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I’m standing in front of the mirror and it’s the third week into my exercise and diet regimen. I should have lost some weight, or at least firmed up a little bit; that’s what I’m thinking. Yet, all I see are the flabby arms, the huge tummy and the fat thighs. I sigh and vow to avoid the mirror in future.
I wasn’t always like this you know…I used to fit into a size 10. Once upon a time. Actually, four years ago, I was a comfortable size 12. Now, I have children and my clothes no longer fit. My last baby is not even 7 months and the baby fat is just not falling off, no matter how hard I try.
I look in the mirror and what I want to see is a sleek body, toned arms, flat stomach; abs worthy of a swimsuit…that’s what I want to see. But I don’t see it and so I hate myself.
Actually, if I’m honest, this self-hate did not begin with a flabby body. When I was younger, I would stand in front of the mirror, see how short I was and hate myself. Then I grew older and grew taller. Then I was shy and couldn’t talk and when I met with my friends, I just kept quiet and hated myself.
And then I got a boyfriend. Boy, that was another level altogether. He would deride me, insult me in public and laugh at me with his friends. And all the while, I just kept silent and smiled…hating myself.
Now that I think back, it seems I’ve always had one reason or another to hate myself. I’m tired of it. I don’t want to hate myself anymore. And I’ve decided that right at this instant, as I’m writing this…I’m going to STOP hating myself.
But there’s still a bit of the old me left that I would like to ask you to join me in this project. We’ll call it Operation No More Self-Hate.
There are different reasons why people hate themselves:
- They hate the way they look
- They hate the way they speak
- They hate that their parents never gave them attention
- They hate that no one ever taught them how to love themselves
- They hate the way their partner is abusive
- They hate that their children don’t appreciate them
It really doesn’t matter the reason why you hate yourself. There’s always going to be a reason because it comes from inside. In my case, I just had a baby (my fourth in five years!) Plus I’ve only been working on my body for 3 weeks! I just need to be patient and I’ll begin to see results. I know that. And I also know that’s not the real reason I hate the person I see in the mirror. It’s something deep inside that is not what it should be.
Let me tell you one thing I’m beginning to discover about me (and about you too)…we are all unique. There’s no one else like you. You are special and there are people who will find life impossible if you cease to exist. You make someone’s life special just by being you. Isn’t it time you began appreciating yourself?
I think you should start a journal. I’m starting one too. Every day (or as often as you remember), write down nice things to yourself. Note down why you’re so wonderful. Hey, write a love letter to you. I’ll start:
Have you any idea how beautiful you are? Your smile lights up a room and people want to know you. I don’t say this often, but I just want you to know that I love you.
There. Why don’t you try it too? I promise you’ll feel so much better.
I look back at the mirror as I leave the room and I smile at the woman in the reflection. She really, truly is beautiful.