Like countless women, there’s a part of my body I wish I could just magically tone, tuck or slim down (abracadabra cellulite be gone!). For the longest time, I’ve had poor body image. If you’re anything like me, you may have put your body through various diets and invested a lot of energy on trying to get the body of your dreams.
I’ve even gone to the extreme of keeping track of all my weekly measurements and numbers on a graph and every time I’d see a spike on the graph, I’d mope around the house. Included in my weight loss plan of attack were positivity mantras, accountability partners and an email responder series that sent me emails chocked full of uplifting words (seriously, who does that?).
Needless to say, no matter how many fad diets I’ve put my body through or how many grueling hours I would spend at the gym; I still didn’t feel beautiful or sexy enough. Even in my sex life, I felt completely exposed as certain parts of my body swayed back and forth with each movement.
It wasn’t until recently when the walls of my insecurities came crashing down– in slow motion I tell you.
Most people are generally kind to others, but do we bestow that same level of kindness on our self? Not really.
I began to be kinder to myself and did a whole lot of soul-searching to change my ways. I also asked myself a plethora of tough questions like:
What caused my contempt for my own body?
When did I begin to believe that physical beauty defined me?
My uneasiness of walking around the house buck naked as I embraced my body… dissipated.
The thoughts that drifted in and out of my head changed from discouraging to uplifting (my mind began to closely resemble a book of quotes).
People who succeed are not successful because of what they did. They are successful because they had the right mindset to achieve those results.
It’s thatsome people are ready to change and others are not.
Many women pursue happiness in the wrong place. They look outside of themselves to feel beautiful, sexy and oh-so-worth-it. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little attention but when you begin to rely outside yourself to feel sexy, beautiful and attractive… that’s when it becomes a problem.
I had a shocking realization that the only person who can make me feel worthy of love and all the things I want in life was myself.
If you can’t love yourself now, then when will you ever believe that someone may one day love you in return?
Your pursuit of beauty and happiness will not be an easy one if you can’t love every aspect of yourself.
Take me, for example, for every pound and every inch I gained, I used those numbers to define me. I was a prisoner of my own misconstrued perception of what beauty looked like. My thoughts were unforgiving, unyielding and downright… silly.
I knew that if I didn’t wake up and rethink my values, then I would be perpetually seeking happiness outside myself. I’d be so hard on myself whenever I hate Twinkies horizontally on the couch.
When you’re feeling unattractive, in most cases what you’re truly feeling is “I’m not good enough.” When you ask your friends, family or lover “Do these pants make me look fat,” you’re essentially seeking out validation.
The media does have a big influence on what many people think to be ugly or beautiful. However, the women you see on the television or in magazines are not the kind of women you should aspire to look like… because you are more than enough to receive the love and attention you want.
A flat belly, the thigh gap, perky breasts, and clear skin do not put value on what makes us unique and special. What you look like on the outside does not define you (hammer those words into your head a thousand times for good measure).
Instead, try looking within yourself to change how you feel about yourself. Use your negative feelings about yourself to help fuel the transformation of a better you, regardless of what you look like.
Uncovering the root of the issue of what’s really making you feel inadequate as a person instead of relying on your external circumstances to make you feel good, is the first step to a happier life.
Mika Maddela writes for the Path to Passion, a relationship advice blog that focuses on helping people improve their relationships through self-development.
Along with her partner, Clay, Mika has recently created the Relationship Revolution– a collection of interviews and stories from other revolutionaries across the world who wants to help spread the awareness that the root of any success begins within each person.
Join Mika and Clay as they stand up against anxiety-based relationship advice that tells you that your authentic self is not good enough to receive the love you want out of life.