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How I’m Building a Better Relationship with my Body

August 30, 2022

By:

Cassidy Miller

Disclosure: Thank you to FP Movement at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Shopstyle Collective for sponsoring today’s post. Such a cool moment to be able to work with a brand that I actually love and wear!

Hi there! If you don’t me yet, I’m Cassidy, the Director of Marketing here at LIY and I am about to get REAL vulnerable with you all today. I’m taking you along my journey toward self-confidence and positive body image – A journey that is truly never-ending. Before I dive in, I want to say that I am not a medical expert, a nutritionist, nor a licensed therapist. If you are struggling with disordered eating I have listed a few resources below:

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org | www.eatingdisorderfoundation.org

FP Movement Shortsie – This might be the most comfortable thing I own! [TTS] / FP Movement Long Sleeve – Perfect for layering! [Size up if in between] / FP Movement Tube Socks

No matter your shape or size, body image, body dysmorphia, disordered eating, etc. can affect anyone. As a pre-teen and teenager, I really struggled with body image. It was just something I constantly thought about. “How does this make me look?” was a reoccurring question going through my head from as early as 12 to 13 years old. I can clearly remember crying in the dressing room while trying on bathing suits with my mom – A memory that I’d rather forget quite frankly. There are numerous other memories of saying no to pool parties, meltdowns in dressing rooms, avoiding pictures with my friends, the list goes on. And to think back on it makes me so sad that I missed out on so many moments because I was consumed by the thought of my appearance. It makes me grieve a little for younger Cassidy.

In the past few years, I have promised myself that I would work on creating a better relationship with my body. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I am so thankful to myself and ultimately proud of myself for taking it. I could go on and on about the rigorous ups and downs of this journey, but I really want to share the things that have helped me take those steps toward a more positive relationship with my body and my overall confidence.

FP Movement Shortsie – [TTS] / FP Movement Shorts – Love these for exercising and for lounging, plus the waistband is so comfortable! [TTS] / FP Movement Tube Socks / FP Movement Sling Bag – Fits your cell phone and is perfect for outdoor walks or runs!

Rethinking Exercise

All throughout my life, I was an athlete and never really “worked out” outside of my demanding practices and game-day regimen. When I eventually left high school and entered college, I struggled with finding the motivation to work out because for so long, it was just built into my life and my schedule. Suddenly, I had to find the time and the motivation to make moving my body a priority. To be completely honest, I never really found something that worked for me. I wound up hating any type of exercise and saw it as a chore or a punishment. I realized I had created a really toxic relationship with exercise. One where I had to “work off the calories” or keep up with the latest model on Vogue magazine.

I deemed myself as someone who simply hates working out. But really, I hated the idea that I had to work out in order to feel “worthy,” “thin,” “beautiful,” or “productive.” It just felt like I was doing it for all of the wrong reasons so I pushed it away and completely resented it.

It wasn’t until 2021 that I truly found something that worked for me after A LOT of trial and error. I realized that I actually enjoyed structured workout classes at a secondary location [aka not at home] that balance cardio and weight training. I hesitate to expand on that because what works for me, may not work for you and that’s okay. That being said, I also give myself grace and work out very intuitively. If I am truly not feeling it one day, or even one week, then I give myself that time and space to rest and recharge. Similarly, if I start to feel somewhat burned out of my workout regimen, I like to switch it up and play pickleball on the weekends, long walks with my dogs or even join a sand volleyball league. I now focus more on moving my body for my health rather than my appearance and it has made all of the difference. Plus, the more fun I have while moving my body, the more likely I will do it again!

The last thing that has actually helped me be more comfortable stepping into my skin and stepping out at the gym, is purchasing and wearing clothes that are comfortable. It seems so silly to bring up, but it makes all of the difference. If I head to my workout class wearing something too tight or uncomfortable, it makes wanting to leave that much more appealing. Finding workout apparel – or just clothes in general – that fit properly and make sense for your lifestyle can be such a game changer. I have a new found love with FP Movement – Free People’s athletic line – it’s stretchy, comfortable and breathable. You can easily shop it at Dick’s Sporting Goods!

Be Your Best Advocate

FP Movement Shortsie – [TTS] / FP Movement Shorts – [TTS] / FP Movement Sling Bag

I say this all the time so I will say it again. Be your own best advocate. If I ever have children someday, I would say this exact same thing to them. It sounds morbid, but in life we really only have ourselves. No one will ever look out for you like the way you look out for yourself. No matter the number of people we surround ourselves with, we are ultimately stuck with ourselves forever. We come into this world alone and we will go out alone. On a physical level, I like to think of this as my physical health. This is the only body I am given in this life, the only true “home” that I have. I want to make it is strong, resilient, and comfortable. And for me, that means moving my body regularly, eating a balanced diet, going to my yearly doctor appointments, practicing self-breast exams, and just being generally aware of what is happening with my body.

On a more mental health level, I want all of those in-between moments that I have with just myself to be enjoyable, and comfortable. If I can’t feel at ease or accepted by myself, how can I ever expect to feel that way amongst others? When I find myself fretting over gaining 10 pounds, I ask myself… “Am I happy?” “Am I generally healthy?” If I can answer yes to both of those questions then I try to just move on. I remember in my teen years seeing this infamous ad with a quote in large letters reading, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and I now know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Positive Self Talk

FP Movement Shortsie – [TTS] / FP Movement Tube Socks / FP Movement Sling Bag

One of the biggest changes I made in my life was how I spoke to myself. I have a zero-tolerance rule at my house – Absolutely no negative self-talk. I once saw a quote that said, “the words we speak become the house we live in” and that hit me hard. It essentially means that what we say and think about ourselves becomes our reality. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing only things I dislike about myself, now I look in the mirror and look at all of the things I love and that I am appreciative of. I’m not perfect, and there are times I can slip up but when that happens I try to practice gratitude and think about all that my body does for me. Instead of thinking, “I wish my calves were slimmer,” I like to think, “I am grateful to have strong legs that allow me to do things that I love.”

I also like to think about my younger self, or even my best friend… Would I ever say these things to her? Never. I would never even think it. Because when I reflect on my younger self or look at my best friend, I don’t equate their worthiness with their appearance at all. My hope is that we can extend that same thought process to ourselves.

FP Movement Long Sleeve – [Size up if in between] / FP Movement Shorts – [TTS] / FP Movement Sling Bag

In short, I encourage and challenge you to you fill your life with movement that brings you joy, to be your own best friend, to speak as kindly to yourself as you do to others, and be comfortable in your clothes and your skin. Although I have learned a few things along the way, I definitely don’t know it all. My hope is to continue this journey toward positive body image and self confidence for a long time. Thanks for reading along and I hope that you gained something [even if it’s small] from this post!

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