In the 80’s when I was growing up I had a skewed self image.
I remember when I first came to the realisation that the thoughts I had had about myself were false. I was looking through some old photographs in my early 30’s and realised that as a teen and in my early to mid twenties I actually looked quite good.
The problem was that I measured myself up against the 80’s supermodels and some of my skinny friends and I saw myself as unattractive. I was self-conscious and didn’t like my outer self.
I spent a lot of my life trying to match up to the standards that I thought I should be meeting which became a struggle. I later found I have hypothyroidism so losing weight is not a simple thing anyway.
At some point in my life and I can’t remember the exact moment, because it’s been a gradual growing of consciousness, I started to accept myself and appreciate myself for who I am and as I am.
Looking through old photos made me realise something. I’ve always been younger and “prettier” before, but I didn’t appreciate myself at those times. During one of my wrinkle inspections recently, I reminded myself to appreciate my face and body as it is now. One day when I’m in my 70’s I’m going to think I looked so young at 47. Why wait till then for the realisation? I want to enjoy my self now.
I’ve changed the way I think about things. These days I want to be healthy and I want to be fit. When I eat healthy food and do exercise I feel satisfied, content and strong.
Loving and appreciating myself has been a process but I am in a place in my life where I like myself most of the time and I think I look good as I am. I don’t believe that I have to compare myself with others or be thin. In fact I like having some substantiality to my figure. I may not meet so-and-so’s idea of beauty, but that’s okay with me.
If you appreciate and approve of yourself, your beauty from within shines outwards and people see it. I have noticed over the years that when I feel good about myself and when I’m happy, people notice something different about me. They think I’ve lost weight but really I’ve lost something else, self-disapproval.
And by the way this applies to all people who struggle with their self image in some way, whether it’s skin, hair, being too overweight or underweight, lips too big, nose too long, eyes too this, ears too that…… you know.
I’m writing this in the hope that someone who struggles with their self image will be inspired to start liking themselves as they are now because it really can change life.