Unfortunately, as nice as these messages of hot baths and face masks are, they don't always cover how bad you're feeling. As much as I wish they would, cosmetics don't cure mental illnesses. Some days, a pamper evening can make you feel amazing but for some, no amount of mango body butter will lift your spirits.
On those days, its hard to find the solution to how you're feeling. The truth about self love and accepting yourself is that this will take a while. I know that's probably the last thing you want to hear right now and if you were looking for a quick fix then I'm afraid you won't find it here. The title of this piece has the word truth in it and so I'm afraid, honest is what I have to be with you.
This feeling isn't something that will go away overnight. You can't treat it like a night time hair mask and all the problems will be fixed in a few hours. I'm afraid, self-love and truly accepting your flaws takes time. A journey of self-acceptance is like a marathon and there will be days that you don't like yourself. There will be days where you look in the mirror and think, really? This is what I've got to work with? SERIOUSLY?!
Trust me I get it, growing up as a chubby woman has been difficult especially surrounded by the media pounding ideas into my head that my body isn't good enough. Walking into a room full of slim people and immediately jumping to the conclusion that your body is being judged, as if under a magnifying glass. Every edge and corner, carefully inspected.
The thing is, the way I see it you have two options. Two paths at a crossroad, you can either decide that you will never be happy with your body or physical appearance the way it is and therefore decide to make changes. Whether that's dieting, exercise or a boob job.
Or you can take the bumpy and more difficult path and decide that you want to retrain your mind into accepting who you are despite all of your so called flaws. I'm currently on the more bumpy path and there are days that I look into the mirror and think, oh yeah baby this is me and I LOVE IT. And of course, there are days (usually near that dreaded time of the month) where I look at myself and want to cry.
I look at my bumps and lumps and scars and decide that I don't like the body I am in. But in my experience, the positive days far outweigh the negatives. On the bad days I think back to the days that I loved my body, I've trained my mind to remember that (even though this is not scientifically true) on some days I see myself through a different set of eyes. On the more negative days I see myself through these dark tinted eyes that see only the flaws and not the brilliant parts of me. But on the positive days, I see myself through these light tinted eyes that notice and relish in the beautiful aspects of myself.
Usually the positive days are the days in which my mind is most healthiest and as such it's important to take care of your body in order to take care of your mind. I always think of my mind and body as an elderly couple that relies on each other. Take care of one and you take care of both. Exercise, healthy eating and utilizing your brain and its many functions all lead to a more positive outlook on yourself as a whole.
Don't let the negativity win by staying indoors and eating crap because this will then lead to a cycle of feeling awful and in turn will make you feel worse about yourself. It isn't a win all solution, but it can only help.
Until you reach the point of truly loving yourself, take baby steps. Surround yourself with positivity and love. Don't listen to people that tell you you aren't good enough because you are. Keep yourself motivated and upbeat as much as possible. Remember that self-love is so much more than physicality and the superficial aspects of yourself.
Its so much more than how you look. Find ways of loving your mind and personality. Laugh at your own jokes, take yourself on dates to the library and debate political issues with yourself. Read books that enrich your soul, socialise with people that make you feel that little bit more enlightened. I know this sounds silly, but to be truly happy with you you are physically, you need to be happy with who you are mentally. Try your hardest to improve your mentality on life and progress your mind. Learn to love yourself from the inside, out. Once you find ways to love your soul and spirit, that positivity and love will soak through your skin and radiate onto your pores.
Lastly, just be kind and gentle. Give yourself time to heal. Allow time to forgive yourself and make the best out of what you have. Remember that everyone is self conscious and self critical, you are not alone.