How do you love something that makes you feel miserable, unlovable, and maybe even a little un-human? I have struggled for a long time to find self love and actually accepting who I am. About two years ago I began a journey to do just so; find self love and acceptance. I began looking in the mirror and trying to find my strengths. I also looked in my heart and head to find strengths that are beneath the surface. By being positive I was able to slowly ignore the stretch marks, fat rolls, and other characteristics I once considered negative.
It wasn’t an easy process or one that happened over night. There were hills to climb before I reached the point where I was comfortable and could say I love who I am. However, even to this day, I still face setbacks. So if you are not on this journey, never discourage those who are, because it is tougher then it seems. And for those of you who are on this journey to find self love; give yourself a pat on the back for even standing up and trying. As a person that has made major strides in my personal journey, I wish to share some tips with you that will help, no matter where you are in the process.
1. Find people to stand beside you.
Of course, you could do it alone…but there’s nothing like having a group of cheerleaders, or maybe even a partner, to help you during the rough times. Because, believe me, there will be rough times.
2. Only change if YOU want to.
To accept yourself doesn’t mean you need to alter who you are. Learn to find self love by not changing one thing about yourself (which is the way it should be – girl, you’re amazing). But if there is something you’re not happy with, then change that piece of you because it will make YOU feel better. Remember, it’s all about you!
DON’T BOTTLE UP YOUR FEELINGS! This will only slow you down. Talk to a friend or write in a journal. Do anything to express yourself, it truly helps.
4. Take pictures like there’s no tomorrow.
Make faces and strike poses that just make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Keep the pictures and look back at them on your low days so you can remember what an amazing person you are.
5. Become comfortable with your body.
Take the time to really understand what you’re trying to accept; you – and everything that comes along with it. Hug your fat rolls, count your freckles, and trace your lips. Do anything to become aware of your body. By doing this, you just might realize you actually have amazing lips and should totally waste your next paycheck on lipstick!
6. Figure out your reason.
When working towards something, it’s good to have a reason why to remind yourself when you feel like giving up. Personally for me I just wanted to become confident before I headed off to college, to ensure I could get the most out of the experience.
7. Find a quote to live by.
When having a setback, it helps to hear some encouraging words. This could be a bible verse, a saying from your ma, or just something your favorite celebrity once said. Anything that lifts your spirit up; print it out and hang it up in your room, scribble it on a notepad, or set it as the background on your phone.
At 300 pounds and a body full of scars, emotional and physical, I am proud to say that I love myself.
As you begin your journey I hope you find my tips helpful. I also wish you the best of luck. Please never give up! You were created to be who you are for a reason, so don’t let the crazy standards set by society make you doubt this.
Featured image source: pexels.com
Natalie is a journalism major at the University of Alabama. She has a love for cookie, cats, and crafts. She also has a thing for music and art.