Your Body, Your Image, Your Call

By Samantha McKenzie

I may be one of a few women who don’t like to shop. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting new things and have a good sense of style, I just don’t like the agony of meandering through malls just to hunt down that one perfect item.

But I did. I did it every day this weekend. All in the name of attending a summer event that called for white attire. It started out with two hours on Friday. Then  I coughed up another three hours on Saturday. Sunday I went back at it again. And then, right there in the middle of Monday, I managed to squeeze in a visit to two more stores. I tried on dozens of dresses, many more skirts and pants and blouses and still found nothing.

dresses

Ten hours out of my life that I can never get back. But what’s worse is, I used every minute of those 10 hours criticizing my body and attacking myself for not noticing the recent weight gain. I came face-to-face with the crippling fact that I had gone up a dress size.

There I was, sweating for dear life in dressing rooms, fussing under my breath because there wasn’t a size that just said “bigger” and complaining how I’m too this and too that. I ridiculed my belly. Fat shamed my thighs. I stared in disgust into every dressing room mirror and cursed it. I almost ended in tears. I left feeling ashamed.

bowlBody imaging is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or how you feel about your body. These negative opinions of your body conjure up feelings of self-consciousness and personal failure.

It’s downright destructive and more commonplace than you can imagine.

I didn’t plan this mini assault on myself, but I knew it was time to regroup. I drove home in silence, preparing my mind for the heart-to-heart I was about to have with myself. I started with forgiveness. I said it out loud, in a firm but loving voice because sometimes in the midst of damaging your self-worth, you tend to shy away from listening to your own voice. I reassured myself that the weight I had gained was manageable. I knew how to get back into shape and I was confident that a little sweat would be worth it. I reminded myself that I loved to cook and was a whiz at preparing healthy meals in 30 minutes flat.

After I let go of the self-deprecating thoughts and embraced the pep talk, I realized the shopping trip was a wake up call. A blessing in disguise. I found other things to focus on. Gave my other body parts a wink. I earned four reward badges on my fitness app for increasing my steps. I needed that.

Give yourself the pep talk and you’ll be well on your way. Your body, your image…your call.

 

 

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