I want to talk about body image today because so many of us STRUGGLE with it.
When I was nine years old I started my first diary and on page one I wanted to lose weight. Page after page through the years it was filled with things like…
- Why are you so fat?
- I hate my body.
- I’m never going to find someone to love me.
- My dream is to be thin so someone will love me.
I had a ton of bad thoughts running around in my head. They were reinforced when kids would make fun of me and when I would look at magazines wishing I could just wear normal clothes.
When I finally began to lose the weight at 31, the mental game changed. I realized I needed to focus on all the things I was doing for me.
My feelings changed when I thought about what I was doing FOR me instead of what I didn’t have or was wishing I had.
Each day I got focused on what can I do today…not where I wished I was.
I went from feeling overwhelmed every day with my body, my clothes not fitting, and how bad I hurt to feeling motivated to try new things and eat better. I never appreciated until recently how important the change in mindset was for me to lose this weight.
So, I want to use a real world example TODAY. After losing 100 lbs., four plastic surgeries to remove loose skin plus get my boobs back, I am still a work in progress on loving my body.
A Tale of Two Photos
While running, I took a couple photos for Instagram.
One photo is “this is how I feel on the inside shot” and the other is what I call “the reality” photo.
I share these, while crying, for several reasons. And, just know it’s hard to share a side of me that I spent years hating.
Many of you look up to me and you see my photos that are carefully chosen for business purposes. Those moments where I look great are what you remember. It creates this illusion that it’s all hoochie tops, wine, bikinis, bling, clean eating, and Beast Mode up in here.
Then I have my real life with no make up, mismatched clothes, hair standing on end, grumpy face Corinne. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not for sure, but I don’t post the “less glamours shots” much either.
Why? I don’t love them. I know it’s still me but I’d simply rather see photos I love.
And, who the hell wants to look at somebody in a pissy mood with dirty hair?
What I’ve learned is that what you think about yourself has to change. In both photos I’m the same awesome person; I just happened to capture myself in two different “looks”.
As my husband the amateur photographer says, “Any one can be caught in a bad angle. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like.”
My Thoughts About My Pictures
I sat with both photos. The first one, the better of the two, went to IG. The second I processed mentally and saved for this blog. I had 1000 thoughts about it.
- I look fat.
- I look miserable.
- My legs will never look good.
- Do I need to lose weight?
Be honest. How many of you have these thoughts with MOST pictures of yourself?
I NOTICED them.
I was aware where my brain was taking me and it was straight to the PAIN CAVE.
In the past I thought these thoughts would make me lose weight. They really just kept me fat. Each hateful word I thought and hung onto was fuel to overeat so I wasn’t in pain. It was NEVER motivating.
Then I thought, “What do I want to think when I see pictures?”
It’s simple. I love you. I accept you. You are awesome.
And, I want to LOVE ANY PICTURE ANY TIME FROM ANY ANGLE.
Here’s what I want to say and think about…
Corinne, you have worked hard. You share yourself without hesitation.
You have that body you wanted as a little girl. You found that love in Chris you dreamed of that comes without condition of your weight. You have a body that says I work hard. AND you have a body that shows what you have gone through.
That last statement is one that I hold dear to my heart.
“You have a body that says I work hard AND what you have gone through.”
What I do appreciate about my body?
It is not perfect. It’s far from what I dreamed it would be. It’s realistic and it’s mine.
My body tells my story. The scars on my legs mean something BIG happened. People ask me all the time, “What happened to you? Was it awful?”
Well, something big did happen. I lost 100 lbs and cut a bunch of skin off them!
I have loose skin and scars. I’m working hard and owning my legs. Go ahead and get a good look!
My #1 goal is to love and accept this body. I still have dreams about what it can accomplish but I LOVE THIS BODY and all it does; I’m not hating it for what it isn’t.
When I love it, and I mean unconditionally love it, I feel so strong, comforted, and empowered. It’s hard to mistreat or abuse anything in this world that gives you those feelings.
But that takes practice. It takes catching myself saying bad shit and changing it. Yes, I still have a lot of self-talk that isn’t great but that’s OK! I accept that and am willing to just notice it and stop it.
I started practicing these good feelings at 250lbs, too. It was almost easier to focus on what I wanted versus what I didn’t want back then. I tried abusing myself for years and that didn’t work so well.
I still remember the warm feelings I had every day. When I got up in the mornings I would think about things I could do to care for me. I made positive choices; not perfect choices. I loved my body for what it was embarking on. I knew it had so much opportunity!
My hope is you are inspired by my words to love your body, too. I practice daily, just like I would for a race, my mental training. My brain naturally goes to a negative space just like I could naturally go for pizza and ice cream.
Today, I see these pictures with love and hope. I love that I can look so strong running. I love that I can see a picture of me hot as balls and see a woman who is honest, strong, and getting it done every day.
Both pictures are strong versions of me. Of course they are because I get to choose the words I associate with each picture.
Here’s to loving my runner’s body!