I've been thinking a lot lately about self love. Not the naughty, "it's just a back massager" kind of self love, but the "'You is kind. You is smart. You is important." kind of love. I have found myself lately keenly aware that many of my closest people might be lacking in their love of self...and it makes me sad for them. And it makes me wonder why I am different. And what makes someone confident and safe in their skin, while others spend so much time hating their bodies?
CLEARLY, I have been on the more confident end of the spectrum for awhile. Some...like my sister...may tell you that I came out of our mother looking for the camera, waving and winking at the medical staff. Unfortunately, my mother didn't film my grand entrance into the world, so we can never be sure. And sometimes my siblings make things up...so you have to keep that in mind. But, I am sure that the fact that I had a family that made me feel precious and cute (with the exception of my brother for the first two decades of my life) helped in my self confidence. And even over 300 pounds, I tried to live like AT LEAST a slim 200 pound women. If you've followed me for long, you've most likely seen the pictures of me hip hopping around on the beach in a big girl bikini, toe-pointed, modeling for no one in particular and everyone at the same time.
And now, hovering around the 190's, I am far from "perfect". But sometimes I feel pretty darn good about myself. Here is an example.
Down here in the south, Mardi Gras is something. There are parades. Stinky beads. Drinking. Well my wonderful friend gave me these here pants to wear to the Beach Parade. I didn't really want to try them on as they seemed miniature and I feared would not do much in the cellulite camouflage department. But I slipped those suckers on and turned around to look at my ass and rear thighs...and guess what?!
CELLULITE CITY DUDES!
But...and here is the important part...I looked at that hail damage for all of 6 seconds, turned back around and PRETENDED LIKE IT WASN'T THERE FOR THE NEXT 6-8 HOURS.
I mean so what? I have cellulite. I have stretch marks. I have fat rolls. I can still feel sexy. I can still look good. I can still stand up straight, walk with confidence, and know I am something. I try not to dwell on the "bad". What a waste of time it is. Hating your body adds nothing to your day. It adds nothing to your spirit. Hating your body doesn't make things better. And you know what? I got TONS of compliments on my pants. And perhaps, oh I am sure there were a couple of people out there who may have noticed my lumpy ass and had a comment, but I didn't hear them and I didn't care.
And you shouldn't either.
People often say to me "amy, you never take a bad picture. You are so photogenic"! Well, just to prove my point, I have pulled some less flattering photographic evidence for you. Do you see my saggy inner thigh? Do you see my huge leg?
Look. Another one of my huge leg. Look. A muffin top and cellulite.
And see those stretch marks and see that fat?
In closing, I want to say a few things to my people.
To my friend that compares herself to all of her skinny friends. Know that size doesn't determine your worth. How you treat people, how you make them feel...that matters. So hold your head up high, swing your size 12 ass, and be happy.
To my friend that worries so much about what people think about him at the gym, or in the airport, or at work, or on the street...if you don't know them, don't sweat them. You have come a long ways from the boy with his trumpet and striped sweatervest in his senior pictures. Somewhere along the way you even grew a heart. Keep working on your shoulders (inside joke), but know that you are pretty hot.
To my friend that thinks she has to drink to be fun . You are perfect sans drinks. You are kind. You are dedicated. And you are my friend. So automatically, you have street cred. I promise you are worth it. And I promise you are worth more than you know. (granted...this one is not body related)
And to all of my friends in cyberland who hide from the camera. I know that being the center of attention is not for everyone. And taking gym selfies can seem slightly arrogant and tacky...but if you are hiding from the camera until you are thinner, or more fit, or skinnier...nah. Life's too short. Take the pictcha, slap a bitch up (sorry...Ludacris comes out from time to time).
And to anyone reading this thinking "If you love yourself so damn much...why are you always trying to lose weight...or get bigger muscles...?"
Loving yourself doesn't mean you don't want to improve on yourself. It just means that in the process of improving, you aren't wasting your energy on hating.
Happy Tuesday Friends.