Body image is a hot topic right now. We are all trying to own our space and love our bodies. To most, that’s easier said than done. There is a part of me that is envious of preteens and their carefree minds. We seem to forget that it is such a blessing to be young and naïve. I remember when I ate whatever I wanted, ran around in a bathing suit, and didn’t think twice about it. For me, body image became a luring issue in about 4th grade. I had matured before any other girls in my class and started wearing a bra to comfortably walk up and down the stairs.

On top of maturing faster than my friends, I am only 5’1. Being 5’1 was such an insecurity of mine as well. I went to a professional performing arts school with other girls who had dancer bodies and stunning faces made for the stage. Their legs seemed miles long while I was often referred to as a “meatball”. Kids can be cruel. Around this time, I started buying high heels and hemming my pants to cover the shoes completely. I rocked hidden heels everyday under my long pants so no one would notice that I was only 5’1.

This phase in my life lasted about 5 years until I fell in love for the first time. My first serious boyfriend was 5’11. Even though some thought the height difference was laughable, he thought it was the cutest thing. In fact, he preferred me in flats to heels. He made me so secure in myself. I learned to own the fact that I was cute and petite. I wish I found that confidence on my own, but sometimes we all need a little push from someone who loves us.

Even though being 5’1 was my newfound glory, it still had its disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage of being 5’1 is that every pound counts. I noticed that my taller friends could easily gain 5 pounds without anyone even noticing because it would spread proportionally on their body. However, for me, there are not a lot of places for those pounds to spread. I know it sounds silly, but 5 little pounds make a difference on my body.

I have learned that I have a slow metabolism and my weight fluctuates depending on the circumstances in my life. If I am really stressed, I lose weight. If I am in a happy and carefree state, I gain weight. I never really thought about it until recently. My dog passed away from cancer which created a lot of stress in my life. I was not able to sit and had a hard time eating. I lost a lot of weight, noticeably, and honestly didn’t mind all of the attention. I have never been one to eat healthy or to workout a lot.

After getting so many comments about how amazing I looked, I wanted to ensure I was doing everything I could to keep the weight off. Initially, it wasn’t healthy and I was being a bit extreme. However, I learned through this process that I need to take care of myself. I have started to take exercise classes and eat healthier. Sometimes bad habits form from the lack of knowledge. I have learned to do things in moderation and I am truly excited about that.

Instead of focusing on weight or calories, I started to focus more on my spiritual journey and balance. In a workout class I recently took, an instructor said, “You are not here for anyone, but yourself.” That mantra really resonated with me. We are all on our own individual journey. We can’t compare ourselves to others. It’s important to learn what works for you. A healthy diet for someone else might be the wrong one for you. Someone’s favorite workout class could be your body’s worst nightmare. Don’t let that discourage your from trying until you find the right fit!

5 Things to Help With Your Body Confidence:

  1. Surround yourself with people that make you feel great about yourself.
  2. Eat what you want in moderation.
  3. Try a bunch of different workouts until you find what works for best you 🙂
  4. Replace a negative thought that comes up with a positive one.
  5. Focus on yourself and your happiness. It should be the most important.

Written By: Rachel Hope of The Concrete Blonde

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