Love Your Body Challenge: Self-Acceptance

I’m beginning to rebound from months of battling to maintain my weight, dealing with binge eating episodes and really unhealthy negative self-talk. I’ve fought through it by reading, researching, trying new things, even bringing back old coping skills while continuing to journal my food and exercise. Even in my darkest moments I knew I would eventually come out on the other end better for it.

Despite losing over 70 pounds since 2007 and maintaining that loss for over a year I still have a very skewed image of what I look like. My goal is to one day celebrate my healthy body and really love the person I’ve become. I want to talk to myself the same way I praise and compliment my beautiful friends. As I work towards this I’m going to participate in the Molly Gailbraith’s 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge.

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The Pre-Challenge activity was to answer the following questions and tally up the score.

1. How do you feel when you think about how your body looks?
(1 = absolutely terrible, 10 = freaking awesome)

3 – I still feel like I have so much work to do especially on the lower half of my body. I get so frustrated when I see my legs in the mirror. I also hate buying pants. Nothing ever fits properly because of my shape.

2. How often do you think about things you’d like to change on your body?
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

3 – It is near constant, but there are rare times when I don’t think about it. Every time I get dressed I think about how I would like to have smaller legs and a smaller butt. I struggle to appreciate how far I’ve come.

3. How often do you look in the mirror and think, “I look really awesome!”
(1 = never, 10 = always)

1 – This is sad right? I just feel so awkward in the clothing I wear. I have no sense of style. I know that part of accepting my body is learning how to dress properly in clothing that actually fits me.

4. How confident do you feel when you’re in a swimsuit?
(1 = not confident at all, 10 = extremely confident)

In a tankini – 4
From the waist up in any bathing suit – 8
In a regular bathing suit 1 piece bathing suit – 1 (I’ll use this answer in the tally.)

5. How confident do you feel about your body during intimate moments?
(1 = not confident at all, 10 = extremely confident)

8 – I’ve got a wonderful relationship with my husband. He’s never made me feel badly about my body. He’s always loved me but he certainly appreciates the changes.

6. How often do you catch yourself saying/thinking negative things about your body?
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

3 – I’m so hard on myself. If I happen to be retaining water for some reason and it makes me feel fat I begin to think really negative thoughts about my body. The negative thoughts are also prominent whenever I’m around certain people like my much thinner sister.

7. How often do you catch yourself saying negative things about your body to other people?
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

10 – I used to make negative comments about my body, but since I had Carlos I have stopped doing that. I vowed to never make my weight issues a burden on my child. He shouldn’t hear me speak negatively about myself because that might make him feel badly or it might make him think he can speak the same way about me or others.

8. How well do you receive compliments from others?
(1 = not well, 10 = really well)

7 – In line with my answer for #7, I’ve learned since Carlos was born to just say thank you when someone compliments me whereas before I would negate the compliment with some kind of snarky remark. I assumed compliments were just a person’s way to make me feel better, but not necessarily genuine. I don’t think that way anymore.

9. How often do you have feelings of shame in regards to your body?
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

3 – I’m ashamed to admit this actually. The shame I feel with every binge is so intense I can barely look at myself. I feel shame that I haven’t been more successful in losing the last 10-15 pounds. Weighing myself and seeing the scale at a stand still or up a little bit immediately causes me to look shamefully at my body.

10. If I told you that you could drastically change your perception of your body in 28 days, would you believe me?
(1 = absolutely not, 10 = no doubt about it)

2 – I’ll believe it when I see it! I’m open minded  thought.

Total = 41

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