What does it really mean to learn to love yourself?

The last five months have been such an emotional roller coaster for me. When I decided to take this fitness journey I had no idea what kind of challenges I would face. I decided early on that I would only pursue my fitness goals as long as the intentions stayed to be healthy versus skinny. What I didn’t realize I was saying at that moment was loving myself no matter what my body looked like. In the beginning I had amazing success but about four months in my progress stalled. Right around that time I started the alpha female program and I knew that that would be the answer to getting shredded again. I was training the hardest I ever trained in my whole entire life but still no changes to my fat loss only muscle gain. From a girl that used to struggle with an eating disorder all I saw was my body getting bigger and that is the worst thing that could happen in my eyes. With my first check in with my coach I felt reassured that she would adjust me as needed and then the fat loss would come. To my surprise, when she realized how low of a caloric deficient I was in and not loosing weight she actually recommended a reverse diet. It was obvious that I had metabolic damage. Metabolic damage occurs from constantly eating a low amount of calories for a period of time. I felt cheated, I felt like my past was trying to take my future and more importantly I felt angry at myself. Reverse dieting meant that I had to slowly start adding calories week by week to rebuild my metabolism and be able to eat at a higher amount of calories on a daily basis which would mean I would gain a little bit of body fat in the process. I had to make a decision. Do I take control of my life and fix the damage that I did to myself by having an eating disorder or do I stay where I’m at eating a measly 1300 calorie diet in hopes that my body would change eventually. Then I remembered my commitment in the beginning. This was about being healthy not skinny. So I picked myself up wiped my tears and made a new commitment that I wasn’t going to fall into the worlds standard of what a beautiful body was and I would love myself no matter what. As easy as it is to say that it really is a learning experience. It’s learning to look in the mirror and say I love you versus what I see. It’s stepping on the scale and not letting the number ruin your day or even deciding not to step on the scale at all because the number really doesn’t matter. It’s going outside by the pool in your bikini and not cowarding down because you’re afraid of what people think of your body exposed. Most importantly it’s about being confident in who you are as a person. You see we have put so much of our worth in our looks and let people’s opinion of us dictate how we feel. It shouldn’t matter about what anybody thinks about me or how they think I look. I realized that too many girls and guys want to get in shape in order to look good or impress other people. It’s a horrible epidemic that I truly believe is leading our younger generation into body dysmorphia and eating disorder issues. If we don’t learn to reshape our minds and opinions about what a beautiful body looks like then unfortunately we’re only setting people up for failure and yes it is us setting them up. We get to dictate the standard therefore we get to choose what comes out of our mouth. So the next time you go to cast judgment on someone think about that. Are you going to body shame someone and let this unattainable standard of beauty remain or are you going to praise and compliment someone to make them not feel uncomfortable in their current situation. Beauty is not about the perfect abs or muscle tone it’s about the person, it’s about who they are in the inside, it’s about the compassion, love, and kindness that they show towards others. Yes I obviously believe we need to be healthy but I also believe healthy comes in different shapes and sizes. Everyone’s body is built different and one mold of what it should look like is just ridiculous to me. So I’m here to tell the world that I will no longer compare someone’s beauty by their outside appearance and I certainly won’t judge my beauty by my outside appearance any longer! I can only hope that you would decide the same and take a pledge against body shaming in simple ways.

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