Your Body Is Not The Problem
Finding Body Acceptance in a Perfectionist Society
It’s been a slow awakening. Subtle yet glaringly obvious all at once. I feel like an insane person finally recognizing my insanity. My whole life I’ve been chasing an insatiable ghost. I’ve been hoping, wishing, dreaming, fantasizing, agonizing, pleading, desperately grasping for the perfect body. I’m not obese. But I’m not a size 0. I’ve never had the ideal body that I see in my Instagram feeds, or in television ads, or in the vision that lives in my head. That vision that convinces me that once I get that body I’ll be happy in my clothing, I’ll feel confident in everything I do, and life will be a delight to wake up to every day.
I came close to it a couple of years ago when I lost some weight and felt just a little more comfortable in my skin. I was training for my second and third half ironman triathlons. I had just completed a full year of Precision Nutrition training program and had learned a lot about healthy habits and body acceptance. My focus was on my training and optimizing my body to perform. Coincidentally, it was then that I began writing. I wrote about strategies for happier living. As I focused on gratitude and looking for the good in life, I had less time to obsess about my imperfect body. Serendipitously, some of the weight came off and I felt okay with what I saw in the mirror. I wrote about my new habits in this article which I still wholeheartedly believe in.
Then I got sick with mercury poisoning. I had to stop training for a while. I still kept my healthy eating habits. In fact, I made more restrictions on my diet taking away gluten, dairy, and sugar. I completely cut out alcohol. I gained weight anyway. My clothes got tight again. I started to feel sad and uncomfortable in my skin. I was depressed and back to obsessing endlessly over losing weight and feeling better about myself.
My mind searched for answers in diets, fasts, cleanses, training programs. It’s my default mode. No matter how much I learn that there is no magic…