Personal Development

6 Things That Happened When I Stopped Hating My Body

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I came so close to giving up on myself once.

Overweight and depressed, I avoided being around people because I felt so self-conscious about my body and weight. I hated looking in the mirror because my reflection filled me with so much pain and disappointment. What I saw was a reflection of everything that I had failed to do to get my life together.

I'd pretty much given up on the dream of living my life any other way and resigned myself to being the chubby girl who had zero self control around food.

I didn't have the solution to my compulsive overeating then, but a when a friend forced me to confront my reality, I knew I had to start digging deep for answers.

As I worked on healing my relationship with food and losing all the extra weight I was carrying around, life gradually began to feel different, and so did my perspective on it. But these changes didn't happen overnight or in a month"”it took me over a year to get to my goal weight, and longer than that to adjust to being in a body that looked and felt different, as well as let go of the pain I'd been living with for so long.

But when I did, amazing things started to happen:

1. I stopped feeling the need to eat my emotions.

The healthier and stronger I felt mentally and physically, the less I felt the need to reach for food to fill a void or deal with difficult situations and emotions, and the more compelled I felt to do things that fortified me further, like connecting with a close friend, meditating or going for a workout. And because I was filling up my body, mind and soul with real nourishment, my waistband started to loosen up"¦and stay that way.

2. Food made me feel happy, not fearful and overwhelmed

Even though I loved food, it scared me because I felt so out of control around it. After practicing listening to my body and giving it what it needed, I was finally able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted, but in healthy portions that didn't make me want to puke my guts out 20 minutes later. And, even though I still had days where I slipped up, I instinctively knew what to do to return to a place of balance.

3. I fell in love with movement.

When I first started exercising, I couldn't jog for more than a minute without feeling like my lungs were going to explode and legs would collapse. Every step I took felt like an uphill battle I would never win. But I made a promise to myself to never give up, and the moment I finally did my first push-up on my toes, ran my first 21-kilometer obstacle course, climbed a 12-foot wall, sprinted like the wind up the steepest hill I could find and felt stronger and more capable than I ever thought I would, I knew I'd made the right decision.

4. The spring in my step came back

The more progress I made, the more I realized that I no longer dragged my feet or hunched my shoulders. My steps felt springier, were filled with purpose, and my spirit felt lighter than ever because I could finally focus on living my life instead of chasing after the "what if's" I'd constantly been thinking about.

5. I started to feel at ease in my own skin

The first time I realized that I was comfortable in my own skin was when I stopped feeling self-conscious about how I looked — I was no longer obsessing over my weight, what other people thought about it, and what I had to do to look and feel differently than the way I did. I realized that I didn't need to be someone else to be happy.

6. I became my own best friend

The less I hated my body, the more I did to nourish, rest and move it with purpose. I also became kinder to myself, as I was to the people around me that I loved. After all, I'm the only one who's with me 24/7, so why wouldn't I?

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About the author

Michele Lian

I'm a food coach and author of, where I show food lovers how to eat what they want, lose fat and keep it off for life with more ease and less overwhelm. Get started on your own mindful weight-loss journey without having to go on a crash or restrictive eating plan with my FREE, Lose 4 Pounds in 4 Weeks Without Going On A Diet email course.