Personal insecurities easily can stop us from feeling beautiful. That voice in our head that compares ourselves to others can make us feel less than beautiful. Our definition of beauty, including self beauty, is greatly influenced by media, photos and movies. Knowing that most of the photos we see of models is not even humanly possible after they are edited and tweaked. The beauty that graces the covers of magazines is not even attainable. Yet we choose to compare ourselves to that and to the others we see in our world.
How can I feel beautiful if I am looking outward for comparison or reassurance? This was my lesson this past weekend once again. I have been losing weight the past year since I went gluten, sugar and dairy free. I changed my lifestyle and the weight is melting off. I am thrilled but it has challenged how I look at myself and how I judge if I am beautiful. My body is changing drastically and I went from a size 28 in November to a size 18 now in March. You would think that I feel beautiful. Yes, there are times I do. I love that my body can do more things now and that I can see my cheekbones. Yet that doubt tripped me up this weekend.
I went shopping for some new tops since none of mine fit me. My friend took me into the dressing room with arm fulls of pretty tops. Out of the pile I found one that worked. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I walked out of the dressing room. There was a huge line of women waiting to go in about 20 deep and they were all beautiful and much thinner than me. They were chatting with their friends or just waiting.
What my mind told me was that they were judging me, wondering what I was doing and talking about me. I knew consciously that my mind was just being negative with self doubt but it really affected me. I felt frumpy, fat, unattractive and my mood lowered. So I went outside and sat on a bench. I thought about my body, all that it could do now, how beautiful I felt when I tried on a blouse that was not from the overweight section of the store. I reminded myself of who I am and how I show up. I was able to shake the mood, continue on my journey with my friend and came home at the end of the day with 3 new tops that I feel beautiful in.
I shared this story with a group of friends at a birthday party the next day. We talked about how we judge ourselves, compare ourselves and make ourselves feel bad. That is not how I want to live my life. So we made a commitment to love ourselves, feel beautiful and embrace who we are fully. Living in false comparison takes away from your joy, confidence and you’r inner light. Beauty is subjective and everyone of us is beautiful in our very own unique way.
5 Ways to Feel Beautiful
- Find something to admire about yourself. (Don’t focus on what you perceive are the flaws. Look at what you love. I love my eyes when they are really green and notice that.)
- Thank your body everyday for how it holds your essence and allows you to experience the world. (Thank you legs for allowing me to walk through the park. Thank you stomach for allowing me nourishment.)
- Wear something that makes you feel sensual and beautiful just for you, not for someone else.
- Do mirror work. (Look at yourself in your eyes in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love you and how beautiful you are and own it!)
- Set time with a friend to tell each other how beautiful that person is and why. Have them do the same for you. Once you start to open up to how beautiful you are and hear it being told to you, you will own it more!
For me to feel beautiful is to remember who I am, how I show up and how big I love. I got thrown off the other day but quickly remembered that I am a unique woman who is beautiful. It also meant a lot to me to have an open vulnerable conversation with friends about our self images. When you hear your friends who you know are beautiful say the similar things about themselves that you say to yourself, you will realize how ridiculous it really is.
I feel beautiful and you are beautiful. It is all a mindset and remembering what is really important.
I so appreciate your tip on gratitude for my body! I went gluten, wheat and grain free over 2 years ago with life changing results including a drop of 25 lbs. I can totally relate to your post! Thanks for sharing, congrats on your successes and the tips. Best Regards, Wendy
From a size 28 to an 18 – that’s quite an accomplishment and I am so proud you had the stamina to stick to it. I wish I could. 🙁
Any pointers on how you got over the sugar? I can’t stand stevia or equal. What can be done besides giving up coffee?
Any recipe ideas? If so, I’d love to read them! Thanks!
To get over coffee I found having 8 ounces of hot water with the juice of one lemon in the morning. It flushes the system and also gives me the energy I seek. As for sugar I tried many substitutes and finally just gave it all up. I will use a touch of honey or agave if I really need a sweetener. When I was first giving up sugar I ate something sour when I had a craving and that really helped!
I have site opening soon called http://glutensugardairyfree.com and on facebook it has recipes already! https://www.facebook.com/glutensugardiaryfree
My gosh, do I ever hear you. In my case, I’ve lost 46 lb over the last year (made Weight Watchers goal, and have kept it off for four months.) I find myself carrying myself in a different way, wearing clothes and colors I would not have dreamed of (the last time I was at this weight was 1998!) and yet I feel people are looking at me and thinking “oh, how fat”. I think we really need to have a big awakening in this country. I have to say that 95% of the women I know hate their bodies. Where did we learn this? And where did we learn to put our sister women down? Thank you for sharing ways of loving ourselves.
Just so you know, even people who aren’t overweight often don’t consider themselves beautiful. I’m sure you know that. It’s a woman thing, I think. Congratulations on your weight loss! That’s awesome, and I think you are beautiful! Peace out.
This post hits it home for me. I think sometimes we are a little bit to harsh on ourselves. We start to point out our flaws but each of us are special and gifted in our own ways. I am reminded of that on a daily basis. Thanks Michelle!
Michelle, awesome post! I modeled for a while – physique stuff – and even though I was muscular, and had the “All American Guy” look, boy, did I need to learn quickly that we are spirits, in a meat suit, because the industry will eat you alive and cause you to compare, and judge, etc….now more than ever, I’ve learned to boost my self esteem from the inside out.