How To Love Your Body: My Journey From Self-Sabotage To Self-Love

I haven’t wanted to write this post, which is why I’ve put it off for almost a year now. Today I’m sharing with you my own wellness journey, the one that took me from self-sabotage to self-love. I hope that it will also help you learn how to love your body, if you’re not already there. 

As a recovering perfectionist it’s freaking scary to put myself out there and say: “heads up world, I’m not perfect”. But these days I’m perfectly happy with my imperfections and I want to tell you why.

For ten years I battled with some pretty serious eating disorders, body image dysmorphia, depression, exercise addiction, and general lack of self-worth.

I have been at every end of the health spectrum. I’ve weighed far too little and carried extra weight. I’ve over-exercised and been unfit. I’ve had times when I’ve only eaten the absolute healthiest food and times when I would eat everything in sight.

I’ve been the queen of negative self-talk and I’ve spent countless hours wishing that something about me could be different. I’ve read about or tried almost every diet on the planet (unsuccessfully, I might add).

Along the way I’ve torn my hamstring, developed hormonal imbalances and I’m currently healing from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Unfortunately these things can happen when you spend a decade putting your body through the ringer.

How To Love Your Body | Jennifer Dene | mindbodybride

It’s been a long journey but I’ve learned so much. There are no quick fixes in wellness and being too healthy can be just as harmful as being unhealthy. Loving yourself, nurturing your relationships and feeding your soul are way more important than broccoli, blueberries and working out.

I started mindbodybride to help beautiful women like you realize that moderation is the key to success. Each week I write for you but I also write for me, as a reminder to nurture and respect ourselves in this exciting stage of our lives.

I can’t tell my body what my ideal weight is, and neither can you. It’s where your body comes to rest when you’re happy in yourself. It’s about knowing how to love your body. 

I’ve learned that it’s not worth giving up on the fun things in life just to fit into a certain pair of jeans. Losing those last five pounds means giving up on Friday night wine and lazy Sunday cuddles with my husband. It’s missing weekend brunches or a girls’ night out. It’s never having time to unplug, take a bubble bath, read books or simply be.

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I haven’t wanted to show you these photos (because let’s be honest, who likes putting pictures of themselves in their underwear online), but they illustrate my journey.

My “before” photos are from a time when I was unhappy with myself. I was on a strict diet, killing myself in the gym and frequently comparing myself to other women. I wasn’t terribly overweight, but the extra weight that I was carrying represented negativity and self-loathing.

My current photos represent a happy and balanced lifestyle, where I workout for 30 minutes a day (but not everyday) and where I generally try and live healthfully but I’m happy to break the “rules”.

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Today I can honestly say that I live at my ideal weight without diets and deprivation and that, cheesy as it may be, love really does conquer all.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story, I hope that it helps you let go of diets, negativity and self-judgement so that you can also have your ideal life, at your ideal weight, being your authentically ideal self.

With love,

Jennifer Dene

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19 Responses to How To Love Your Body: For Now & Happily Ever After

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story! It shows that with a little bit of courage and vulnerability it’s possible to expose our true selves to the world in such an inspirational way!

    I would like to hear more from you.

  2. jennifer, this is so beautiful..women need to support each other and get rid of the freaking pressure to be everything to everyone all while slamming it in a size 0 or whatever the new “perfect” number is. As you said, your body lets you know what is right. Way to go!

  3. Jenn, your uplifting message is such an inspiration! I think many of us (especially in the “healthy blogging world”) can relate to your journey. It’s so nice to hear an influential woman like yourself open up about the not so positive side of the biz – the comparisons, the restriction, etc. I’m so glad you were able to overcome those things, and are at a happy, healthy place. I can certainly attest that although I’ve felt down at times about not being able to fit the “perfect mold,” but I too would never want to give up those cozy Saturdays with the hubs or wine with my gals. Life is too short not to live it to the fullest!

  4. You are brave and incredibly beautiful my are a wonderful inspiration to me and so many others. Over recent times you have taught me to be happy in my own skin and content with who I am. I love working out with you when you’re home but also love opening a bottle of wine and lazing on the sofa with a plate of nyummies while we chat and laugh!! You are my inspiration and I love you for it…thank you baby xo

  5. Jenn, I love your positive attitude, your passion for supporting other women and your ability to share photos of yourself before and after, even in your undies! Today, I’m off to a good start! xoxo

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