Blog Series: My Journey to Body Acceptance-Part 1

 

Has someone ever said something to you that burned in your mind for years?

 

We forget that the things we say, although often innocently, can have such an impact on the trajectory of a person’s life.  

 

I still remember one of the first times I learned to feel that my body was a source of shame and rejection for me.

 

I was in elementary school, and it was around the time where members of the opposite sex were starting to take notice of each other.

 

I don’t vividly remember comments being made about my weight up until this point, although I know there were plenty. But there was a moment on the playground that really shaped the way I felt about my body for a really long time…

faded-love-2087410_1920.jpg

 

I had a huuuuge crush on this boy. We’ll call him Joshua to protect his privacy. He wasn’t my first crush, but he was one of my biggest crushes.

 

We were also friends, and he was so nice to me that I began to felt like I had a chance to impress him, and maybe even date him!

 

I was crushing on him for a while, and the day finally came where I was ready to confess my feelings for him! Reluctantly, but excitedly, I sent a group of my friends over to spill the beans.

 

As I waited for them to return, my heart was fluttering with excitement. Would I finally get my first boyfriend?!

 

What was just a few minutes-but felt like hours-went by, and my friends returned. They came at me running and jumping with excitement.

 

This was good news! I couldn’t handle the anticipation of what they were going to tell me...so I anxiously asked what he said.

 

At the same time, they all blurted out “Joshua said he would go out with you if you lose some weight!”

 

My face immediately dropped. My cheeks turned red. I felt humiliated, and my friends looked confused. They thought it was good news.

 

But I was devastated.

 

From that day on, I held tight to the belief that I wasn’t worthy of being liked by a boy because of my weight. This belief led into many years of painful behaviors and thoughts about myself and my worth as a person.

 

To be continued...

 

Tell me...what was the turning point that changed how you felt about your body? Were you younger? Or did it happen as you got older? Feel free to share in the comments below, or email me at lauren.m.kepler@gmail.com

All-or-Something Living

 

The old me was either super active, or spent all of her time on the couch. There was no in between. She was either on a strict diet or cleanse, or eating everything in sight with no abandon. She didn't know there was another way to live.

She always thought that she was either one of those super driven, successful people that she envied...or just not worthy.

What was it that made her feel that way?

From a young age, she was taught that her worth came from her looks. And she always struggled with her weight. So she was always on a new diet, cleanse, meal plan, exercise plan...anything that promised the "dream body" that would deliver the "dream life".

As she got thinner and thinner, and became known for being super "fit" by friends and family members...the pressure to be perfect only increased. Everyone was watching and scrutinizing what she ate, how much weight she gained or lost, and looked up to her as an example of how to be "healthy".

After over 10 years of searching, she realized there was no "there". As her body improved, nothing much else happened. It didn't improve her relationships, her happiness, her confidence...if anything, it only had a negative impact on those things.

One day she decided that she was fed up. She was tired of chasing this body that she would likely never have. She realized that she was ready to learn to accept the body she was in, so that she could begin living life now, instead of waiting until she felt worthy by society's standards.

She came across a few key concepts such as Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and Body Kindness...and her world was changed.

All of a sudden, everything made sense. She began to realize that she didn't need to seek all these outside answers about what she should eat...how much...how often...when to exercise...her body would tell her all of these things!

She naturally began craving movement, healthy foods, and began understanding how to navigate her different moods, feelings, and emotions. Her relationships vastly improved, especially and most importantly, her relationship with herself.

For the first time in her life, she learned to accept and even love her body. She began to see her body as a faithful friend, rather than an enemy who couldn't be trusted. Her weight normalized, and her binge eating behaviors ceased.

She realized that by trying so hard to be perfectly healthy all that time, she was becoming more unhealthy. By letting go, she finally experienced the true feeling of health, physically and mentally.

I am now an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and I empower others to find their own version of health through learning to tap into their own inner wisdom. I no longer feel trapped by the chains of body perfection and weight loss, and am on the path to becoming the person I always knew I was.

I am far from perfect; I make mistakes all the time. But I'm okay with that. I actually now embrace the imperfection, and I love learning from those mistakes. I live what I call an "all-or-something life", meaning I live somewhere in between the standards of extreme healthiness and extreme unhealthiness.

I don't follow society's ideals of health...I experiment with what works for me. I am mentally and physically healthier than I've ever been, and I'm so thrilled to be able to empower others to find their own path to health and happiness!

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