So let me ask you, if you’ve you been hiding? What will it take for you to stop dissing your body and start respecting yourself enough to stay, “I’m worth it!”?
Do you feel the need to cover up yourself in baggy clothes?
Is there some little part of you that just wishes that you could be invisible?
I use to feel the need to hide my body by wearing extra baggy clothes and trying to make a clean getaway whenever anyone pointed a camera in my direction. In the pic below right, taken 21 years ago, I wasn’t fast enough to get out of range, so you can see me with a sheepish grin on my face, hiding behind my 2 year old son, PT trying to use his body to camoflouge my belly.
Can you relate to wanting to hide your body away from judging eyes?
Really think about it. If you are unhappy with your body, for any reason whatsoever, how many times have you felt ashamed of the way that you look and tried to cover up or avoid certain situations that made you feel uncomfortable?
I confess. I’ve spent most of my life living that way. Shame is a horrible emotion that left alone will consume you.
Our Bodies Are Not the Problem
One day back in 2008, while on a family vacation to Puerto Rico, I read Dr. Anita Johnson’s book entitled, “Eating by the Light of the Moon.” It shook me to the core and shifted my thoughts about my body.
Dr. Johnson explained how our bodies are not the problem and food is not the real issue. But by obsessively focusing on our bodies and how much we eat, it can keep us distracted from looking at the empty parts of our lives. Having spent years as a dieter, that gave me a lot to think about.
After vacation, everyone was so excited to get the pictures back but despite my recent brush with self-compassion, I still had no desire to see myself looking like a fat cow in a bathing suit. Even though I resolved that I would never again hide my body under layers of clothes to cover up my excess weight, I wasn’t yet entirely convinced of being okay with my body. I was just kind of acting like I was, but I wasn’t really.
When I saw the photos of me (as shown below), I was shocked to see that I looked fatter than I had ever been before in my life. I felt so ashamed and mortified, I ran to hide them away in my library. The feelings of shame and disgust coursing through my body were strangling me.
I ran to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror hoping for some kind of validation that I wasn’t really as fat or as ugly as I thought I looked in the photos, I felt the cold, hard crush of my inner critic taking aim with hurtful barbs reminding me that:
“My clients were getting thinner, and I was only seeming to get fatter. My appetite was out of control. I couldn’t stop eating to save my life. I was a big fat, fraud. And I really still hated my body and on and on.”
Then in the midst of all the browbeating, something shocked me into a sober reality. I came face to face with my fat self, and knew that I had only two options. I could either run, screaming back to Weight Watchers, hoping that this time it would be different, or I could learn to love myself as I was in the present.
As I stood naked, looking at my fat self in the mirror and crying for what seemed like forever, I chose to love myself now, fat thighs and all. I knew that choosing to love myself wasn’t going to be easy, because for so many years I didn’t even like myself.
I knew that I didn’t want to keep on playing small in life. That was it. I was done. Finito. Over. That was the day I said, “No more disrespecting myself ever again.”
As a result of making that choice to stop acting like a victim, I’ve changed the way that I think about myself and my body. Now I have wells of compassion where there was only room for hate.
It wasn’t easy and my journey isn’t over yet. I’ve still got a lot to learn about being more self-loving, and showing myself kindness each day. But for once, the size of my thighs doesn’t matter. It no longer defines me and your size shouldn’t define you either.
That’s why I’ve dedicated myself to give professional women who are struggling with body image issues, the tools to step into their power so that they can feel confident, beautiful, and sexy at any size. Empowering women to believe in themselves is the burning desire that keeps my flame ignited.
So let me ask you, if you’ve you been hiding? What will it take for you to stop dissing your body and start respecting yourself enough to say, “I’m worth it!”? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your story.
And if you’re ready to take a leap and change your relationship with yourself and your body, keep your eyes peeled for my next teleclass coming on March 11. It’s called, “Creating Confidence through Self-Love.
Check it out. I’d love for you to join me.
Andrea Amador, The Juicy Woman, Clinton Kelly, self-respect, body image, confidence, Macys