Negative to Positive

Hi friends!!! I’m so glad it’s already Wednesday again. I love having short school weeks :).

The winners of the Bendiful giveaway are:

Amy @ My Life as a Lazy Girl

Kristen @ Confessions of a Not-So Domesticated Newlywed

Congrats girls!!! Please email your information asap so I can ship these to you (Linds7688@gmail.com)!

—————

I don’t always address this on my blog, but it is mentioned in my “about me” page. I haven’t always had a positive body image. That’s part of the reason I went through a disordered eating period in high school. Even though I stopped those eating patterns, I am still not always comfortable with how I look. I can still have consuming thoughts about body.

However, over the weekend I realized something – I haven’t really had any of these consuming, negative thoughts over the past few months. If I have, they have been fleeting and are gone quickly. In fact, most of my thoughts have been positive! Let me tell ya something folks, that is awesome. I was ecstatic when I realized this.

What changed? Why have I not had agonizing thoughts about my body that can make me unhappy?

Perhaps my efforts to consciously really work on loving myself have finally come to fruition. Perhaps I’m finally comfortable in my body and am truly appreciating it for everything it enables me to do. Perhaps it has completely saturated my brain that being fit is truly greater than being skinny.

I think the ultimate thing that has changed, and that has allowed the above things to occur, is that I am very content with all areas of my life. I know that my life isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with where I am and with everything in it.

It’s not that I wasn’t happy with my life several months ago….I mean, I was completely content with my relationships and education and the things I was doing. But, I also felt like something was missing. I didn’t have a hobby or interest that I was passionate about. Yes, I love fitness and reading but I didn’t feel like I had something tangible that I was good at and loved and did for the pure pleasure of doing it.

Then blogging came along. I don’t want to go into a huge long spiel about it, but blogging has become a hobby that I am passionate about. I feel like it has filled a creative, expressive, fun, challenging, and intellectually stimulating void. I love it, and blogging makes me happy- plain and simple.

The other area of my life that was lacking was with my faith. A lot of things have happened over the years to cause my faith and spirituality to be sidelined- family illnesses, negative and judgmental experiences with very religious friends, hipocrisy, etc. I’ve recently decided to try and “work” on my faith (if that’s the right way to put it). I have been praying more, trying to live day to day knowing that I am not alone, and trying to have a relationship with the big man upstairs. And let me tell you, I feel so much more at peace. It was important for me to get it into my head that I can have faith without being confined to religion.

Both of these things have made my life feel more complete. And because of that completeness and sense of content, my negative body image views and thoughts happen much less and are much quieter than in the past. Now, if I do have a negative thought pop into my head, it’s almost as if I’m annoyed with it and I can more easily push it aside. I am now realizing there are better and more important things I could be doing and thinking about.

It’s honestly such a freeing feeling to not be weighed down by negative thoughts about my body. I guess that really becoming happy with my life (and also knowing that it isn’t always going to be perfect and go as planned) and becoming comfortable and satisfied with all aspects of it is what I needed to start switching my body image from negative to positive.

Questions:

If you have had a negative body image, how did you overcome it?

Do you think that happiness and body image are related?

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About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on October 12, 2011, in About Me, Body Image, Giveaway, Life. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Congrats to the winners! I actually think society makes us unhappy about our body image (negative body image). Only you can decide and make yourself not care about what others think. πŸ˜€

  2. I think it’s great that you are happy with your body :)! Blogging has definitely been a good outlet for me too…and surrounding myself with positive people helps too!

  3. Yaaay! It’s refreshing to see happy posts about body image. My happiness and body image are dependent on each other, and it kind of stinks. haha. I still struggle with trying to break free from skinny = happy, so it’s understandable. I’ve come a long way, and that’s what counts!

  4. Oh, I’m so glad you’re feeling this way, Lindsay! I agree that happiness is tied to body image. When you’re having an “off” day, it makes you crabby, you know? Being comfortable in your own skin makes a huge difference in your confidence and general outlook. Congrats! πŸ™‚

  5. This is awesome. Good for you Linds!

    It’s true, FIT > skinny!!! Something that has really been bothering me lately is when people say “You look so skinny!”, and I know they mean it as a compliment, but I do not take it as one. Since when does looking skinny = looking good? It shouldn’t. There is more to looking SKINNY. I want to look HEALTHY. I think if everyone thought like this we would have far fewer people with a negative body image.

    I love that your blog is such a positive and inspiring place, and it shows through your posts that it makes you happy!

    • Aw thank you so much Lindsey! And I know what you mean- it can be annoying when someone says you look so skinny! I feel like that just perpetuates a negative body image.

  6. I definitely think your body image affects your happiness. I’ve struggled with disordered eating and a skewed body image for quite some time. While I feel much better about my body, my disordered eating is still present. The blogging community is definitely helping, as is my veganism. I’m glad you’re in a better place and have found things that make you happy. You’re an inspiration!

    • Aw thank you! I’m glad that you are finding things that are helping for you too! It will definitely happen if you keep working at it!

  7. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance

    YEY! I am so happy for you, Lindsay! Blogging has been such a positive influence in my life too and has really made me aware of all the people out there who emphasize health over being skinny. This community is such a blessing.

    As far as the faith goes, I was SO happy to read that you are working on making improvements! As you know, I was saved a few short months ago and can personally vouch for the amount of happiness and ease that my faith has brought to me. I think people are often misled into thinking that you need a religion to have faith, but I don’t consider myself “religious” in the least! I just love God πŸ˜€

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for your comment Brittany! And yes, I agree- people think they have to be religious to have faith and that is absolutely not the case. Seeing some of the great things you’ve said about faith on your blog definitely helped inspire me to work on it!

