Ok, so there’s level to this sh*t.
Loving yourself is a thing that I thought would become easier as the years went on, but somehow it hasn’t. I mean, it isn’t any more difficult to actually do, but the act of loving keeps getting more and more complex!
Let’s start on the surface, our body. First of all, there’s all this conflicting information about when the “prime of our life” is. As a woman, we’re supposedly at physical prime in our late 20s early 30s. But if we’re talking fertility, well that’s more towards the early 20s, because after 25 the chances of getting pregnant start to decrease by 3% each year and significantly dropping to almost nothing around 35. Yea..that’s really encouraging for a childless woman of 34, such as myself, who still isn’t quite sure if she wants to procreate or not. And if you shift your focus yet again and consider sex drive, well that’s sitting pretty at 40.
But let’s be honest, being able to stand in front of a full length mirror naked and being able to say you love every single bump, curve and mole is nearly impossible. As humans, we are always looking at ways to improve, and that sure as hell doesn’t stop when considering the beauty of your body.
So how do you love something that keeps changing it’s look and shape? And how can you love yourself when you’re constantly moving through certain phases of life with different levels and peaks?
Well, the very idea of love (in my humble opinion) is the ability to accept and appreciate someone just as they are. And if I’m apply this idea to myself then it should include adapting to each era I’m in.
A wise man (I believe it was my father?) once told me that “when you stop learning, you stop living.” Well if we keep that same energy, we have to consider that living has now understandably become synonymous with Growth.
The person I was at 24 is someone you’d have to squint at to recognize as me, and even then it may be a bit difficult to make the correlation. I’m talking intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and (of course) physically. Sure I pretty much have the same facial features and I still enjoy a good taco, but my cheeks are distinctly rounder with adult fluff and I don’t tend to eat at 2am anymore.
The most obvious change would be in weight. Growing up, all the way through my mid 20s, I was no bigger than a size 5. Now sure that fluctuated up and down with growing pains, but it remained constant that my “fat girl jeans” were a size 5/6 and my “skinny girl jeans” a size 1/2.
When I first started to put on weight, it was tough. I’m generally a pretty positive person with a healthy level of self-esteem. But people can be cruel. And no matter what you say, it matters what people say to you.. ESPECIALLY when it’s people you care for and/or Love.
“What happened to you?!”
“Are you ok?”
“Do you exercise anymore?”
“Are you trying to eat your sadness away”
“I liked you better a bit smaller, but you’re still cute”
Yea, and those last two came from someone I was dating at the time.
So for a bit, while I was trying to manage my newly diagnosed anxiety and depression, I was also working harder than I’ve ever had to on maintaining a healthy sense of self and self-esteem.
Now I’m not going to say I have it all figured out or that I have the best self-image you’ve ever seen, but I will say that I’m doing much better than I was.
And it’s not all about being accepting, and loving, of what my body is able to give (although that is a huge part) it was also about being kind to it. Sometimes, on my low days I am terrible to my poor little body. I withhold healthy food, by cramming down cookies, pizza, and any other comfort food I can find. I also deprive it of those good ass endorphins by skipping the gym or yoga class.
And really.. how can you expect to feel great without the proper food you need for energy and the chemicals that trigger all the feel goods in your body.
I recently had birthday.
Shoutout to all the July/Cancer babies out there!
As with anything in my life, I took pictures. I’m not only a self-professed Selfie Queen but also a budding photographer. I mean, if you took a look at the gallery in my phone I’m almost embarrassed to say that you’d find thousands upon thousands of pictures I’ve taken of myself.
I love to capture moments.. So, beyond self portraits, there are also photos of those around me, scenery, my pup (Bella), etc.
So anyways, on my birthday I had a friend take a full length picture of me and what I got can not be described as anything other than a magical moment. Sometimes, taking in all the curves that I now have is too much for me, but that day.. I was in Love with the girl in that pic! And for the first time in a long time, I looked at myself and simply thought..
“Damnnn, girl. Ok. I see you!”
It felt Amazing.