Today we are talking about body-acceptance! Body-Love Wellness Circles by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an immersion into the power of body-acceptance.The Circles will be focused around transforming the relationship you have or may not have with your body, food and yourself.This post is part of the Body-Love Blog Tour, which is spreading body-acceptance to the masses. To learn more and join us, click here.
Body-love and body-acceptance is not something that was normal to me through my young adulthood.
I remember as a child, I carried a little extra on my body after one trip to visit my aunt in Germany (chocolate there was too good apparently haha) and I came back a little pudgy. It stuck. I didn’t care though. Why should I? I lived in Poland. I had friends. I had my passions. Life was good. Who cares.
I moved to America at 13 and I was still relatively okay with how I looked. However, moving from a small town in Poland to Chicago, one of the main cities in the US, was bound to come with a transition period. Not to mention, I was coming into adolescence and rebellion and I desperately wanted to fit in. You can imagine.
As years progressed, I started noticing more and more what was seen as attractive by the media and what wasn’t. Although I wasn’t totally unhappy with how I looked, I also really wanted to feel accepted by kids at this totally new school in a totally new city and country. I started going out to clubs at age 16 and I’m pretty sure that’s when I started to become hyper-aware of the fact that I am not sexy enough.
Granted, I was still a child. But now being surrounded by half-naked go-go dancers on club podiums and other 17-19 year old girls dressed provocatively, made me wish I could do that too. I wasn’t “fat” but I also was not skinny. Definitely not fit. I didn’t exercise and I ate whatever I wanted.
I became more and more concerned with the way I looked. Can you blame me? I was 16-17. Still relatively new to the city (at the time, I moved to a new town again for high school so I had to make new friends all over again, plus none of them spoke Polish this time! Ohh, the stress!). I just wanted to be liked. I wanted to be seen as fun and cool. I mean, who doesn’t?
I remember trying to diet and none of them were very successful until finally I discovered self-hypnosis and I dropped 15 lbs and was finally at my perfect weight. Not too skinny but also not average. It was better than average. I looked good – and people noticed. I gained more confidence… however at the same time, I still wasn’t entirely comfortable with myself.
Fast forward to college and I am yo-yo’ing like crazy. Hypnosis really made me think I was “naturally thin” (not the case) and I stopped caring what I eat and started indulging in the buffet of food from the dorm cafeteria. The 15 lbs came back on quickly. That’ when I started really trying to drop it again. Obsessively. The yo yo started with the same 10 lbs both ways. Each time, I would become more obsessed, more desperate, more depressed after each failure.
I entered a pretty dark period of my life my sophomore year of college which I’m not going to talk about and junior year was the end of the rope. I was feeling so discouraged… then I discovered the book “Inuitive Eating” and it all clicked for me. That was the moment, I gave up dieting forever.
I have, over the months, gone a little astray from IE. Well first, I lost the book somewhere. Second, I realized – really realized, that life is about much much more than dieting or even how you look.
So even though I began to eat whatever I wanted again, without feeling guilt or shame, I also began to notice that what we really have to pay attention to is OUR MIND and our BODY in an intuitive sense. This was the beginning of my journey into self-awareness and it has changed everything about me and my life.
Where am I now? I am at my highest weight. Do I care? Well, I would lie if I said I didn’t care. I do, and I wish that didn’t have t be case. But do I hate myself? Do I shame myself for eating a cupcake if I really wanted it? NO. Although I don’t really crave cupcakes much anyway.
And that’s the amazing thing – through Inuitive Eating I really discovered BODY ACCEPTANCE. I began to love myself for who I am. I started focusing on the amazing things my body does for me everyday. I began to appreciate the curves. I began to thank my body for carrying me through the days and getting rid of illnesses.
Most of all – I realized that I don’t need to be accepted for how I look. The most important thing is that I accept myself for how I AM, not just looks but also how I am inside! Which is something that has been missing from my life for many many years. I used to judge my self-worth on the number on the scale and the looseness of the clothes. But now? I know that I am more than my body. I am more than the number and the clothes.
Body + Mind + Spirit = that’s what body acceptance and self-love really means to me.
What does it mean to you?