I Can Do What I Want Challenge: The right to BARE arms πŸ˜ƒπŸ’ͺ🌈 Pogo!

I haven’t always been self conscious about my body and physical appearance. That didn’t start until I reached about 10 years old and adults began commenting on my weight and saying I needed to restrict my food intake.

Soon as a teen, I began to compare myself to others and was influenced by magazines, fashion and media.

I was also a performer/singer which added even more pressure to be physically pleasant.

I developed this idea that I needed to be perfect to please the adults in my life and be acceptable to society. I began dieting and exercising to the point of anorexia when I was 14/15. Then as a young adult I yo-yo dieted, binge ate, even tried dexatrim, could count the calories of everything, was obsessed with maintaining a healthy body size and was always wanting to reach a level of perfection at which I never arrived.

It took years to get healthier with my eating, nutrition, exercise and body image. I still struggle with feeling comfortable in a swimsuit and going sleeveless. And I still feel more confident wearing makeup than going bare faced. I am healthy now with my eating habits, exercise and self image, but it took a lot of work to get here.

Part of my efforts to gain more confidence is to do what I’m afraid of. So I bared my arms in this video and I’ve used photos of my feet on a blog post and as avatar pics on sites, because I’ve been teased about the appearance of my feet since childhood. I’ve grown to appreciate my feet and am no longer ashamed of them. I also posted photos of my midsection bared before and after in one of my blog posts.

My physical appearance says nothing about who I am inside, in spirit, or how I behave as a person in this world. It’s just a temporary vehicle while I’m here. The true me can not really be contained and is an ever-present loving, innocent force that is connected with everyone and everything in spirit. And we are all the same that way. We’re just playing roles/characters here. So judging myself or anyone else by their physical appearance is folly πŸ™‚

I still want to be acceptable, confident and feel good, so I do make an effort, but it takes up less energy in my life. I realize that it caused a lot of wasted effort and needless anxiety. I’ve grown wiser and realize that none of that really matters. I’ve consciously shifted my priorities to ones that matter the most to me. Society doesn’t get to dictate my life as much as it used to, thankfully!

My hope is that others will be able to shift their energy to what matters most. Being healthy and feeling confident is great, but it needn’t involve anything much else than eating a healthy plant based diet, some maintenance cardio/exercise, good hygiene and working on your issues/personal development, maintaining a healthy mind/emotions/psyche and finding, flow, creativity, purpose, meaning along the way, while helping each other.

Inner work is where it’s at, truly πŸ™‚ It’s what’s helped me the most! My arms have nothing to do with that! Love and hugs y’all! You’re always beautiful just the way you are! Cliche but true! <3

 

Michelle Miyagi
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