Yaaas. We've got a guest blog today! It's the first one yet, and Katie Winnen is kicking off body positivity + mental health month here @ bklynprose. (I'll be shortening it to body posi on here and Insta -- I love how it rolls off the tongue 💌 ).
Click every link in this intro ;)
You'll hear my thoughts next week, and Katie's final post for the month will follow that. Leggo! And then head to the comments section, durrr.
For a long and significant part of my life, I remember feeling like my body was the ultimate punishment.
I had no compassion for myself. I rejected compliments, tore myself down, and I ridiculed my curvy appearance every time I saw my reflection. Family, friends, doctors, and the media all told me to not settle for this body. Accepting it was not an option, and I had to fix the problem.
My poor body. i starved it, overstuffed it, hurt it, and i pushed it past its limits.
I refused to accept that this body was home, and I believed my life wouldn’t begin until I changed it. My weight ruled my life, and I let it.
I've always been a goal-oriented individual. When I was younger, I wanted to work for myself; I wanted to make my own money and support myself; I wanted a partnership with someone who'd love me. I also wanted to lose all the weight I could. I had such big dreams and aspirations for my life, but what I didn’t realize then was the way I felt about myself was holding me back.
I was often called shy, but was I? I don’t think so. A better term would've been "incredibly insecure." I was afraid to have my voice be heard because I didn’t want to be wrong, or worse, laughed at. I didn’t want to stand out because I couldn’t handle other people saying the terrible things out loud that I thought in my head:
“She’s so fat."
“Wow... That outfit looks disgusting."
“Who does she think she is?”
“I can see her rolls through her shirt.”
I was haunted by my thoughts every single day.
But the journey through the thorns has blossomed into a rose.
The Katie I was for most of my life has shaped me into the strong, resilient, confident, and capable woman that I am. Now, I can reflect on those moments from a different place. The way I see myself and feel about my body and soul dictates how I show up in the world, the goals I chase, the people I surround myself with and, ultimately, my happiness.
And I refuse to intertwine my happiness with the size of my clothing or the roundness of my face. What would be the point in that? Why would I continue to allow someone else to tell me how to be me.
A while ago, I committed to never letting someone else control my happiness, my worth, beauty or my value. Yet, there are too many of us that still do this, and it scares me. If know that if I allowed this self-deprecation to continue, it would've settled into a deep depression.
But if I could tell you one thing, I'd say look in the mirror right now. Look at your body and say:
“I appreciate you. I appreciate you for continuing to work. I appreciate you for keeping me alive through every terrible thought I’ve had about you. I appreciate you for every extreme measure I took to change you. I appreciate you for every time I chose what I wanted instead of listening to what you needed."
Maybe the thought of doing anything but hating your body seems impossible. But I promise, if you start with gratitude and appreciation, it’ll begin your journey to getting there.
Show some love + support to bklynprose's 1st guest blogger! The comment section is spacious enough for all your thoughts, so have at it 😎 You haven't seen the last of her, tho! This is body posi + mental health month for us. Stay tuned, ya'll. And as always: Wherever you are, make it a good one.