MHM 8/22/16: I don’t always “love” my body…

August 22, 2016 in Recovery

Hi guys and happy Monday! Y’all know what that means: Mental Health Monday timeeee 🙂 Going to be linking up with Julia today for another Mental Health Monday so let’s get started!

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The title of this post prob makes you wanna exit out of my blog immediately or slap me across the cheek, but this is a topic that has been lingering in the back of my head for a bit now and I just wanted to take the plunge today to actually talk about it. Because truth is, I don’t always love my body. I tell everyone and their mother (okay exaggeration but still) how I am a self-love and eating disorder recovery advocate and I 100% stand by that and I ALWAYS will. But the thing is, sometimes I’m not goo-goo- ga-ga over my body. I’m just not and I’m not going to lie on here or to others that I wake up every single day and am like “Wow I just adore the fat on my stomach & my little love handles are so beautiful and I just love cellulite so much & my rolls are ahmazinggg!” Because the thing is, I don’t do that all the time. Simple as that.

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AUTHENTICITY- REAL. ACCURATE. HONEST. TRANSPARENT. 

I always strive to be real, accurate, honest, and transparent. And if I were to be 100% real, there are times where I am not in love with the rolls on my stomach. There are times where I am not pleased with the pictures I take or subconsciously compare my body to others.

But the thing is, (which is the main point I want to get across to you all on this post) is that you don’t have to be in love and all mushy-gushy over your body every single day. It’s okay if you’re not. The main difference between the Lyss now and the Lyss 3 years ago was that my body, the food I ate, how many laxatives I took, etc was the main focus of my life. My life centered around how much I hated myself and my body.  The Lyss now does not put that as the main focus of her life.

Here’s an example of how I handle a scenario now when I am feeling kind of “eh” about my body: “Wears swimsuit to beach, notices stomach in glass window, gets a bit self-critical, realizes that is silly and I don’t really care, accept my body for what it is and understand it’s just a small part of my life. Move onto the other parts of the day because my body isn’t the center of my life anymore.”

In that scenario where I was feeling kind of down on myself, I didn’t scream to the world and shout it from the rooftops that I love and adore my stomach so dang much and that it is the most beautiful stomach in the world. I didn’t tell my whole neighborhood that the way my thighs touch is incredible and that I am in love with the fat on my sides. I just accepted it and moved on. The thing is, I don’t focus on it because it is just a small part of my life. That is it, a small part of my life. Nothing more. It is not the center of my life nor is it my goal to change my body any longer. My body is my temple, and I accept my temple for what it is instead of trying to destroy it. 

When my body and the way I looked/felt was the center of my life, I did not feel any happier. I was miserable. My mind was consumed with negative thoughts and it felt like I was gasping for air in a clouded room of smoke and just wanted to live, because the thing is when I was the skinniest, I was the least happy. I felt like I was drowning in this world where I should have been thriving. I had this insatiable hunger to be the skinniest person in the room and even if I was, this hunger could not be fueled and it was like a dog with an empty pit in its stomach begging and begging for more food; yet it could never be okay with what it was given. This insatiable hunger could not be fed and it could not be fed for three years, three years where I was longing to be the skinniest in the room because if I was, I felt that I could maybe finally be happy. But even when I was, I wasn’t happy. I was drowning and I was just itching for a fresh of breath air.

The thing is, I don’t think you have to be all mushy gushy over your body at all times. I think if you aren’t 100% in love with it 24 hours of the day- that is fine!! We are human and we are allowed to feel these emotions. I don’t think it makes you any less of a body positive warrior or self-love/ED recovery advocate if sometimes you aren’t so in love with yourself and your body. I think that makes you real. What I think is not okay is if you put your insecurities as the main focus of your life. You let your insecurities about your body take the main focus and you put the other amazing things on the side- THAT is not okay. Accept your body. Accept it. And live your life. Your body and the way you look should not be the center of your life. 

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When a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier.

