Back when I was in high school I had a love/hate relationship with myself and my body. I was never able to accept who I was and the things I was interested in. It took me a while and I would say that even now at the age of 19 I’m still not completely accepting of myself. School definitely had a huge impact on how I viewed myself and people around me made it difficult to enjoy and feel comfortable going about my day to day life. I knew my peers disliked me, because of course.. I wasn’t the girl with the brand new Converse that came out or the new Mac lipstick. Instead I was the girl who just checked out a book from the library that I wanted to read for months, but someone had got to it before me. Now looking back I wish I wasn’t so critical of myself, but in the moment you can’t help but feel the way you do. I wrote this back when I had a month of study leave and had had an epiphany of some sort, realising that I actually enjoyed being myself and I guess I decided to call it “My Tourney To Self Acceptance”. I swear I’m not usually keen on posting negative posts but this is a journey I’m sure we all go through or will go through in our lifetime.
“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth”
Self-Love is the key to mental health. As a society we are fixated on the idea of achieving the ‘perfect’ ideal body. Pushing ourselves past our limits to tighten the belt. Indulging into new found diet plans and ‘skinny’ foods to attain the ultimate goal. But we don’t ever think about how this activity affects our minds. It makes us happy on the outside yet destroys us on the inside.
Throughout the 21st century it has become clear that it is no longer acceptable to rock the curves or even say that you love your body. The guilt some people feel when they say ‘I love my body’ or anything similar is a huge issue. Why should we feel guilty or uncomfortable saying that we like something about ourselves? It is our body to enjoy and not anyone else’s and if other people don’t like it then so what, as I said, it is our own body. Unless you are morbidly obese or the weight you don’t particularly like is affecting your health then I think all you need to do for yourself is learn to love who you are. It’s not easy but once you achieve self love you feel incredible.
Why is being ‘skinny’ or ‘slim’ the ultimate goal in one’s life? Not going to university and attaining their dream job; Not meeting their significant other and starting a family; Being skinny. Changing parts of your body naturally can either be extremely difficult or ridiculously easy and watching others find the journey easier than you can really knock your confidence. Some find it easier to lose weight and get their body into perfect shape whereas others will find it very hard as it takes determination, focus and will power. In my personal experience I cannot lose weight, my body shape and type is genetic and falls into my family tree, No matter how little or how much I eat or work out my body just stays the same. Everyone is different which is why on your road to self love you need to focus on yourself and what works for you instead of comparing yourself to others and putting yourself down.
Learning to love and accept yourself is a strange concept and may seem very odd. When starting my journey to self acceptance I found ‘self-love’ very unnecessary and weird as society had made my brain think negatively about the entire concept. It made me believe that it was unacceptable to have self love. Little did I know how amazing it actually was to be able to look at my own body and feel happy with what I’ve got knowing that no one else is the same as me.
I didn’t just ‘not love myself’. I genuinely hated myself, everything about me I disliked and I made sure that I knew I hated these things with constant daily reminders that I looked ‘less than’
I’ve been abusing myself with words. I’ve been comparing myself to others and complaining because I wasn’t made that way. I’ve been screaming at myself to push my body past its limits just to make other people like me. I’ve been treating myself wrong.
I only recently realised that the reason I wasn’t happy with myself was because I was treating myself wrong, taking my body for granted and making myself miserable over feelings others made me feel.
I used to hide myself under layers of clothes so people didn’t notice things like the jiggle in my thighs, the bulge of my tubby tummy sticking out when I sit down, the natural fat that my body NEEDS. I look back now and wonder why I was hiding what I was given. No one else on the entire planet has the same body, body shape and features as me therefore I should be able to own it! Own what I have been given without wanting to change it.
I watched a video about 2 weeks ago; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEHEMqmz_qg
A beautiful woman talking about the power of self-love. I hit me in a way that nothing else could, It gave me a sense of relief; it was okay to like something about yourself.
It made me think deeply about what self love could do for me; so my mission from then was to find who I really was and love myself for what I have. It’s mine.
And I had it! Everyday I was waking early and doing something I enjoyed, for myself and no one other than myself. Giving myself pep talks in the mirror; You look fine. You look fantastic.
I cut my hair short; something I had debated for months yet refused due to what my peers would think. I done things to please myself and it was the best gift I could ever receive.
Learning self-love has changed my life and changed my mindset. I can now confidently wear any outfit I want to wear whether it be my favourite dungarees or my bright yellow jacket and I can wear it without a care in the world. You don’t like it? That’s not my issue and it’s not your body. Wait before you make assumptions about anyone and give them space to feel comfortable in their own skin.
“I am the most important person in the world to me. I accept that person and I admire that person, and I will do everything in my power to see that person’s dreams come true.”