Girl Talk

Girl Talk: My Self Love and Self Esteem Journey

HOW TO FIND SELF LOVE + SELF ESTEEM AT ANY BODY SIZE

Regardless of size, I feel that many women have body and self-esteem issues so I felt compelled to share this today. I seriously wrote this blog post today as my hubby drove home from our recent vacaiton. I sat there looking at my thighs and said to myself “it’s that time”. To the naked eye, you see a photo of a style blogger doing her thing and sharing her #ootd. But to me it’s more than that. It’s a photo of a woman that struggled with self esteem issues for most of her adult life. It’s a woman who bought and wore shorts…her FIRST pair … just last week. (can’t believe I just admitted that) but…it’s a part of my self love journey where I’ve started to embrace ⁠my body especially in the midst of being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about 2 years ago. 

 

self love

I’ve always thought “oh God I don’t want to be one of “those people” who shouldn’t be wearing shorts. When deep down I was a bit jealous of their confidence. Wishing that could be me. But that changed when I was shopping for our trip. I put these shorts on in the dressing room and immediately this overwhelming sense of freedom came over me. I saw my legs and I smiled in confidence. I can’t explain it. (p.s. cellulite is there, it’s just bent in the photos and not seen much in the other)

Even at my smallest adult size (a size 10) the struggle was real!!! It was hard and I mean VERY hard for my body to accept that size as “normal” for me. I literally could hardly eat a thing or it would go straight to my stomach, hips and thighs. I ate extremely clean and healthy, I exercised beyond what was normal and quite frankly was obsessive with it  and I was constantly taking diet pills. I even had stomach surgery to restrict my food intake.I was SO miserable at that time in my life. It’s like my body was telling me something. My genetics weren’t made that way. Even a size 12 is a stretch for me to maintain easily (with diet and exercise). So I’ve found that for me a size 12/14 is where MY health feels and looks good…to me. Let’s be real. I’ve always worn double digits in clothes even in high school (the size many women dream about getting to get back to) So I’m never going to be (or quite frankly desire to be) a girl with no curves because it’s how God made me (and damn it my hubby loves me this way too) 

As a blogger, I am often scrolling through IG style feeds, wishing I saw myself. Meaning my body type. I wondered how many of my followers or other Instagrammers felt the same (hence why I started sharing more fashion along with my home décor to become more of a LIFE + STYLE resource) to encourage and empower myself and women of all sizes to love their bodies. If I can wear this or that…girlfriend you can too!

TRANSPARENCY SIDE NOTE: Yes, as style bloggers when you shop with us from our Instagram posts we are paid a small commission (imagine it’s like how some jobs pay an employee a small sales commission) and yes that helps me to continue to bring you new content and inspiration. But as I’ve continued to incorporate style, the messages I get about how I’m making women feel more confident about themselves makes this all so much more than just being a style influencers. The rewards of incorporating style is multifaceted. 

 

self love

I want us as women to embrace our soft curves, our cellulite, our stretch marks and all of these yummy imperfectly perfect things about us. 

Women come in all shapes and sizes and we cannot continue to let the airbrushed/filtered versions of women we see in magazines and on television decide our value or worth. Childbirth and weight fluctuations certainly can change our bodies and how we perceive ourselves, however, our bodies don’t define who we are and it only houses the inner beauty we all share. Believe the saying … inner beauty never fades. So get that right my loves and all else will fall into place. This post isn’t just a post for girls my size but for every woman who no matter her size. As women we are guilty of comparison amongst ourselves. Time for a change. Our culture has a way of making women feel as if they are not enough. Become confident in your skin. Take control of your happiness and mental health.

Some ways I’ve learned how to develop self love and self esteem are: Finding things in other women you love about yourself. For me when I saw women in magazine ads, on the Dove commercials and on Instagram proudly showing, cellulite and all I was empowered. For me when I saw women with beautiful chocolate complexions like Lupita Nyongo, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union and more WOC … that…inspired me as I didn’t see many dark skinned women in the media making it. To see curvy women on magazine covers and in TV shows, that inspired me. To see women I admired like Alicia Keys and Halle Berry and other WOC wearing sisterlocks and dreads in main stream media rocking natural hair instead of processed relaxed hair or weaves, that inspired me. We all have things we would like to change about ourselves but in the meantime love yourself as you are. Those stretch marks from having a baby are your battle wounds and tattoos of strength and love. Those curves you want to hide so much, think of the beautiful paintings from centuries gone by. Were these women not ample and worthy of even the most talented artists willing to capture their beauty forever in paint? You see. You are beautiful. Find the peace that is within you and see how much you blossom.

self love

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Lynn
    July 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Your vacation pictures were lovely and you are beautiful! Your self-love is evident by your style and your grace. You’ve inspired me to be the best me I can and then embrace all of it. The extra pounds, the wrinkles and the grey hair. Thank you!

    • Reply
      therusticlife
      July 27, 2017 at 12:49 am

      Hi Lynn, I’m sorry I’m just seeing this! I didn’t see a notification that a comment was here. I’m so glad you enjoyed our vacation photos. I love sharing our travel adventures with you all. I’m so glad you are finding contentment with loving yourself in all it’s beautiful glory. Life is really just to short for anything else my friend. Thank you for being you! XO

  • Reply
    Lynn
    July 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Your vacation pictures were lovely and you are beautiful! Your self-love is evident by your style and your grace. You’ve inspired me to be the best me I can and then embrace all of it. The extra pounds, the wrinkles and the grey hair. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Elma
    July 28, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Beautiful pictures and beautiful you!! I wish I looked better (and my husband would to) but after nine pregnancy and eight large healthy babies and the last two were c -sections I look horrible..I will try to embrace my body..thanks for this!!

    • Reply
      therusticlife
      July 31, 2017 at 12:04 am

      Oh Elma, I’m so happy you found this article inspiring! I know that childbirth can take it’s toll on our bodies (I used to tell my daughter she ruined my belly at 20 and stretch marks) but of course I was kidding. I understand how you are feeling, especially after carrying nine little angels. I’m also very sorry you feel that your husband feels that same about wanting you to look better. Your beautiful healthy babies are what matter and not what your body looks like. I can’t really give an answer on how to embrace your body, but there are ways to mentally become more positive about this. I get Botox to deal with my number 11 signs between my eyes because it makes me feel better. Not that I think its for everyone, but maybe you can find something that makes YOU feel better about yourself. Finally, PLEASE know that your body doesn’t make you beautiful. There are plenty of beautiful people out there with not so beautiful souls. Please know this. Many XO

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