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Wellness Wednesday: Your Body was Never Broken

Written By: Jamie Barrett

I’ve had many words spoken to me in the past 17 years of my life, but some of the most important ones have been the ones I’ve spoken to myself.

Body image hasn’t always been an aspect of my being I was at peace with, but coming to understand the reasons for appreciating this body gave me a path to follow. When I started running in high school, I wasn’t athletic but confident. I didn’t think I could fall prey to self-destructive behaviors. But sure enough, after looking up to successful people in long-distance running, I found myself picking apart my appearance; comparing my developing body to that of an adult professional athlete. I turned to running as more of a punishment than a hobby, where I felt the need to exert myself to feel accomplished. I was winning to lose.

But weirdly enough, nothing was changing. I didn’t look any different, I just could barely run a mile anymore without the world starting to spin. I had fallen into the trap that so many girls do- comparing their bodies to someone else’s- someone whose life they know nothing about. Not their diet, lifestyle, genetics; nothing.

To heal my relationship with the reflection in my mirror, I talked to her. Instead of looking at my legs for what they weren’t (thin enough, muscular enough, etc) I looked at what they were. They took me on beautiful runs and helped me do relaxing yoga. My arms could still be squishy, but they were the arms that hugged family and friends. I looked inside too. Instead of the critical mind that could only see what I “needed” to change, it was the brain that read an amazing book that day.

The appearance of our bodies aren’t solely based on what we eat or do or don’t do. No two will ever look identical. Looking inward is a part of healing, and I encourage everyone to make space for some gratitude today. <3

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