It’s time we start loving ourselves from the inside out! When we can learn to do this, we can truly embrace all that is wondrous within and out and we can really start living the wondrous way! I truly believe the inside is most important; however we live in a society that seems to place a greater emphasis on our shell. Accordingly many women have theirtied to their exterior… If we are going to talk about boosting our esteem and , I feel as though I would be remiss to not discuss how closely many of us tie our to our .
I think for many women if we don’t look good we don’t. In so many scenarios we are judged by what we look like and that is a very challenging and often damaging to our mental, emotional, spiritual, & sexual health; not to mention our self esteem and self worth. Again the inside is so much more important than the outside, but often it is the other way around that makes us or bad, makes us happy or sad, makes us feel worthy or not.
Knowing that we all come in different shapes and sizes; we must some how come to terms with our natural shape and size and learn to love and embrace that wondrous woman; inside and OUTSIDE!
At some point we have to find a way to accept, appreciate, and approve of the shell we live in. At some point in our lives we must all realistically look in the mirror and learn to love and embrace the woman looking back. I hope that Wondrous Women Worldwide can work together to help women learn to love their exterior. It is critical we begin knowing we look good so we can feel good; which in turn will allow us to do good and be our BEST!
I, too, have had serious issues with my body my entire life. I don’t know when it all began but I can remember it being a concern most of my life. I can remember, JC, the guy I was “in llooovvvveee with” all through junior high and high school making fun of how big my butt was and how fat I was. I recall my mom and grandma telling me I had a nice figure, but I don’t remember anyone else, especially any boys. And yes it probably would have made a difference if a boy told me I looked good (instead of JC telling me how fat and ugly I was) because for some foolish reason I gave him and others throughout my life my power; the power to determine my value (I presume a future WW writing). I don’t really ever recall anyone noticing my shell, if anything I had nice “curves” which was further described as a woman with hips.
A woman with hips never felt good to me. It always drew up pictures of women in history that I did not want to look like. It implied to me a woman that was put on this earth to produce babies; which has never been the woman I wanted to be. Not only did this depiction I allowed others to create of me damage my value of my body it frightened my vision of who I wanted to be and the reason for my being here.
I recall my freshmen year in college when I came home for the first time and a family member told me how I looked like I had a gained a good amount of weight. That moment was so upsetting to me I took extreme measures to remedy my weight gain. Over the next year I shed more weight than imaginable-yet highly noticeable & highly unhealthy-and guess what I STILL wasn’t happy. Being thin didn’t make me happy???!!! Nope because I was dead inside. I had depleted my body of nutrition and in return depleted my mind, heart, and soul.
I have been very active and worked out my entire life. I played basketball through junior high and high school. In college-to date I work out 4-5 times a week doing aerobics, weight training, Pilates, &/or yoga. Being active never turned out to be enough for me. I still wasn’t happy with my physical appearance.
Here’s what it took:
I recall a conversation with my cousin where I was complaining about my stomach and being in my swimsuit. My cousin very directly looked me in the eye and said you have one messed upif you don’t think your stomach is flat. At that moment, I remember wishing I could see what she did because I honestly thought I was fat.
I recall various female employees of mine telling me what a great figure I had and should wear things that are more flattering or how I always looked good in our staff t-shirt (staff uniform!)
I recall going into Lucky Jeans and telling the clerk I needed her to help me find the style of jeans I had on as they were the only pair I had that fit and looked good on me. She looked at them then at me and said first, they don’t fit and second they don’t look good. Whatever size those are that’s not your size. She proceeded to bring me jeans in “my size” and I could hardly come out of the dressing room I was so horrified. Once out she said, “there, now that’s your size and those look good!” Then she said, “do you know how many girls wish they could wear that size and look like that in a pair of jeans?!” All I could say was don’t you think I’m too old to pull these off? When I got home, all my husband said was, “I LIKE your new jeans!”
–It took OTHERS seeing and pointing out the WONDERS of my body in order for me to start thinking maybe I really did have a skewed image of my body. Maybe I was being my worst critic? Maybe it wasn’t so bad?
When I turned 32, I still was not happy with my body. I worked out and felt I did everything I could. It was January 2007 I made a resolution to be in the best health (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) I could be by the time I turned 35.
I committed to a lifestyle. One that included more fruits and vegetables and an attempt to eliminate sugar as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong there are certain things I won’t live with out (Nacho Cheese Dorito’s, Cream in my Coffee, Red Wine, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, a GOOD Beer), yet I don’t have them daily (except cream in my coffee), but that is why I call this a lifestyle, not a diet.
In addition to the changes in my diet I had to make lifestyles changes to my mind. I committed to being reasonable and looking in the mirror and finding ways to love what I saw. I knew I needed to now because realistically it doesn’t get better but continues to sag and spread. Additionally and possibly most important, I was tired of letting my exterior have so much control of my happiness and how I valued (or didn’t value) myself. I knew I needed to be more positive in my thoughts and self talk about my. I knew it would be a life-long challenge and a lifestyle I must choose to live.
The point is, there is no diet, it is a lifestyle! You must commit to getting your body AND mind in the best health and shape that you can be in in an effort to live a happy life. It is about eating right and staying active. It is using positive self talk and being realistic with what you see and can do. It is about being your biggest fan instead of your worst critic. That is what I committed to and that has helped me to have a moreimage which has added to an increased my self-worth.
To date people make comments about my physique-sometimes complimentary, sometimes not. The difference is I am happy with where I am with my body and I am the only person that needs to be. I can’t and won’t give others the power to impact my self-worth because of what they see. It is more important that I see and feel my heart is healthy, my muscles are strong, and my mind is well fed.
Can you make a commitment to supporting women’s body images through positive comments, support, and encouragement? Can you commit to supporting your OWNimage through positive self talk and positive action that can and will lead you to a healthy and happy life?
You CAN and more importantly I hope you WILL! Learning to love yourself on the outside will liberate your soul and make it possible for you to see your TRUE worth and embrace ALL that is WONDROUS inside and outside!