5 Truths To Tell Yourself When You Don't Think You're Enough

If You Think You're Not Enough, Read These 5 Truths To Reaffirm You Are Already Loved

When you feel that you're not the size you want to be, remember you are loved.

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I hate talking about this. I hate admitting that I don't always feel like I am enough, I don't always feel beautiful, and often I'm not pleased with the way I look. My whole life, I have worn the chains of being hyper-aware of my size and constantly worrying about if my thighs are too big, if my stomach protrudes a little too much, and if I can wear this or that or if I'll look "too fat." I know these doubts and questions are not from the Lord and not how he designed me to feel or to think, but rather it is a reflection of the society and culture that I have bought into.

Maybe you're like me, and so here are five things I've begun to tell myself whenever I feel those self-doubts creep in.

1. I Am Beautiful 

If you're like me, these are words that you struggle to believe no matter how many times you've heard it. But, I've realized that the person who probably says these words the least is yourself. So even though this will feel abnormal and probably a little silly try this: look into the mirror, look at the part of your body that you hate the most and say these words: Wow, I'm beautiful. Speak the truths into your life that you struggle to believe the most. You are beautiful, you are gorgeous, wow you are a whole snack. It seems silly, but you can't wait for people to validate you if you don't validate yourself. Even when you don't believe the words you're saying, keep saying them.

2. I Am The Size I Need To Be: My Body Knows Itself 

We live in a diet culture. Meaning our culture is absorbed with the next weight loss regime and constantly telling us that we need to lose five more pounds to be fiv times happier or something like that. But here's the thing. Our bodies are smart, they do things that we don't even understand. They know how to keep breathing without us telling them to, they are constantly moving our blood around to keep us oxygenated and we literally have white blood cells that fight diseases to keep us healthy.

Our bodies do so much more than we give them credit for and do things we never stop and consider. Yes, take care of yourself and don't just give up on living healthy, but also know that your body knows what it needs. When your body is hungry, feed it. And when you're not hungry, stop eating. Listen to your body and treat it with respect. And know that right now at this very moment, you are the size you need to be.

3. Health is More Important Than Looks 

In our society, we weigh good looks by how thin a person is and in some twisted way have distributed more "worth" to someone who can fit into a smaller pant size. But the truth is that what matters most is health. You can be a size 0 and unhealthy, and you can be a size 16 and healthy. There is no one ideal body, the ideal goal should be health. Some people are thin and healthy, and others are a little more round and still healthy. It is unhealthy to constantly be on diets, and mentally unhealthy to obsess over ideal weight.

4. I Am More Than My Outward Appearance 

While it is true that the outside is what people see most clearly, it is the inside that people get to know most dearly and what matters most. Remind yourself that you are talented, you are funny, you have hidden strengths nobody knows, and you have amazing qualities that anybody would be lucky to know. Our bodies fluctuate and change, and one day they will dissipate and nobody will remember what you looked like.

But people will remember the type of person you were. They will remember what you did, what you said, and how you made them feel. Remember that everyone has insecurities and struggles. And instead of focusing on your own struggles, look at how you can encourage other people during their time of struggle.

5. I Am Loved 

I am a person whose love language is words of affirmation, and sometimes I feel that I don't get enough words of affirmation from the people in my life and feel run down. Which is when I need to remind myself to give myself my own words of affirmation. Not only does my family and friends love me, but more than that I love myself. Love yourself, and when you feel like you are not enough in any way, tell yourself you are and love yourself through it. Also, remember that there is One out there who loves you infinitely. He is the creator who made you and who calls you beautiful, He is the one who satisfies and the one who is Enough.

I am not a finished product. There are still days when I don't believe these words above, and there are moments when I just would do anything to look different. It is hard. But you are not alone. And it is hard to be vulnerable and admit that you struggle, but in my weakness, Jesus is strong. So I'm here with you, friend. We are not finished products, but we are loved always.

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I Hate That I Struggle To Love My 'Midsize' Body

I gained a few pounds, but that shouldn't be the end of the world, yet it is in a sense.

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Junior year of college has been quite the wild ride. I've had the best academic year of my entire life, yet struggled, in the end, to even want to get anything done. I didn't care about a lot of the things that used to matter to me.

I gained weight at the beginning of my second semester and went up a jean size, so half of my summer wardrobe just doesn't fit me anymore, and it's made me feel embarrassed. I went from a size 6 to an 8/10, and while it doesn't seem like a big jump to the average person, it was to me. I don't like looking in the mirror and seeing a bigger pooch than usual, or how my thighs have gotten super irritated because they also got bigger. Chaffing I used to only have in the summer occurred in late January and even scared my inner thighs. It's not cute and it hurts when it flares up. I am terrified to wear my bikinis again because I know they won't fit, and the second I put on shorts my thighs are going to want to kill me if I don't kill them first.

I came to really love my body last summer after struggling through a rough breakup where I stopped caring about myself. I owned myself last summer and as much as I want to again this summer, I'm really struggling with the idea of it.

