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Self-esteem and other lies I told myself.

Friday, January 07, 2011

I'll just come right out and say it: I did not feel good about my appearance when I was overweight.

I hope that's not too vague.

No amount of people who told me I "looked fine" could break through the roadblock in my mind.

There was no magic number of people who liked my new shirt, thought my curly hair was cute or complimented some random body part that would convince me I was at all attractive.

Self esteem wasn't something I was able to gain by looking at myself in the mirror. I continuously felt disappointed in myself.

I can honestly say I have a high self esteem now.

It's not because of my brain - being smart is an accident of nature. Growing up, my "smarts" was placed on a pedestal and all my worth was stuck up there with it. That's a good way to turn a kid into a neurotic mess... place an exorbitant amount of value onto something over which they have no control.

It's not because I determined that my worth wasn't related to my weight. I have come to see that my weight was no more than a result of the behaviors I had and the disordered eating I was experiencing. But that's not where I got the self-esteem.

I finally started feeling better about myself when I started taking action instead of being in my own head. Searching my soul got me nowhere. Running, when I thought I couldn't, did. Not feeling bloated and guilty after meals did. Waking up without a hangover and knowing with 100% certainty that I didn't embarass myself did.

Taking full advantage of whatever health I have was the secret for me. No amount of pills or therapy compares to the benefits I get from challenging myself physically.
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