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Most of my life I’ve been a “serial dieter.” I went on my first diet when I was 7 years old. From that time, I was concerned about food, my body and my weight. I’ve spent thousand of dollars on dieting and, most tragically, I’ve deprived myself of life experiences.

Two nights before my wedding I had, what I call, my “bathtub moment.” This was an epiphany that transformed the way I viewed my body, and it changed my world.

As I was taking a bath that night, I had this overwhelming feeling of worthlessness. I imagined being in my wedding gown, overweight, ugly and standing in front of all my closest friends and family.

After a flood of negative self-talk, I had a moment of clarity. I realized all the hype about dieting, toning, losing weight and having perfection was not real. Fixating on having a perfect body was robbing me of so much joy. Why was I letting this obsession get in the way of living a full, purposeful life?

Three months after my “bathtub moment,” I signed my New York modeling contract. I decided to accept, embrace and love my body. That decision changed my life. It was finally okay to be happy, ambitious and excel in my life.

In recent years, Dove has conducted studies revealing 85% of women and 79% of girls are opting out of life experiences because they are self-conscious about their bodies. I believe this is a crisis. It’s been proven through many studies that when women are contributing to society, everything improves. I can’t be idle when the world needs confident women.

I don’t think we need to stop improving our bodies, and I am not saying losing weight is bad. All I am saying is it is time to transform the way we think and feel about our bodies. If we change the way we feel about our bodies, we are capable of transforming any aspect of our life.

I am passionate about sharing the truth I’ve discovered; the truth that we don’t have to change our bodies to be happy. Today is the first episode of Healthy at any Size. It will be the first of many, and together we can start a body revolution by choosing to embrace the beautiful, organic bodies we have.

I am excited  to be able to share this podcast with you, I hope you will embark on the journey of finding happiness in the body you have now. You can also join the conversation on Twitter, @melparrishplus, find us on Body Love TV and, of course, join us here at melparrish.com next week.

Key takeaways:

[:11] You deserve to live a happy healthy life.
[2:32] The secret to loving your body is changing how you feel about your body.
[3:05] Melinda Parrish introduction.
[4:25] It is time for a revolution. It is time to stop letting the way we feel about our body hold us back.
[6:14] Stop fixating on having a perfect body.
[7:23] Healthy at any Size was born from Body Love TV, it was built from the desire to dig deeper into some of the conversations we were having.
[8:20] How many of you have put something off “until you lose the weight”?
[10:19] Being happy with your body does not mean not taking care of your body. The changes you want to make must start with you loving your body.
[13:14] You can live a healthy lifestyle without focusing on weight loss.
[13:35] Any kind of transformation (including weight loss) must start with self-love.
[15:04] Review of the cycle of deprivation, dieting, binging, weight gain, and spending money on dieting.
[17:39] The transformation in how I viewed my body happend two nights before my wedding.
[20:29] The decision to accept, embrace, and love my body.
[22:42] Shift your focus to helping others and fulfill your purpose in life.
[24:58] We deserve to be in love with our bodies!
[27:19] You get the choice to contribute to the crisis or contribute to the solution.

Mentioned in this episode:

Melinda Parrish
@melparrishplus
Body Love TV
Dove
Dove Body Image Research
National Eating Disorders Association
Confessions of a Recovering Fat Kid

Tweetables:

“I don’t believe that you were put on this earth to stand on the sidelines of your own life.”

“You don’t need to change your body in order to get a life that you love.”

“Your success is contingent upon you deciding to love your body.”

“I don’t think that anybody needs to lose weight in order to live an aspirational lifestyle.”

“We really need the good people of this world to rise up.”

“It is absolutely time to claim our bodies and move forward, even if we’re not perfect.”

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