Action Steps To Love Your Body

“I grew up surrounded by people who hated their bodies.”

And so I was indirectly taught to hate my body, too. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I really took it upon myself to rebuild my self-esteem. I stopped trying to change my body and learned to appreciate it the way it is. These are a few of the things I’ve done consistently that really helped me learn to enjoy and love the body I was given.

  • Get dressed in front of a mirror. Even if you don’t like what you’re seeing, you need to know what your body looks like. Being familiar with yourself is a key part of learning to love your body. I still do this everyday and it has been incredibly helpful.
  • Stop focusing on what your body isn’t and focus on what it is. Try to filter out those thoughts of “My waist isn’t small enough” or “My butt isn’t big enough,” etc. Focus on the good things, like how well proportioned you are or the lovely curve of your calves.
  • Pick one thing that you love about yourself and focus on that. Tell yourself everyday that you love your lips, ears, ankles, that little freckle on your left thumb, whatever. Then add something else to the list. If you run out of things to love, that’s okay. But keep the focus on the parts of your body that make you happy, the parts that you are proud of.
  • Don’t wear clothes you don’t feel comfortable in. This may seem really obvious obvious, but it is so important. We all have those days when certain outfits just don’t look or feel right. Even if you had planned on wearing that outfit on that day for whatever reason, just take a few minutes to change. Leaving the house in something that you’re not comfortable wearing can ruin your entire day. It’s very important to wear clothes that you feel good in.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people. As easy as it is to compare your body to someone else’s, with the entertainment and fashion industries catapulting their perception of perfection at us from every angle, try to avoid it. No two bodies are the same. People carry weight in different ways. People have different bone structure. You will never look exactly like the models or the celebrities, mostly because a lot of them are airbrushed into oblivion or fabricated from a computer program, but more importantly because your body is so wonderfully different from theirs. And that is something to take pride in. Your body is no one’s but your own; it’s completely unique. And wouldn’t you rather be unique than look just like someone else?
  • Appreciate what your body can do and instead of focusing on how it looks. You can sing, punch, run, swim, eat, read, dance, tackle, bike, and jump because of your body. Your body is a magnificent tool that allows you to do all of your favorite things. Realizing and appreciating that is much easier than appreciating how your body looks, and it’s a great place to start in learning to love your body.

Not all of these things will work all the time. And not all of them will work for all of you. But at least give all of them a chance.

And know that this will take time. It takes patience and dedication. Boosting your self-esteem is not something that will happen within a week or two.

It took me a good two years to be completely comfortable with my body. And I still have bad days. There are still parts of my body that I am unhappy with. I still curl up under a blanket and watch Friends, trying to feel better about myself. But I am so much happier in general with my appearance because of these things. I hope they help someone else, too.

Written and loved on by Kelsey Griffin

#LOVEYOULOVEPEOPLE

I Was Afraid Of Myself

My battle with self worth has always been a tough one. There have been so many up and down moments in my life that I eventually felt, why feel happy and good when I’m just going to hit a down point again?

When I was five years old, I was sexually abused by my own father. Pair that up with the fact that he wasn’t really emotionally ready to take care of three young kids and he cheated on my mom with the woman who is now my step-mom… It can leave a gal feeling pretty worthless and unwanted.  

So years went by and I started to develop anorexia.  I had always been really thin and lanky to begin with, and I would get compliments from people like, “Oh you’re so skinny,” or, “I wish I had your body,” but then one day, the compliments started to dwindle and that automatically meant in my mind that I was fat. Those skinny compliments made me feel like I had worth. I set in my mind that I would do anything to get those compliments, even if it meant starving myself. so that’s what I did, and I still battle with it today. My anorexia became so out of control that all I could think about was food and how much I weighed every moment of every day. Because of it, my grades in school plummeted and I lost friends. Basically the complete opposite happened of what I thought would happen if I got skinnier. Again, I was left feeling unwanted and worthless: unwanted by my friends, unwanted by my family, unwanted by myself.  

More years went on and I started to develop a pretty serious anxiety disorder paired with very bad depression. I was having panic-attacks in school, my hands wouldn’t stop shaking, and there were days I just didn’t want to get out of bed because it wasn’t worth facing the emotions of the day. I became afraid of myself and my feelings because the waves of depression sometimes hit me like an unexpected punch to the face. The same would happen with my panic-attacks. Sometimes I would get them for no apparent reason. I was scared and embarrassed.  

I almost didn’t graduate senior year of high school with the rest of my class because of how much school I missed and at that point, I didn’t even care. I didn’t care what happened at all. I didn’t care about where my life was going.I felt completely helpless and alone. I then started to think, “Am I feeling the way I’ve been feeling all because of my father’s idiotic actions when I was 5?” If he didn’t abuse me, could I be “normal?”

There were many thoughts of me ending my life. I didn’t want to deal with the voices inside my head anymore. I wasn’t worthy of anything life had to offer me, but in the back of my mind, some little voice was still telling me to keep fighting. That’s what I did.

With the help of my mom, she got me to see countless amounts of doctors to help me better myself. I went off to college and was surrounding myself with people who I knew cared for me and wanted the best for me. I’m so blessed to know the people that I’m friends with today.

I was then introduced to So Worth Loving by my old pastor at the church I grew up in before moving down to North Carolina. He had seen a video I had made on my Instagram about telling other people their worth, because if anything made me feel better, it was showing people unconditional love and compassion; showing them their true worth. Kevin (my pastor) told me I should check out this company because he knew I would like it. I completely fell in love with everything So Worth Loving stood for and I realized that I was spending so much time loving others and showing them their worth that I forgot to love myself. This company has taught me that you can’t fully love others unless you have love for yourself. The phrase “You are so worth loving” has been shared in my apartment with my two lovely roommates, who at times struggle to see their own worth. We even have it written on our chalkboard right by our front door so that we see it every day.  

Exactly a month ago from today, I had the pleasure of meeting the So Worth Loving team in Charlotte, North Carolina at their pop-up shop. There was nothing more I wanted than to meet these loving and caring people in person and tell them how their work has saved me. I had to hug Eryn and thank her for being such a positive role-model. I am thankful for the conversation and the laughs shared that day. A trip is in the making next semester for me to go down to Atlanta and see them again.

I will now do anything to promote So Worth Loving and what it stands for. I have friends from all over the globe that I’ve met via social media asking me about SWL.  

I am still dealing with my struggles every day. It’s a constant battle, but I know that I am so worth loving. I am worthy of self-love and love from other people and you are too.

Stay strong, darlings! xxx

Kate Ashbrook