I have spoken to a few people this week who have told me their stories of self-esteem struggles. I had one person speak of her struggles being "too skinny". I've known her my whole life and she has always been that way. Here is what she wrote:
I have always had the opposite problem of what most women have. I’m "too" skinny. That has always been an issue for me. I've actually had people ask if I was anorexic, if I eat, etc. People look at me and Brady (my son) and say "How do you lift him?!" and I'm sure later on in life, maybe he wont forget those comments were also directed toward him for being my "solid" boy ( who I wouldn't change for the world, know matter how many struggles I have to deal with for him). For my experience, its the same as an overweight person. In my opinion, I would always ask myself, “Would people say things to me if I was pushing about 400 pounds?” I doubt it. To this day, I still worry about how I look to other people. I’m trying to change that, but I guess it takes time. I put on an act to the people with their comments but they don't realize it hurts inside just as much as any other negative comment to any other person.
This shows how there are two ends of the spectrum. We need to be aware that it's not just people who are overweight that struggle.
I also spoke with a woman who had severe eating disorders and was even hospitalized at one point. She is open about it now and has worked hard to adopt a healthy lifestyle. I will be sharing her story in a future blog. The third person I spoke to had self esteem issues that were related to weight but also to feeling bad about her abilities, her life, and other issues. She turned to drugs for a long time. She now lives a healthy lifestyle and has become happy with herself. I can't wait to share some of these stories in detail with you all.
This brings me to a quote I found and love.
"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." - Lucille Ball
These words are so true and powerful. You cannot fully love others or love what you do unless you love yourself.
Loving yourself is easy for some and difficult for others. It was a lot of work for me to learn to love myself because I had spent so long unhappy with who I was. It is important to teach young girls how to love themselves from an early age. I was speaking to a woman yesterday and she was saying how the idea of perfection starts so early. She has two daughters and we talked about how girls become obsessed with princesses and fairy tales. I do not think that there is anything wrong with fairy tales or princesses because they help foster imagination, but I do think girls should be taught that these characters are not realistic. We, as a society, need to show girls and women to stop striving to be someone else and start accepting and being happy with who they are.
Like I said in a former post, happiness is crucial. I had someone call me over at an event last night. It is someone I have known my entire life. She said she called me over to tell me I’m beautiful. I’ll admit, I have a hard time when someone says that to me because I still do not feel that way. I get uncomfortable and say thank you. I am definitely better at accepting compliments now than I ever was. With my work, it’s easy because I feel confident about it, but when it’s about my appearance, it’s still a work in progress. This woman then said to me that she also thinks that what adds to my beauty is that I’m always happy. I really am happy the majority of the time and people have definitely noticed. I don’t let things get me down or people bother me. I don’t take things people say in a negative way. I don’t let myself be around negative people or drama. I told this woman that I worked very hard at being happy, but it is so unbelievably worth it.
I came across this great article the other day. The title is “50 Ways to Nurture your Happiness”. It is an amazing list of things everyone should do in their daily lives to be happy. I do almost all of them and am working on the others. The ones that I’m still working on are:
15. Slow down. When work gets busy and I commit to community projects, I tend to go at top speed. I stay up late and get up early. I started to do this over the past few weeks and it all caught up with me the other day. I realized I needed some down time. It’s so important for balance.
17. Disconnect from the world. I go through times when I am good at disconnecting by shutting off the computer and silencing my phone. However, when I’m busy, I do not do it enough. I love to be disconnected though. When I travel to places that I cannot use my phone, I love not having it. I am going to Italy in May and can’t wait to not have the phone ring or be constantly checking texts, emails, twitter, etc. I need to do that more here as well.
29. Get enough sleep. I do not do this and need to. I’ve been a bad sleeper for a long time, but am going to go back to using meditation to get more sleep.
The other 47 ideas are things I practice. Most, I practice daily. Some I may need to practice more, but I do incorporate them. Print this list and start doing it. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps your outlook on your life and yourself.
You are all beautiful inside and out,