Since I’ve been on this self-love journey, I’ve had great days and really hard days. The thing is, I didn’t just wake up and decide I’m going to start a completely new confidence fueled attitude. It took time. I had to map out my goals and figure out the best version of myself. I had to learn to stop sweating the small stuff and to not chase people. Most of all, I had to learn to be my own support system first and foremost.
Once I had a guide of where I knew I needed to take my life, I slowly started changing the little things that didn’t make me happy. I tried to find all of the negativity and pour it down the drain.
From there, I started to think about why I should love myself. I started thinking of all the reasons I deserved to love myself and my body, and that was the most difficult part. It’s never easy for me to think I deserve anything, let alone self-love and body confidence, but I did it. Now, I’m at a place in my life where I love and accept my body and who I am, but we all have bad days.
Learning to love ourselves may seem easy for some, but for most of us, the struggle is real. It’s so important to remember that even the people who seem to have it all figured out still have bad days.
When You Want to Give Up
It’s not easy always trying to look on the bright side. It’s not easy seeing a world full of ideals and ridiculous standards. Sometimes, life just really sucks and is the furthest thing from easy, but that’s no reason to give up. If anything, that makes me want to push harder, but I do still get exhausted.
It’s easy to wear ourselves down if we don’t have good self-care, and I know that. Sometimes, even knowing what you need to do doesn’t mean you have the energy to make it all happen and do it. I struggle with my bad days, because I want to keep going and pushing. I want to inspire others and be the best example possible for my little ones, but taking breaks and having good self-care is the best way to do all of that without getting burnt out. So, on the days I want to give up, I try to find the balance. If you can find that balance, you’ve already accomplished a lot more than you realize.
Balancing motherhood, blogging, and everyday life isn’t hard for me, but just because it’s not difficult doesn’t mean I don’t get worn down. Mentally, I never sit down. I’m always making some list, editing something, or making sure I have the house and kids in a happy, healthy order.
You can’t just make a to-do list and balance your life in a notebook. We have to remember to take care of ourselves mentally too. You have to find a mental and physical balance. Marry your body and mind, rather than have them working against each other.
Sweating the Small Stuff
This week, I got my hand stuck in a door. I didn’t just accidentally shut it in the door. I mean, it got stuck, and the door had to be pried open. It’s not broken, but it’s in a soft cast for the time being.
With a bum hand, I can’t really workout, but normally, I try to workout at least 3 times a week. I stopped exercising for a goal weight a long time ago, because I realized that if I have to strain my body and restrict foods and calories, then that’s not how my body is meant to look. I workout to relieve stress and help my anxiety. It feels good to sweat it all out for 20 minutes, but when I have to skip it, I get inside my head.
Learning to love my body wasn’t easy. You don’t just go from a decade long battle with an eating disorder to fully confident. I still get intrusive thoughts. I still have moments where I’m too hard on myself, but I’m working at it every single day. Accepting that it’s okay to have a bad day isn’t a walk in the park.
As a motivational blogger and author, I tell people all of the time that they should never punish themselves for having a bad day, but just because you believe that doesn’t mean it’s always so simple to listen to your own advice. I’m always reminding myself it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to have those moments.
Breathe In, Let It Out
Taking a much needed breather is the best remedy when you feel overwhelmed, so I’m trying to practice what I preach. I’ve been getting much better with self-care, but those tiny pockets of doubt can cut off those deep breath moments. When this happens, I pull out my handy-dandy affirmations. It may sound corny, but they absolutely work. I also talk a lot about affirmations and list some of my favorite ones in my ebook. They really are magnificent.
Affirmations For Self-Doubt & Body Confidence
- Not liking my body won’t magically change it. It will only bring me further down.
- Beauty is a mindset not an appearance.
- We are not meant to live a life where we are constantly trying to lose weight and be the ideal standard. We are meant to live happily as we are.
- Everyone sees differently, so even if you don’t see your worth and beauty today, you might see it another day.
- It’s okay to have a bad day, just don’t let those bad days consume the rest of your life.
- Cutting out toxic people is self care, and you should never apologize for doing what’s best for you.
- Be kind to your body. It holds all of the things that keep you alive, so show it appreciation.
- We are all worthy of self-love.
It may sound absurd to say that having a positive body image and self-love will help you get what you want out of life, but I truly believe that. If you like yourself, you make better decisions in a lot of the other aspects of your life.
You trust yourself more. Also, you tend to keep positive relationships and evaluate the negative and toxic ones. You are more kind to your body and mind. I could list a ton more, because loving yourself and your body are some of the keys to having a happy life. A good chunk of my upcoming book is dedicated to this topic, because changing the way I feel about myself has made my life so much better. I want to help others get to that point too.
Chase Dreams, Not People
Here’s a bit of personal backstory that I don’t go into detail often. I left home before I graduated high school. My parents told most people it was because of a boy, but I really left because I couldn’t handle their lifestyle. My parents used to party hard. When they had kids, they weren’t ready to stop being kids themselves, and they chose a path I had no control over. It felt like I never fit in with their crowd, and it felt like I couldn’t fit in with them either.
