Dare to be yourself

image One of the most important steps on our way to self-love is to open ourselves to the idea that we are perfect. Perfectly imperfect, exactly as we are. Look at who you are. Look at who you wish you were. If you are a tomboyish kind of girl, be that. Don't waste energy on trying to be girly. Not only will it be tiring to you and add to your feeling of "not being right", you will be perceived by others as insecure or "off". Only by being who you are, you radiate in such a wonderful way, that others will find you "interesting, captivating and confident." Without any effort on your side. Should you be on the lookout for a boyfriend, or new friends, this is extremely important too. You can only find the right people who will love you for being you, when you ARE you. Of course that requires some kind of self awareness. Become honest with yourself. Maybe you admire a beautiful, outgoing girl in your school. And you would love to be like her. But are you? Do you think you could if you were skinnier? Chances are you wouldn't. Girls who are like her are like that, no matter what size they are. Maybe you are a little introvert. Don't force yourself to be different. Accept who you are. The world needs bold and quiet people. Maybe this bubbly girl is not such a good artist, writer or listener as you are. Find things you are really good at. Focus on those traits. Once you find one, you will discover more. Are you a good friend? Talk about it, write about it, be it. At some point you will not even feel the need to compare yourself to others anymore. That's when you love yourself. And accept others for who they are. No more judgement.

How to love yourself if you don’t

  The same principle as for becoming more confident applies: Fake it until you make it.
What would someone who loves themselves do?

What would someone who loves themselves do?

Make this question you mantra: "What would someone who loves themselves do?" Any decision you are facing, big or small, ask this question and do what first comes to your mind. For example when you decide what to wear to school or work, ask "what would someone who loves themselves wear?" Listen to the answer that pops up in your head and then do it. That way you tell your subconscious mind that you love yourself. Because you act exactly like somebody who already does, according to your question and suggestion. The more often you do it, the faster it will eventuate. I interpreted this amazing practice developed by Teal Swan - tealswan.com

Black is not the answer

Black clothes can look elegant and sophisticated. But try not to use them as an every day security blanket.  
black makes you invisible

black makes you invisible

Black is not the answer to everything. (In fact, that's 42). Yes, it can make you look a tiny bit thinner. What it definitely does though, is making you look invisible. We've had enough of it. No more hiding.   Start mellow, try something violet. Dark, dark red. Brown. Forest green. It will not add volume (it's nearly black, right?) but it will make you feel good and it will make other people aware of you.      
see the difference?

see the difference?

Seriously. Wearing colour can be your bungee jump. Do it and I guarantee you an adrenaline rush of excitement. Look at the people around you and see how they react to you differently. It will make you more approachable. Interesting. It can change your mood, your state of mind, your perspective. If you can't help it but wear black, at least wear something sexy, figure hugging. No more hiding. Turn it around, turn heads.   pics created via polyvore.com

I gained weight – and lost – and gained…

2012 was a year of change. I left a 7-year dead-end relationship and entered a 2-year on-and-off one, that caused a complete meltdown. During the first year I lost 80 lbs. Everybody complimented me on my weight loss. Well - yes, I lost weight. But I also went through the worst depression of my life, which everybody seemed to ignore. "At least you look so much better now that you lost weight, you must feel wonderful!" Ironically, I started loving myself as I was, so I didn't feel the need to lose more weight. It just continued because I couldn't eat anything for a while and my relation to food completely changed. I didn't notice any hunger during the day until I got stomach ache (that could be 4pm) And then I ate what I wanted. And I stopped when I was full. I continued to lose more and more weight and my skin started sagging. Upper arms, tummy, boobs, even my face lost shape. Of course I didn't want to go back to unhealthy eating habits of the past, but I didn't want to lose more weight either. Thankfully I managed to establish a routine and it leveled out. I gained about 20 lbs back. For the most part I consider myself healed from childhood wounds and self-hate. I feel confident, self-loving and content in my own body for the first time of my life. I love myself exactly as I am: soft, curvy and happy.
That was me 2012

That was me 2012

That was me 2014

That was me 2014

That's me now, 2015 starring as Russian Ice Skating Princess

That's me now, 2015 starring as Russian Ice Skating Princess

 

If I had kids…

Teens can be insecure. Don't feed into that.

Teens can be insecure. Don't feed into that.

If I had kids, there is one thing I would give them on their way: confidence. I would let them know that their worth is not depending on the amount of twitter, tumbler, instagram, facebook, pinterest or snapchat followers, “friends” or likes. I would tell them they are worthy, even if they mess up in school, do things I don’t like them to do, are lazy, smelly, rebellious, messy or just in puberty. I would encourage them to love themselves the way they are. Tell them that they could improve without trying to become a completely different person, because the person they already are is an amazing, unique, creative, intelligent human being. I would encourage them to dream big, learn lots, to be kind and tolerant. If you have kids, especially if you struggle with confidence yourself, try not to show it to them. Don’t say how bad you feel about yourself, don’t let them see you dieting and crying over a dress that doesn’t fit you anymore. Be the happy, content, loving person you would like your child to grow into. Because that’s probably what happens, even if you can’t see it right now.
Offer healthy food

Offer healthy food

If they eat too much, don’t tell them how fat they are going to be if they continue to stuff food into their mouth. All that you are teaching them is, that they are “not ok”, “not loveable”, if they are not “the norm”, bigger than some other kids. Instead, you do the work: Offer them lots of sweet fruits like grapes, bananas, melon, apples and cook healthier without telling them. Encourage them to do more sporty activities without mentioning weight loss. Don’t make it a big deal and it won’t be. No, I haven’t got kids myself and I know it’s far more complex and difficult when you are in a situation yourself. But if you just apply a few of those things, you might already turn their thinking, their beliefs and possibly their life around. I would say it’s worth a try. And if you haven’t got kids, like me, make yourself that child.