I stood in front of the full-length mirror in my bathroom. I turn, first to the left, then to the right, mentally noting my flaws. Why does my butt look like that? My thighs are so flabby. My stomach should be tighter. This is something that I have done frequently for years. I thought that if I hated my body and myself enough, I could hate away my imperfections; if I just disliked myself enough, that would be motivation to do something about my perceived flaws. It turns out self-loathing isn’t the ideal motivator. No, I came to the hard realization that I had to love myself while I was working on myself.
Loving loving myself was so much harder than hating me. Loving myself was counterintuitive to everything I have learned growing up as a woman. Somehow it was ingrained in me that I wasn’t supposed to love anything about myself, and I surely couldn’t love myself if I had all these flaws. I believed that loving myself meant accepting myself just as I am and not making any changes. My thinking had shifted, and now I knew that I could love myself and still want to make changes.
Changing my thinking and self-talk has been a work in progress. It is a struggle every single day to love myself, but something amazing has happened – the more I love myself, the more I want to take better care of myself. I love my body, and I want to work out, eat healthier foods, drink more water, and get more sleep.
If you’re looking for more self-care pieces, here are some to help you start loving yourself as you work on yourself!