Something interesting happened to me the other day. It started in the dressing room of a popular department store. I didn’t find the bra I was looking for, but I came out with something more when I found myself partially undressed and staring into a full-length mirror.
Now understand, I don’t really do mirrors or cameras which may come as a surprise to some. I’ll admit I’m the woman who will take 25 selfies, just to get a “good one”. I avoid full length mirrors at all costs and if given the chance, I’ll crop my body out of a photo and just leave my face.
I didn’t always have this issue. My weight struggles began about six years ago. I’d been fairly small for most of my life, but as I tried to control endometriosis and other pelvic issues with birth control and other hormonal treatments, I had little control over my weight. It didn’t matter what I did or what I ate, my weight became totally unpredictable. This along with other factors eventually took a toll on my self-esteem.
So, there I stood in the full-length mirror and looking at myself, I mean really looking at myself for the first time in a long time. For the first few minutes I stood there feeling sorry for myself. I looked at what used to be my semi-flat, toned stomach – now covered in stretch marks and scars. I stared in amazement at the way my entire body had changed. Then it hit me. I realized I have the body of a warrior. My body has been through 7 abdominal laparoscopic procedures, carried a 9 pound baby, a C-section, and partial hysterectomy. Why was I feeling sorry for myself.
Yes, I have some things I would like to improve. However, moving forward I will improve for my health, for my well-being, for me. It will not be because I’m standing in the mirror feeling sorry for myself. I stood in that same full-length mirror and declared that I will set goals and strive to be better, but for now I will love the skin I’m in!
If you are struggling with body image/self-esteem issues, here are a few tips to start loving the skin you’re in.
1) Say positive affirmations. When you get up in the morning, before you have a chance to “get ready”; look in the mirror and say something wonderful about yourself. When you’re finished with your morning routine and ready to go, do it again!
2) Stop comparing your body to other women! Media often feeds our individual ideas of the “ideal body” – leaving us to wish we were a little more like those we see. Your body is YOUR body, so embrace it and love it.
3) Train your brain to think differently. Make a constant decision NOT to listen to negative body image thoughts and not to dwell on them. When you find yourself saying something negative about yourself, say something positive. The more you focus on something negative, the larger it becomes.
4) Recommit to yourself. Make a list of all the things you can do to be kind to your body. Committing to a plan can improve your overall self-esteem and give you yet another thing to feel good about.
Join me this week – love the skin you’re in and remember that confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can wear! Feel free to comment and let me know how you’re loving yourself this week.