I have a big dream (some may even say lofty) that I want every woman to love the skin they're in. Yep, every single drop of who they are. This may sound like a tall order, but I believe it's possible.
The negative self talk, pressure and criticism; let's finally tell it all to take a hike.
If you're thinking, easier said than done, I know. I'm no stranger to the pressure women put on themselves to fit the mold.
So I'm going to share a little insight with you, into my roller coaster relationship with my body …
First, the day I decided to no longer be at war with my body; my life was forever changed.
Every single aspect of my life.
I had spent close to two decades calling myself fat, ugly, flawed, worthless and every other brutal and cruel name you can think of.
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon among young women.
I thought once my body felt and looked perfect; I would finally feel as ease. I would finally accept and love myself; because perfection would make me worth loving. This affected my work, my daily interactions with people and certainly, my love life.
The day I realized that was all a lie and total bullshit, I flipped my world upside-down. I made a promise to stop looking for the flaws and talking shit about myself on a daily basis.
I decided to be my own best friend.
It took a while to change the habit of defaulting to what needed to change about my body, to simply being happy with what was. The comparison game of looking at other women — what does she have that I don't? — came to a screeching halt.
So how did I do it?
I consistently chose to love myself over and over again ... even when it felt uncomfortable. I was determined to not be the woman in her 80s sitting around with my closest girlfriends looking at photos saying, "What the hell were we thinking? We were beautiful."
I wanted to appreciate my beauty now, with no strings attached.
And not for the vain reasons you may think ... I wanted this because I wasted more hours than I can count trying to control my body based on punishment. By doing workouts I couldn't stand, eating foods I didn't like and trying to be someone I'm not ... all to feel accepted and loved.
I realized that all of those wasted hours could have been spent fueling my interests, learning about art and my other creative passions and caring for others.
We all know every moment is precious. How we chose to spend them shapes our lives.
Now, those hours are spent nurturing my family and being fully present. Now, I pour my passion and so much energy into a career I love and one I'm proud of.
Now, I look in the mirror and I love who I see.
Since I made this decision, everything in my life feels more rich and fulfilling. I love more deeply in every single one of my relationships.
I spend time on what's truly important to me. I rarely get caught up in the bullshit. I have meaningful conversations, daily.
Sex is a million times better because I allow myself to enjoy the pleasure and I'm not insecure in my body.
I look at other woman and genuinely appreciate their beauty and tell them so.
I no longer look for flaws. I used to be told that wasn't possible.
Our bodies will inevitably change quite a bit throughout our lives. We can bet on that. Yet, they're the hosts of our soul; so why not embrace and learn to love them? Once we do, we inevitably free up our energy to focus on what we're really here for — to love.
It always come back to love.
Let's join forces and help other women stop the war against their bodies. Together, we can encourage self-love. We can engage in positive and uplifting conversations about ourselves; rather than negative and depleting self-talk.
If you hear a woman deflecting a compliment, you can kindly say, "Please accept my compliment; it's genuine."
Or if she's talking shit about herself ... gently stop her and say, "Let's not go there; let's talk about your amazingness; I am much more invested in that."
We can then redirect our focus on living our passions and giving back to the world with our unique gifts. While supporting each other, every step of the way.
This is a much more valuable way to spend our time.
I hope every woman, not matter what size, weight or color, can embrace and love themselves right now.
For we have no guarantee about how long we're here this go-around. We might as well love our bodies, the place we call home.