be-nice

Photo origin & credit: http://etsy.me/WZh3E2

 

Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone’s mean to you all the time.

 

This post is extremely personal and I feel very vulnerable sharing it with everyone. But this needs to be on here. I need to share these things – my intent is that this will resonate with some of you and make you realize you are beautiful, you are worth it, be nice to yourself.

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Are you saying positive things or negative things to/about yourself? You are not only what you eat – but what you THINK. Be nice & focus on the positives. It will change your life.

 

It takes work & I work on it daily. My self image used to be absolutely terrible. I never saw any positives I only noticed all of the things I didn’t like/hate about myself.

My nose was too big, I had too many freckles, I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t pretty enough, my feet were ugly, the list goes on and on.

I never took a complement seriously – I thought people were just saying things to be nice. In high school, if a guy ever flirted with me or asked me out on a date – I thought he was joking and making fun of me. I probably seemed like a real bitch at the time because I always turned them down. But I seriously thought they were poking fun or just being a jerk. I just thought to myself  “Why are they interested in me?”

My first real boost of confidence came when I went to a modeling “tryout” and made it. In retrospect, everyone got in. It was a modeling school and I paid them to be there – but this was one of the best things for my confidence I had ever had. I learned how to hold myself, how to take care of myself and how to be confident. I appreciate it for doing that but it also served as the catalyst that began my bout with an eating disorder. Holy.. this is bringing back a lot of emotions for me. 

There was a fashion/modeling tryout for a few big modeling agencies coming up. We did a run through of what we were going to wear – fashion & swimsuit. At the end of the day, one of the head people told me I needed to lose at least 10 pounds. SAY WHAT?!

Let me paint a picture for you. I was right out of high school – I played sports, and was extremely active. Even though I thought I wasn’t thin enough I was 5’9” and weighed about 120 lbs soaking wet. They wanted me to lose 10 lbs, people. Not healthy.

Since I had never had to work at losing weight before I really didn’t know what to do. So I started eating as little as possible and working out like nobody’s business. I would get hungry and binge myself till I was sick – then purge everything. I became pretty good at that. But by the time the show came around I had pretty much said “Screw it, if this is what being a model is all about I’m fine being ordinary.”  I got a couple of call backs but I never pursued them – I didn’t want to continue.

Skip forward a few years and I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A big part of our curriculum was focused on Primary Food. Primary Food is food you don’t eat – relationships, career, physical activity and spirituality. We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. In order to be truly whole we need to have fulfillment through theses areas as well.

One of our classes was taught by Geneen Roth, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Women Food and God. She told her story of the endless battle she fought with herself and I learned so much from what she shared. You can experience one of her book readings here.

I began learning about affirmations, self-love & the power of positive thinking. I read The Secret, followed Louise Hay and Dr. Wayne Dyer, focused on what I liked about myself and changed my inner dialogue. However, I still struggled with my self-image.

beliefs

It really wasn’t until I became pregnant that I really appreciated and loved my body. As my belly grew I loved myself more and developed a deep appreciation to God for allowing me to experience a life growing and thriving inside of me.

I mean, how amazing is it, that as women we can grow and nurture life with our bodies? Even after birth – a woman is completely able to sustain the life of her child with her breast. That just amazes me. I know some of you are unable to breastfeed and some make the choice not to – I’m not saying that is any less amazing. Just that the pure biology and capability of a woman’s body is astounding. 

Yep, that's me at 37 weeks!

Yep, that’s me at 37 weeks!

 

I birthed my son naturally which was a very empowering experience as well. You can read my story here.

Yes, I have stretch marks and they are likely to never go away. But I don’t see them as a blemish; I see them as a reminder of how amazing my body is – to stretch and grow and nurture.

My skin is even a little puffy on the lower part of my belly – but who cares? I grew a human being, for goodness sake!

It has now been close to two years since our son came into this world. I now feel better about myself than I ever have before. I also just plain feel better- I’m healthier and have more energy now than I did before I got pregnant. I make better food choices (I eat healthily because I WANT to – not because I think I HAVE to), I play with my son and learn from him and I truly enjoy working out. I look for the good in things. Focus on the positive and have gratitude for all of it – the good and the bad.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with it. I have to work on it daily and remind myself to be kind.

 

There is one more thing I’d like to cover:

If you have children please, please, please do not talk negatively about yourself. Be mindful of the way you talk to/about yourself in front of them. It doesn’t matter if you tell them they are wonderful and beautiful and amazing all the time if you don’t talk positively about yourself.

They learn how to talk to and about themselves from YOU. From the way YOU do it. Showing self-love and confidence is not being vain or selfish or self-absorbed – it is about LOVE. You must love yourself first in order to love anyone else. Speak kindly to yourself, to your children and of other people.

Children follow examples, not advice.  Be an example.

Now you know  more about me than some of my closest friends. That was scary. But I shared this with the hope to inspire you in some way to change your inner dialogue and speak kindly to yourself. If you’re a parent please be mindful of what you say. Know that you matter, you are loved and that you are love.

 

In Love & Service,

 

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