So, here’s the thing. I felt really crappy about myself this past weekend, which was especially inconvenient since I had the Guelph Blogger meetup and Book Exchange on Sunday. If there’s anywhere I don’t want to feel like an ugly potato, it’s around my friends. I want to have fun, and not be worried about my chubby arms or a potential double chin in photos. Why am I telling you this? Why am I sharing my weekend body struggle with you? I’m not looking for pity or compliments, I’m looking to start the conversation of “hey, this happens, it’s okay”. Because everyone deals with body insecurities at some point, and I think it’s important to talk about.
So imagine my annoyance the day before, trying to pick out an outfit. In my eyes, everything looks awful. Clothes I loved two days prior were suddenly the ugliest things I had ever seen. I settled on a green polka dot dress, which was super comfy, and went ‘fuck it, I’ll look the same no matter what I put on’. Headed out to the blogger meetup, which ended up just being a really great coffee date with my friend Katherine. Amazing conversation, and she is so supportive of everything I work on. After coffee, I ran across the street to pick up a lip balm from the new Truth Beauty Company in Guelph. Upon entering the store, the sales associate says to me “WHERE did you get your dress? I was admiring it from across the street!” which was super sweet, and brightened my day just a tad bit more. Then on my way home, a man said he liked my necklace. Finally, I spent my afternoon with the book exchange group. The greatest group of ladies I know, and some of my favorite people to spend time with. My hair and makeup were complimented multiple times throughout the exchange. Clearly no one else thought I was a horrendous looking monster, so why did I feel this way?
But it wasn’t all of this that changed my attitude, it was when a friend said she didn’t see herself as attractive. And I’m looking at her going ‘this girl is freaking gorgeous, how is she missing that?’. Why was I so apt to tell my friend she was beautiful and encourage her to be kind to herself, but when I say awful things to myself (the one person I am stuck with for my entire life), I allow it to be the truth? You see, we all have that stupid little voice in the back of our head that tells us we are not beautiful or worthy. It’s our job to protect ourselves from that voice, teach our brain that talking to yourself that way is toxic and unacceptable.
Self-love doesn’t happen overnight, and it something you have to work at every damn day. You have to train yourself to catch those negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks. One of my tricks for doing this (and Loey Lane taught me this), is whenever I catch myself saying something mean about my body, I talk to myself about it like a small child. Checking in and saying “hey, that’s not okay, I like Katie.” can act as a reminder to be kind to myself the same way I would be kind to a friend. It sounds silly, but it works.
I may feel fat and ugly some days. But I still feel funny, smart, strong, sexy, and awesome most days. Here’s to making that an every day occurrence, one positive thought at a time.
*Also, huge thank you to Denice Charles for taking these pictures and letting me use them. She is amazing.