I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of seeing one, narrow definition of “success stories” overpower all the rest. You can’t flip open a magazine or turn on the TV without hearing about someone’s recent weight loss followed by his or her success story, designed to entice you to try it for yourself. Don’t get me wrong, weight loss is not the enemy (not always).
But today let’s shift the spotlight to a different type of transformation, an alternate way to feel your best: self love. I compiled these self love “success stories” to serve as a reminder that self love isn’t a pipe dream or a fantasy – it’s yours for the taking. So before you throw in the towel on yourself, read how these six women pulled themselves out of pain and self-loathing and discovered freedom and happiness.
1) Cheyenne’s Story:
Until I started college, I hated everything about my body. I disguised, hid, and tortured it every day thinking that would help. Little did I know – my body was never the issue. It was the world around me. Self love gave me back my power to use my body for its true purpose: living! I’ve never felt more fulfilled and vibrant than I do treating my body with the respect it deserves.
2) Emma’s Story:
It took years for me to realize that there’s more to life than being thin, counting calories and “being healthy”. Though it was one of the most difficult obstacle to overcome, I can say that there is nothing worth more than finally being able to love myself. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is freedom. No matter how difficult it may seem to come to terms with yourself, it is truly possible for anyone to find happiness and acceptance in their own body.
3) Caroline’s Story:
I used to long for something I could control, and turned to food because the “reward” of losing weight was almost immediate. I became addicted to watching the scale go down through intense control of food and exercise. While I felt “better” in the short-term because I was following all of the crazy rules that I set for myself, my physical and mental health seriously suffered. Thanks to my parents and wonderful support system, I received help and found love for myself again. Once I recognized that my disordered habits were coping mechanisms for anxiety, I was able to practice replacing them with healthy things like breathing exercises and positive affirmations. I still struggle sometimes, but I love myself and my amazing body that carries me through every day. I feel beautiful and strong because of my compassion for myself and for others.
4) Emmy’s Story:
I have never in my life loved my imperfect body like I do today. There are days that I struggle, but I know that tomorrow may hold something different. I embrace my womanly curves and accept that those changes were meant to happen. Being strong, healthy, and happy beats skinny, starving, and sad any day.
5) Natasha’s Story:
During my senior year of high school I struggled with exercise addiction and orthorexia. I was scared of anything that wasn’t organic and if I didn’t exercise I experienced extreme guilt and shame. Through much patience, compassion, and scientific research I have learned that food is nothing to be afraid of. Shame, guilt, and stress will do far greater damage than cake ever will. Life is so much more enjoyable when you become your own best friend
6) Sarah’s Story:
Loving myself wasn’t an easy process, especially when I had to consider it is all about me. It is my journey, no one else’s. It’s my body, no one else’s. It was difficult because I had to change the way that I thought of myself, and in order to do that, I had to be kinder. I listened to my body and understood what made it feel good. I listened to myself and not what other people wanted me to be. Self-love is thinking about myself and how I want to feel in my own body. It might not be society’s ideal, but my body is my ideal.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes (Some Wear Crowns!)
Before you go, I want you to take a moment with me to recognize these six, brave women who shared their stories for the world to see. If you ask me, that’s what makes a hero – someone willing to relive their most painful moments in service of providing someone struggling with a light at the end of the tunnel and hope for the future.
These ladies are self love queens and I hope you look at them and know that if they can do it, you can too. In need of some extra motivation? I got you! The Official Self Love Handbook, free to download by clicking the button above, includes 10 tips from women all over the world on how to make self love work for you. Grab your copy, and don’t be afraid to pull it out when times get tough. I know I will 🙂
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