Making Peace With My Body

making peace with my body- Jessica LawlorWhen women get together, there are lots of things we talk about:

Our careers, passions, families, interests, dating and relationships…the list goes on and on.

There’s one thing that I can guarantee you comes up in almost all female conversations:

Our bodies. Or more specifically, our body’s flaws. 

“Ew, I feel so fat today.”

“Don’t put that picture on Instagram…can’t you see how gross my stomach looks?!”

“You have such nice legs. I wish my legs looked like that.”

Ladies, don’t lie. You’ve been there, right? Maybe these words have even come out of your own mouth.

I’m certainly guilty.

I could give you a laundry list of things I hate about my body! Maybe you could do the same.

I’ve battled my body for years.

Back in high school, I struggled with my weight. I cried in store dressing rooms. I dreaded the mandatory mile-run every fall and spring because I knew I’d likely be the last person to finish. I was always the chubby friend in a group of girls.

In college, I slowly gained more weight and when I graduated and started working in the real world, it all came to a standstill when  I weighed in at 170 lbs at a doctor’s appointment.

That moment was a wake up call.

I decided to make a change. I began running, changed my diet and eventually lost 30 lbs.

Great story, right? Happy ending?

I thought that’s where my fitness story would end. I thought from there things would become easy. I thought losing the weight was the entire battle.

Little did I know, losing the weight was the easy part. The hard part was moving forward. Maintaining. Dealing with gaining weight back, losing it again.

It’s still a struggle, even today.

Just last month when I went to the beach, I was a little nervous about how I’d look on the beach in my bikini. While I practice yoga 4-5 times per week, I’d gotten a little lax when it came to cardio and wasn’t feeling my finest.

See the picture above? I debated sharing it. I said to my friend Kelsie, “Ew, check out my tree trunk thighs.”

But you know what? Lately, I’ve decided to make peace with my body.

This body allows me to practice yoga. Those “tree trunk thighs” allow me to stand on just my forearms. This body sustains through a 90-minute hot yoga class, sweating in 100 degree heat, yet my heart still beats and my body still works. This body allows me to do things I never thought possible.

This body allows me to run. It has carried me through countless 5Ks, 10Ks and even a half marathon. This body allows me to lace up my sneakers, open the door and run for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes. Amazing.

This body takes care of me. Despite putting it through hell- not giving it enough sleep most nights, feeding it crappy food and alcohol, running it ragged day in and day out, this body is here for me. It keeps me moving. This body protects me.

In that split second I debated sharing the above photo, I quickly came to my senses. I looked at the picture again and thought, “Wow, I look strong.”

This body is strong.

This body is my friend. 

I’m making peace with my body.

Like any friendship, we go through our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we are there for each other.

Can you become more of a friend to your body? Can you make peace with it?

I promise, when you start to make peace with your own beautiful and unique body, you will feel lighter.

Happier.

More free.

Can you do that? I hope that you can.

Weigh in (bad pun intended)! Have you found a way to make peace with your body? How do you deal with body image issues? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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