I don’t love my body – My Messy Beautiful

 
I don’t love my body.

It’s scary to admit it. To say it out loud.

I don’t love my body.

I typed it out on my Pages page, twice now, and I can’t believe it’s true.

I’m a liberated woman!  It’s the inside that counts! Love wins!

And yet-

I don’t love my body.

You see, my body has big old rolls. Well, big young rolls. And they’ve always been there. I’m not one of those gals who didn’t have the rolls back in the olden days. Nope, I’ve always had the full blown childhood into puberty into teenagedom into adulthood lifetime rolls. And as you might suspect, the rolls and me don’t have a good relationship. In fact, if I got real honest with you, I’d say I hate them.

You heard me.

Hate.

Hate, that ugly word my Mother forbid me to use.

Hate, a word SO BAD and SO BANNED that a worser word couldn’t be uttered in my childhood home.

Hate, the word I use to talk about my body.

I hate my rolls I hate how I look I hate how this fits I hate my body

And if I was to be really, really honest, I’d say I’m scared I have a lifetime of body hating ahead of me. And I am scared this could be just the beginning, not the end. And I’m scared hate will be my go-to body-relating verb-of-choice, and that this worser word will stay permanently in my vocabulary.

I’m scared because I want to be self love. I want to be acceptance. I want to be not-comparing. I want to be vibrant and confident and not full of all this hate.

But how do I move from Hate to Not Hate? 

And then how do I get from Not Hating to actually Loving?

I don’t know.

But I think I know a good place to start. A mantra, if you will:

I may not love my body, but I can work on not hating it.
I may not love my body, but I can choose to only speak positive words.
I may not love my body, but I can focus on what I do love.
I may not love my body, but I  can remember this body-stuff is messy and give myself extra grace.
I may not love my body, but I can tell myself I am beautiful.

And I think it will work.
 

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This essay was written as part of the Messy, Beautiful Warriors Project. Click here to learn all about it and here to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback.

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  • http://www.meetthemagnolias.com Jessica Thornton

    This is brave. You are beautiful.

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Thank you and thank you, Jessica. I know this journey of mine will require even more bravery- the bravery to make the conscious decision over and OVER again to Not-Hate. I hope you check back in sometime to see how I’m doing. Lord KNOWS I need accountability!

      • http://houseoftheflies.wordpress.com Mrs. Fly

        You are absolutely beautiful, but I understand. I’ve found that my body image issues have changed completely since I became a mother. It’s a cliche for a reason, but I’ve found that to be true! But it is brave to admit something like this. As evolved women, we’d like to be immune from all these insecurities and it somehow feels like weakness when we aren’t. But you are brave.

  • Noreen Heffernan

    You are beautiful. Truly!

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Thank you, Noreen. You know, it’s so funny. I really do believe I am beautiful. But those self hatred lies can get SO LOUD. I look at that picture of me and see a beautiful person (granted it was taken by my husband who is a professional photographer!) but it’s so easy to focus on the one thing I hate instead of the WHOLE me that I love. So grateful you stopped by today.

  • http://racheltoalson.wordpress.com/ Rachel Toalson

    You are so not alone, Andrea. I thought having children might change my relationship with my body, but I was wrong. It’s a struggle every.single.day. But I think you’re right: it starts with the words we say to ourselves. We are beautiful. We are.

    Thank you for your post.

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Rachel, you are SO RIGHT. It is a struggle Every Single Day. We have to make a choice DAILY to Not-Hate. We never get a day off. This daily stuff is the hardest for me. I can write a poignant blog post but when it comes to daily execution of self love? I fail. But I’ve been getting better and better. This post I wrote about self-love (based on a tip a friend told me) has actually been helping me SO MUCH in the dark times: http://andreaenright.net/2014/03/talking-to-a-4-year-old-might-change-your-life/

  • http://www.mychillthoughts.com Cristyl @ CHill Thoughts

    A beautifully honest post. I hope it works!

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Thank you so much, Cristyl. And I hope so too! It’s going to be a messy, beautiful journey FOR SURE!

  • http://goodenoughgirl.net Jana

    I…LOVE this. One of my fave messy-beautiful essays so far. Thank you! Can we be friends? ;)

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Jana… THANK YOU! We can SO be friends! And wow, what a big, big thing you’ve just said. I am so glad you liked it. I’m on my fifth month of blogging and it’s been an up and down process. Always good to hear Big Things like it was one of your favorites!!! :)

  • Laura

    This is beautiful. Amen. Thank you for your honesty. And you ARE beautiful!! Seriously!

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Thank you million times Laura. Your words mean more than you know. I so love that my words had an impact on you!

  • http://finallyemerging.blogspot.com/2014/04/i-am-eve.html Karin

    Andrea, I love this. I get this. I hate that I get it but I do. You are not alone. We are in hate together. :)

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Karin, I’m glad we’re in this together. Well not glad. Cuz it SUCKS. But I still love that you’re right in the trenches with me. Let’s get to work turning our hate into non-hate and then get our butts moving to LOVE. Hope you check back in to follow my progress. Because it will be a hard but worth it journey. And just had an epiphany through some of the comments on Facebook about journeying- not only do we need to speak better words to ourselves, but we need to speak better to EACH OTHER!

  • http://www.danaeblessingphotography.com/ Danae Blessing

    If we’re honest with ourselves, we all dislike our bodies, at the very least. There are days I like mine more than others but, most days, I look in the mirror and say “Ugh”. I never thought to have any sort of view about my own body until I was about 13. I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, had surgery in both Achilles, and the roller coaster started there. Quitting sports was the first thing that was life altering. With a natural competitive edge in my spirit, it was difficult for me to learn to live without participation in sports. Bullying didn’t help either. I was bullied, both verbally and physically by cheerleaders or the “it” girls in my middle school. Then, I became more interested in guys and thought, “there is not one single guy out there dreaming of his ‘perfect woman’ and stating that he wishes she had muscular dystrophy”. The Lord has been, continually, whispering in my ear the many blessings I have. I am made this way for a reason that I may never understand, but I am beautiful and there is a man out there who will find me beautiful. Andrea, you have found that man and I’m thankful for that. I hope and pray that you can see yourself the way that he sees you: beautiful, lovely, and worthy to be cherished.

  • Katie

    This was so truthful and touching. Thank you!

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  • Laura Campbell

    I really love your blog- came across it tonight. It’s so endearingly honest and I think lots of women can relate to what you write!! Keep up the fantastic work:-) I never usually read blogs at all but this is definately a keeper…!
    Laura (N. Ireland) x