Body shaming. It’s all over the media and in our culture because so many are fighting against it. We’re constantly bombarded with an unrealistic expectation of what our bodies should look like. As if we weren’t already insecure without all that. Unfortunately, it’s in our schools, starting from a young age.

I remember being in the sixth grade as a girl half my size (and possible anorexic) thought it was okay to call me fat. I wasn’t fat or overweight, but she felt the need to criticize my appearance to help her validate her own. Over ten years later, I finally see the truth. I’m healthy because I eat healthy and I exercise on a regular basis. I’m a healthy weight and size for my height, body type, and age. The same was true then, the same is true now.

But now I’m embracing it. My body isn’t like your body, but neither of our bodies are wrong, and that’s why we can learn to be comfortable in our skin. I have friends who are medically considered obese. That doesn’t mean there’s something “wrong” with their bodies, but there might be something wrong with their eating and exercise habits. Our bodies are merely responding to what we put in them and the stress we put on them.

The desire to be healthier and fitter and the state of being comfortable in my skin aren’t at odds with either other, but are actually two sides of the same coin. Back when I started making changes, I first had to embrace my body as it was in that moment and be comfortable enough to want to take care of it.