Hello, Girl Fit community! My name is Yurika Tarui, and I am a rising junior in high school. I am also a virtual intern at Girl Fit Physical Therapy this summer! I have been a client at Girl Fit Physical Therapy since it started four years ago, and it has always had a special place in my heart. I resonated with their mission statement of empowering female athletes, and Girl Fit has inspired me to pursue a career in sports medicine. I also connected with their mission of supporting girls’ mental and physical wellbeing, especially as a competitive athlete in an aesthetic sport.
As a figure skater and former ballet dancer, I have had my fair share of body image dissatisfaction and distress. Unfortunately, I am far from alone: thousands of young girls participate in aesthetic sports, including figure skating, gymnastics, dance, diving, and horseback riding. Even in other sports, there is still a high emphasis on body shape and size, especially for females.
Over the years, I have accumulated a few tips to help combat my negative body image thoughts and develop a healthier relationship with my body. While I still have a long way to go, I have found these strategies beneficial for myself and others.
Making peace with your body is not a linear journey, and that’s ok! Just like it didn’t take you a day to develop your negative body image thoughts, it won’t take a day to get rid of them. With practice and time, you will gradually learn to respect your body and appreciate everything it does for you. Remember: your body was never the problem.
I wish you all the best of luck on your journeys!