Body Image

Intimacy and Body Image

Intimacy and Body Image | Libero Magazine

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The majority of my 20s were spent being single. Sure, I’d meet people and go out on dates. I made a few short-lived attempts at lasting relationships, but in the end, nothing ever worked out.

While not my fault entirely, my lack of body confidence played a big role in the demise of my love life.

I was afraid to be seen both physically and metaphorically. My walls were high. Being dissatisfied with my naked body forced me to remain hidden. I couldn’t understand what anyone would see in me. The conversation was easy. Kissing, I could handle. Baring all of my flesh in intimacy was painful, though.

I feared the way I looked beneath my clothes.

I was afraid of my dimples, freckles, and curves. I was sure they’d be a horrific turnoff for my partner, so I made every attempt to avoid romance as much as possible.

When I couldn’t hold back and decided to give into my desires, I rarely enjoyed myself because of my fixation on my body’s appearance. The heat of the moment was never a blissful experience for me. What was meant to be pleasurable and bring two people together became one of my greatest sources of discomfort.

Sometimes, I was left in tears.

At the height of my anorexia, sex was something I forced upon myself in an effort to replace my lack of self-worth with the feeling of being wanted.

Although I felt anything but desirable, I wanted someone to find me attractive. It seemed incomprehensible to me that someone could find my tiny, frail body worthy. In the end, I wound up feeling used and less desirable than I had at the start. At that point, I gave up. I vowed no one would ever see me naked or so vulnerable again.

It wasn’t until a year into my recovery that I met someone who enabled me to relax into intimacy. Being found desirable for reasons beyond my body and finding self-worth in pieces of me beyond what was visible, I was able to start to enjoy a partnership with passionate romance. The feeling of flesh against flesh, the appreciation of every twist and turn of my skin, and that build up of uncensored want became feelings I suddenly craved and felt comfortable with.

A Lesson in Intimacy | Libero

As the years roll on, I continue to build my confidence by tuning-in to my self-worth.

I finally feel ready to fully commit to a relationship and all that comes with it. I know my worth and what I bring to the table, and I am intensely aware of my feelings. I no longer question what people see in me or why they want to be with me. I see the answers in myself.

I like the person I see staring back at me in the mirror.

I embrace my body–every bump, every lump, every imperfection.

I believe in my own beauty, but I’m also able to see myself beyond my body. I see myself as a loving, passionate, intelligent woman. I see myself as desirable.

I see myself as someone deserving of love and intimacy, and this, I believe, is a gift we should all give to ourselves.

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Kristin is holistic health and lifestyle coach, having graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is also a New Jersey based certified personal trainer and focuses on training clients with her body positive attitude. After dealing for many years with depression and disordered eating and then falling into anorexia and bulimia, she hopes to educate other women about the importance of self acceptance and treating their bodies well from the inside out. Kristin hopes to eventually work with children and adolescents, teaching them the importance of health and fitness. In her spare time she enjoys weight lifting, running, playing with her niece, meditating, reading, and drinking lots of coffee. She is simply grateful to have found recovery and been afforded the little pleasures in life.

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