Topic Tuesday: Self-Love
“A Journey Inward” (By: Kayla Douthitt)
My body….Yuck! My Face….Yuck! My reflection…Double Yuck!
I gotta look like a certain way in order to be like them. By them, I mean the popular girls. You know, the perfect ones. The ones that get all the dates, all the guys, all the new name-brand clothes.
I think I’ll start a diet. I’ll start it today to “lose weight” and “look good” for everybody else. What people think of me matters most.
Let’s see….. I’m going to diet – I’m going to cut out lots of different foods! Sounds great!
This whole diet-thing is totally working! I’m definitely losing weight. I’m gonna look so good. Everyone will want to be my friend.
This mirror makes me look terrible! I must stay on a diet longer.
I must keep going even though I’m exhausted, moody, depressed, lost my periods, and mad at the world because it seems like NO ONE understands. No one appreciates that I don’t want THEIR food. I have to count all my calories, pack my own stuff wherever I go, and only eat foods that I actually hate all the time. I must weigh myself non-stop. If I gain weight, no one will like the real Kayla.
Who is the real Kayla? I have no clue.
This was me, for a long, long time. I struggled with low self-esteem, negative body image, anorexia, over-exercising, binge eating, and yo-yo dieting. This was me trying to fit into the cookie cutter mold I thought was “ideal.” This was me, body shaming, food blaming, and no self-love Kayla.
I wanted to be like, sound like, look like, talk like, and walk like, everyone else. This was me till a light bulb went off and hit me like a ton of bricks that I needed to change. I had to change.
If I wanted kids, the dieting needed to stop. If I wanted to go out on a nice dinner without fear, it needed to stop. If I wanted to be able to enjoy the holidays, it needed to stop.
I decided to seek help and go on a journey towards finding self-love and healing. I’m glad I did.
Slowly but surely, I started to see who the true girl was behind the looking glass. I started realizing my body is great, it was ok to eat, and that I was more than just a number in a white box with flashing red digits. I began to hold my head a little higher and my smile got a little brighter. I was gaining energy, I was able to eat dinner with my family, and my love of cooking came back again.
I started realizing that I am love, I have gifts, talents, and I liked my weird sense of humor. I turned inward towards meditation, journaling, and intuitive eating. I started to love me…all of me…for me.
As I write this to you, I get a bit sad thinking about my years spent in anxiety, but also a sense of relief to let you know self-love is possible.
I’m here to tell ya, you are beautiful and loved.
I’m here to tell ya, no matter what has happened in your past, what’s going on in your present, or what will happen in your future, YOU matter.
I’m here to tell ya, self-love is NOT selfish.
I’m here to tell ya, slow and steady wins the race and the journey is worth taking.
I’m here to tell ya, be your biggest hero, even when you have stand alone.
I’m here to tell ya, I still have to practice what I preach each day.
I’m here to tell ya, if I can do it, I have faith you can do it too.
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