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Stop bashing: Why loving yourself should be your #1 goal

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It boggles my mind to hear women put themselves down in public. Worse, putting themselves down in front of their teenage daughters. What has our world come to that a perfectly beautiful woman, in her forties, likely a size 6, in athletic garb, repeats over and over "I'm on a diet. I'm so fat." In truth, it made me want to hurl and I am certain that I rolled my eyes with each muttering of the phrase. When I overcame my nausea, I began to wonder how many negative observations I have made of my own body, features, and character over the years. Was I just as annoying to others as that woman sounded to me?

I set out on a mission. Every time I had a negative thought about how much I weighed, a feature I didn't agree with, or the way I acted, I would aim to take notice and see how much I resorted to self-bashing. The result didn't surprise me. Every thought I had when looking in the mirror was astoundingly negative. Whether large or small, obvious or not, wedged in my subconscious or front and center, I observed what I saw and wasn't happy. Why? What on Earth would possess me to do that? And then it dawned on me: ME.
Society's fascination with super skinny celebrities doesn't help, but society didn't tell me to compare myself to those women. I just started doing that on my own at some point during puberty, or perhaps in high school, when I thought I needed to be someone else for people to like me. Even now, at 30, I was still thinking that way. I became the idea of someone that others want me to be instead of who I actually am. How could I have fallen into the trap that so many other women are in? Better yet, think other women are crazy for verbalizing their disappointments in themselves, when I have some of my own.

This body is the only one we have to enjoy this one life in. Whether we are 200 pounds or 89, 6 foot 3 or 4'11" with thinning hair, or pasty pale skin or hair in places we don't want it and skin that doesn't carry a tone, these are our bodies. Our BEAUTIFUL bodies that are loved by our family and friends and significant others. All of these people love us, why don't we love us? So I have made a new vow to myself, one that I hope the readers out there will consider for themselves, men and women alike, to start loving the body I am in. I don't believe in plastic surgery but I do believe in giving your body what it needs to run like a brand new machine. The more we give our bodies what they truly need (not what you think it wants), the more we will become happier with how we look.

If you are unhappy about your weight, then as difficult as it may be, it is still an easy fix. If you are unhappy about your character, meditate that nasty trait out of you. If you don't like a particular feature, well, learn to love it: Surgery is NOT the answer. It may be the hardest thing you'll ever do, but for the sake of teaching your children to love themselves as they are, start practicing what you preach. If you show them confidence no matter how many a blemish you uncover, then others will see it too. It is your ONE body to live your life in. Start loving it.

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