I had a very explosive relationship with them as I got older because of it. All I wanted was to just get through school and escape to college, but that’s hard when there’s poker nights and loud parties all through the school week. I felt put down and criticized constantly, and I couldn’t take it. So, I left.
Most of their friends and my extended family thought it was all ignited by me wanting to be with a boy. They had no clue why I actually left home, and all anyone focused on was that leaving hurt my parents.
My Side Didn’t Matter
I wanted to tell my side, but I was able to move on from the stress of it and get an apartment and an academic scholarship to college. Even though I was in a relationship, it was never about a boy. I had dreams, and I didn’t want to have to hustle and live like my parents. They deserved better too, and they just needed time to see that.
I wanted my life to be more than a party. It wasn’t easy, but I put myself through school without my family. I did have a boyfriend, but I didn’t leave for him. I left for me. Unfortunately, that relationship was another toxic situation, and I felt stuck all over again.
It took time and courage, but I actually left that relationship a similar way. I ran just like I had done when I left home. It wasn’t a hard decision, because my life and my goals were on the line. Luckily, I’ve always been good at handling change. I was able to start over again, get healthy, and keep chasing my dreams. That’s where my current husband comes in.
When my husband and I got together, we lost a lot of friends. My previous relationship was toxic. However, my husband, ex, and a group of our friends all ran in the same circle. I was labeled the “homie hopper” and a whole lot worse. Yes, I know, it might sound ridiculous, but I made a lot of enemies when I chose to do what was best for me. It felt like I lost a lot every time I decided to better my life, and it was worth it.
I chose to change my life for me. Finally, I chose to be happy and put my wants and needs first. People got hurt. It was another very difficult time, and my husband and I lost a lot of people whom we genuinely cared about. Honestly, we cared about ourselves and each other more, and for that, I’m very grateful and not sorry.
That change in my life is what helped me want to finally love myself. Also, that change is what led to my bulimia recovery. That change helped me realize that I was a person, and I mattered.
I still occasionally get called names, even to this day. I still have people tell me I’m wrong, and in life, there will always be people routing for you to fail because not everyone will like you or your choices.
The difference in my life is now I don’t care. I don’t care what those people think about me. All of my “friends” from that time in my life saw how toxic that relationship was, and because it ended extremely messy, sides were chosen and lines were drawn. The drama from leaving home early and from that breakup taught me to stop chasing people.
I used to care so much about what people thought of me. I used to care about telling my side of the story, but now, none of that matters. Years have passed, and some of those people still live surrounded by continual drama and gossip.
I hope they can learn to stop caring so much and move on. Unfortunately, some people need to feed off of negativity, and that really helped me to let go of that people pleaser mindset.
Growth and Mending
I was able to mend my family relationships, but many still think I left home for reasons my parents told instead of the truth. I’m okay with it now though, and I have a good understanding and bond with my parents. I know why I made every change in my life, and I’m happy with where it’s all taken me.
Chasing people won’t get you closer to what makes you happy in life. You have to chase your dreams and goals. You have to find the positive and keep thriving.
Bad days happen but accepting that and moving on from those days is the best way to chase those dreams. Don’t waste your time chasing people. Do what makes you happy and healthy, and if people can’t support your choices, then let them go. Stop worrying about living their life and live your own.
Be Your Own Support System
I love my family, but no one supports me the way my husband does. I’ve never felt like I had a support system rally behind me, so I created my own. I recently published an ebook, and being an author has been a dream of mine since I could hold a pencil. I put a lot into this first edition, because I wholeheartedly believe in the message. It’s gotten some great reviews, but not a single purchase came from my family.
It made me realize that I’m proud of myself. I support my dreams, and I don’t need anyone to validate those feelings. I am my own support system, and while I’m incredibly grateful for my husband, I know I could still do this alone.
Becoming your own biggest fan isn’t an overnight event. It took time just like finding my body confidence, but it is the best feeling. When you don’t let the absence of others bother you or hold you back, you can show yourself just how truly capable you are, and for that I’m also grateful.
Thank You, Next: The Theme for the Last Year
I wrote a post called Thank You, Next: To the Friends I’ve Loved and Lost, and that has been a theme I’ve tried to be consistent with. Moving on and outgrowing people and situations doesn’t make you a bad person. That’s life and all apart of growth. On the days where I wanted to just give up, I reminded myself that growth doesn’t happen overnight. Seeds need nurturing and time, and that really helped me to learn that patience is one of the strongest tools of this self-love journey.
Loving yourself takes time. Appreciating and accepting your body takes time. Figuring out the best version of yourself takes time. All of these steps require time and patience, and if you can handle that, you’re on your way to the self-love and confidence you deserve.
Don’t let the past hold you back. Learn to look forward and find the positives in your life. It’ll all be worth it when you can say that you love who you are and how far you’ve come.
If you haven’t checked out my ebook, Eat the Damn Muffin: Confidence for Every Body, on Amazon yet, you should. I even read it often and not just because I wrote it. I still find inspiration in the words, and I believe that book can change how you feel about yourself.
Have a great week!