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FAULT...RESPONSIBILITY...BODY IMAGE

FAULT...RESPONSIBILITY...BODY IMAGE

    Long title for what may or may not end up being a long (but for sure emotional!) post. By now, most of you have probably heard about the Instagram story that Will Smith recently posted regarding a conversation he had with a friend discussing the topic of fault and responsibility when it comes to solving problems, and/or dealing with tough situations. I watched the story, and at first it didn't really have that much of an impact on me. I understood the point Will was making, I just couldn't really find any big issue/situation in my own life that related back to what he was saying. Then, just a few days ago, someone I am subscribed to on YouTube (ObeseToBeast, in case you were wondering) put up a video relating this whole fault vs. responsibility topic to weight loss. His main point was that, it's not necessarily any one person's fault that he got to the weight that he did (360 lbs), but that is was his responsibility to do something about his weight in order to improve his quality of life.

    That video in particular really got me thinking about something related to weight loss that many people aren't even aware of. Body Shaming. Body Dysmorphia (BDD). Bullying. All things that can combine to pretty much destroy an individual's body image (aka how they see themselves/their body) no matter what they weight. We are all to familiar with the term bullying and what it can do to an individual's mental state, self-confidence, self-esteem, etc. However, many people just aren't all that familiar with body shaming or body dysmorphia...even if they are the ones doing the shaming or the ones suffering from BDD. Body shaming is defined as the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size, according to the Oxford dictionary. Body Dysmorphia is defined as "a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one's own appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it." (wikipedia) 

    I'll be the first to admit that I suffer with Body dysmorphia on almost a daily basis, even though it's been close to 7 years since I first began this whole health, fitness, and weight loss journey. And let me tell you, this is a very serious issue that impact nearly every aspect of your life. What you wear. How self-conscious you are in social situation. Being uncomfortable at the gym. Stressing while clothes shopping. Having to look in any mirror anywhere. The list goes on and on. The point I'm trying to make is this: No one talks about the body image issues that are there pre, during, and post weight loss. The loose skin. The stretch marks. All people talk about is how they lost x amount of pound and gain a shit ton of confidence. No one even thinks to mention all the struggle they encounter trying to build themselves back up physically and emotionally.

    I have been that person who let their body dysmorphia completely control every aspect of their life. I was that person who hated going clothes shopping or having to wear anything other than sweats and a t-shirt. I was that person who avoided mirrors at all costs, and hated having to workout in a gym with anyone else in it. Heck, for over 21 years I was that person who thought if you weren't a size 2 with a set of 6-pack abs, you weren't "girlfriend material." Like, eww what guy in their right mind would want to date the girl with the loose skin, stretch marks, and enormous amount of self-esteem and body image issues. I avoided social situations because I felt like people were either going to say I was "too skinny" or "not skinny enough." Because, let's face it, in today's society we are made to feel all too often like if we don't fit a certain mold of what health/beauty/success looks like, we just aren't "good enough."

    I know, by this point you are probably wondering where this whole fault/responsibility thing fits in. Well, here we go. For the longest time, when I was struggling the hardest with all of these body image issues, I was in serious victim mode. I let other people make me feel  like I wasn't "good enough" or "fit enough" because I didn't fit their model of what health/fitness/beauty looks like. I blamed those people who made the anorexic comments or judged me for my imperfections as the cause of all my body image issues. My focus was entirely on blaming those people for my lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. I pointed the finger at them when I looked in the mirror everyday and picked apart my every single flaw. 

    After watching ObeseToBeast's YouTube video applying Will Smith's approach to his own weight loss, I couldn't help but think of it as the perfect approach to my own struggles with body image. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter who said what or treated me differently because of what they perceived as imperfections. Blaming them, literally does nothing and it certainly doesn't help in building up my self-confidence or dealing with my body image issues head on. Instead, (and this is legit the first time I am writing this/thinking this ever) it is fully, completely, 100% my responsibility to deal with and overcome my body dysmorphia. It's my responsibility to work on not seeing my loose skin or stretch marks as imperfections. It's my responsibility to not stress over clothes shopping or worry about what other people think of me/my body/my love of fitness. 

    It is my RESPONSIBILITY to live my life to the fullest and not let my body image issues hold me back in any way, shape, or form. No, not every day will be perfect. Yes, there will be days that I struggle with being self-conscious or not feeling "good enough." But, I am making progress and I know the only person standing in my way or preventing me from making further progress is myself. I am strong. I am good enough. And health/fitness/strength, DOESN'T LOOK A CERTAIN WAY...IT FEELS A CERTAIN WAY. And right now, after running 6 miles and lifting for 90 minutes and writing this badass, brutally honest blog post...I feel strong. I feel "good enough." And I take full responsibility for that, too. 

    
FUEL YOUR FIRE

FUEL YOUR FIRE

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