You clicked on this article because you have feelings of hate towards yourself and your body. Don’t worry you’re not alone.
I have no doubt that thousands of people have clicked through to this article.
Because it’s more common (not normal) to have feelings of hate towards your body than feelings of love or just no feelings at all (a body is just a body, after all).
Now I want you to think about the thousands of people (probably, mostly women) who are reading this right now, along with you.
Think about these women and all their uniqueness.
Some of you are bigger than others, some are smaller than others, then there are all of you that are in between.
Some of you have black skin, brown or white. Some of you have freckles, wrinkled or smooth skin, some of you have blemishes and other kinds of rashes (anyone heard of perioral dermatitis?).
I know some of you have thick lush hair, maybe it’s thick and frizzy? Maybe you actually have thin straight hair, maybe it’s thin and mousey. What even is mousey coloured hair… and who said it was bad?
You might have a big nose, is that what you hate… your profile? Do you turn your head whenever you’re stopped at a traffic light?
Many of you also have small noses, some up-turned, maybe it’s wide or it has a bump? Maybe you’ve thought about booking in that nose job?
What about your legs? Yes, you have long lanky legs, maybe short and stocky strong legs, maybe no legs? Maybe one leg?
Do you look like Claudia Schiffer or Naomi Campbell?
Maybe you get compliments every day on your beauty, that you’re a goddess, a vision.
Yet still have a feeling of self-hate towards yourself. In a way, you wish people would stop giving you compliments. You feel like you’re not allowed to have worries about your looks… because in other people’s words ‘you’re blessed with good looks’.
Maybe, you’re not what the women look like in the movies or the Instagram feed. In your eyes, you’re plain old Jane, nothing special about you.
I could go on about the collective million and one reasons why you might hate yourself and your body. But you get it.
No one looks exactly the same, no one makes up the exact genetic material (magic!) that you are.
You are different but what you share with thousands of others is a feeling of deep self-hate.
You are so different, yet you all feel the same way.
All of you look in the mirror with a feeling of disgust.
All of you want to change what you see.
All of you allow these thoughts to take over your mind at different points of your day.
Whether it’s when you first wake up and poke at your stomach “oh, still not flat” you think.
Or when you walk into the office and see the other ‘perfect’ women dressed in their put together outfits with their amazing hair. You think… why don’t I look like them?
Maybe it’s when you feel that deep wave of regret after you enjoyed your favourite pizza, or nachos or gelato or pastry or chocolate cake with ice cream.
You feel alone in these thoughts… but you’re not alone, we’re not alone.
I’ll take a lucky guess and say the woman standing in front of you in the supermarket line, or the woman sitting across the office from you, or that woman at the gym have all had these exact thoughts in some way or another.
This story of self-hate is not normal but it’s common, it was both Carla and my stories.
This self-hate led to years of over-exercising, years of dieting, years of bulimia for myself (Emma), 2 nose jobs for Carla, and the rest! It took so much space up in our minds and our lives. It kept us small. It kept our ideas small, our creativity small.
Through our journey with Yoga, Pilates and Meditation we realised the only thing that truly mattered was how we felt about ourselves right NOW. And not when we lost a specific number of kgs or fitted into that dress. This is why we created MerryBody and why we do what we do.
For us, the practice has become an action to welcome self-acceptance.
An action to show gratitude and care for our bodies.
And sometimes the self-hating thoughts creep back in.
It happens easily, you scroll on Instagram and BAM, something knocks you back down. But the important thing is that we come back to the truth… fast.
The truth… (well our truths anyway and do feel free to take).
We’re all different.
Nobody, no face, no size, no shape is perfect.
Perfect does not exist.
My body… right here, right now, is amazing, just as it is, just as I am.
It’s time to accept yourself just as you are… and not once you reach that number on the scales, not once you fit into that dress. Accept with no conditions. Accept now.
And remember it’s a practice. It’s not linear, you’ll have good and bad days.
You’ll feel like you’ve made huge improvements and then the next day you’ll feel like crap. And all we can suggest is look at what you’re doing on these separate days.
What are you consuming, what accounts are you scrolling, who are you surrounded by, what are you doing?
If you hate your body, this article is for you. It’s a reminder that you’re amazing just as you are. It’s a reminder to go out and live life, experience all the magic and don’t put it off because you’re worried about your appearance.
“The doors to the world of the wild are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes