“I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself…..”
This script rolled through my mind Saturday as I battled the negative self-talk minions that took up residence in my head.
As I analyzed this photo, I struggled to find kind words to speak. I was critical about the weight I’ve gained and judgmental about my appearance. I instantly felt uncomfortable in my skin. Past me, would have seen this photo, shamed myself to the gym, and drastically cut back my caloric intake. You would’ve probably found me cooking away in some tanning bed, avoiding the reality of my natural skin tone.
However, Saturday was different. I refused to allow the shrapnel of shame bullets to wound me. Did I love how I looked in that picture? No! What I did love was the girl beneath the physical appearance. I have been at war with myself as far back as I can remember. I was fighting to match the outer appearance with my inner. Tanning to have that sun-kissed skin, grinding my life away in the gym, borderline starving myself to have a pant size not realistic for my structure.
I would “I love myself” all day if it meant that shame wouldn’t take control.
Ladies, I desperately want us to find love and peace with our appearance. It’s not easy, and every day, I struggle not to let my negative thoughts win, but I believe it’s possible to love ourselves wholly. To view ourselves through a lens of kindness and compassion. To love the women, unconditionally, beneath the physical appearance.
Society told us what beauty looks like, and I am calling their bluff. I challenge their ideologies, and I challenge you to view yourself through your lens of what beauty looks like — not societies.
If you loved this post, be sure to check out How I Reframed My View on Exercise