My Journey to Self Love

Last night, a long time friend Michelle posted about loving herself and daring other women to do the same. Well I dared because it spoke to me and so I posted.  Then that post proceeded to get, as of this typing, 106 likes and 21 comments. When I saw this morning, as nice as that was, it was not why I did it.   I did it because every word rang true.  As women, we do not celebrate who we are enough.  So I took the challenge, hoping lots of women I know will/would do the same.  

As always this is going to be lengthy.  But I’m going to break down line by line that post from last night and what it means to me.   I hope that if even one woman or even man reads it, they will see the beauty in themselves.  That something will ring true and maybe hold their head a bit higher or even start the process of learning to love themselves not the images society dictates.

Here we go – My journey to self love:

I don’t have an amazing figure or a flat stomach. I’m far from being considered beautiful, but I’m me.

This says exactly what I have felt in the past because our world says,  “Thinner is the winner” at any cost.  Worse than that, they take former or current fat people you know, and make them the spokespeople to sell us this crap idea.  Dieting done easy and for you shakes and meals.  Exercise equipment that boasts how little you will have to move to see results!  An almost constant stream commercials giving you hope of “get your summer body now”…..then in July, “it’s still not too late to get your summer body.” reminding you of your New Years resolution fail….and oh boy …in December after you’ve had two months of holiday eating they really prime the pump with start your News Years off right and be on the road to skinny!  THAT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY!  Then January 1st is a stampede every year of people who buy into this hoping just buying online food and new shoes will magically do it.  It is a horrible hamster wheel, which I survived on for years.  3 decades of yo yo dieting, bouts of depression, being incredibly unhealthy.  Worse than that when I finally did get to 130 lbs and in size 10 jeans, literally killing myself to be that image…….I was STILL miserable!  I didn’t love myself and could never maintain what it took to stay that image.  Which starts the cycle again.  Back to the city of self loathing I went, time after time!

Finally, in my forties I found a way to let it go!  Then the most wonderful thing happened.  I stopped caring what those images told me.  I started on a journey.  Stopped striving to reach the magical destination of “Skinny = happiness.”   This journey, is longer, not so intense, there are peaks and valleys, good days and bad.  It’s all ok.  I finally loved myself for who I was.  At 49, I now understand and accept that if I weighed 118 to 120 lbs (per the BMI index).  I would look like a starving Sharpei!  Let’s be honest ladies, that fat completely goes away, it will make those wrinkles not so attractive!  I know I do not have the “perfect” figure because what those scales and indexes say, are NOT ME.  I learned to love that I do have an amazing figure with curves.  Combine that with being a good human being and grateful for all I have sent back out into the world – THAT is what makes me beautiful.  Not the number on a scale.
I eat food. I have curves. I have more fat than I should.

I like good food.  I mean rich, really bad for you food.  If you are traveling to a city and I’ve been, I will always give you at least one or two restaurants to try because adventure and food go together!  For me, that means I’m alive and enjoying my life.  I like cold beer.  Unlike George Thorogood, I do not drink alone.  So if I’m having beer and good food out, that means I’m with great friends celebrating each other and the time we have together.  Probably laughing our butts off telling stories and that right there, is what life is about.  It is good for the soul!

Here is more truth.  I am fat and every scale on the planet says so.  So what?   Oh and by the way, when I say that out loud, stop saying “Oh Sonja” like I’m crazy.  I own mirrors and walk by them.  I’m not ashamed of it because do you know what I see?  I see a work in progress.  I see a woman who is healthier than she has ever been in her life because she stopped worrying about being skinny.  And as of this year, I see a TRIATHLETE!!  A word I never thought I’d use in conjunction with my name.  I have completed numerous 5k’s, 10k’s, plans for an Aquathon in October, Half Marathon in December and next year – I’m tackling a Half Ironman.  (Amy I know if you are reading this you are saying Full Ironman – I hear you)  The point is I know lots of skinny people who can’t do any of those things nor do they want to try.  These curves, this body and this brain though, want to do it, can’t wait to do these things and celebrate the fact that being overweight doesn’t mean I spend all day eating ice cream on the couch.  My body is AMAZING and can overcome anything I set my mind to accomplish!
I have scars because I have a history. 

Oh boy do I.  I have had 27 surgeries total.  I look at those scars and think of the things I’ve been through and some great stories because anyone who knows me, knows I need adult supervision from time to time, especially after surgery!
I go without make up and sometimes don’t get my hair done.

I never wear make up.  Don’t want to give anyone false hope that shit will happen on the regular!   I could care less about being well coiffed 24/7.  Hence keeping the hair short most of the time.  Wash and go is what works for me!
Some people love me, some like me, some hate me. I have done good. I have done bad.

So true – I know people from many miles away who would be on the road no questions asked with a phone call at 3 am.  I also know people who I’m sure, I overwhelm with my nature but they can take me in small doses.  I also know people who wouldn’t pee on me if I was on fire.   That is just fine by me.  I don’t and never have had a need to be loved by all.  I know people that fall into all 3 of those categories for me too.  It’s called life people! Not everyone has to love you.  Accept it, move on and appreciate the ones who do!
I have done good.  I have done bad.

We will leave this alone.  I don’t want credit for doing good.  I have done bad and probably will again.  The best you can do in this life is apologize if you unintentionally hurt someone, accept being human do the best you can every day and move on.

I’m random and crazy. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I am who I am, you can love me or not. I won’t change!!

Absolutely!  I sing, BADLY out loud ….everywhere….My favorite stage is in the car.  I don’t care who is looking and if the dancing mood hits me that could happen too.

Something you say will probably make me quote a movie or song, which I will need to purge so I will also share this information with you.  I will pick up a nuance of what you say and make jokes about it.  Furthermore, I may be the only person who finds it funny -or anything funny and I will laugh – LOUDLY and unabashedly!
And if I love you, I do it with all my heart!!

This is so true and I tell you – as often as I can, probably not as often as I should.  I work very hard to take all the love that is given to me, be grateful for all that I have and try to put even more of it back into the world.
I make no apologies for the way I am.

Since I was a child, I have always done what I want.  I am hardheaded, sarcastic and many other things but I am also loyal and honest to a fault.  Take it or leave it.  🙂
Ladies, I dare you to put this on your status and share a picture of yourself if you’re proud of who you are…..

I know – we are finally at the end of my rant today.  I’m thankful too.  I picked this picture from my Triathlon back in March.  Mainly because it encompasses all I said above.  I look at that picture to remind myself of this wonderful journey I’m on.
I posted this last night because I finally do love myself.  Until I was able to do that, I could not accept all the love that has been given back to me.
Life is short and if you are reading this, you are beautiful and wonderful – believe it.  I am grateful you are a part of my life and you are here for a reason.  Love yourself.  It is the only way to truly enjoy all the things around you!
Until next time – Peace, love and black coffee

2 Comments

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  1. You are big and beautiful! How dare I say such a thing? Because girlfriend, I am BIGGER than you and I’m beautiful too. It’s attitude, personality and the ability to accept and love ourselves that make us beautiful. And I love you, my friend!

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