Maria and I both wanted to share something a little bit more personal with you all involving body positivity.
So tonight, we’re comparing our bodies for you in this post!
Haha Just kidding. We do want to share an important message though and encourage a little bit more self-love! We think it is imperative, especially in the month of January when everyone is in “New Year, New Me” mode. We are here to tell you that “Old You” is beautiful, worthy and ENOUGH. And to urge you to quit the comparison game!
Why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to others? We literally do it every single day, about one thing or another. Half the time I don’t even think we realize we’re doing it. It’s like we are eternally disappointed with who we are as a person. But instead of truly evaluating ourselves and figuring out what it is we are unhappy about and then accepting it, loving it and improving upon it. We look at someone else and say things like “I want my hair to look like that” or “why can’t I have her eye color”. Or possibly the most damaging thought of all- “I wish my body looked like that”. These things are so incredibly detrimental to our self-esteem, our mental state and our souls.
When did this become a thing? I mean, for years and years people have looked for ways to improve upon themselves. I get that. But I’m talking about, when did we all collectively decide that being ourselves just wasn’t enough? We stopped looking at someone with abs and saying to ourselves “okay I’m going to clean up my diet and go to the gym so that I can also develop abs”. And we started looking at them and saying “I want her body”, I want to look like that. I want to look like her. I know this may SEEM like we are saying the same thing, but it’s NOT! We are subconsciously telling ourselves that we are just not enough. That no matter what we look like, it’s not as good as what that person looks like. And it is so mentally draining.
Even if you are someone who is satisfied with your weight or the way you look, maybe you do this when it comes to personal belongings. You could have the most beautiful house on the block, filled with lovely knickknacks and stunning sentimental family heirlooms. Yet, you find yourself ogling over someone’s #homedecor on Instagram and suddenly your home just isn’t enough. It’s not cozy enough. It’s not well decorated. It’s not clean enough. See what I mean here? Instead of saying “oh I love how she did that gallery wall, I think I’ll try that” we say “gosh I wish my house looked like that”, or “can that be my house?”.
Again, you might be thinking that these statements, be them spoken or just fleeting thoughts, aren’t that big of a deal. But I am here to tell you that they ARE a big deal. Huge. Your brain is so powerful, we are just beginning to tap into how wonderful and complex our minds are. By constantly (even subconsciously) comparing ourselves to others, we are ever so slightly filling our minds with thoughts of defeat. Thoughts that we aren’t good enough- no matter how great we might actually be. We have stopped trying to better ourselves, and have started trying to just become someone else altogether! We can spread body positivity, we just have to practice it ourselves first.
I do this every. Single. Day. I try to so hard not to, but it’s almost like a sick habit I am forming. The worst part is, I think that everyone is forming a similar habit. We have SO much access into each other’s’ lives and personal space via social media that I think it is only fueling the comparison fire. The reason I am starting the post off this way, is because every time Maria and I shoot together I think “I wish I had her body” or “I wish I was as skinny as she is”. Sometimes I think, “I wish that dress looked like that on me” or “I wish my boobs were smaller”. *sigh*
Recently, Maria and I discussed wanting to use our platform to inspire and help promote self-love, and confidence. We were both in the midst of writing our own separate body positive posts and I realized it was bothering me. It was bothering me that someone that I look at and think “I wish I had her body”, was going to write a post about weight gain. It was bothering me that I would give my left arm to be her size and yet somehow she was insecure enough to write an entire blog post about it? You know what? YEAH. She was writing that post. You know why? Because she does have insecurities. We ALL do. Everybody does. About one thing or another. And then it occurred to me, that there is someone out there saying those same things about me. Someone who is smaller chested and who wishes they had my lady lumps. Someone who is curvier than I am, who looks at a picture of me and thinks “I wish I had her body”.
Do you guys get where I’m going with this? The grass isn’t greener on the other side. We’ve got to stop wanting to be each other. We’ve got to stop this comparison game we keep incessantly playing. And we’ve got to stop thinking that other people have it better or easier than we do. We have to start loving ourselves and each other for who we are. We have to begin to change our mindset from “I want to be like her”. We have to instead strive to be the best version of ourselves.
Because damnit we are enough!
