Feeling comfortable in my own skin. This is what I have been dealing with lately.
Well, lately is a HUGE understatement because if I’m totally honest, I have been dealing with body image issues for as long as I can remember. Only, I thought these days were behind me and the internal negative body talk was kicked to the curb years ago…but I guess not.
I have fought with every ounce of strength to get to where I am today. Blood, sweat, and tears is an understatement and learning to love myself inside and out has been my life goal for years. I thought I had achieved this…but now I am not so sure.
Not that these insecurities are consuming my every moment or disrupting the enjoyment of life, but the negativity is definitely there; lingering in my brain and bothering me.
It’s not easy to admit that I’m having problems like this again and that I’m a little uncomfortable physically and figuratively as I’m trying to wrap my head around it. But, this is a reminder that like everything in life, it’s a process and constantly developing over time.
So, I want to talk about it…for pretty much the first time, out loud.
I think tapping into the past will help piece together this story… not just for you, but also for me;
Growing up I always struggled with low self-esteem, never feeling good enough, and constantly feeling like I was out of place…despite always having a lot of friends. I would just mould myself to what my friends were like, so that I could fit in and feel like I belonged. This absolutely remained a part of me as I became a teenager and young adult.
I don’t know why, but I always wished that my life could be like everyone else’s. Not that mine was bad, it was just a lot different than anyone I knew. So, I kept most of my family life secret, hid my insecurities, masked reality, and pretended to be something that I wasn’t.
Physical appearance was always at the front of where my esteem came from. Throughout every walk of life, my friends were gorgeous, people loved them, and guys were always falling all over them… I felt like I just blended in the background somewhere, wishing I was prettier and skinnier so that maybe then, they would like me too. I put on a good front of confidence but I had insecure written all over me, and inside I always just left lost.
By the time I hit my late teens and early 20’s, everything sort of felt like an uphill battle and with every step, things were getting worse. Somewhere along the lines, what started as good intentions to get my life on track, become healthy and help cope, I started developing an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. Before I knew it, I was enthralled into a full-blown eating disorder, that honestly, could have taken my life.
It consumed me, and every minute of everyday was dedicated to an obsession over weight and calories. I battled this, in secret for years. The internal abuse that I endured was absolutely unbearable and what little confidence and self-worth I had, was completely shot. The way I viewed myself, food, and exercise was so beyond unhealthy, but at the time I couldn’t see it and I couldn’t stop. It was a never-ending cycle of self-hate, failure, and shame. I think I did a pretty good job at hiding it on the outside, but inside I was a complete and utter mess.
By 25, I had completely alienated myself from all my friends and had never been so alone in my life…
This time will forever be known as the best thing that has ever happened to me.