All I feel like I see on social media are skinny girls with zero hint of a pooch or thick thighs in sight. I've never been a skinny girl and I never want to be, but I can't help but envy the people I've seen online and in person. Of course, what I see on social media isn't really accurate, but it's still been tough to look at these girls who seem like they don't have a care in the world. They can eat whatever they want and still look flawless. They can throw on a bikini and not have to feel like they need to suck everything in so no one sees their pooch hanging over their bikini bottom. As a stress eater who is still too terrified to try on her bikinis, I'm not looking forward to showing my body off when all I want to do sometimes is hide it because I don't feel happy with what I see.

I will always love being a curvier girl and YouTubers like Sierra Schultzzie, Carrie Dayton, and Lucy Wood have given me a new boost of inspiration to embrace the body I have right now. I'm not skinny but I'm not plus sized either. I feel pressure from myself and certain people in my life to be skinnier and not "let myself go." I

'm so happy to have friends who have helped me through my struggles and support me, even when I don't want to support myself. These YouTuber's have opened my eyes to the fact that this body deserves to be loved just as much as my former, smaller body.

I want to love myself with 100% of my being and I hate how much hatred I've allowed to go on inside of me. There is only one me and I need to be proud of her. Maybe she gained some weight and isn't what society expects from a girl, but she's still amazing and has so much to offer.

I wish I could see more girls like me on YouTube or social media offering a representation of my body type, which I hardly ever see. Aerie and American Eagle have done a fantastic job of including different body types and it's been a great help in seeing that they really to make clothes for all types of women, not just a size zero to two. Added representation really does wonders for someone suffering from low body confidence like me.

While I hope to begin my journey into losing a few pounds this summer by jogging whenever I get the chance, I'm not going to put intense pressure on myself to look a certain way. I am single for the summer and exploring life with my best friends by my side. I'm here to be the best version of me that I can. I cannot let negative thoughts about myself to dictate how I feel every day. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I need to love myself and my body as I am.

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Taking Time For Yourself Is Nothing To Feel Guilty About, It's Healthy

Your emotional health should be your utmost priority — and you deserve to be in good emotional health.

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Renowned Sōtō Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki once said that: "We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves." We've often been told the opposite, however. We've been told that our worth is dependent on what we can do for others and that our existence itself is meant for the advancement of society. There is no place within our culture to truly exist with ourselves. The parts of our culture that claim to value self-love and self-care tend to commodify it in the form of relaxation products and personal development products — albeit helpful at times but mostly meant to addict us without true benefit to our inner selves.

As a young student, I talked with an orthopedic surgeon — a very overworked, ambitious woman — who told me to learn how to make it in the long haul, whether in my personal, interpersonal, or career life. You had to learn to enjoy yourself and find inner peace along the way. Because there would come a time, she said, when I would become guilty to take time for myself and forget what it's like to really enjoy life. Unfortunately, I made it to that point — I worked and worked and worked until I finally burned myself out. That's when I had to make certain changes in my life to understand how I got to that point and where I needed to go from there.

In the midst of our grand ambitions, it's easy to either go all in or all out. Either to give your entire self to a certain end or give nothing at all. I've been very much guilty of ending up on both ends of the spectrum — I would either devote all my time to writing/school or hit a roadblock and give it all up for a while. It felt like the value of my life was predicated on success, whatever that meant, in terms of contributing more and more and achieving more and more. It's never, ever enough, however. No matter what you achieve, there will always be a million more things on your to-do list. Whatever you triumph over, there will always be a million more roadblocks in your path.

The answer for me was to learn how to exist with myself, how to exist with other people, how to exist amidst all the dreams I had for the future, but also in the present moment where all my past dreams had come to fruition. Sometimes I would dive too deep into myself, and lose myself in thought, as noted in Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life." But I learned to participate fully, each moment to moment not necessarily enjoyable, but I find enjoyable moments each day with my friends, dog, boyfriend, and myself alone with a book or a pen.

Oftentimes as a crisis counselor, I am asked the questions: What's the point? Why am I here? What is there to look forward to? It's hard for me to precisely answer that question because, frankly, no one has anyone answer. But here's an answer that I believe in, born of taking time for ourselves: we live to feel the hope for happiness again. We live for the moments of joy, contentment, relaxation, excitement, pleasure, love, happiness, everything. We live to experience and to find each other. We live on because each new moment brings a surprise. There are many, many good moments in the future for all of us, even amongst the bad.

It's impossible to really experience life, however, if we're unable to take time to ourselves. That's one of my greatest fears, actually, that life will pass me by and I won't be able to experience each day as a full and complete miracle. There's something lost when everyone else gains from commodifying all aspects of our lives. Are you going to keep living for everyone else, or will you learn to exist for yourself? Do you owe the world your entire self, or can you take back at least some of yourself right now? Is it selfish to feel happy and not only to suffer?

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