When my husband and I started dating just shy of six and a half years ago, I was about 30 to 35 pounds heavier. I could barely look at that girl in the mirror, and I always felt self conscious. He treated me like the most beautiful creature on the planet and honestly it stunned me a little… my mind couldn’t figure out how he could possibly like me. How could anyone like me if I didn’t even like me? Fast forward to now and I have lost that weight and become a much healthier version of myself. I needed this for myself, so that I could be more comfortable in my own skin. Yet I haven’t completely lost that self conscious feeling.
About a week or so ago we were talking and I was having a day of really beating myself up, and I said out loud “I still see that other girl in the mirror”. This was the second time I had said this out loud recently, and I realized that I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. No matter what I look like in reality, I still see something completely different when I look in the mirror. Which is why today I want to say LADIES, WE HAVE TO BE NICER TO OURSELVES!!!!
We have to stop hating on our bodies – I know this is easier said that done, and I struggle with it every day. But what if, for every negative thought we were to give a positive one. If I think “my arms look fat in this picture” I could counter it with “my arms are strong and I can plank WAY longer than I used to be able too”. We aren’t going to always love our bodies entirely, but maybe we could try to appreciate them a little more each day.
We have to stop comparing ourselves to other women – This one is HUGE for me. I sometimes see very thin, modelesque women and think “she’s so beautiful” and equate that with happiness. Rationally I know that is insane… at every different size in my life I have had unhappy, low points. It’s so easy to look at others and think things like “I’ll never be that fit”, “My hair will never be that perfect”, “I’ll never have that complexion”, etc. I’m trying very hard to learn to appreciate other women’s beauty without taking away or reducing my own.
We have to completely toss the unrealistic expectations society has set for women – I remember reading magazines like YM and Seventeen when I was young, and thinking about beauty and fashion. I didn’t understand it back then, but it is so clear now that I was already hammering in such an unrealistic picture of what I needed to be to be “beautiful”. Even now in my thirties, I constantly find myself obsessing about aging because you look at celebrities and it seems like no one ages anymore! Like seriously, J Lo is getting hotter by the minute! I think we are setting ourselves up for failure if we think we can only be happy in a size 0, or can only be happy if we still look 20 at 40. I really hope to be part of the generation of ladies that decide to kick the unreal expectations!
We have to recognize that we are more than a number on the scale – I honestly try not to even weigh myself anymore because it became such an obsessive, addictive thing for me at some points. I could get on the scale in the morning, and if that number had shifted up by even one pound my mood was glum for the day. Or even worse, I would punish myself by limiting my food intake. This was and still has the potential to be such a mentally unhealthy place for me to be, so I just try to avoid it all together. We have to know as women that we are more than a number. We are intelligent women capable of leading companies or growing businesses, capable of leading governments, capable of growing humans, capable of being compassionate to others, we are strong daughters, aunts, mothers, etc. It’s honestly time to let the attachment to scales go!
We have to just appreciate our bodies and be nicer to them – I think all in all a lot of the time we focus too much on the appearance of our bodies, and not on all of the kick ass things they are capable of. So I’m going to TRY to be nicer to mine. To take care of it, but to also have the freaking chips or pizza or beer whenever I damn well please without freaking out about what that may do to my appearance. I mean after all this body has gotten me to this point, so it can’t be that bad right!
Just like anything, accepting or maybe even loving your body is a process. I’m sure I will always have days of feeling insecure, but I’m hoping I can try to curb the downward slope of self hate by bringing in a little more self love. We’ve got this ladies!