My Journey to Self-Love, Confidence and Positive Body Image
The other night as I was laying in bed, I found myself running my hands on my skin. It was in a sweet way. I thanked each body part for each good thing they did for me. I even thanked my belly for being so full of the delicious dinner I had just eaten. I even thanked my legs for being thick, carrying me through life and getting me to where I need to go. I loved and thanked all the pieces of me that I would have pinched and grabbed in disappointment in the past.
If you had told me that this would be a part of my self-care routine, I would have either laughed or assumed that I was going to get in the best shape of my life. Funny though, I am not “in-shape”, and I love myself more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I know I need to exercise for my physical health- but it won’t be to ”get skinny” anymore.
This journey of confidence and self love has not been an easy one for me, and I know it’s nowhere near over. It is so important to me that I share this because if it helps one single person to learn to love themselves and not feel the way I used to, then I am happy to share.
Body image is such a hard concept. How can we have a positive body image of our very real, very hardworking and very beautiful bodies when we are constantly fed the idea of “perfect”. Since we were CHILDREN, we had barbie dolls and bratz dolls and the idea of the perfect look force fed to us. At the time of course that didn’t mean much. We loved those little things with no thought of how it would make us feel about ourselves later. And even now, you might be thinking that it didn’t have an affect on you. But, that plus the magazines of the ”perfect” (photoshopped) women, the instagram influencers who constantly look flawless all the time (due to their curated feed helped created by managers, professional photographers, and assistants), we have been taught to constantly be comparing ourselves. We’ve been taught that certain things are desirable. Bullshit.
I want to share a few things that may help you fall in love with yourself again. If you read that and said, “I already love myself”, that is WONDERFUL & these things should be even easier for you! It’s important to turn these into a routine to constantly remind yourself of the love you hold for yourself.
Let me start by saying, fuck what you’ve heard. You are perfectly and wonderfully made. Your body is perfect the way it is. You are as beautiful as your heart is.
Secondly, I should say that this revelation that I’ve had wasn’t completely self-learned. I am very thankful to have a wonderful man in my life that has reminded me every day since we met of how beautiful and special I am. So, s/o to him for inspiring the growth of the love I have for myself. It’s important for me to mention that I do not need him to feel all the love I have for myself, but I am thankful to him for pushing me further into my understanding of the love I have and should have for myself.
So here I am, sharing what I’ve learned with you and telling you that YOU are beautiful and special!
Little things to add to your daily routine that will help you appreciate and love yourself in a way you may have never known before:
Know that self-love, positive body image, and confidence is not instantaneous. It is a process. It is a continuous growth. It should be never ending.
Realize and remember that even the people who you think are the most perfect, have flaws. Probably a lot of them. and that’s okay! Flaws are what make us different. Make us stand out. Are they really even “flaws”? Who defines that word? As long as you are a good, kind human, your flaws do not define you and in a lot of ways can make you pretty great!
Every time you look in the mirror, pick out at least one thing you love. “My hair looks pretty today”, “My skin is looking so smooth!” It can be ANYTHING you like about yourself in that moment. Just say it! -- Growing up, I had somehow learned that liking yourself was ”conceited”. I don’t know if I learned this from school friends or television or what, but it took a while to unlearn. Liking yourself is healthy and good and normal! Giving yourself compliments is healthy and good and normal.
Get naked!! Seriously! Spend more time naked. There’s no better way to love yourself than to experience yourself in your full nakedness. Even just walking around in your underwear. DO IT. It starts to free you of insecurities without even realizing. Don’t be quick to put clothes on after your shower. Do be quick to take your clothes off after getting home.
Don’t feel guilty about negative thoughts. They happen. They were pretty much ingrained in our heads. So yes, it’s going to happen. And YES, you should correct them.
This one is my personal favorite- Dance in the shower. Next time you’re alone in the shower, turn on a sexy playlist and just move. Dance to the music. Literally. Dance in the shower, while you’re putting shampoo in your hair or rubbing soap on your body or exfoliating, dance. Get sexy. Get comfortable. Just move and appreciate how hot you are and how well your body works. This one will most likely feel funny at first if it’s not something you would normally do- but guess what, you’re alone! You’re doing this for yourself!! This is so important in building confidence, too. Move your hips and feel beautiful. The more you do it, the more natural and beautiful you feel.
Know that, while your body is amazing, you are so much more than your physical being. Your soul is on fire and ready to show the world. Be your full self. All the time. Do the things you love, share the things you love, be proud of the things you love.
Stop comparing yourself. Please, I’m begging you. That person is not more beautiful than you, not more successful than you, not kinder than you, not smarter than you- and if you really believe they are, strive to learn more, strive to be nicer, strive to turn your confidence into beauty. But, you, you are who and where you are meant to be. Stop comparing yourself. You are the most beautiful, most successful, kindest, smartest ‘you’ there ever was, keep working to be better than you were yesterday.
Smaller things to do to love yourself more:
Smile. At your reflection, at strangers, at the book you’re reading, at the scenery in front of you, and the sunset.
Clean your room. You’ll feel good after.
Light your favorite candle.
Get some sunshine. (with SPF)
Sleep. Go to bed early, sleep in, take a nap- whatever you need to do.
Eat what makes you feel GOOD.
THROW GUILT OUT THE MF WINDOW. If you make a “mistake”, acknowledge and learn from it. Guilt over little things can be nasty. Guilt can be necessary in some case, if you’ve hurt someone or done something wrong- you should reflect on it, feel the consequences and then move on and be better. But in every day aspects, don’t feel guilty. You can always do better tomorrow.
Remember that these are just a very few things you can do every day.
You’re a fucking catch and I hope you know that.
Make self-love the first on your to-do list. Your first priority is yourself. You are confident, you are beautiful, you do love yourself- so remember that every day. You are what YOU want to be and who you are is what the world needs. Take back control of your thoughts and your view of yourself and the world.
You are beautiful and special and we are so lucky to have you.
*One thing I have said a lot throughout this post is the word "beautiful". I say that because that is a word that most of us understand and want to feel. Beautiful is a wonderful word that we should all say more often. But, I think that it has also been warped by society and its constant use and framing of the word beauty. When I say beautiful, I mean "perfectly built the way you are; your body and your soul."
It is not your job to look beautiful for the world, it is your job to feel amazing and to do whatever it is that makes you happy, and to look however you want while doing it.
Thank you for reading this, and I am proud of you for looking for more ways to show love to yourself.