  8. I’m so excited I won πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting an awesome giveaway!

    I’ve definitely dealt with body issues in the past, but once I got to college I was able to love myself and not be so insecure. Blogging has been a great outlet for me and the community is so supportive.

    I’ve had issues with religion in the past (someone said the most awful thing to me at a church when I was 7) but I enjoy learning about different religions and try to take the different principles to apply to my every day life. I consider myself more spiritual than religious and I don’t want to conform to one set of beliefs.

  9. This was such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I feel exactly the same way about blogging. It is filling a fun creative outlet that my life was previously missing. It is something I do 100 % for me. I loved your message about working on your religion. This is something I have been having trouble with to.

  10. Such a great post, Lindsay. So many of us in the blogging community have shared the same struggles. I’m in the same boat as you. I only started blogging in mid-April but it has been extremely fulfilling. While I will always struggle with disordered eating in some small way, this community is part of dealing with it in a healthy way. It’s an outlet and it’s a GOOD one! I agree that having your faith on track helps a lot too!

  11. I can totally relate to everything you’ve said in this post, Lindsay! You’re so right – there’s so many areas of your life that play into your contentment and overall satisfaction with yourself and with your life. I finally recognize this about a year ago, and even though I know it all and have recognized it, I have to continually keep myself accountable to staying true to the areas of my life that really matter. I notice if I don’t keep my faith strong, or put time into my relationships, or work hard at my job that my obsession and consuming thoughts come out more about my appearance and other insecurities. I’m so glad that you’re more at peace and content these days – that’s awesome! πŸ™‚

  12. Well I only just discovered your blog and what a wonderful post to start with!

    I love your positive attitude πŸ™‚

    I’m with you on blogging, it has almost changed my life, it definitely makes me happy too!

  13. Well I could not be more happy for you Lindsay.. what a well-written and truly amazing post! You inspire me to start liking my body more now… it is still a work in progress but seeing your progress on this gives me a kick in the butt to keep on going

    • Tessa, you are doing a fantastic job with your recovery!! And it is honestly so worth it to keep on going. I realize that it’s unlikely to always have good thoughts about our bodies, but the more good ones we can have than bad, the better!

  14. Lindsay, I totally agree with you that blogging has definitely improved my ways of thinking about exercise/body image. It’s funny and ironic how so many people judge “healthy living bloggers” as people with eating disorders. Maybe some do struggle, but every blog I read has truly helped me overcome any lingering “unhealthy” thoughts about my body or eating. Everyone is so supportive and we all struggle with the same things…we are never alone! Yay for blogging!

  15. Yay!! I love that you are feeling so positive! I definitely believe that happiness and body image are related- its so easy to dwell on the small, insignificant things when you aren’t completely content. Its great that you have found more things to make you smile πŸ™‚

  16. To me, it meant SO much to have positive, uplifting support. By surrounding myself with this, I don’t really have as much time to dwell on body gripes!

    P.S. Just found you blog and I’m loving it! Can definitely relate to a lot of what you write about.

  17. I’m so happy you are feeling good about yourself and about life! πŸ™‚

  18. Julia @ The Coffee Crazed Teacher

    Love this post! I can completely relate to what you are talking about. For me I am still in the daily struggle of loving myself and what I look like. As long as I am fit, happy, and healthy – that is what life is all about!

    I am ecstatic to hear that you are developing a relationship with “The Big Man Upstairs”! He really is our key to happiness and peace, I honestly don’t know what I would do daily without him. You are completely right, a faith is most definitely not religion. πŸ™‚

    • Julia @ The Coffee Crazed Teacher

      I meant to say you can most definitely have faith without having religion. It isn’t about religion, it is about the relationship.

      • I can totally understand your struggle, and I agree with you- as long as you are fit, happy, and healthy then you are doing wonderfully! Of course, believing that is easier said than done, but once you get that idea in your head it’s so much easier to work toward believing it!

  19. Lindsay, I’m so glad you’re feeling good about yourself and your life! I completely understand what you mean about faith being sidelined at times. I dealt with similar feelings when I was in college (judgement from friends, negative experiences, etc). Developing a relationship with “the man upstairs” can be so centering. I value my faith and it keeps me grounded – also keeps things in perspective!

  20. I definitely think happiness and body image are related. If you aren’t happy with yourself and have confidence, it can definitely ruin your mood and outlook on life. I’m glad you were able to overcome your troubles πŸ™‚

  21. wow this post really resonated with me… I used to be so hard on myself and finally about two years ago with the blog got in to a wonderful headspace. Now here lately I have set some new goals and suddenly find myself saying horribly negative things to myself again. It could very much be related to the months of 80 hour work weeks i just finished and feeling a little out of sorts with my whole life. Interesting thought!

  22. I can relate to this post SO much! Thanks for posting this! I have found the same thing. I used to have more thoughts and if I gained a couple pounds or whatever I would be upset. Ever since blogging, I have had a whole knew outlook and now those things don’t bother me as much at all. I’m so glad you have been happier! πŸ˜€

  23. i am with you! surroundning yourself in a loving and open environment brings contentment, joy, and peace! We are all here to support and do just that. Its amazing what we learn from each other and how positivity can conquer so much negative!

  24. I love this post! Thank you so much for writing it! I def think being happy has a lot to do with body image! If you are happy with yourself you are bound to be more accepting of your body than if you are unhappy!

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