Dear Little One,
I don’t even know where to start about your body.
If there’s one thing I know, without even meeting you, is that it’s perfect. Please know that.
Some people are born with confidence, and not the cocky kind. They feel good in their own skin and they are proud to wear it the way it is. I am not one of those people.
There are a number of things about myself that I would love to change, that I’ve wanted to change my whole life, because I didn’t feel like they were normal or attractive. When I started high school I had this mantra that I would say to myself over and over: “Teeth, skin, body.” Those were the things I thought I needed to fix in order to be happy. I figured, once those things were “better” than people would notice me and I would find the life I’d been dreaming about. Once I knew where I wanted to go, I chose my path to get there: Braces, ProActiv, Gym.
I had braces all 4 years of high school. When I got them on I felt like I was hiding the grill of a car in my mouth. They hurt and I didn’t like the way they looked and even though I had friends with braces who looked perfectly fine, I often convinced myself that I would never be pretty with them on. After I got them off however, I felt an incredible weight lift off my shoulders. I felt like I’d never looked better, like people would notice me.
Around the middle of high school I started using ProActiv to clear up my acne. I was diligent with the formula. I washed my face every morning and night and when my skin started to clear up, I felt an incredible weight lift off my shoulders. I felt like I’d never looked better, like people would notice me.
When I graduated high school, I was at my heaviest weight I’d ever been. I had stopped playing softball, but continued its diet, and I had packed on weight that I didn’t know what to do with. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I felt an incredible weight rest on my shoulders. I felt like I’d never looked worse, like no one would ever notice me.
Then, in my second year of college I had to get my braces back on for another year. I felt helpless and ugly and incredibly self-conscious all the time.
It took a lot of years, and I think I still work on it daily, but there came a point when I started to wonder who it was that I was trying to impress. Who did I want to make my teeth straight for? Who needed my skin to be flawless? Why did my body have to be perfect? The truth was the people that truly cared about me, the people that loved me as Kim the person not Kim the body, they didn’t need perfection. And I didn’t either. I was who I was and I am who I am and that changes a little every day.
There are still hard days when you just can’t seem to see passed the pimple in the middle of your forehead or the cellulite in your legs or the bad hair, but those days are good sometimes. They keep us humble.
When you’re having a hard day like this, find one thing, physical or emotional, that you like about yourself, and never settle for “nothing” as an answer. If you’re having trouble with that, look at the people around you. Look at the friends and family you surround yourself with and know that you have them because you are you, and they love you for that, so you should too.
One of my favorite quotes about the body is by Jim Rohn:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Your body is the only thing that is always going to be with you. You can never leave it behind and you can never escape it. You have to live with it your whole life, so you should treat it with the respect it deserves. The respect you deserve. If you want to change something about yourself, make sure it’s for your benefit and not someone else’s. And know that no matter what, no matter your size, shape, or color, I will always see you as perfect because when you love someone, the flaws fade away, so learn to love yourself.
See you soon, you sexy beast.