How I Started Loving Myself
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How I Started Loving Myself

Something that I slowly began to realize was that your confidence and love for yourself will never be measured by the size you wear or the number you weigh.

How I Started Loving Myself
Carly Tamisiea

Since I was young I remember always being one of the biggest girls in my class. My classmates would make fun of me, pick on my body (literally poke me), call me names, and ultimately make me feel even more self-conscious than I already did.

Looking back at my size then to now, what could I even be self-conscious about?! I was slimmer, engaged in sports, and didn't have any major body issues that would have any reason to make me feel uncomfortable in my body...yet I was. Something that I slowly began to realize was that your confidence and love for yourself will never be measured by the size you wear or the number you weigh.

I am more confident now than I have ever been and it all started when I decided to take an exploration towards self-love (which is easier said than done) and starting building myself back up from within.

Body confidence and self-love begins when you stop comparing yourself to somebody/something else. I use both terms because they both mean different things. You can be confident in your physical appearance but still feel disengaged and unhappy, just like you can feel confident with yourself mentally but still not love the way your body looks. In order to achieve BOTH, you must stop comparing yourself to others!

The first step towards genuinely loving yourself and the body you're in is to find what makes you happy. For me, this included: reading more for pleasure (yes, college students, you can find time to read more than your textbook!), yoga, meditation, writing, and self-reflection. These are the things that made my mind and body feel more at peace, ultimately leading to a better attitude towards myself and others.

When I felt good, I did good. You can't expect to progress unless you are taking the time to do what makes you happy and feel better about yourself.

The second step in this quest towards body positivity was I started saying how I felt...when I felt it. In this sense, I specifically mean how I felt towards other girls I would see. Usually, if I walked past a girl who intimidated me by her looks, I would avoid any contact and makeup assumptions about her. "She is skinnier than me so she probably wouldn't even want to talk to me."

Yes, those were real thoughts that would go through my head.

I finally took a step back and realized how insanely close-minded I was being and concluded that I was avoiding the "prettier" girls to avoid the bigger issue at lack of confidence. Referring back to the first step and doing what makes you feel good, helping others and giving back makes me feel my best! So instead of avoiding people I came in contact with, I started complimenting them.

When I thought my classmate looked great in her new shirt, I told her. When I saw a girl at the pool wearing a cute bathing suit, I complimented her. When my best friend posted a selfie on Snapchat, I let her know how beautiful she looked! Changing my attitude towards people I would interact with every day was a huge step towards my overall confidence. I couldn't expect to make progress with myself until I started seeing the good in everybody else (and telling them when I saw it).

The last step I took was definitely the hardest, and that was forcing myself to find the beauty in myself that I was either overlooking or ignoring because I was so focused on my "flaws." Coming from somebody who was openly admitting to hating their body, this seemed like an impossible task. How could I expect myself to name things I loved about myself when I thought that was the end goal? If I could say what I loved about myself then I wouldn't be on this self-exploration...right?

Wrong, very wrong.

Everybody can say at least one thing they love about themselves, but does that mean you believe it and live it every day? That certainly wasn't the case for me. I knew I could find positives about myself and my body but I never cared to or thought it would make a difference. This is where my mind began to shift and I knew I needed to make some changes.

Finding the beauty in my body was a combination of a lot of little things: like waking up in the morning and taking a picture of myself because I believed I was the most beautiful in my most vulnerable state, buying a full-size mirror so I could take full body pictures more often, and even something as small as buying a new bathing suit and NOT wearing a cover up when I get to the pool or beach. I started focusing more on me and my body, than others and their body.

Eliminating this need to compare myself to everybody else is ultimately what pushed me to realize that not one body is the same, and I had to focus on being the best version of myself rather than the best version of what I see in other people (skinnier body, longer hair, etc).

Confidence comes in many forms, and self-love is a struggle we will always have to deal with. But once I realized that my weight and insecurities couldn't hold me back anymore, I began living my best life because I told myself that's what I deserved. This change in mindset brought me new opportunities, helped me travel to different places, form new friendships, and meet the love of my life.

So take a step back, reflect, and do good to your body. You'll be amazed where life takes you...

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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