In my past body checking was a big part of my life. When I fell deeper into my eating disorder I would have a body desire to be more and more and more thin. At one point my biggest idols were the ones who looked like skin and bones. When I saw someone with smaller arms I desired them for myself. When I saw someone with a thigh gap oh my goodness did I desire stick thin thighs. Everywhere I went, every room I walked into, every part of my life that included being around other people I would body check. I would compare myself to others and if they were smaller I would desire what they had.
What I've learned from the past is that BODIES ARE ALL SHAPES AND SIZES! I could try for my entire life to have stick think thighs. But for me my lower body is built differently. I will never have a gaping thigh gap. Even when I was skin and bones although my legs were thin they still were the bigger part of my body. We can desire to have somebody's body for our entire life and no matter what we do we must know is that our bodies are all unique. Instead of being self-conscious of "bigger" thighs I could have been grateful. If it wasn't for my strong thighs maybe I wouldn't have been playing competitive soccer my whole life. Maybe I wouldn't of had the athlete in me if it weren't for the way my body was shaped.
Being able to tackle hard, use my body with power as I defended oncoming forwards, being able to hit opponents down and make a nice cross to a forward going for goal, being in the box on a corner kick to win the header... all was due to how I was built. I loved being an athlete and I loved being a strong defensive player. I wish I was able to see that back then. From 16 years old until I ended my college soccer career I was striving for skin and bones. I would deplete my body nutritionally even if I had an upcoming game that I needed to be nourished and energized for. It was an exhausting cycle trying to be a top athlete and an anorexic.
Another important lesson learned is that when I was desiring someone's body I had absolutely no idea what they were going through. The girls I was comparing myself to most likely had an eating disorder. Why would I want to desire someone who suffers? I was desiring something that was full of pain. I know the feeling because as I was desiring someone else's body someone was desiring mine. I would get comments like, "you are so skinny." "How do you stay so fit." "I wish I had the will power to eat healthy and workout like you." Every time someone "complimented" me to be honest, it fueled my fire. If I was thinking of getting out of my hell a compliment would send me right back into the cycle. Although it did fuel me to keep going my second thought (of course I didn't say out loud) was you have no freaking idea how much I am suffering. How I'm living a secret. How I'm living in a dark lonely world that is full of body shaming, self hatred, obsession... I would never wish an eating disorder upon anyone. I wish I had the guts to say back to someone that they don't want my body. That I am sick and I need help. Back then I didn't know what loving yourself meant, what self acceptance was, that I was worthy, that I was enough. It just wasn't in my vocabulary yet.
I want to clarify there is nothing wrong by feeling positively inspired by others. I'm directing this towards someone who "body checks," desires other bodies as you are bashing your own, giving someone else praise while you send hate to your own body. Just remember to love your body and be grateful for the body that was given to you because YOU have the power to use it in a positive way. You don't need to strive to look like anyone. Personally, if I feel healthy, I feel energized, I feel nourished, I'm treating my body with love, eating with intuition, moving my body and living an active lifestyle, then I don't want to have anyone else's body. I want to have mine. If everyone would give themselves permission to be your own body then health, activity, love, happiness would be much more accessible and achievable.
I am so in love with helping people achieve their own body love.
Body Love Project starts January 4th <3 Email Lauren.email@example.com to chat with me and begin your journey to love and freedom.http://laurenmcaulay.com/2015/12/01/body-love-project/
xoxo Lauren <3
Photo: By my amazing friend Renee Moora Ferri <3
2015 Copyright Lauren McAulay