My Body Image Issues: The day I discovered my cellulite.
Annie Miller is a FRÉ Ambassador since February 2018
First things first, are you a human? Okay, cool, so you have body image issues. At some point in your life:
- you’ve felt insecure,
- disliked the way you felt in your skin,
- thought negatively about your body,
- been envious of someone else’s body or
- wanted to change something about your own.
Am I right? I’m going to assume I’m right.
THE FIRST TIME I REALIZED I HAD CELLULITE – LET THE BODY IMAGE ISSUES BEGIN.
I was 18. I had been completely unaware up until this event. In high school I loved my body. I was strong, I was known for being fit and strong. I held weightlifting records, had a six pack, was a multiple sport varsity athlete, and was the female distinguished athlete of the year my senior year. Cellulite. Was. Not. A. Thing. For. Me. #ignoranceisbliss.
Let’s be clear that I did in fact have it, I was simply unaware and was focused on what I was capable of doing rather than my butt dimples. More on that later.
So there I was in my little spandex shorts and tight tank top in yoga class. I was feeling THE MOST confident – after all I was a cheerleader and was so fit and flexible and toned and blah blah Annie was ALL the things (I hope you get my tone here).
THAT ALL WENT OUT THE DOOR WHEN WE WERE ASKED TO GET INTO GOMUKHASANA POSE.
You don’t need to understand the pose. Just know that it involved me folding my legs in a manner that revealed I HAD HAIL DAMAGE. I immediately loosened up the pose to minimize the appearance of the cellulite.
I was embarrassed, felt “less than” and like there was something wrong with me. I was so fit, and strong, and athletic. I must have screwed up somewhere to end up with some visceral body fat on my thighs and butt. The emotions were REAL.
We all have a moment. The moment that led to insecurity. Maybe you were in your 20’s or maybe you were 4 years old. Perhaps it was something a parent or loved one said to you, or maybe you discovered it yourself like I did. Maybe your view was skewed by magazine covers and social media.
THAT MOMENT IS STEP ONE IN IMPROVING YOUR BODY IMAGE RIGHT NOW.
You’ve got to determine what event caused you to believe the lie that there is something wrong with your body. The moment that made you think you weren’t good enough because:
- you were too thick,
- too thin,
- had small boobs,
- had big boobs,
- had cellulite,
- had flabby arms,
- had chicken legs,
- were too tall,
- were too short,
- had thighs that touch, or
- stretch marks (fyi I have those too).
LET’S JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO MAKE SO FREAKING CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT NONE OF THOSE THINGS DEFINE YOU OR YOUR VALUE AS A HUMAN BEING.
Nonetheless, there was a moment in which you believed, I believed, this lie to be truth.
Think back and define that moment. Bring light to it, feel all the feels, and let that shit go. It’s NOT true. You are not your body.
You want the facts? Do you recall how I felt going into that yoga class? Confident in what I was capable of, confident in what my body was capable of. More on the arrogant side than anything else (a whole other issue to tackle).
How did I leave the class? Wondering if people could see my cellulite when I was walking down the stairs, wondering how long it had been there for, and how it got there in the first place. AS IF IT CHANGED ANYTHING!
- Was I no longer strong, and flexible?
- Did my weightlifting records get taken off the wall?
- Could I no longer do pull ups and standing back tucks?
- Was I now unable to jump high and run fast?
- Did my work ethic and competitive nature disappear?
- Was I no longer Annie Swedblom; daughter, sister, friend, fierce competitor, athlete, intelligent young woman?
You know the answer. And you know the answer to your scenario. So let it go sister.
HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL TIPS IN IMPROVING YOUR BODY IMAGE RIGHT NOW:
- Focus on performance goals: getting faster, stronger, more flexible, etc.
- Remove the mirrors. I am serious. Stop analyzing your body. Focus on what it can do for you instead.
- Focus on how you FEEL: how you feel in workouts, how you feel walking around, how you feel in your clothes.
- Daily affirmations counter to those lies you believed: “I am Annie Miller. I am strong, I am capable, I am knowledge, I am defined by my character, not my body.”
- Probably just throw away the scale: if the scale does for you what discovering cellulite did for me, get rid of it. Refer back to tip 3.
I hope this was insightful + encouraging for you. Work to improve your body image by identifying the root causes and implementing an action plan.If you enjoyed reading Annie's experiences then check out her 5 Top Tips For The Newly Active Woman by clicking HERE.