Become your own best friend. I am not telling you that entails of loving your body every single freakin day of the universe because that is just not plausible. Be your own best friend. Go get yourself a coffee and a manicure and kick some bootayyy today. Go do whatever your heart desires. And keep accepting yourself and your body for what it is

No questions today, but as always I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I value and cherish them so much!! Have a happy happy Monday friends! And as always, thank you for reading my thoughts on this little blog of mine 🙂

Xoxo,

Lyss <3

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30 Comments

  • Reply Emily August 22, 2016 at 4:20 am

    I love this, because I think that the most freeing part of recovery is actually not focusing on my body so much. I am grateful for my body, but it’s not the only part of me. I’m a body, soul, mind, and spirit, and what I look like isn’t the very essence of who I am. One of the most freeing realizations was that Christ defines me, that Christ is who God sees when God looks at me, that Christ is my leader and my King, and that He defines the new creature that I am.
    Emily recently posted…MHM: Why Grace Beats Body ShamingMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:43 am

      yesss- we are not our body!! amen to that sistaaa <3 We need to be more grateful for what our body can DO! love ya

  • Reply Lynne August 22, 2016 at 7:17 am

    This post could not have come at a better time. We are heading for Spring here in South Africa in a few weeks, and yesterday for the first time, the sun was out, so I dived into my cupboard and put my costume on, so I could go out and tan by the pool and soak up some rays….. Oops, then I saw the bloated tummy, the thighs that looked unslightly, and urgg I just wanted to take my costume off, but I didn’t, I thought, so what, this is me, I may not be skinny or have the perfect body, but at least I am now eating right. Sorry for the long message, but you are right about everything you say. We are human, and it is okay if our bodies are not perfect, or not perfect ‘that day’. Life goes on. Let’s be happy 🙂
    Lynne recently posted…Polenta Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and FetaMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:42 am

      aw yes it IS so important to realize our bodies are not perfect!! amen to being Happy Lynee- most important thing in life!! xoxo

  • Reply Megan Hallier August 22, 2016 at 7:49 am

    I just think this whole self love thing is a daily struggle and a journey that we have to continue walking and striving towards. It can be frustrating to feel like you make so much progress and then slip back into your old thoughts and habits.
    I really appreciate your honesty, because I certainly don’t love my body all the time!
    Megan Hallier recently posted…Thoughts I have while runningMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:41 am

      Thank you so much Megan for your thoughts on this and for reading <3 It is so normal to not love our bodies all the time, but accepting them is so crucial! xoxo

  • Reply Kate August 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I think we can all relate to your honesty here!
    It was a HUGE relief for me when I realized I didn’t need to wait for myself to love my body. I do much better not focusing on the way it looks. There are still things I don’t love in appearance, but that’s okay, I’ve taken the pressure to be perfect off of myself. I think “body acceptance” can be more powerful than “body love” in the long run. Our bodies change so much!
    Kate recently posted…End of summerMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:39 am

      body acceptance most def goes a long way… totally agree wiht you on that!! Taking that pressure off ourselves to be perfect is SO crucial to our happiness. Thank you so much for reading Kate!!
      Alyssa recently posted…Take Care of your Temple Tuesday #3My Profile

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It August 22, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Awww Lyss, I love you so much. <3 It is TOTALLY valid to feel this way!! You're so right, I don't think it's even humanly possible to love our bodies EVERY single second of the day, even though we might think we have to. I love that quote too about being your own best friend too, I feel like Tom Haverford and Donna from Parks and Rec would agree: "treat yoself!" 🙂 And you always have me too, love you best friend <3
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  • Reply Megan August 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I totally know what you mean and I feel this way a lot too. The process of recovery has so many twists and turns. The difference is that now I have more moments of love than I do hate for my body. I also am able to pull myself out of those negative places A LOT quicker than I used to be.

    Thank you for your honesty. 🙂
    Megan recently posted…Super Easy Berry Oat CrispMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:25 am

      That makes me so happy you are having more moment of love for yourself- that is such a beautiful thing. Thank YOU for reading!! <3

  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot August 22, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I think this is so true for me too. Also, i try to remind myself that my body changes even on a daily basis and to not obsess on a day to day!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…P.S. & Co. ExperienceMy Profile

  • Reply Claire @ My Pink & Green Life August 22, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    This is great! I definitely think that the important part of recovery is not only loving your body–which just won’t happen sometimes–but moving on from your body and not having it be the center of your life anymore. Getting your LIFE back is the important part of recovery! 🙂
    Claire @ My Pink & Green Life recently posted…10 Easy & Practical Things to Do With Old ClothesMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:17 am

      totally agree with what you said in regards to your body not being the center of our life!! It is just a small small part of it. Thank you for your thoughts on this Claire!!

