I wrote this letter to myself to remind myself the importance of self-love. No, not masturbation. But rather self-acceptance, self-reassurance and self-confidence! It is so easy to be critical of ourselves and to focus on our shortcomings. But sometimes we need to be proud of the positive things we have achieved and show ourselves a little more kindness.
9 February 2016
Somewhere in London.
You have always been insecure and have struggled with body image issues and a lack of self-confidence.
This has affected your perception of yourself and somewhere along the way, you stopped loving yourself and began to bully yourself and beat yourself up about not being thin and “perfect” (there is no such thing). You stopped focusing on the inside, and started focusing on perfecting your body and your physical self.
From the age of fourteen, you were cutting photographs of Victoria’s Secret models out of magazines and sticking them into your diary with captions such as, “this is what I want to look like,” and “this is what I should look like.” You talked to girls at middle and high school and compared your weight and what size clothes you wore. When you found out that you were bigger and heavier than the other girls, you started to feel insecure about your differences and began to feel anxious about your size. Size and numbers began to matter. This continued into your university/college years.
At the age of nineteen, you weighed in at 210 lbs. This shocked you and you felt frustrated and unhappy about how much you had stopped caring about yourself and your health. You were disgusted with yourself and you began your weight loss journey. It has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and it was only in January 2015 that you finally began to gain control and gradually make improvements. But mentally, the battle has been tough and you have been left with scars.
You have come a long way and you now have a wealth of knowledge about food, nutrients, calories, and physical fitness. You are the slimmest you have ever been and finally, you feel more “normal” (again, there is no such thing). But you must not focus on being perfect. You must focus on being healthy, both in the physical sense and the mental sense. There is no perfect size or number. All bodies are different, and all women are different. You must try and be the best version of yourself rather than comparing yourself to somebody else. Beauty is not just physical, it is spiritual and you must not lose yours.
How can you help motivate and inspire others if you don’t love yourself and live by the same advice you give on your blog? Weight loss is a transformational journey. It is not simply about losing the pounds; it is about a change of attitude towards food and exercise, a change in the perception of one’s self and learning to nourish your body, mind and soul.
You are just as important as the people who follow you, and you need to prioritise your health or everything else will fall apart. The people who care about you describe you as a kind, hard-working, compassionate individual and it’s time that you started believing it.
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes rather than focusing on your failures. A failure is not the end; it is a lesson learned. You are strong and you have overcome many obstacles in your life so far. You will continue to grow and flourish.
Take time for yourself and don’t forget to have fun. Smile. Find the positives in each day, even if there are set-backs. Remember the concept of ‘balance’ and think about what it really means. Be grateful for those around you who support you and live a life filled with love and learning.