Body Image Work Doesn’t Go On Vacation

Vacation, just out the window.

Vacation, just out the window.

I am on a much need mini-vacation. I’m in sunny California for a long weekend with a good friend, The Lindz. By all accounts, this should be a weekend of unwinding, drinking wine and enjoying life. I packed all my favorite clothes. I’ve gathered all my new books to read. I’ve started a list of all the places I want to eat….

…. And then all the fun comes to a screeching halt. Enter all of my insecure body thoughts. This weekend I’ll be surrounded by new people. I’ll be drinking more than normal. I’ll be eating differently. I won’t be able to control my world as tightly. Suddenly, all the joy and exhilaration I had from taking a vacation is gone, replaced with insecurities. 

I work out pretty frequently. It’s a really good anxiety management tool for me. Plus I’ve learned that if I focus on being strong, I spend less time focusing on being fat. Now, I’m not fat. And even if I am, who cares. But I find that my head lies to me about how I look and what is important. Focusing on strength helps me see reality.

I’ve missed the gym the last week because of work so all those thoughts about me have more room than normal in my head. The anxiety of being out of my routine gives those thoughts more space to go crazy.

The Lindz has a solution!

The Lindz has a solution!

Luckily, I have some help. I have The Lindz. She doesn’t allow that kind of bull crap self talk and she has a fantastic amount of self love. It’s contagious.

Surround yourself with people who spread self love.

While sitting in the living room sipping coffee and kicking my feet up, I remembered that this was supposed to be fun. This is a time for me to enjoy my life. My life isn’t any less enjoyable because I have thighs or eyes or feet. When you have a bad day, it’s important to remember that your body isn’t the problem.

Your body is not why you can’t have a good time. Your body is just a body.

That's 20 years of friendship right there!

That’s 20 years of friendship right there!

Over the last 12 hours I’ve had two good friends reach out with images that represent our history. I am always surrounded by people who love me and see value in me, regardless of distance. Why would I worry about how strangers might perceive me? If they can’t see my awesomeness, that’s their issue.

The way people see you is probably not how your insecurities see you.

Artwork by the amazing Natalie Albertson.

Artwork by the amazing Natalie Albertson.

It’s important to remember that your value and self worth aren’t the same as your body. It’s also important to remember that your body is awesome, because it’s yours. You should love it because you’re worthy of self love.

Sometimes you just have to remind yourself. You have to take your body image work with you on vacation. I’m going to go shower, get dressed in some of my favorite outfits and then spend the rest of the weekend enjoying my life, my friends, the sunshine, the foods I don’t normally eat and most importantly, my body.

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