We live in a world where there is a stigma as to what size you should be. Social media, magazines, runways, brands, commercials, TV all paint a picture of that perfect body. I had a really hard time writing this post because I have struggled with body positivity the majority of my adult life. It all started in college. Throughout my life I was very active. I played softball for twelve years and I was in Cheerleading for six. I was never stick skinny, but I had a little more of an athletic build and blessed with a great metabolism. We ate healthy well balanced meals while growing up, but also indulged too. Until I went to college.My metabolism, my lack of energy and diet definitely took a toll for the worst. My freshman year I gained a little more than the freshman fifteen. I was not active and all I was doing was eating terrible food and going out four nights a week. Everyone says that’s normal to gain weight your first year of college, but I just didn’t have any motivation during that year to change.
That was until I went home for summer break. My friends at home used to make comments when I would come out that they hadn’t seen me because I was in hiding, they were right. I was in hiding because I started Weight Watchers the second I came home in May and was very strict about my diet and exercise plan. Luckily during that summer I was able to lose all the weight that I had gained my Freshman year, but the ugly cycle continued. Sophomore year, I tried to be more active. I would get in spurts of working out and then being extremely lazy and again my diet was garbage. When I would go home for breaks I would reintroduce Weight Watchers. I really fell in love with that diet plan ten years ago and still to this day implement it into my life.
Throughout the rest of the time at college I was never perfect with my diet, but every time I was home made it a point to be on Weight Watchers and attend meetings. This helped me for the next couple of years to gain only a little bit of weight. I know someone may be reading this and say “Omg you only gained 15 pounds”. I’m 5’3 so when I gained 15 pounds it showed a lot differently on my body, than it would on someone who is a couple inches taller than me. I hold a lot of my weight in the lower half of my body specifically my upper thighs, hips and butt and those are areas I struggle with to do this day.
Not only have I gone through the unhealthy weight gains, but the unhealthy weight losses too. After a long relationship of mine had ended with my college boyfriend I was so depressed. I had gotten down to a weight that I hadn’t seen since I was probably in my freshman year of highschool. I was SO unhealthy. During a brief time at one of my first jobs out of school, I started drinking coffee. I would trick my body into being full, but really I was snacking all day or having one solid meal. I look back on pictures from both of those times in my life and I was like omg I was so thin, I wish that my face and arms looked that skinny now. Then I remember omg Maria you were so depressed or you were the most unhealthy human being. I am not sure if you read one of my most recent posts about my life updates. If you haven’t you can read it here. I am going through some of those same issues now. I was really unhappy at work. I ultimately made myself sick to the point where I was drastically losing weight. For the first month that I was off I just didn’t want to do anything and then slowly started getting myself back to the gym.
One of the main reasons that I wanted to write this today was because people always tell me “Maria you look good!” or “Maria you are so skinny”, “Maria stop you are not fat!”. I 100% know that I am not fat, but I am not comfortable and I wish there was a way for me to express that without people getting irritated that a “skinny girl” is complaining about her weight. I have no where near the muscle definition that I used to have and I know that I could be healthier. I’m aware that sometimes I am too fixated on the number on the scale and that’s something I am trying to get over. What I need to be more interested in is how I can continue to work on my body in a positive way at the gym and gain some of my muscle definition back.
I really didn’t notice the shaming as much until I started blogging. Social media really can tear you down. So I guess my point here is can we stop shaming and judging people at any size? Can we all be kind and empathetic towards one another? Can we stop making quick judgements on someone who is a size 0 and ultimately thinking they have an eating disorder? Can we stop making those same quick judgements on someone who is considered plus size that they are probably lazy and they don’t work out? We are all beautiful in our way. We should all be treated equally. It’s amazing that everyone in this world doesn’t look the same, because that would be so boring.
This year as I am turning 30 I want to take ownership over my body. I want to enjoy my life, I want to indulge, I want to be healthy, but I also want to work on being more positive about myself. I am my number one critic and pick apart all of my insecurities. The best thing that I can do is to work on those areas and love living in my body.
Teddy Roosevelt once said “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
I know it’s easier said than done, but can we PLEASE all stop comparing our bodies to one another?! We hope that you found a little inspiration in tonight’s body positivity post. We want to encourage you all to embrace who you are and love yourself at every stage. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
*Beautiful photography by Ali Stone!*