The Process Of Loving Yourself

The Process Of Loving Yourself

I began to love myself slowly.
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Imagine being in the sixth-grade and already feeling chronically insecure about yourself. Constantly feeling like you are never good enough, like you are always being judged.

Unfortunately, this was me. There are many reasons that cause this. Life is hard, other students are mean, the media is distorted. Even with all of these things, however, only a handful of the people who experience them have severe insecurities about themselves. Why is this?

Mental illness is one of the biggest causes of self-esteem issues. I equate anxiety to thinking everything is wrong, even when things are perfectly fine. You constantly feel like you are not good enough and fear that everyone will reject you.

Although there is not a "cure" for mental illnesses, you can work toward a more positive mindset and learn to love who you are.

I grew up constantly trying to change myself. "If only I could be more like all the other students." I did not know the concept of self-love by any stretch of the imagination. I desperately wanted to be a different person who didn't have to deal with what I was feeling when in reality, I should have been celebrating my uniqueness. In our society, there's this belief that different equals wrong. It is ingrained in our heads to correct every little flaw we have, when, in fact, the very opposite is the truth. Our flaws are what make us special.

I don't know the exact moment that it happened, but I began to love myself slowly. I am still astounded when I look back at how I used to feel. The greatest improvements happened within the past few years. Perhaps it had something to do with seeing how far I've come in life and my achievements. My great support system of my best friends also helped exponentially. But I think the main thing was finally being in an environment where I feel comfortable being myself, where I know I won't constantly be judged.

Even with all of those things, I still took a long time to realize that I am enough the way I am. See, it is very difficult to change the way you've thought about yourself for your entire life.

I still have my hard days sometimes, but at the end of the day, I can look back and say I now love who I am.

I am no longer that middle school girl that tried to be like "everyone else." It's crazy to me that someone can feel this at such a young age. If I could, I would make sure no other person would ever have to feel that way again.

Loving yourself is a life-long process. I have come so far and can now say I love the person I have always been inside. I've learned how to celebrate my differences. I am also extremely blessed to be in an environment of people who also celebrates people's unique qualities.

Cover Image Credit: Marina Maynard

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
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Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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Is Your Self Care Killing You?

Let's discuss the firm line between treating yourself and hurting your body.

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So let's talk about self-care.

Recently, phrases like "treat yourself," "cheat day, " and the obsession with donuts and other glorified foods have run rampant in our society.

Being in the fitness world, I am quite familiarized with these phrases, but lately, they have been taking over our culture.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for celebrating body positivity, but body positivity and "treat yourself" do not go hand and hand.

Body positivity is loving and accepting your body and not feeling ashamed.

A healthy lifestyle is how self-care should be seen by our culture.

Self-care is not "I just ate four donuts so I'm going to take an aesthetic picture of them and caption it 'treating myself.'"

That is not taking care of yourself.

Self-care, and treating your body, should be seen as feeding your body with foods that will nourish your body and make you feel good.

Food is fuel for your body.

Food is energy.

Food is not something to be idolized if it is not helping your body.

Do you think your friend on Instagram who ate a dozen donuts feels good?

Do you think her body is feeling treated after that?

Do you think your fitness friend feels good after she engorges on that whole large pizza and two pints of ice cream because it's her "cheat day"?

No.

Your girl who ate a whole dozen donuts feels a sugar rush and a major crash afterward, leaving her ineffective to do her job because she needs a nap.

Your fitness friend kills herself at the gym the next day because she feels guilt, bloating, and tired.

The idea of treating yourself is good to an extent.

It's good to feed your cravings.

It is good to eat certain foods in moderation.

Food is necessary, vital, and it is extremely important to fuel our bodies for everyday functions.

But if food is going to steal your focus, if it is going to make you feel horrible, or if it is going to do damage to your insides, do not label it with a societal hashtag that makes you feel better about yourself.

So let's remove the nasty label of treating yourself, and let's love ourselves.

Let's fuel ourselves.

Let's feed our soul.

Let's feed our brain.

Let's feed our muscles.

Because food helps us kick life's butt.

So here's to treating our bodies with nourishing foods, self-love, and acceptance, and yes every now and then, some chocolate.

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