Every Body Is Beautiful: My Journey To Self-Love

This article feels quite edgy to write. I’ve toyed with it for some time but have felt fear around coming across as superficial as it’s speaking into the change in my physical appearance. I’ve avoided it for some time because if there’s one thing that triggers me it’s those before and after photos showing body transformations after committing to some “amazing diet”- as if one photo could possibly summarise the person you have become! With that in mind, I know deep inside me that I have a lot of gold to share from my experience hence why I am putting this out in the open.

My weight loss comes up in conversation from time to time, especially from people who met me when I was at my heaviest. “What did you do?” is the most common question I get asked and I think with this people expect me to rattle off a list of diets/cleanses/detoxes that led to my 15kg weight loss. Though there were numerous factors and influences that led to my weight change, my simple answer is that I just stopped caring about what the scales read and began caring about the things in life that truly mattered.

The truth is, food was never the issue. I could have committed to the best diet in the world (is there such a thing?) and I still wouldn’t have shifted the heaviness I carried on my body – believe me I tried!! That’s because weight was my protection, weight kept me safe from the world. My body highlighted my inability to feel my feelings. It was a reflection of the hatred that I showered myself with every day, the unworthiness I believed I deserved to live with.

The excess weight I held on my body was also my saviour in a way. I had hurt myself for so long in so many ways and my drastic weight gain was the final shift that got my attention to this fact. Our bodies are wise beyond measure and sure know how to get our attention to the things we’re not acknowledging. My body was speaking very loudly telling me that some big things needed to change in my life, in particular the things in my life related to my relationships, love, sexuality and spirituality. It took me some time but I eventually listened.

What happened prior to losing weight took a great deal of courage on my behalf.

  • I spent time learning about boundaries, learning how to communicate my yes and my no. For a young woman that was a passive people pleaser, the fact that I had found agency over my own body was a revelation. Having clear, healthy boundaries creates a foundation of safety and stability in your body. With this, that protective weight is no longer needed.
  • I explored the hidden and neglected areas of myself that were hiding behind my weight. My weight disguised some scary parts of myself that I didn’t want to see. Like a courageous warrior, I decided to finally face those parts of myself that I didn’t like. It was scary and painful but I am so grateful I looked.
  • I found my sexiness and my sensuality. As it turns out, they had nothing to do with how I looked and everything to do with how I felt. There is so much truth in “sexy at any size.” Sexiness is not how you look, it’s how you feel about yourself. The sexiest women I know are embodied, self-loving and incredibly sensual with no agenda to be something for anybody else. They are all of this for themselves and that exudes out of them in such a beautiful way.
  • I learnt how to be in my body, how to feel again, how to express my emotions. My weight came about from all those times I had numbed out and disassociated from my body so there was a great deal to feel. I learnt how to healthily express my feelings without needing to binge eat to avoid them.
  • I found a deep and profound love for myself that wasn’t built on conditions or a need to look a certain way. The need to love yourself is thrown around way too often but I think it’s for a very good reason. The true self-love I found for myself was appreciating every single part of who I was – the good, the bad and the ugly – because it makes me who I am and that is divine. Bursting with this love for myself, I was then finally able to let other people love me for who I was.

After this life changing inner transformation (which is constantly ongoing), the weight dropped off effortlessly in no time. No restrictions or diet, no stepping on scales and torturing myself with exercise I hated. Just a whole heap of self-love, self-respect and coming to believe my worthiness to live a beautiful, pleasurable life full of joy and connection.

I see so many people who struggle with their weight, believing it to be the one thing in their life that causes all their suffering. I wish I could wake these people up to the fact that their body is speaking to them and they need to learn its language before any shifts will occur. Sure, you can deprive and starve yourself to the point of weight loss but believe me when I say that final result is not what you’re really seeking. Having a slim body does not “fix” your life. It doesn’t help you to avoid uncomfortable feelings or pain – that shit is universal and cannot be avoided! Your weight does not determine how loveable you are or how worthy you are as a human being. There are many reasons why people lose weight like a bad break-up but keep some of the reasons that I listed above in mind next time you are planning on going on a diet for weight-loss.

Quote on body size acceptance
Image: Body size acceptance

Author: Stephanie Curtis, Sexologist

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Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

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