  • Reply Trine August 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Girl, you’re killin’ it with these MHM topics! I really like this one in particular because I can relate so much. I feel like people think of recovery as a place where someone loves their life and everything about themselves and never has any negative or disordered thoughts anymore. However, that would be a perfect scenario and perfection doesn’t exist. It is okay to not have self-love all of the time or love your body, because that’s not life. Whenever I have bad days, I remind myself of all of the things I can do now that my body is healthier (which is basically everything), but I more importantly come to accept that this is my body and this is how it works best.

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:15 am

      aw girl that means the world to me- seriously!! Perfection doesn’t exist in the slightest, and recognizing that we can’t “love” our bodies every single second is so important! And yess to body acceptance!! That helps me too 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Barnitt August 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Beautiful thoughts from a beautiful soul! This IS real and transparent. NO ONE loves heir body 100% of the time, but the fact that it’s NOT WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE is the most important thing. You’re amazing Lyss, thank you for your honesty!

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:13 am

      ah YOU are so amazing and you truly make me smile every day. Thank you so much for reading this beautiful, means a ton to me!!
      Alyssa recently posted…Take Care of your Temple Tuesday #3My Profile

  • Reply Edye August 22, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Such a well written post! I don’t always love my body. Especially when I first started my recovery, I couldn’t stand to look in the mirror. Thankfully, I’m much better now. Our bodies are temples created by God. We’re beautiful and are worth SO much more than a number. Have a great week, sweet girl <3
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  • Reply Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves August 23, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Hit the nail on the head again, Lyss. It’s quite impossible to be “in love” with anything/anyone all the time, so we shouldn’t expect ourselves to “looooove” our bodies all the time and to talk them up like we have not even the tiniest qualms. To love our bodies is a choice, not necessarily an emotion.
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted…Someone Just Send Me to My Room For Bedtime, PleaseMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:11 am

      YES about the fact that loving our bodies is a choice. Amen to that!! Thank you so much for reading beautiful and sharing your thoughts on this!! <3

  • Reply sarah August 23, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Lyss, this was so wonderfully written! I love how real you are. And I also like the quote about becoming your own best friend, very good advice <3 I think "body acceptance" is something much more realistic that "body love." I also think there is a difference between "self love" and "body love." Self love is about loving and accepting your whole self, regardless of fleeting thoughts about your body image, because as you said, we are SO much more than our bodies!
    sarah recently posted…Cruise Vacation, 5 Words StyleMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa August 25, 2016 at 12:08 am

      Thank you so much <3 Yes body acceptance is SO much more realistic. I really agree with every one of your thoughts on this girl, thank you so much for sharing them and being you!

  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law August 23, 2016 at 4:06 am

    I don’t think there is a single person on this earth who loves how they look all of the time. I like to think of my body kind of like a family situation – I don’t always like my family member’s actions but I always LOVE them. I may not always like how I look, but I have to love my body for all the things it can do.
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: 4 Ingredient Almond Coconut Cookie Balls (Paleo & Vegan)My Profile

  • Reply Friday Top 3's: #10 – A Dancer's Live-It August 26, 2016 at 10:59 am

    […] this heartfelt post. I too have lost a loved one to cancer, and this definitely hit home for me. 3. I Don’t Always “Love” My Body – Blissful Lyss Lyss could not be more correct with this post. We do NOT have to feel like […]

  • Reply Steve August 31, 2016 at 9:42 am

    You’re right, Alyssa. A lot of us feel like we need to improve our body and look perfect all the time, mostly because of what we see as “perfect”, in magazines and televisions. Your blog reminds us that we are perfect the way God has created us. You are inspirational and I respect your bravery! More power to you. Steve

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