I struggled to have the perfect body so someone would love me, too
I will tell you from my experience why struggle for the perfect body to make people love you more is a mistake.
Just like many other women my age -36 years old- I grew up thinking I have to be beautiful to be loved. Little did I know that aiming for the perfect body to aesthetically please men is not even a real thing, but it took me years until I understood it. All this time I spent worrying I am not thin enough, obsessively working out to get a flat belly and slim thighs, and always eating with a sense of guilt as if I shouldn’t eat at all.
Appearance does not increase self-esteem and others’ love
Even if I knew my behavior was absurd, I couldn’t stop doing all that, thinking my self-esteem and my love life depended on my appearance. I thought I had to look my best to deserve to be loved by a man!
When my mother was 18 years old, she had her thyroid removed. It was when she finally lost weight and up to this day maintaining her figure is one of her goals. Because she didn’t want me to experience how it feels to be fat when you are a teenage girl, she would constantly remind me not to overeat because boys don’t like fat girls.
Hoping for the perfect body makes you critical in relationships
It was out of concern and love that she would tell me that, I know this today, but back then all I understood from her message was that I have to be slim to be seen and loved in a relationship.
It is one of the reasons I never engaged in one in my 20’s. When a man showed interest in me, I would find reasons why the person is not good enough to be in a relationship with me. Behind it all, was my fear of being seen. My belly, my imperfect thighs, my cellulite remained a mystery. I would reject any man thinking he is not good enough not realizing I was, in fact, rejecting myself, running away from love.
Doing more harm than good to your body when striving for perfection
I thought I am not worth being in a relationship because I didn’t have the perfect body. I would only engage in occasional one-night stands, short-term flings, or escapades with men with difficult personalities only to conclude in the end that all men are difficult, so the effort of being in a relationship is not worth it.
In my mid 20’s I enrolled in an extreme fitness program and for one year I trained five days a week, ate poorly, and quit alcohol and sweets. I lost 15 kilos and I was ready to let men in my life because I was finally slim, so worthy of love. To my shock, no one seemed interested in me anymore. I looked my best and yet I didn’t seem to attract anybody.
Personality matters more than the body
Asking a friend why she thinks something like this happens, she replied: It’s not your looks, it’s your joyous and colorful personality that is now gone! She couldn’t be more right! On that year of struggling to lose weight and look my best through extreme behavior, I also lost MY vibe, that part of my personality that makes me who I am, unique.
Five years ago I met a man I liked and he liked me too. I decided to try giving up my biases about how I should look like to be loved. It was the best decision I ever made because letting myself finally be seen and appreciated made me understood my body had nothing to do with my worthiness. Of course, this is due to of the benefit that I learned to self-love.
Now I also see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for what it really brings into my life: health, energy, clarity, and a good mood. The looks don’t come first anymore and I surely do not think that I deserve to be loved only if I have the perfect body. I achieved it once and it wasn’t at all the answer to my problems!
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