By: Rebekah Hibbert, IATG ContributorJuly 27, 2015
I woke up, got ready to go to the gym, and found myself in that frustrating moment, judging my body as I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I am tired of those moments. Just like any other unhealthy habit, it’s not an easy one to break, but it is one I am determined to rid myself of.
The greatest way to grant ourselves independence is to free ourselves from the person who looks in the mirror, sees the reflection, and has ridiculous internal dialogue of self-loathing. To free ourselves from the person who spends countless minutes and sometimes hours in a day deconstructing the things we perceive as negative about ourselves. Research continues to show that females have a hard time accepting their bodies and spend way too much time trying to figure out how to make them better. But there’s a problem with this. It’s not our bodies that need to improve. It’s our minds. Our minds are so consumed with what we think we should look like, and we don’t take time to appreciate what we actually look like. Or even worse, we have a warped view of what we look like and can’t even see the truth when it’s staring back at us.
Well, it’s time that we gave ourselves a little freedom. Freedom to love who we are.
Freedom to love our bodies and longer shame them. Freedom to have some goddamn cellulite. Freedom to stop looking for a solution in a gym, a bottle of pills, a stomach wrap, a cleanse, or any other thing we’re being sold. Freedom to find the solution through changing our mindset, not our bodies.
What joy do any of us get from constantly tearing ourselves apart? I can tell you, none. What things in life are we missing out on by spending our energy in such negative spaces? And for what? The unattainable idea that any of us can or should look like anyone else? Happiness has never been found on the outside if it cannot be found on the inside.
Believe me, I understand that there are days when it isn’t easy. I live those days too. There are days that you feel like all you can do is notice everything you think is wrong. But those are the days we have to work to fight through, because our negative perceptions are not worth ruining a day. There is so much out there to accomplish, so much that the world needs us for, but if we only create negativity for ourselves, we’ll miss out on all the wonderful things we are meant to be a part of. Negativity will bind us; it takes the very independence we seek and traps us instead. Positivity for ourselves, towards ourselves, creates a healthier sense of self, and therefore creates a healthier overall life.
The ability to be in healthy relationships with other people comes when we are first in a healthy relationship with ourselves. When we appreciate ourselves, so do others. When we love ourselves, we don’t allow anyone in who doesn’t reciprocate that same love. We deserve better from ourselves, so today I choose to fight back and free myself. I hope you will too!
Free yourself from body negativity today, and show yourself a little self love. We challenge you to stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself today. Truly see yourself, the beauty. Then, out loud, give yourself three compliments. Let your body and soul know how beautyFULL you truly are.
Rebekah works in Sports Medicine. It is her hope to represent the ‘real’ girl’s daily struggles and triumphs. In her free time you can find her running, lifting weights, reading, writing or trying new restaurants with her husband.