Body Image: The Importance of Loving yourself Now!

Over the weekend I decided to go through some boxes and try to organize things that I had put off. As I began looking through the box, I found some old pictures and that’s always fun right?

As I laughed at a few and had a flashback of that time with my family and friends, I was also completely horrified to stumble across some pictures of myself. Now I know that we all have those bad hair days and “Oh my Gosh can you believe I wore that?” days, but what I found went way beyond that. The pictures were of my 24th birthday party. I was happily married living in my dream house in Newport Beach living “The Life” with my family all around, and I looked TERRIBLE! I had allowed myself to get so thin. When I saw the image I instantly felt scared for the woman in the picture, and then I realized it was me! Not only was I scared for her, but I felt so disappointed in myself that I would allow that to happen.

I sat there studying the image and thought: Where my mind at was during this time? Clearly I wasn’t as happy as I had thought. I knew I had to write about this because it’s so important.

For whatever reason, I allowed myself to fall victim to becoming so thin. I think a size 2 would have fallen off of me, and I am close to 5”10.

Here’s the good news- it didn’t last!

I consider myself to be very strong and in shape physically. I am one of those women that actually loves to work out, and I remember that back then I allowed myself to skip the gym way to often, and I wasn’t focused on eating the best. My husband and I traveled all the time so I was enjoying and clearly not paying attention to really caring for myself, I have always had a super-fast metabolism, so for me working out at the gym keeps the muscle on and really does keep me from being ultra-thin.

I know that I certainly wasn’t aware of it but for me my early twenty’s served as sort of a “lost time” when it came to knowing exactly who I was. I had been modeling and taking care of myself since I was a kid and suddenly I was married and had another person to consider. Although we both made changes for our relationship, I definitely had a bit of an identity crisis.

As I began to mature and not focus solely on myself things became better and better.

I remember a very famous photographer shooting my husband and I during his book cover photo shoot and she had shared with me that while she was younger (at this time she was in her early 50’s) she had always loathed her legs. She said she was always aware that they didn’t look good or live up to her ideal; in fact she would always go out of her way to cover them up. Decades would go by and she too was looking at old photographs of herself and stumbled upon some pictures that brought tears to her eyes. She began to tell me about realizing how really beautiful her legs were and she broke down. She was devastated that all those years she had been blessed with beautiful legs and she never knew it!

She had allowed herself to create a negative association in her mind about her body and it grew out of control. It was years later that she was finally be set free, but of course by then she was no longer a youthful girl- the time had passed.

Here is the point I want to make to you: We are all beautiful with strong gifts and talents. Some of us have a physical beauty that others make a big deal about, but even the most beautiful women in the world have insecurities they fall victim to. You might find that these women have even more insecurity about their looks because “the world” puts such a high price tag on looking good that they feel they have to hold on to it as tight as possible and it can become a negative obsession.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can all enjoy what we have, and also decide to make it better but in healthy ways.

I for one LOVE food, and I would rather spend more time at the gym and be able to enjoy a wonderful meal out with my husband and splurge on dessert then force myself to “go without” all the time. Now this doesn’t mean that I abuse my body by eating high calorie food all the time, but believe me If I want dessert, I am having dessert!

If you find yourself constantly self-criticizing yourself, today is the day to recognize it and begin to stop that behavior. We all will have good and bad days, but you need to LOVE the body God gave you and treat it right. Instead of loathing something you can’t change, start to work on the things you can change. Go to the gym, take a yoga class, look at what you are eating and find ways to add in healthier choices. It’s not about deprivation; it’s more about self-discipline. I know when I have worked out, I just feel better all around. My mental state is more important to me than how much I weigh. In fact I NEVER get on the scale. I always go by how my clothes fit as a gauge.

Remember it’s not about being SUPER SKINNY; it’s about being healthy and loving you.

Take time every day to tell yourself in the mirror that you love who you are and be thankful that you have a strong and healthy body that can do amazing things. Maybe you need to take on a new challenge for yourself. Just know that we all walk through life having good days and bad days. We ALL have moments where we think we don’t look great- I don’t care who you, are these feelings are universal. As women we are so hard on ourselves. I watch women all the time do everything they take care of their families, many of them work and have to run their households. They really “DO IT ALL.” So decide today that you are going to encourage YOURSELF the way you would someone else that you love.

Be good to YOU!

XOXO

Tara Brooke

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