A reflection on Self Love

It took me longer than I thought to write this post.

I thought it would be easier the second time round, but hey, turns out since last time we had this discussion a lot has gone through my mind. Last year I was all about self love. I loved my body, I was a person who could only see the good and could learn to love the ‘bad’. But the year didn’t turn out how I thought it would with loving my body.

My issues

I traveled the world, lived and loved but had an internal struggle with my body. Who knew puberty wasn’t where I would freak out about my body changing, turns out 23 year old me would sprout hips, gain a little tummy and thighs that were never there before. I called it my women body to begin with. Joked about birthing hips and how I was receiving the shape of a grown women.

But mentally I wasn’t ready, I didn’t realise the damage every person, my whole life calling me a stick would actually do to my mind. I wasn’t a stick, my waist wasn’t as prominent and my thighs rubbed together for the first time in my life.

Not big problems, sure, but for me I felt like I wasn’t in the right body for the first time in my life and that scared me.

Don’t let it get to your head

I think my biggest issue came from society, friends and family getting into my head. Being praised since 13 about having a skinny waist, being stick thin, athletic and having a good bust on a daily basis. Friends wanting my body when all I could see was being the same size as them. Being told;

  • “how great it is to fit into a size 8”
  • “OMG how do you eat all that and still look so thin!”
  • “you’re like anorexia thin, goals” (yes someone said that to me)

Every magazine, source of entertainment, advertisement is screaming at us to look a certain way. It’s not healthy. When I got my hips my first thought was ‘Oh maybe now I’ll have that perfect skinny waist and big butt’, which I’m sad at myself for. I didn’t want to love my body for myself, I wanted it to please others and look up to society’s acceptance.

So please don’t let others get into your head. Don’t create an unhealthy habit around your body. Part of my chocolate problem came from me wanting to eat so much to gain weight but when I did gain, I worked extra hard in my sports to get back to my ‘perfect’ size. Luckily for me I never got into a bad mentality and lose my health. But it can happen, it does happen to so many people.

Stop and look in the mirror, tell yourself ‘this is me and me is perfect’ be healthy, healthy looks so different to so many people but treasure the body you have and don’t let anybody get into your mind.

Imperfections

This is what society would say my imperfections are;

  • I have a tummy, and it has rolls when I move and sit down
  • My calves are huge
  • I have pimples and chicken pox scars on my face
  • I have a big nose, and bad teeth
  • I’m pale

I’m sure there is many more, but these have been commented on most.
Yes I have a tummy now, it is full of all my favourite chocolates, home cooked family meals and ice cream. I can exercise to make sure I’m still healthy, get over it!
Yes my calves are huge, I love them! They make me look athletic when really they are from walking on my toes as a child and rollerblading which I love.
I have pimples because I am a normal 24 year old who breaks out, and the scars are because I can’t stop picking, its a habit I will try and break but doesn’t make me any less of a person.
I have a big nose, it’s from my Egyptian heritage on my Pop’s side, that’s cool! I pretend I’m related to Cleopatra. My teeth have had braces, they are a little bunny like, so are Tyler Hoechlins which you probably love. I’ve been bullied over these two the most I’m over it and accepted them, they make me, me. I have a massive laugh that will showcase these teeth you hate so much but hey I’m laughing and having a better time than you bullying me about them.
I’m Irish, no I won’t put tanner on. Get over it, let me glow underwater okay?

I have days where I hate my so called ‘imperfections’ yes. But the more I look at myself in the mirror, see how much my friends love me, see how I can make strangers happy with a smile and compliment I really couldn’t care about them. The only real imperfection is not being kind and accepting of others. So work on that before you think you have to change your appearance to be accepted.

Feeling great in your own skin

Is HARD. There is no sugar coating it. I thought I was in a good place this time last year. SURPRISE the year till now was a roller-coaster of crying to friends about being ‘fat’ to feeling like a sexual goddess on the dance floor, to worrying over being toned, to loving myself in the mirror. As long as at the end of the day you can accept this is the body you come it. You nurture yourself and take care of this wonderful vessel that protects you everyday then you will start to feel great.

Feeling great looks different to every one. I like putting makeup on in the morning, relaxing around in extravagant night gowns, rollerblading, chilling in the bath with chocolate and a tv show, and taking an endless amount of selfies. For others it could be being fresh faced, making a big breakfast from scratch, laughing with friends. The list is endless. When you feel happy from the inside out it shows and you can see the true beauty you hold.

Accepting yourself and others

Accept that you and everyone is different, and that in itself is the perfection of the world.
I’ve always found it easier accepting others, I’ve always found other people so beautiful and wonderful. Everyone has their own quirks that make me fall in love with them. I have a pinterest folder titled ‘people’ because I love people watching and seeing peoples stories on their faces. I love wrinkles, peoples walks, how they eat and act when they think no one is watching. Yet this love can fall away immediately when looking at myself.

Why is it I can so easily accept people around me yet be so harsh on myself? I’m still trying to figure that out, I know a lot of it comes from outside influences teaching us that it’s normal to put ourselves down. So it’s something I’m working on.

I’ve heard a lot of people say treat yourself like you would your best friend or sister. You’d never dare in a million years to hear them talk about hating themselves or getting out down for their looks, you’d tell them how amazing they are and shut down any negative influences. So do that for yourself. Look in the mirror and accept that this is you and you don’t deserve anything less because of your looks.

 

More than just looks

Personality is more important. Let’s get real.

Being kind and having respect for yourself and others. Having a sense of humour, being ambitious, determined, passionate, loving, creative, these make you who you are and will shine through at the end of the day.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
– Roald Dahl

It’s true. Work on who you are internally as a person, have the brightest soul and work for the better treatment of everyone around you. Equality for all, and helping those who need help. Become a light and a friend for everyone you meet and you’ll find that start to shine through and your outlook of yourself will start to change and you’ll see your true beauty is inside and out.

Self Love

We will get there. I will get there.

It will not be after a blog post and one day of “I’m awesome” we will have bad days. But the good will start to outshine those.

If we stick together and remind each other that imperfections make us as people. That no one ever will look the same and that’s the beauty of life. We can come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and this is how the world works. It isn’t about that ‘perfect bod’ and ‘goals’ of a beauty standard that is impossible to actually reach.

Self love is allowing yourself to have the days where you feel like a Queen and the days where you lie in bed feeling unloved. Because they are all valid feelings, we all feel good and bad but understanding that at the end of the day you are important and deserve to be loved is the best self love you can achieve.

My sister and I spent an afternoon taking these photos. I bought this lingerie set cause it made me feel beautiful. I have a bruise on my arm and thigh from falling off a skateboard. You can see my tummy stick out. You can see the shape of my ribs because they stick outwards instead of in and my huge calf muscle. You can see my chicken pox scar on my cheek if you look closely. You can see my weird shape tan on my back cause I have weird shaped swimmers.

These photos aren’t 100% perfect but I feel amazing in them. I feel confident, shy, beautiful, sexy, and intimate. A mix of emotions. Because self love is a mix of emotions and it takes a lot to put yourself out there.

I’d love to know what you think of self love, how do you go about it. Do you struggle. Discuss in the comments I’d love to know your feelings on the matter. I also hope no matter what you’re doing you have a happy Valentines day. I’ll be at work 9-5 and probably re-watch ‘Valentines Day’ for the millionth time.