Body confidence should not mean being fit but making the best use of what you have and my experience shows why I was wrong.
I moved my body a lot as a child. I was always running, climbing trees, playing hide and seek, jumping around. As I was growing up, I never cared about how my body looked like. I knew it was strong and it was able to do anything I asked it to do. I didn’t hold myself back from anything and nothing seemed dangerous enough to hold me back.
Adolescence brings doubt that my body is right
I was in the 7th grade when things changed. It’s when I realized the body is an entity that can be evaluated by others. I noticed that when one of my colleagues started to wear a bra and the boys started to mock her about it. The question instantly came into my mind: how can I hide for as long as possible to prevent such reactions?
So I became one of the boys. I would wear loose clothes, I would mimic their gestures, I would let them copy my homework, and other similar services. I would do everything necessary to stay out of their sight. If you’re with them, they can’t be against you, right? As my body was changing into my teenage years, I was great at hiding everything about it.
The body as a separate object
I grew up thinking I have to hide my body. At first, it was because boys were mean about the changing body of a girl. Then, it was because the body of a girl started to be interesting for boys and they would touch it shamelessly. Eventually, no matter how a girl looked like, the body was judged. I didn’t want any of that. I did everything necessary so my body is not watched, seen, remarked, and evaluated. It was as if my body didn’t exist.
When I started to date guys and get naked in front of them it felt very weird because I was so disconnected from my body. For me, it was like an object men would look at and get excited. I couldn’t feel the same thrill about its wonders because in my head I was still protecting it. But I was lucky to meet very nice men that knew how to show appreciation and compliment my body and, in time, I began to relax about it.
A good relationship leaves far behind your body fears
Even if I started to cherish my body in intimacy with a man, I was still not confident about it while in public. I was very conscious of its flaws. The legs were too big, I had a belly, my boobs were not equal, and many other women were looking so much better while walking down the street. Was I ever going to be one of them?
It was the love I am receiving from my current boyfriend I am dating for 5 years now that made a difference in my life. That is how I understood I am being cherished no matter how I feel about my body. It gave me the impulse to reevaluate my relationship with my body. It made me think about how much I was appreciating it when I was a child and I could do anything while moving it around.
Body confidence can mean respect from others
I started practicing so I could feel the same about it once more. To enjoy it and take care of it even if it doesn’t look perfect. Regaining body confidence is not an easy journey but it is necessary as no woman should live questioning if she is worthy of love, appreciation, and respect based on her looks.
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