I Tried to Build My Booty For One Year and This Is What Happened.

SPOILER: It had quite an impact on my life. Negatively.

If you had spent any time on social media in the last few years, you would have seen a huge trend in the fitness industry: booty building. And there are thousands of people following it, which is why you can get a so-called booty guide from almost every fitness influencer/model you can find on Instagram. I have to admit that I tried these, as well. And I’m sharing my story here.

The story probably started, when a “friend” of mine told me that he didn’t like my bum and that I should do more squats. That was around the time that this whole butt hype started. I did believe all Instagram girls with huge bums, that I, also, could build a juicy peach. Because I was kinda passionate about weight-lifting at that time, I thought I might as well give it a go. With that, a year-long journey started.

I bought a guide, a changed my gym and I worked out. And ate the way I should eat. And while I could most definitely feel a difference in my muscles, I just couldn’t see it in the mirror. So I just tried different strategies — no difference. My social media feeds were full of big booties, fitness models and food. So there I was, looking at all these perfect (photoshopped?) bodies and couldn’t help but wonder: Why doesn’t it work for me? But that was not it. I started to find little things about my body, that I hated. Why can’t my belly be flat? Why can’t my legs be thinner? And my arms, they are huge! I literally spend half a day posing in front of the mirror to maybe discover the bum I was looking for all along. It became an obsession. I would flex different muscle groups and try different angles, took hundreds of selfies, but in the end, I couldn’t compete with these girls. On some days, I did finally see a change. Which then magically disappeared as soon as I got my camera to take a picture. It was frustrating. I started dieting because I now hated my body more and more because it was so “flawed”. And as always, dieting led me to gain more weight than I started with. Also, I always felt incredibly guilty when I missed a work-out because I was too sore. I was miserable. Still always checking Instagram and seeing these girls smile while showing off their bubble butts. It finally got so bad, that I couldn’t look in the mirror anymore. While trying so badly to embrace my body.

Before starting this journey, never had I ever thought this would be so toxic to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are many girls that change their bodies and embrace their appearance and live their perfect lives. I am honestly happy for them! But unfortunately, I was none of them. It took me a long time to get back to normal again.

Looking back, I feel as if I wasn’t myself. I was constantly comparing myself to EVERY SINGLE GIRL I saw online. I became self-conscious and felt unworthy. At first, I posted like a hundred athleisure pictures or belfies on my account. That changed drastically after a few months and I didn’t want to post any pictures anymore. And I wasted so much time and effort in my pursuit to look photoshopped. I could have used this time to learn a new language, paint with watercolours, knit, or whatever, and I would have been a pro by now.

Anyway, this adventure had its positive sides, as well. After I reached my all-time low self-esteem and negative body image, I put a sh*t-load of effort into removing all toxicity from my life. I unfollowed at least 200 fitness accounts. I stopped watching their YouTube videos. I quit weight-lifting. And I focused my attention on surrounding myself with positive people. I learned to love my body again because it does incredible work for me, every second of every day. I stopped comparing myself to others because I am unique and that is who I am. I decided that I would rather people like me for my character and my humor than for a part of my body. It hasn’t been easy, I still have days where I feel meh and don’t want to leave my apartment. But I have more and more days where I feel fine.

My key to recovery is:
 — no dieting. ever. again.
 — a whole food plant-based diet 
— yoga 
— mindfulness 
— meditation

– looking for better role models

I can proudly say, that I’m in a much better place right now than I had been before this whole insanity. It has been a year and I don’t look back. I wouldn’t trade my mental health for a certain look ever again.

This was my story. If you are into bodybuilding and that works with your mental health, I am lucky for you.

Love and light, K.

Originally published at pureholistichealthy.com on September 11, 2018.