You can never give yourself a deadline of when you're going to actually love the way you look. That's what makes this feeling that much more valuable.
Looking back on my childhood, there wasn't a day where I could actually look in the mirror and be OK with how I looked. I was always worried about my weight, the number on the scale, or what people would say about my weight.
Of course, we all went through that, "chubby phase" but mine seemed to last longer, and I couldn't ever seem to escape my insecurities.
After constantly dwelling on my weight, I decided to change my habits around two years ago. I started going to the gym and doing what I never thought I could do — run a mile.
Go ahead and laugh, but running was not my forte and honestly, it still isn't. But, I wanted to see what it could do for my body and if this would be the thing that could make me become truly satisfied with how I looked.
Six months later, and 30 pounds down, I was still insecure about my body. The cellulite that I thought would go away was still there. Yes, I had some ab definition, but there was still that layer of fat over it, and my butt wasn't as big as I would like it to be.
I became even more obsessed with how I looked than ever before.
I didn't even think that it could be possible to become that obsessive, but here I was constantly criticizing my body. One day, I asked myself, "What good is this going to do?"
It needed to stop. I needed to start accepting my flaws. I needed to feel genuinely beautiful.
After losing those 30 pounds, I found myself gaining 20 pounds of it back later. I stopped going to the gym, and I ate whatever was in sight. Then one day, I looked in the mirror and it all hit me. I needed to make a change.
At the end of last spring, I took it upon myself to start going to the gym again. I wanted a healthier lifestyle. I deserved that much for myself.
I ended up losing 10 pounds before summer began, and my confidence skyrocketed. I wanted to keep going, but I wanted to take a different approach with working out this time.
Of course, I wanted to workout to see the number on the scale go down, but the main motivator through all of this was seeing the day where I could genuinely say, "I like the way I look."
Today, I weigh 15 pounds more than I did when I first lost those 30 pounds. Guess what? I love myself even more.
I have curves thanks to my grandmother. I have a bit of tummy, but who doesn't? The cellulite on my legs? I show that off now and wear my body with confidence.
I'm sure you're wondering, "Well, how did you end up loving your body?"
Here's the trick. Realize that you're never going to be 100% satisfied with the way you look. There is ALWAYS going to be something on ourselves that we're not going to like. The first part is accepting that and moving forward.
Think about it this way. Everyone has something they don't like about themselves. It doesn't matter if you're 98 pounds or 250 pounds. We all have different body types, so there's no room to compare to others.
After realizing that, I looked in the mirror one day in my bathing suit and said, "I do look good in this." I was hesitant because this bathing suit had an open back which meant I had to show off some back fat on the beach.
Even though that was the last thing I wanted to do, I told myself to wear that bathing suit with pride, back fat, cellulite, arm flab and all.
I even got compliments on how I looked in my bathing suit and for the first time literally ever, I felt confident enough to post a picture of me in my bathing suit on social media.
I started putting myself out there more. I started showing off my body because that's what it's for. My mother has always said, "If you got it, flaunt it." Well, honey, I got it and I'm going to flaunt it.
Never in a million years did I think I would see the day where I can look in the mirror and be genuinely happy with what I see. The day has come, ladies and gentlemen. If you're unsure of when it's going to come for you, never fear. It will. You just have to find the thing that's going to push you out of your comfort zone to make you realize you are beautiful.