Monday, March 24, 2014

From Self Loathing To Self Loving

I have struggled with low self-esteem for a very long time. My family used to always joke about how I was slightly on the thicker side when I was a tween (from about ages 11-13), and the fact is, I was. I remember the first time I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was fat. It was when I was in the FOURTH grade. A boy in my class had called me a "bowl full of jelly" and although I hid behind a face of laughter and smiles, I was embarrassed. My siblings would call me "piggy" and other names that suggested I had a weight issue, which just fueled my negative self image. I learned much, much later in life that the fact of the matter was, my body was storing fat at that time for a reason.  My body was preparing itself for what would be a 6 inch growth spurt between the 7th and 8th grade. That 6 inch growth spurt made me go from short and chubby, to really long, lanky, and awkward. I had braces by the time I was in 8th grade, and lets face it- NO ONE LOOKS GOOD IN BRACES! But I felt self-consious being a tall, awkward, brace-face. I no longer saw fat, but I sure as heck saw ugly. It didn't help that a kid in my grade, not knowing I was sitting two rows behind him, called me "the ugliest person in the world."

By the time I got into high school, I had grown into my height, gotten my braces off, and had an upperclassmen boyfriend who adored me. For some reason, I still struggled with low self-esteem. I hated being one of the tallest people in my grade and standing next to girls weighing 100-110 pounds, when I weighed 130 pounds. I always felt like I was bigger than everyone and it made me very self conscious. I was slightly taller than my boyfriend and I was stupid enough to listen to everyone's jeering at me about how I "wore the pants" in the relationship or could beat him up just because I was a little bit taller than him. I believe it was my insecurities that made my boyfriend begin to feel insecure about his height.

When I started dating Tyler, who is now my husband, my insecurities went away for a very long time. I felt beautiful when I was with him. I didn't feel like I needed to lose weight or be afraid to wear high heels (even though I was a touch taller than him in heels). I felt content in who I was when I started dating Tyler. However, everything changed once I got pregnant and had Sawyer. After I had Sawyer I had to come to grips with the amount of weight I had put on during my pregnancy. I hated myself more than anything. I had this huge blob of a stomach that looked like a kid took a billion crayons and drew all over it. I managed to lose the weight, but regained a good bit of it back within a year of losing it. My self esteem had gotten to an all time low. I started having negative self talk to myself and it became a very bad habit of mine that even to this day, I'm trying to break.

Over the past 2 years, as many of you know, I have been going through some major growth within myself to find that balance of being healthy and happy. You're probably wondering what made me want to find that inner peace within myself and start loving me for me. The truth is, I just wanted to set a good example for my son. I realized that I did not want him to grow up with this mindset that a woman's beauty is depicted based on her size, weight, or physical beauty. I don't ever want Sawyer to feel like a girl who is a size zero is more beautiful than a girl who is a size 8. I chose to start loving myself and to start being the confident, self-loving individual that I want my son to not only look up to, but to also look for in a future wife.

I shared with you some very personal and honest things about myself in this entry. I did not write this to have people feel sorry for me, because I don't want that at all. I want people to realize that beauty is size-less. There is no one size fits all formula for beauty. Real beauty comes from within, not from the clothes you wear, the number on the scale, or your height. When you start to feel down on yourself based on your appearance, remember that you are God's workmanship and you are beautiful. It is my prayer that more and more people begin to realize this and join in on the movement from self loathing, to self loving.

"You are altogether beautiful, my love; 
           There is no flaw in you." 
                     Song of Solomon 4:7

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
                     Proverbs 31:30

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
                     Psalm 139:14

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