Wellness Wednesday with Jess Moe
I think we can all admit that at one time or another, we haven’t been happy with the body we’re in. Maybe it’s a shape, a size, a color, or a texture that we just wish was different. Well this is the story of my journey to wellness in loving and accepting this body I live in.
Can you remember the first time you felt ashamed of your body? Maybe someone at school said something, you saw a model in an ad, your sibling cracked a joke… And from that point on you also started to take note of your body and the way it looked and moved?
For me, I can remember being one of the first in my class to start wearing a bra, and feeling so self conscious that I wore a heavy vest over all my shirts for the entire summer. Another memory that comes to mind was a male classmate pressing on my arm and saying how ‘jiggly’ it was.
Real life experiences compounded with media, TV, those magazines at checkout, and unrealistic societal expectations all work together to instill this idea in us that we’re not perfect and that the work is never ending in trying to achieve the ‘perfect body’.
As an adult woman, all of this pressure to look a certain way culminated for me in never quite feeling happy in my skin, and feeling like there was always more I could be doing. The inner monologue was always asking why I didn’t look like that model, wondering what I was doing wrong, and thinking that if I only looked a certain way, then I would be happy.
I ate well, I exercised, I slept well… so why didn’t I look like the fitness models on Instagram??
But everything changed over the past year.
Since getting deeper into the fitness, weight lifting, and bodybuilding world, I’ve now learned so much about what it takes to actually get very lean (read: it takes a lot of preparation and dedication), that even fitness models have cellulite and stretch marks, and that being super skinny all the time is not all it’s cracked up to be (ie. You will be very hungry and may even lose your period 😮).
Instagram has been both a tool used to compare myself to others, but also to learn from others. Thankfully, influencers like @hayleymadiganfitness, @breeelenehan, @georgie.clarke (and many more) are using their platforms to show the other side of the perfectly posed pictures you see on your feed.
Did you know that that perfect photo you see on IG is not really real at all? The model will be contorting their body in the perfect way, and in the perfect lighting, all to get that one shot they post. Apps like FaceTune and filters also mean that these pictures are very edited. Magazines have been known to edit photographs like that in the past as well, but it’s become so widespread that you or me can add a filter to all our photos (and videos!) just so we look that much more ‘perfect’.
This has all been a game changer for me and allowed my self confidence to shine through. Every day I appreciate the skin I’m in and all it’s little quirks, marks, shapes, and folds even more. I am grateful for my body and all it has and continues to do for me. And I think we owe it to all the younger girls growing up to demonstrate what real unedited bodies look like, right?. Sure, maybe your body isn’t perfect (whose is??), but you can totally rock that bikini or those shorts now, not ‘someday in the future’.
It’s funny - the mind is so powerful, and it always amazes me how just a little tweak of a thought or belief can change how you think about the world. How changing from the inside can create such big changes on the outside. It’s all a work in progress, and always will be, but I’m so happy I’ve chosen to love myself more and hope you can also give yourself a little bit of grace today. You and your body are amazing, powerful, magical, and perfect just the way you are!