I have struggled with "loving myself" my entire life. It started at probably the early years of first grade, comparing myself to other little girls in my classroom. Questioning why I was not the "smallest" girl in the class. Questioning why being the smallest girl in the classroom was viewed as "cuter". Questioning why I could not be the tomboy I was, and still feel pretty. I was the little girl who LOVED riding bikes, playing tag, capture the flag, and hide and go seek with all the other neighbor kids. I loved wearing a big tee shirt, cowgirl boots and leggings because it was comfy and what I enjoyed. As a kid I would hear adults make comments like "why is she such a tomboy?" "she is not as girly as her sister was". My family even jokes they thought I was "gay".... as though a child cannot just enjoy being a KID! As though a little girl HAS to love dresses and otherwise is GAY?! WHAT?! I did not care about curling my hair, shopping, and makeup until middle school. I never felt pretty until I liked those things. My family also joked that I looked like a Hanson. Yes, the BOY band!!!! Picture below!! Jokes aren't always funny people!
I had been called chubby or fat from my own father... which will mess with a little girls head and she will carry that into her ADULT years. Please understand, I am not blaming my family and outside sources for anything, but I am saying I have let them affect my self image UP UNTIL NOW! I developed insecurities at a young age and I am on a mission to change my mindset on how I view myself. Because IT DOES affect our children! And our children's children! We are seeing women who carry this stuff into their adult years and having extremely low self esteem. And like I said, this will effect our children, they are always paying attention to what comes out of our mouths. Especially If we, as women are cutting ourselves down in front of little girls. Why would they allow themselves to feel pretty?! They will develop the mindset like I did, that to love myself I must be the thinnest, with the best outfits and best looks.... Which is NOT TRUE! Do not get me wrong.... today in my life I genuinely love to shop, play around with hair and makeup, and I would consider myself very girly (obviously, look at how girly my blog is)... The point is that I cannot and will not believe that is where my SELF WORTH comes from. A person can enjoy those things.... but it must be for the right reasons. We must not seek external sources for our love and self worth. I am not an expert on this, I personally struggle with it every day, but I am making a stand to get better at it, and to work on this every day. I pray this blog post will help you to do the same.
I recently had an "ah-ha" moment. I filmed a video with a lovely friend, Ashley Makelky. She has been making videos for YouTube and loving it! She is such a joy to watch! She recently started filming a segment called "MY FATLIFE" which is her weight loss journey. Many things she mentions in her videos are things most women struggle with. Mostly being mindset and negative thoughts and emotions about our body and looks. She asked me to do an interview video with her for her channel, so I did. She confessed in a later video that it was so hard for her to be around me. She said I was "perfect" and "cute" and therefore it was hard for her to be around me. This TOTALLY shocked me, for many reasons. Mostly because it made me realize that almost all women are in the comparing game. And I must say, I am so bad at this too. I will look at women smaller than me and wish I was like that. Looking at women with bigger boobs and wish I had them. The list goes on and on.... But when I heard Ashley compare herself to me, it made me cry. I never want anyone to feel like that, because I know exactly how she feels. We are caught in the battle of not feeling good enough. I believe health and fitness are important, and I enjoy my own health and fitness routine, but what's most important for us as women is to come together and get our minds right. We must support each other and love each other and most importantly LOVE OURSELVES! That last part is key. Think about it like this... if a woman is comparing herself to you and hears you cut yourself down or say nasty things about your own weight and looks, how will that make HER feel?! Example: I have a friend who is a size 0-2... who could basically be a victoria secret model, and she will say she is fat in front of me and other women who are all BIGGER than her! Like come on ladies...How do we not know what thoughts that puts in their heads?! "well jeeze, if she thinks she is fat... what am I?!" And I am guilty of this too... after watching Ashley's video about her insecurities about being around me, it make me think... Did I say anything to cut myself down that would make her think the same things as my friend made me think? And the answer is YES, unfortunately I probably did. I make comments like that way too often, to the point where I do it unconsciously. This must stop... For myself and women all over the world to feel good, this must stop!
My point to this rant is that we must work on ourselves to fix this horrible mindset we have for our body image. I am going to continue to blog about it. I am personally going to work to get my own mind right around this. To love and cherish my body no matter what size I am. To eat healthy and work out because I appreciate my body and because I love to challenge myself, not for the reasons of only loving myself at a certain size or shape. By making a change in this, I hope to one day raise a daughter to love herself more than I did myself growing up.
More to come, I am always working and growing and this is an area that I plan on doing some serious internal work on. I think if we are all honest with ourselves we can agree that this is something we can all work on. I hope that as I go through this self-acceptance journey that it will inspire other women out there to do the same. Not just so we 'feel better' about ourselves, but so that we can genuinely love and accept ourselves.