How I (Finally) Learned To Love My Body

smiling young woman

One young woman's journey from self-loathing to self-love.

I learned I am a perfectionist at my core and my need to fit a certain size is my most glaring symptom. Every time I found myself fanatically counting calories or skipping social functions to make time at the gym, I knew something else was happening. This alerted me to an unhappy relationship that begged to be ended and friendships that strived to hinder my growing self-esteem.

I learned the value of healthy eating — for the sake of nutrition and not in the name of calorie deprivation. Fat free "healthy foods" were eliminated from my pantry because they served as nothing else but a reminder that I was on a diet. I still frequent the gym but because it helps me clear my mind and energize my body and not because I have to erase the foods my body previously consumed.

At 30-years-old, I look at old photographs in awe as an innocent face on a skinny body stares back at me. I wish I could tell that girl to eat more and worry less. I sadly laugh at the silliness of her skewed perception and her fabrication of weight that only she could see.

Admittedly, I still have my moments where the scale momentarily determines my day's mood but it no longer controls my life's happiness. Because, after years of uncertainty, that control finally belongs to me.