“Big Boned”….”Bigger Girl”… “Nordic Girl”…”Curvy”… these are all terms that have been used to describe my body type over the years…
With my father being a bodybuilder and mother a figure skating coach, there was a heavy emphasis on esthetics and athletics in our household growing up.
What and how much I ate was monitored from as early as I can remember. At 12 I was enrolled in weight watchers and it became strikingly clear that I was too much and not enough all at the same time.
At the age of 14 I discovered bulimia, which I thought was the ‘winning’ diet ticket. However, that ticket was actually a disease that I’ve continued battle even to this day.
When I was 16 I was told, “If you could just loose 5lbs you would be perfect.” One of the best ones came at 25 from my vocal coach. She told me my voice was great but “you will never make it because you are too big”. Unfortunately I gave these words power and have let them define and control much of my internal dialogue and sense of worth, for years.
Here I am with my Brothers at 14 years old
Why am I still that little 10 year old trying to prove that I am enough? Why have I put so much energy and time trying to control my weight and food? Has this brought me happiness, peace and health?
What if I just embraced my “Big Boned, Curvy, Nordic, Self”? More importantly what is even wrong with those definitions?
How many hours have I spent not loving the amazing body I have been given simply because of someone else’s words?
I want my daughter to see me as a woman who loves and respects herself – and especially her body. I would be devastated if she spent wasted years not loving her precious little body because of my influence.
I do watch my language when speaking about our bodies- and we never critique anyone’s physical stature. I never monitor what or how much she eats as she gets lots of healthy foods and enjoys the occasional treat too – it’s all about balance.
I want a life of health, vibrancy and happiness. In order to achieve that, I understand it requires a commitment to physical activity and nutritious foods. If that means I have some curves - then so be it!
I challenge you to STOP letting negative words and harsh criticism of others define you. Cherish the amazing body you have been given, and don’t let anyone’s past definitions determine your self-worth.
For more information about my diet, training and supplements
Aeryon Bela Ashlie
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