**Below is a guest post I wrote recently that I think is important enough to re-post.  Plus, by doing so, it’s allowing me to lay on the couch with Travis all night.  Well worth the repeat!  **

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When Amanda asked me to write a guest post for her “Love Yourself February” theme, I questioned her sanity.  And my own confidence.

You see, I sometimes find it hard to truly love myself.  Love my body.  To love my personality.  To love my selfish nature when it comes to Peanut Butter Cheerios. 

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I think that most women probably feel this way.  (that’s a great cereal, guys!)

The question is: WHY is it so gosh darn hard to love yourself?!?!? For purposes of this post, I’m talking about loving our bodies.  What inhibits us from fully embracing the bodies that God gifted us with?  Why are we constantly on diets, striving for change, working towards the “perfect” body  that, let’s face it, probably isn’t all that perfect underneath?

Let’s just STOP.

Or at least vow to TRY to stopTo work towards self love.  To give ourselves a little break.

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You might NEVER look like that model you see on the magazine cover.  And I’m certainly not going to bash models (they ARE beautiful), but I’d venture to guess that many of them are crabby.  And unsatisfied.  Dieting will do that to you.

I’ve struggled with disordered eating habits for most of my adult life.  I’ve been fortunate enough to overcome a 3 year eating disorder.  I consider myself lucky.  But not completely fixed or healed.  Today, I still struggle with “are you good enough?” and “don’t eat that!” thoughts. 

But I’m working towards self love.

I’m battling that sense of discontentment and those feelings of insufficiency.  Most days, I win.  Some days, I don’t

But at least I’m fighting.  And most importantly, I’m showing my children that it’s unacceptable to view yourselves as anything but PERFECT. 

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Leading by example, reinforcing good ideas and behaviors, and just being their cheerleader.  It’s a role we all need to take on.  You might not have children, but you certainly know someone who needs a “WAY TO GO!” or a “THAT WAS AWESOME”! 

Two SELF-LOVE assignments: 

1)  Promote self-love INWARDLY by thanking your body for the things it does for you!!  Are you a runner?  Do you play basketball?  Your body performs tasks for you.  Composed of muscles and bones and blood, it is what carries us through life.  Thank it!!  And stop comparing it to other bodies!!  That’s just mean.

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After two kids, I’m proud of those abs!

2)  Promote self-love OUTWARDLY by telling someone else that you like xyz about them.  Pick a feature or a personality trait that you truly love about them.  Then verbally say it.  Then, watch as they smile ear-to-ear.

Oh wait…one more assignment…when someone DOES do that 2nd task and tells YOU that they like your strong legs, TAKE THE COMPLIMENT.  Don’t shrug it off or say, “thanks but ____”.  TAKE THE COMPLIMENT!  That’s not being arrogant.  It’s being thankful and having manners!  You’ll feel better and so will they!

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Like I said, I’m a work in progress – some days are better than others.  I spent so much time hating myself and my body.  For what?  Why?  It was SUCH a waste of time, mentally and emotionally!!  It was only after I adopted a healthy view of exercise and started viewing food as a friend, that I began to relish in self-love. 

I learned self-respect.  I learned to embrace!  The flaws, the dimples, the curves, the big muscles. 

It all looks good on me! 

QUESTION:  How do you practice self love?  What’s the last compliment you received/gave?

**Go enter my GREAT friend, Lindsay’s GIVEAWAY today! Her balls are pretty amazing!**

splendid…lindsay

 

  1. elise says:

    such a good post. i know it seems like a pointless issue but why do they airbrush models and celebs? if they are already our “role models” and they arent even “perfect” enough…then how is there any hope for the rest of the “normal” population?? lots of quotations in that last sentence.
    ps i know you already know this but you are more than ab-tastic specimen. i can tell just from the blog that youre a wonderful person, loving mom, and great friend. hugs!

