What I learned at size 8 that I wish I knew at size 0

by | Oct 19, 2017 | BODY IMAGE, self-love

 “You’re not a size 2?”

I vividly remember the conversation in the girl’s locker room after a high school gym class.  My friend and I were slipping on our jeans, mine a size 5 and hers a size 0.  I was built like a runner, having a small frame with wider hips.  I fit into a size 5 comfortably and never thought anything of it.  Until then.  That was the beginning of my 7-year struggle with food, myself, and my body.

Throughout the years, as I gained and lost weight through my disordered eating (going from a size 0 to a size 8), I started to realize that something bigger was going on.  There was something under the surface needing to be addressed in order to move forward.  And eventually, after addressing it, I freed myself from the struggle.

So, to help support you on your own diet-free journey, here are 5 things I learned as a size 8 that I wish I had known as a size 0.

1. Self-love doesn’t come from a dress size of the number on the scale

Even if you are society’s idea of perfect, loving yourself will not come easy.  Despite what you may believe, you can still be miserable wearing double zero jeans.  Trust me, I’ve been there.  Just like you can be the happiest you have ever been at a size 8.  Size has nothing to do with it.

It’s about your thoughts, feeling through your emotions, and being present in your life.  Not what your body looks like or what size it is.  Self-love comes from recognizing that who you are is enough for love, no matter what you weigh or the size of clothes you wear.

2. Happiness is not a destination – it’s a journey

During my years of dieting and struggling with disordered eating, I always postponed my happiness and the life I wanted to live for a time in the future when I was finally lighter, prettier, or somehow better.  I thought that happiness was something that I would arrive to when I had everything else figured out.  It was a destination instead of something I could experience in the everyday life.

And truly, that sucks.  Happiness is not something you will arrive to at a certain body size, in a new relationship, in a new town, or even a new year.  It is a journey you choose to take with yourself every single day.

3. You don’t need to fix yourself

You are not a problem to be solved and the second you believe you are, is when you start living from a fix-it mentality.  You start seeking and finding new opportunities to better yourself so you can feel more comfortable about who you are.  But the truth is, you do not need to perfect yourself or edit who you are.  Changing yourself by weighing less is not the solution.

4. Who you are is already enough

You do not need to prove yourself to anyone.  Who you are is already enough.

Some people are never going to love you.  No matter what you weigh, what you look like, or what size of clothes you wear.  And trying to change their mind is not worth it.  Ever.

 

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5. Losing weight will not make you love (or even like) yourself

The only lasting way to change how you feel about yourself is through changing your thoughts, not your body.  Changing your body is not going to make you feel any different about yourself internally.

Ouch.  It took so many years, so much weight gained and lost to finally understand this one.  Loving yourself comes from changing how you think about things, what you believe you deserve, and how you treat yourself.  It never comes purely from changing your body.  That is a big fat lie.

There you have it.  The five things I wish I had known when I was struggling with food and my body.

Always remember that who you are right now is enough.  You don’t need to change your body to feel better, prettier, or even more loved.  Who you are is worth it all, already.  No matter what.

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