass or how many lengths you can swim or how your face lights up when you smile. You are joy. You are love. Your arms are a safe haven for your partner, your child, your family. You are brilliant ideas and enchanting laughs. You are the product of the love and care you give out and you are appreciated. You are worthy of feeling the love you give out to others for yourself.
Making the decision to love your body isn’t an easy one, I know. There’s years and years of learned hatred to unlearn – you know, the stuff the media tells you about what a perfect body is (what utter bullshit) – and that is no easy task, I get it. When the world around you is telling you that “Thin is in” and fat is a threat given to you by your nearest and dearest (“you don’t want to end up fat, no one will fancy you”), it’s mega easy to listen to them and let those words sink in. I mean, you hear something enough you start to believe it don’t you? I’m going to tell you some new things – some stuff to drown out the noise of it all.
You are enough. Your excellent body, the one that allows you to love, to feel, to travel, to laugh – the one that has stood by you through all the good times and the bad – that body is remarkable. Your stretch marks are lightning bolts of strength and resilience, the flaws you feel are your quirks – short stories waiting to be read cover to cover. Some people won’t like the stories you have to tell, and that’s okay. We don’t have to love every book we read (lord knows I’ve read some absolute stinkers in my time) but we must learn to appreciate the library – if you see what I’m saying.
We’re all made up of different bits and just as you afford strangers admiring glances and wishful thoughts, you are deserving of that too. We are intricate – some people will realise that, and some won’t. Some people are cruel, some aren’t. But if you ever experience cruelty aimed at you for whatever reason, you should never use that to convince yourself that they are correct. Remember, you are a story to be read cover to cover, but some people refuse to even go into the bookshop. (I love books okay, this is going to be a letter of book analogies)
If you want to be fitter, do it. If wearing a clothes size less is what will bring you true happiness, go ahead. But please, on behalf of your body, don’t change who you are to satisfy other people. You can make a choice – you can choose to give in and continue along this path of fitting in where you can or where you’re allowed to, or you can choose to start a riot. Disrupt the negative thoughts in your head. Bring disorder to the voices that try and tell you that you are worth less because you weigh more. Destroy the cycle of hatred you have for your own body and replace it with the loud chants of “I AM WORTHY”, accompanied by the victory fanfare of a person who has decided enough is enough – it is time for change, and that change starts now.
Sometimes you’ll falter; you might stumble and fall at the thought of a public event or the horror of going on a first date. You might question yourself and wonder, “but what if they don’t like me?” – that’s all part of the process, I promise you. They are the little tests sent to you to make you unsteady on your path to loving your body. Don’t let them knock you off course. Sure, you can indulge in the anger you feel when things just aren’t fitting right, let yourself feel the sting of a strangers drive-by, 30-second assessment on your apperance, but – and here is the magic part folks – use it to stoke the fire inside you that you started the moment you decided that enough was enough. Refuse to go back. Push onwards. You are your own army of one and your rallying cry is still inside of you, chanting, waiting to be released.
So I’ll ask you again, when was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror? I mean, really looked at yourself? Make it now, make it every single day for the rest of your life.
You’ve got this, I believe in you – it’s time you caught up.
P.S. Read this post by Gracie Francesca to remind yourself why FAT isn’t a bad word.
P.P.S. Read up on The Body Confidence Revolution and the great work we do to remind you that all bodies are good bodies.
P.P.P.S. It’s fine to remove all the negative influences in your life and replace them with positive ones.