I can’t actually believe that its taken me 26 years to love myself, but here I am.
As many of you know, over the last 6 months I have embarked on a new lifestyle journey. Learning to love and respect my body, mind and soul. I have been exercising and eating better so that I can become better. But not only have I been learning to love my body, but myself as a whole. Never before I have I felt such peace with myself. Everyday I learn something new about who I am and who I am becoming. I have spoken to a few people about this topic, and so many have said that they are at a point even still at 40-50 years old where they don’t love themselves. Society has such a large part to play in this. With their unreal beauty standards and expectations of how we should look and be as people.
It’s taken me 26 years to love myself because society and the media has told me I shouldn’t. I should love my stomach, my rolls and my stretch marks. All of the things that are not deemed ‘beautiful’ by the media. And here I am loving every inch of my being. Both inside and outside. What an achievement.
NOURISHING AND LOOKING AFTER MY BODY
One of the main ways I have learnt to love myself is by taking care of my body. As I already mentioned, I embarked on a new lifestyle journey. Which consists of eating right and exercising. I did it initially because I was fed up of being the way I was. I was so unhealthy and overweight. So much so, that it was causing real damage to my health. If I didn’t do something about it, I don’t know what would have happened. I knew something had to change.
I had no idea what would happen though. A love for exercise was found and a new respect for my body. I had exercised before in my life, but nothing like this. I always wondered if people who enjoyed working out were just wired differently, but honestly they’re not. Because I am one of those people now. I love movement and getting outside of the house to do something that makes me feel good. Nothing beats that feeling for me.
During this pandemic too, I wish I had started exercising sooner. It’s such a great outlet for me, and I have really fallen in love with it.
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COMPARING MYSELF TO NOBODY
One of the reasons its taken me 26 years to love myself was the fact that I was constantly comparing myself to other people. Specially those I saw online. Social media is really a blessing and a curse at the same time. It can work for wonderful things, but also be so detrimental to ones self image and mental health. I often forget that what we see on social media are just highlight reels of peoples lives. Why do we do that? Heck, I am guilty of doing it too. Why don’t we share when we are struggling or going through something? Why do we always have to put on this persona that we are having the best life all the time? Its exhausting honestly.
Learning to not compare myself to anybody else was hard, and sometimes I find myself still doing it. It will probably take years for me to overcome this fully. You can’t just unlearn behaviour thats been programmed in my mind for years. But, taking those initial steps and learning to compare myself to nobody is a great start.
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ACCEPTING MY FLAWS AND WORKING ON THEM
We all have flaws, thats a guaranteed in life. What do we do with those flaws? Do we let them fester inside of us or do we work on them? For me, I knew I wanted to work on them. On a mission to learn to love myself, I realised there were good qualities in me and also some not so great ones. These flaws are not outward though. It’s nothing to do with my appearance. It’s all about who I am as a person.
Learning to be less impatient with people. Thinking before I speak. Showing love and kindness to others more often. Practicing random acts of kindness to others on a regular basis. Opening my bible more. Praying to my creator more often. Having flaws are normal and we should embrace them. Some of my flaws are staying and are not changing. And honestly I am even learning to love the flaws I have. But, if there are any deep rooted negative flaws in there, I am working on making them leave.
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Do you love yourself? How long has it taken for you to get to that point? What things do you do to actively learn to love who you are?
It’s taken 26 years to love myself. And honestly its the most beautiful, hard journey I have ever been on.