One of the many problems I’ve faced as a young woman growing up was learning to accept myself and my self-image. And I know that this is something that most face while growing up. But it aches my heart especially to this very day knowing that I wasted so many years hating myself and allowing my weight to determine my self-worth. And I will also say that this is something that I am still in vicious combat with but I thank God that it’s not as bad as it used to be 10 years ago.
Back then, when I was about 14/15 years old, whenever I got ready to leave my house, it would usually take me about 3-4 outfit changes ft. lots of crying and sighing and contemplating if going out was even worth it before I finally found some thing I was comfortable in enough to leave the house. AND EVEN THEN, I’d still hate how I looked and I would constantly be thinking about the (imaginary) comments people would be making in their minds with regards to how I looked. And ultimately, this really scarred my self-confidence and social life because I always tried my hardest to avoid public speaking, or just suddenly cancel plans with friends etc. And if I did happen to go out, I avoided taking pictures. Yeah. It was bad. There was a period of time in my life where I even considered starving myself, naively thinking that that would help me get the “bess body” I kept dreaming of. Disclaimer: IT DOESN’T (unless you’re doing intermittent fasting).
I also held onto every compliment I got from guys back in my teeny-booper days with dear life. And I guess that’s why I also had/have (oops) self-validation issues. But that’s for an entire different post (or video, wink wink). I planted most of my self-worth into the pseudo-sweet words I received from guys on a regular back then but at the end of the day, when those guys left and it was finally time for me to start loving myself, it was possibly the hardest thing ever.
Through it all though, all the nights spent crying, the binging on self-help books, the crash diets and the failed workout plans, I am really reaaaallly happy to say that I have finally fallen in love with every roll, every stretch mark and every dimple on my body. I have learned that my weight does not define who I am and the love I deserve as a black woman. I have learned that I am only “too much” of something to persons that do not even deserve to breathe around me. I am not “too thick”; I am just enough. I am not “too dark-skinned”; I am just enough. You and I? We’ll always be enough. If not for someone, for ourselves. And that matters most.
I still have planned on taking care of my body a little better this year, but I’m not going to beat down on myself when I don’t see the results I want as soon as possible. It’s all a process and once I am happy, that’s all that’s important.
So if there’s any one out there that’s battling with self-esteem issues, I really hope that through reading my ramblings, your heart was touched and caused a paradigm shift somewhere in you for the better. I really hope so. I think self-love is one of the most important life lessons in existence and it’s sad to see that it’s being treated as something so trivial. BUT! That’s why I’m here :). Have a great week and remember… Love yourself first.