The Hard Truth About All This Self Love Stuff

LET ME BE REAL WITH YOU!l! This self-love/acceptance/appreciation/compassion thing is HARD and it’s CONSTANT work. While I’m here uplifting all my clients and giving them everything I can to help them love & appreciate themselves, they may assume that I’ve got it all figured out and I don’t struggle….but guess what I do struggle!!! I have to practice self-love daily, I have to constantly remind myself that it doesn’t come easy – it never has, never will.

Recently, my sister posted this photo of me and my niece (isn’t she the cutest?!?!). My initial thought was, “oh my gosh. Look how big I am. I can see all the weight I’ve gained in my face. Ugh. I look disgusting. I’m so out of shape. I shouldn’t have eaten those brownies last night. You are fat, you need to get your butt back in gear. Why do you go out in public?” YUP! All those thoughts – and so many more – went thru my head. I cried.

pittsburgh boudoir photographer maura chick shares some truth about the body positivity movement after looking at a photo of her and her niece

I describe myself as a strong, confident woman who has realized that her worth is not tied to how she looks.  I love the life I have and am strong in the knowledge that I’m doing what I was meant to do with my life.  I preach body positivity and love, learning to accept yourself just as you are, helping people see the depths of themselves and letting that guide them to a great life.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with body positivity myself.  I will ALWAYS have to work at reminding myself how amazing I am.

When I looked at this photo and listened to the things I was saying about myself, I recognized that I was pushing myself down a path I knew wasn’t healthy (mentally or physically), I had to change my mindset. Here’s what I did to change the way I was thinking/feeling (the last point being the most important):

-Recognize that I’m in a unique stage of my life. Major back problems and surgery have prevented me from being active in my life right now. Laying down all the time is no fun!

-Forgive myself for bad choices I’ve made. I can either forgive myself for those brownies or stress about it for days to come. I chose forgiveness. I’m far too hard on myself.

-Stood in the mirror and looked myself in the face. Said, “I love you” among the tears. I forget sometimes how important it is to love myself. I stood there and thought about how good it feels to hear my husband say he loves me, and it feels even better to say it to myself. Then I did an affirmation.

-Thought about all the good things I do. Wrote them down and focused my thoughts on only those items for 20 minutes.

-Decided to really look at the photo and see what I love. Remembering that I love the sparkle in my eyes, my smile lights up the faces of those around me, my laugh is loud and intoxicating.

-I thought about all I had accomplished in the last few months, as well as the good things that have happened – a successful surgery, skilled surgeon and nurses, a loving husband, a supportive mother, wonderful friends, bookings for 2018, etc. There was so much good I could find when I just saw down and thought about it. It’s so easy to see the bad, I chose to focus on the good.

-Finally, and most important, I focused on this little girl who is just so thrilled to hang out with her awesome and cool aunt. Look at the expression of joy and happiness on her face! It brings me to tears. She does not realize what I struggle with – she just sees her aunt that makes her laugh, tickles her, throws her in the air, gives her hugs, cuddles her… and she just loves to spend time with me. She doesn’t care what I look like – she doesn’t see that – doesn’t matter what I weigh or what I had to eat. She sees me for WHO I am, how I make her feel….which has nothing to do with how I look.

And, I realized it’s my job to make sure that she never feels the way I had been feeling and that means I will always have to work on myself. I want to make sure she sees me as a strong woman who is open about her struggles but strives each day to live with hope. I want her to see someone who shines in the face of adversity. I want her to know that her worth isn’t tied to the way she looks. I want her to see me be confident about the person I am and see me live with passion. If she sees it, she’ll want to BE IT TOO! That’s what this is all about for me!

Our journeys are being watched by those around us – even the little ones in your life. We can shape so much of their future by learning to appreciate ourselves. I hope you find some inspiration in what I did to overcome some negative thinking!  Continue to work on yourself, focus your thoughts on things that matter, show those around you the confidence you can carry regardless of how you look, and celebrate the amazing woman you are!

If you’d like to join my self love and body positive community, I’d LOVE to have you.  It’s open to all women!  You can join my clicking the image below.

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