I heard it all through middle school, high school, and college. I knew I would have never been as small as the girls I ran track with or most of the friends I hung around. As I got older and started to branch out in life, I found myself surrounded by smaller women. They all looked like they just had everything in life they could possibly want. Somewhere along the way I started thinking that if I could just look a certain way or be a certain size, my whole entire life would magically fall into place. All of my problems would simply disappear if I was a size 2.
Friends, it's so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to people around you. And it's dangerous. No good ever comes from any of that mess. It's a vicious, unhealthy cycle that is so difficult to break away from. Trust me. I've been there....for years. Actually most of my life.
It will drive you absolutely crazy.
Losing weight is anything but easy for me. I can remember thinking I needed to diet when I was a small child in the 5th grade. I wish I were exaggerating. I have horrible self esteem because I have allowed myself to compare every little detail about my body to people I perceive as better than me. I have spent years belittling myself as a way to guard my heart from getting hurt by anyone. I have placed so much value on my size that I could not understand real love from a man that thought I was gorgeous at any weight.
Is that real enough?
That is absolutely no way to live.
There are many of my friends who have seen my before and after pictures here. While many of you realize that I have worked my butt off, cried and fought the entire way, it took me almost 18 months to get to this point. No, my journey isn't finished. I just wanted to take a moment to be real with you here.
Looking back on pictures of me and friends in high school, I realize I really wasn't that bad. In my mind I see myself as huge. But in reality I would love to be that size again!
Those women who looked like they had it all together? Over the years, I've watched them gain weight too. Some I've seen everything fall apart. I've seen them lose their husbands, file bankruptcy and even sometimes have mental breakdowns. I've learned that everyone has issues and being a size 2 does not predict a life of complete and utter happiness.
I've learned that at the end of the day, my husband and son love me any way I choose to be. I can be a size 16 or a size 4 (which I'm totally not) and my husband is still going to want me. I am so very blessed and I took that for granted at one point in my life.
God has given me a great life and I didn't always appreciate His blessings. It's very difficult to admit that. It's so hard to sit here and tell you that I have wanted so desperately to be as small as my friends. You know, that's just stuff you never say.
I needed to say this to every woman that comes here looking at my before and after pictures. I needed to say this to my friends who have cheered me on or sought advice. I know how much you all struggle each and every day. But you just aren't alone. I completely "get it" because I've been there. There is hope because you don't have to continue to live that way. You deserve better for yourself.
So how do you break this tough, destructive cycle?
I'm no expert, but here are some things that could help:
- Do NOT compare yourself to anyone else!
- Believe that other people have just as many, if not more, problems and issues as you do!
- No one has a perfect life, so cut yourself some slack with trying to achieve something so impossible.
- Your "skinny" and your "healthy" are going to look completely different from someone else's.
- You are unique and special, so own it and rock it!
- Confidence is ten times more valuable than your jean size.
- They may not always be comfortable admitting it, but most men love curves! Google it. There have been studies.
- Make up on, clothes that fit, and fix your hair. Take care of yourself!
- Every day you work to achieve your personal best.
- At the end of the day, you have to face yourself. When there's no one else around, be able to be proud of what you have done.
- Set small goals. When you accomplish one of them, it totally builds your self esteem!
- Pray, pray and pray some more for peace in your life. Pray for the strength to stop comparing and to stop mentally bashing yourself.
- Reward yourself when you do well.
- Let people who support you love you.
The moment I started competing against myself is when I started to notice real changes in my body. When I changed my ways of thinking, I learned that I could accomplish more in my life. I was happier and I found peace! I'm telling ya....hallelujah for the peace, friends!
If you're struggling with breaking this cycle, my inbox is always open. I have a huge heart for people that are dealing with the things I've struggled with for most of my life. If I can help one person break free of that miserable way of life, pouring my heart out here is worth every single second.