The way you treat yourself teaches others how to treat you. YOU are amazing! Treat yourself with respect, and love. There’s nothing wrong with being in love with the person you are! If fact, it’s imperative. Look at you! You have overcome challenges and lived through some shit! So, do you love the person you are? Do you love the person you are becoming? The choices you make daily? The way you honor your life and commitments? I do 😉
There’s been lots of times in my life that I was NOT in love with me. Mostly when I made alcohol a priority over everything else. When I allowed my addiction to takeover my mindset and cause me to make bad choices, I did not like the person I was or the choices I made. So why did I let it go on for so long? Because I didn’t think I was strong enough to change it. I told myself I “liked” me and the life I lived. And you will believe ANYTHING you tell yourself enough…let that sink in for a minute.
But when I was at my heaviest weight (185lbs standing only 5’2″) I loved the person that I was! I knew I wasn’t as skinny as other girls, but I never compared myself to others in that aspect. I was not taught to be happy by the size of my clothes, I was raised to be happy with the person I was. I always had a boyfriend and I was blessed to never be the victim of body shaming bully’s like kids are these days so my self esteem was pretty high! I was a good person, I volunteered and helped people whenever I could. I liked me, and other people did too. So why did I allow thoughts of self doubt creep in and change my mindset?
I had just been through an emotionally difficult time in my life. I remember waking up at 4 am and running to the bathroom to throw up violently the morning I was supposed to testify in front of a grand jury. Telling your deepest darkest secret to a panel of 23 complete strangers, as the person who abused you for six years stares you down on the stand is enough to shatter your self confidence and inner girl boss! I’ll never forget driving to court that day, one of those pink plastic buckets you get from the hospital in my lap because the dry heaves just kept coming. We met with our lawyer and the advocate from RI Rape Crisis Center in the court house lobby and I was immediately running to the restroom again. I couldn’t face him, I probably would have thrown up all over the stand. He got lucky that day and took a plea bargain because I wasn’t strong enough anymore. We had been through so much at this point and I was literally falling apart. He was sentenced to 5 years. I suffered from his abuse for 6 years, and the torment of the memories for the rest of my life, and he got 5 years.
I didn’t love myself then. I beat myself up pretty bad. But I made a choice to get stronger and I was determined to make sure he served every day of those 5 years. When he came up for parole a few years later, I marched into that room and told the parole board why he didn’t deserve to live a free man a single second more than what his very lenient sentence would allow. I was strong and confidant and not afraid! I’m proud to say he served all 5 years. If it takes round 2, or 3, or 10…. you always have the chance to get back up and FIGHT for yourself. It’s not over till YOU say it’s over.
It was shortly after this that I began working on the boat. I felt strong, independent and confident. I immediately made some lifelong friendships and even dabbled in a little boat love. I was on cruise control! But confidence is like lipstick, you have to apply it multiple times a day! I had never been away from home, my mom, my friends and family. I had never left the country before! I was soaking it all in like a sponge.
Living in very close quarters with several other women caused some seriously crazy body dysmorphia, and it was completely subconscious for me!!! What I mean by that is, when I was 185 lbs, I looked in the mirror and saw a cute, curvy, petite chick with great hair and a nice rack! (God blessed this girl!) But when I was 105 lbs just 6 short months later, I saw the same girl! I did not see the too thin, bobble headed looking chick everyone else saw. (my head is huge…) I remember going shopping in St. Thomas at the Tommy Hilfiger Outlet and finding these adorable yellow shorts! I knew I had “lost a few” because my uniform was fitting a little looser. I normally wore a size 14, so I grabbed a 10. Too big. 8? 6? I ended up buying a 2. What the hell?? How did I look in the mirror and still see the same body?? That still blows my mind to this day. It’s just another example of how much control we have over our minds and what we believe! I told my self I loved ME at 185lbs and when I looked at me I saw something I was happy with. 6 months of popping diet pills, daily excessive exercising and anorexia/bulimia tendencies (why did I eat all that pizza 🤮) and drastic weight loss did NOT change the person I saw or the way I felt about me…. That’s awesome! Why? Because it proves that no matter what your pants size or the number on the scale YOU can see beauty and love yourself.
When my mom came to pick me up at the airport after 6 months in South America I was blonde, tan, and 80 lbs lighter than when she last saw me. At first she looked right past me, and then she cried. After that I jumped RIGHT into a relationship with Mr. Toxic and BOOM! Cue the downward spiral! It took that 6 years of feeling like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, or thin enough to say ENOUGH! It took a good slap upside the head from a girlfriend to call off the wedding and move on! Slowly I began to love myself again.
Today I can honestly say that I love me. I’m not perfect. I have flaws. We all do… but I’m a good person. I like helping people, I’m kind and I try to spread love and joy wherever I go. I work on myself everyday because I’M worth it! I’m worthy of being loved and I’m so grateful that I’ve taken all the seasons of my past to learn how to love me.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel anything but amazing. If they do, they do not deserve to be in your life. Sometimes that’s one of the hardest decisions to make, removing someone like that from your circle, because so often our biggest naysayers are the people closest to us. You MUST surround yourself with people that inspire you and uplift you. If someone’s telling you that your goals, hopes and dreams are silly or unobtainable sooner or later you’ll believe them. But if you only make time for motivational encouragement from yourself and others then before you know it… BOOM! You are your biggest fan!