  2. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says:

    This is such a great post and thank you for sharing it here. It’s so much easier for me to love others and compliment others but when it comes to me, not so much. Definitely a work in progress. At least now, when someone compliments me, I don’t immediately dismiss it but make myself pause before saying anything and say “Thank you!”

  3. Sierra @ Posh Meets Pavement says:

    Hey Lindsay, I saw that you commented on a UNC instragram that you were a tarheel and I HAD to come see you blog. My husband and I met at UNC and I love reading blogs from alumni. Great post and obviously….those abs. What’s not to love?

  4. Pure2raw twins says:

    wonderful post! we both have been much better with be more “kind” to ourselves. learning to love our bodies, the good and the bad, because it is what makes us – us! thanks for the reminder of how important it is to have self love!

  5. Megan @ FIterature says:

    I love this post and the fact that you have the cajones to post a pic of your unairbrushed abs on the web! You look HOT, momma!!

    Most days I do pretty good with loving myself – after all, it’s the only body I’ve got and it’s not mine anyway – it’s on loan!

    But when the days come that I start to self-loathe (coincidentally around the same time each month) I do something hard like up my weights in Body Pump or run 2 extra miles and I turn that negativity into strength. It works!!

  6. Jentry Nielsen says:

    I’m so glad you did share this guest post! It’s so true woman need to learn to love themselves and not compare themselves to others, easier said than done I know! ha I know this is definitely something I need to work on! This was such a great inspiration and reminder!
    And your abs, yes be proud of those! Those are amazing! I have zero kids, and I still can’t see to get mine to look like that! haha Good for you Lindsay!

  7. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning says:

    Working on “loving myself” has been a huge challenge for me always. I come off as very confident, but I’m FAR from it. I think I’ll always be working on it!
    And it might sound weird (or maybe not) but I think that I’ll have much more of an appreciation for my body after I have a baby. (Did you find that to be true?) I’m hoping that I can stop looking at my body in such a shallow way and appreciate it for everything it does- and how amazing our bodies are!
    Gotta say again… totally jealous of the abs…

  8. Lindsey says:

    Great post! We work so hard to get to that “perfect” body but don’t love ourself along the way. You should be proud of those abs! I try to compliment my daughter daily on her character or her heart so that she knows she truly is fearfully and wonderfully made by God on the inside too! It’s so easy to constantly tell little girls how cute they are (guilty!) but then spend the rest of their lives trying to convince them looks don’t matter.

  9. julie says:

    i think you love yourself more than you give yourself credit for. you love your hubby and your kids way to much to not love yourself and you gotta love yourself before you can love anyone else, right? ;) xoxo

  10. Kelly @ No Sugar Sweet Life says:

    I love this post. For me, loving myself meant actually doing something about my weight problem. Choosing to become more healthy and to (eeeek!) actually exercise. Not because it was being forced on me, but because I wanted something better for myself. I recently started a blog to document my journey and help make it easier for others who may be super busy in life, still fit in healthy meals and productive exercise. It’s already been a life-changer for me. I am loving what my body can do (run w/doggie last night for 23 minutes!) and loving how my body is feeling and reacting to the healthier foods. I’m not doing all this because I hate my body. I’m doing it because I love my body and want it to look and feel its best.
    As for the compliments – I got a really nice one from my dad this morning: “I really can’t tell you enough how proud I am of you for taking the bull by the horns and doing something about your health and future! Just fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!! You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, dad” (He obviously REALLY likes exclamation points!)

  11. Jess says:

    LOVEEEEE this!!! I really love how you’ve learned to truly love yourself not just afater overcoming an eating disorder but also after becoming a parent and wanting to instill the self-love value in your own children. Awesome.

    My thing is – we need to be our own best friend. You’d never say “omg you look so awful today” to a friend so WHY would you say that to yourself?? Be your own best friend, compliment yourself as you would that best friend and do it often.

    PS. I want your abs. KILLER girl, KILLER!

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