The struggle behind my smile

Hi friends! Its been a while since I got on and talked about some realness happening in my life and today I was inspired by a dear friend that I met on instagram who opened up about being bullied. I felt like it was time to talk about something that has been weighing on my heart, so here it goes.

You see all my photos on instagram and 90% of them show me smiling and looking like I am loving my life. Well the truth is, I love my life BUT I don’t love my body. It was my goal this year to be kinder to myself, to give myself more credit for all the things that I do in life – AND let me tell you just how hard that has been! As far back as I can remember I have hated my body. Sometimes because other people made me hate it and sometimes because I made myself hate it, but none the less I have always disliked the way I looked. It started in middle school when I was the second tallest in my class. Boys would make jokes about how tall I was and I was always so embarrassed that they were never taller than me. I remember my mom comforting me and telling me that one day they would be taller, and in most cases that is true but being 5’6 in middle school and 5’9 now wasn’t always my favorite part about my body. In my lifetime I have been called sasquatch, big foot and have been told by more then one boy (boy because men don’t speak to women this way)  that they would never date someone as tall as me. Thankfully, as I got older I have learned to love being tall but the scars that those harsh words left on me took a long time to fade away.

My weight has also always been something that I have struggled with. I am a stress eater and it has never been easy for me to maintain my “ideal” body type. Even as a three sport athlete and a female who competed in pageants my best body never felt good enough. Even when I was at my lowest weight, by the standards of coaches I wasn’t “athletic looking” enough “toned” enough or “strong” enough. It’s so easy to say that we won’t let the opinion of others define us but sometimes it can really damage our view on what we see – And knowing that these opinions were so blatantly told to me by adults breaks my heart. As someone who works with children daily I couldn’t imagine speaking to them poorly about their bodies. I unfortunately have also been in relationships with boys ( again using the term boys because they were not mature enough to be considered men) who told me I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty enough or that they wished my body looked a different way. Sadly, all of these people, whom I once cared deeply for all made me feel like there was something wrong with my body when in fact there was just something wrong with them.

I have at times been the most secure person and have loved myself and my body and this always has come when I surround myself with those who show me grace and love. But unfortunately there have been times where I wasn’t secure at all and I would do or believe anything anyone said to me just to feel like I belonged. Even now as an adult, when I should have it all together, I know that I struggle with my self worth. It was my goal this year to be kinder to myself – and I feel that I am kind to myself about 75% of the time. I often wonder how I got to this place – And not because I am lonely or sad or even dislike myself, but because when I look at all my accomplishments I know that I should be happier about the person I have become. I often wonder if the things that people said to me as a child were so powerful that it hurt my opinion of me? I would wonder if I was alone in feeling this way? The answer is no – That thankfully I know that I am not alone, thankfully I have an amazing partner who tells me I am beautiful almost everyday and thankfully I have a best friend who scolds me anytime I say that I am fat.

 

My journey with my body and self worth is far from over and I know that there will be times that I feel pretty low, BUT I am reminding myself daily of all the reason that my body is amazing. My body is amazing because it can juggle my full time job and my part time job that requires full time hours. My body is amazing because it battled and beat cancer. My body is amazing because it was assaulted and found the strength to forgive and move forward AND my body is amazing because it allows me to wake up every morning and share my life experiences with some really amazing people (that’s you guys) who make me feel loved and supported! I hope you never feel alone in your struggle and that you know you always have a friend in me to share in the joys and the sorrows of our lives.

 

XOXO, Rechelle

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