I’ve struggled with feelings of self loathing for as long as I can remember. I remember struggling with it as far back as elementary school but I couldn’t identify it at the time. I just knew I didn’t like myself very much. I had an older brother that was always the best at everything and in my class, I always came in second or third to other girls. I was short and kind of chubby; there was no value in me that I could see.
It got worse in middle school and high school but I thought maybe it was a phase and I would grow out of it. In college and in the workplace I excelled and that’s where I began to find a feeling of self worth although it quickly turned to feelings of “Work. That’s the only thing I do well and even then, I’m not that important.”
I’ve been working through it lately and there are a few things that have really helped me move toward healing and finding ways to love myself.
- Accept it’s possible that I don’t myself as well as I think I do
- Accept that someone else’s perception of me is just as real as my perception of myself
- Recognize that all people have value and it’s not necessarily measured in the same way
- Learn to accept a compliment as heartfelt, even if I don’t agree with it
- Trust in the opinions and perceptions of others
- Evaluate criticisms fairly and seek methods of improvement, where needed
- Work to change the things I can change
It’s that last one that’s consumed a lot of my time and attention since moving to Missouri. We are happy here and I’m determined to try to improve that happiness by loving myself more. There have been a few major things affecting my self loathing more than others – my skin, my teeth, and my weight. It may sound superficial since they are all physical attributes but they are the most visible which means I dwell on them.
I addressed my new skincare routine recently because I switched it up big time due to a new routine recommended by my friend Christine. Her recommendations for me have worked amazingly well! My skin is looking better than ever and thanks to Smile Brilliant, my teeth are looking better than ever too.
Smile Brilliant is so easy to use and it’s much more affordable than other whitening options. It’s as easy as ordering the package and making your dental impressions (about 15 minutes) then using the whitening system when your custom-fitted trays are returned to you about a week later. It’s literally one of the easiest beauty treatments I’ve ever done because the Smile Brilliant lab crafts an exact model of your teeth based on the impressions you send back. The results are noticeable quickly and worked wonders for my self-esteem.
I still see so much about myself that I just despise (that’s how self loathing works, sadly) but seeing little improvements here and there with my skin care and my teeth has been a great boost for me. Some of my new coworkers have complimented me on my smile which has been really nice too. I still have a habit of brushing it off (see #4 above) but I’m working on accepting it and letting myself feel good for a moment.
My weight is still an issue to me and I want to lose a solid 20 – 30 pounds. I recently picked up a fitbit flex which has been great for keeping me aware of my activity level. We have a gym at the office that I’ve been using a couple times a week and a 1/2 mile track behind the building we can use to walk or run (although let’s face it, I’m walking). I’m hoping to be down at least 10 pounds by Christmas. Of course, that’s assuming I can avoid holiday weight gain! Haha.
I am trying to be present in the moment and do more to love the body I’m in now instead of focusing on the body I hope to have tomorrow…next week…next month…etc. I’ve been making myself go shopping (Brandon’s been a great encouragement and is always telling me to go out and pick a few things up for myself) and add to my wardrobe. Sadly, when we moved here I only had a handful of things that fit me. Now, I feel like I’m starting to build a wardrobe of clothes I feel good in and I’ll adjust and update as my body grows more fit.
This year has been a year we’re building around the word “cherish” and to overcome my self loathing I need to work on cherishing myself.
Thank you to Smile Brilliant for providing complimentary product in exchange for me sharing my personal experience with you.
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