I’m not sure if any of you have discovered Operation Beautiful yet…if not, go check it out! Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point operates this site and is truly doing amazing things through it! Her book is being released today and this week she is accepting guest posts on different issues and experiences regarding body image and self-confidence.

So, how do we compare? You and I…me and you…all of us…

I have struggled with body image issues pretty much my whole life. I always find myself comparing my body and habits to others, be it celebrities or friends or even strangers. It is such a hard habit to break! When I was younger I would always think I was fat, even when I was at a “normal” weight. Before I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes I lost 15 pounds…my clothes were falling off…even then I still thought I was chunky.  In 8th grade, my friends and I would weigh ourselves together and compare our weights, always wanting to be the lightest!! In 8th grade!!

Even now, in regards to running, I find myself comparing my race times and pace to my running friends. I’m a lot slower than most of them. It sometimes takes a lot of reminding myself that so many different components go into your running speed to not let it get me down.

We can blame the pressure to be thin on the tabloids, Hollywood, peers, dating…so many things. I believe we will always feel that pressure; I don’t see it going away anytime soon…it is a bind that we each need to find our  own, personal way to break through. And as far as running goes, I don’t feel anyone pressuring me to run faster; it is something I have created myself.

So, again, how do we compare? We don’t!! I will never be like you and you will never be like me! Our bodies are so different…our build, height, weight, metabolisms, genetics, abilities, stamina, habits…why would we even want to be anything different from ourselves? Everything about you is unique; something special that is just YOU! God made you you for a reason!

I’m learning to really appreciate the things that I used to hate about myself…my legs may not be as thin as some but they sure are strong! I may be short but I like to call it petite…my pace may not have me winning any races but I run because I can!! I’ve learned to only compare my times to my previous times…that’s all that matters anyway! I’m also learning to be proud of my accomplishments, be it a 3 mile run that I ran nonstop or the half marathon that I completed!

I’m on a weight loss journey but that is only for me, not because I want to look like the “It” girl on the cover of US Weekly.  I am learning about whole foods and becoming a healthier version of myself…it is a slow process but that is how I know I will stick with it.

What are some unique things about you that you love and are proud of?

I don’t think I am through with this negative way of thinking but I’ve found my way to get through it…discover what works for you! Maybe Operation Beautiful is just what you need! We are here to encourage each other and help each other through their struggles. By doing this, we grow too!

So leave a note somewhere and help spread the word…that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!

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