#MyBodyIsEnough-Martha Kate's Story

Can you believe it's already January? I love the start of a new year and the hope and promise that comes along with that! As 2016 came to an end, I decided I wanted to do a monthly print for the #mybodyisneough project and have REAL women share their stories! Each month, there will be a new print design that is available on 5"x7", 8"x10" prints as well as cards. Here is the print for January!

One of the first internet friends that I made as part of this movement was Martha Kate. I can't remember exactly which post it was, but she sent me a message introducing herself and we became fast friends after we talked on Skype for the first time. She is such an advocate for promoting honest conversations about body image and here is a part of her own story!

I was two when I said I didn’t look pretty and meant it. I was three when I learned what a diet was and how to do it. I was five when I was called the word fat and it devastated me. I was nine when I noticed what the scale said and what those numbers really meant. I was ten when I was called skinny and it encouraged me that starving myself was okay. I was twelve when a boy commented on my physical appearance and it stayed with me. I was fifteen when I missed a state mandated fitness test because I was terrified to see the numbers on the scale. I was nineteen before I admitted that my relationship with food and my body were slowly killing me. And I was twenty before I sought help for my eating disorder. Four years ago, I started writing and sharing my story with the world because I believe that sharing our stories matter.

Today there are still moments where it’s hard but I remember what it was like years ago and I choose to fight those lies, because I know everything it took to get here. I spent over a decade hating my body and shaming myself for the way that it looked. In November,  I celebrated five years of recovery from an eating disorder.

Five years of celebrating freedom and not being enslaved to my thoughts and food. And if it has taught me anything it is that fighting for freedom is worth it. Because a scale only determines your relationship to gravity. Sizes are literally just numbers on a tag. Neither of these tell us who we are at the core or tell us the truth about who we are.

The mirror is where I found my truth. If the mirror said I looked good (which it rarely did) than the day would go well and if the mirror showed that one hair was out of place than game over. For me, overcoming my issues had a whole heck of a lot to do with me not seeing myself as beautiful. They were all lies and I know that now but it can still be difficult. It didn’t just happen overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without a whole lot of work. As a woman, I believe on some level all women struggle with the idea of beauty and feeling beautiful. We live in a society that is rampant with ideas of beauty; false, unattainable, unrealistic standards of beauty. It wasn’t until I finally realized and accepted that beauty wasn’t in a made up face, it wasn’t in high fashioned clothes, it wasn’t in a size, that it began to sink in. Beauty used to mean a specific size and specific numbers, but it doesn’t anymore.

And the reason it doesn’t matter anymore is because I realized some pretty incredible and important truths. Beauty is in the smiles that spread across faces when we experience joy, beauty is in the laughs that echo from our mouths as we enjoy our lives, beauty is in the eyes that sparkle as dreams come true, beauty is in the grace that we live our lives by.

My worth will never again be determined by my outside appearance, for I am worth far too much for that and so are you. Beauty is measured by the heart and the love and grace we show to others.

 So friend I hope you know today you are worth so much more than what the mirror tells you, you are worth so much more than numbers on a scale or the size in the back of your pants. You are worth loving and that includes the body you are living in. Because my body and your body is enough.
— Martha Kate

If you are interested in sharing your own story as part of the #mybodyisenough project, please shoot Rachel an email at rachel@racheltenny.com. You can purchase this month's print here.