Since we are in the month of February, the month of love, hearts, roses, and red, I wanted to base my writings on the theme of “love”. Last Sunday you learned a bit more about me taking more time to figure out my skincare routine and that part of my life. Today, this post will explore self love and learning to love ourselves for who and what we are.
I’m sure many women who read this will relate and can agree that as females, we are so easy to pick apart our bodies and minds with negativity. It seems to be so much easier to be negative towards ourselves than positive. I find that to be such a shame and I’m certainly not immune from it myself.
Self love is defined as:
regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).
How many of you feel strange feeling good about yourself? How many of you will pick apart a photo of yourself rather than find something good about it? Or how many of you won’t take a photo because you hate the way you look?
The beautiful thing about self love, is that it’s not a one size fits all deal. It looks different to everyone. How you go about finding self love for yourself is your own personal journey. It may be easy to some and extremely challenging for others.
Losing weight was something I was always really focused on in my 20’s. I gained the college weight and then yo-yo’d my weight through weird diets, lots of exercise, and very strict eating patterns. Was I happy? Not really. I was focused on that number on the scale only and was determined that when it displayed a certain number, THAT is when I was going to be happy. I think back to that frame of mind I held on to, and think about how sad it was. While focusing a lot of my happiness on what a number said on a scale I was ultimately neglecting to embrace the so many other positive qualities I have.
As a young adult female, I think that many of our conversations turn to weight and how we all want to be able to wear a certain size. It can be quite damaging to surround yourself with that. And self worth and body image, can really take a negative turn.
Self love isn’t all about loving your body, but I think that it plays a huge role in accepting oneself for who and what they are. Learning to love how you look, despite putting on weight or showing signs of aging, can be a very empowering way to live. When we can learn to stop comparing ourselves to strangers and even those near and dear to us, I think that helps us start clearing a path towards finding self love, self compassion and self respect.
During my journey to showing myself more respect and accepting my body for what it is, I found some books to be extremely helpful and insightful.
The first book is Warrior Goddess Training: Becoming the Woman You are Meant to Be by HeatherAsh Amara.
I read this book with some people from the workout studio I frequent. It was seriously life changing and I recommend every woman I know read this. It really struck me in so many positive ways, and I feel was the book that started my deeper dive into what makes me happy and what I needed to do to make sure I was living my life to the very fullest. There is also a workbook that goes along with it to help you dive deeper by answering some questions and reflecting on your experiences.
The next book that I like to recommend to people who are looking for some weight loss encouragement is It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell.
It is a memoir about her struggles with her weight from childhood and what she did in order to get herself to a healthy place, both physically and mentally. Sometimes reading about other people’s experiences and struggles can make things seem less uncommon and that you’re the only one feeling a certain way. Everyone has a struggle of some sort.
The next book I enjoy recommending is called Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons.
This book is full of sass. Full of hilarity. And full of truths you’ll find yourself nodding your head to. I started following Brittany on Facebook. Her rise to internet stardom is quite fascinating and the way in which she continues to empower women, of all sizes, is inspiring. If you don’t follow her on Facebook or Instagram, I highly recommend it. She tells it like it is and has no filter, but in a good way!
And finally, my most recent recommendation is none other than Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You may have read it! Or you’re tired of people talking about it. Regardless, it’s a must read. I was hesitant to read it at first because of all the hype. But when I borrowed it from a friend, I could not put it down. This book has also changed my life. Has inspired the heck out of me. And makes me want to DO BETTER. And continue striving towards living my best life. Yes, I’m a Rachel Hollis fan girl. Yes, I will recommend this to everyone I know. But I truly believe that anyone can find something in this book that resonates with you and challenges you. Whether you are single or married with children. I promise, you won’t regret picking it up or listening to the audiobook.
Photo by Dahli Durley Photography
So there you have it. Some book recommendations from someone who doesn’t really enjoy reading in the first place. The books I do read are self help, motivation type books. I feel like they keep me in check with how I’m currently living. And I enjoy books that challenge me to think and dig a little deeper.
When I look back on my mentality about self love at age 23 versus age 33, there is no comparison. I mean I thought I knew myself pretty well at 23, but in reality, I was just getting started. I have my days of hating everything I put on to wear, obsessing about how my skin looks, or hair, or whatever part of my body. But, I’ve found it easier to snap out of it and take time to appreciate what this body has gone through. To respect it enough to eat well because I just want to feel well and be healthy. I’ll use food to fuel me rather than to punish myself for feeling guilty, sad, stressed, the list goes on.
The path to self love can be a bumpy one. It won’t be a perfect one and it certainly takes many detours along the way. But it’s a road that will teach you many lessons, open up a lot of truths about yourself, and ultimately help you praise and appreciate fully who you are, inside and out.
Do you have any books that have inspired your life? If so, I’d love the recommendations in the comments!
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