I’m really excited about today’s guest post. When I was sick last week, I didn’t even get to tell you… the “theme” this month (for the wellness challenge + the blog in general), is self-love! I have known Krista for a long time now and over the past six months/year been really, really into her content. She always keeps things so real (and funny) over on her blog (+ insta stories) and never fails to make me laugh. She’s also so confident, with a killer sense of style, and inspires me to try things (like a crop top at the gym) that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the courage to wear. I write that, and the mean little voice in my head says “yeah maybe you shouldn’t, Krista is ten years younger than you!!!” Whatever. I struggle big time with body image – always have, probably always will, to some degree at least. The thing that helps me most is being around confident people. Somehow their confidence rubs off on me a little bit. Krista is one of those people, and she’s awesome. I loved this super personal, thoughtful post from her… and I love her blog!
Hi friends! I’m Krista from Covering the Bases. I’m excited to have the opportunity to chat with you guys today – you don’t know just how lucky you are to have such an amazing blogger as Grace (she’s one of my favorites)! I was really flattered when Grace reached out asking if I’d guest post about self-love and body confidence. This is something that I really like to promote on my channels because I think there is a void out there that can help so many people. It’s the best feeling to be happy in your own skin and love your body. And it’s important to know that even the MOST confident people deal with body issues.
So to be completely transparent I’ve wrote this and re-wrote this more times than I like to admit — sorry Grace for this coming in late!! – but I feel like there is so much I want to say and share but no clear path to explaining it without this post being like a million miles long. So just bear with me!
I’m going to come out and say it: it’s really hard growing up female. Outside of the media and your peers, you have your inner self to deal with. Full of self-doubt, emotions and hormones — it’s hard to get out of your own head. And of course, when you do get out of your own head, you have the outside world telling you different.
And I want you to know that I get it – I’ve been there. Everyone has been there/is currently there/will be there. You are not alone. And that’s important to remember before we move on.
I’m currently 26 years old and I love my body. I proudly rock a size 6 dress, size 8/L pants and 6/M tops. I love my curves, I love my thighs, I love my arms and I love my stomach. Now is that to say I wouldn’t love them more if they were toned? No. But I love myself anyway. All 150lbs of me!! And I’m not afraid to admit that.
And this love — like any great love — didn’t happen overnight.
Looking back, I think my self-hatred started in high school and became its own monster in college. The tipping point – after a pile of dog shit from high school – came from a Juicy Campus comment. Juicy Campus – may it burn in hell – was an anonymous college forum where each school had their own pages and ya girl here had her own sub category page under the University of Kentucky forum! WOO-HOO
The comment came from anonymous person (duh) said something along the lines of how I used to be cute but then I gained “the freshman twenty” and they were no longer interested. In hindsight it’s SO DUMB and honestly have read a lot worse. But at the time it was harsh. It hit too close to home I think because there are always things you say to yourself in your own head but it’s much harder to see it online and read it out loud.
That one comment really threw me into a spiral of “well if this person thinks this, everyone else must too” and “did I get fat? Yeah I got fat. I hate myself for getting fat.” This was like throwing a fuel to a fire that was burning (not strong but still there) from high school.
So I stopped drinking and started working out. But soon realized that no matter how I looked on the outside, the voice inside my head wouldn’t stop yelling at me.
This next part I’ve actually never told anyone before…
Going out in college was a time to get all dolled up (clothes, hair, makeup). And I always felt so good because I looked good. I would be having a great night and then I’d get drunk, break the seal and go to the bathroom, as one does. As I was washing my hands, I’d look up and check myself out, look at straight on and that’s when it would happen.
I would lock eyes with the mirror and just scream at myself without saying a word. Internally I was telling myself how ugly I was, how fat I looked in that outfit, that no one liked me, that I wasn’t that pretty, that I have no friends… (really horrible things) and I wouldn’t let myself leave until I believed it. I was knocking myself down in a random bathroom until I was on the verge of tears and I found my loophole in never actually saying the words out loud.
But words said in this way are the loudest.
Once this really got up and running, I found I was constantly asking others about my body and my weight just looking for one person to “be honest” about it and say what I’ve been saying all along. To put me out of my misery so I could put them blame on them and not on myself.
It never happened and I (at the time) felt lied to. I wondered why no one would just say what they were truly thinking. And you have to remember at this point I have an extremely skewed vision of what I say on the outside being different than ones on the inside, so I thought everyone was just lying to me when they said I looked great. (spoiler: they said these things because it was true and I couldn’t see it)
So how did I get from there to present day? How did I self-correct, get rid of hate, find love and become happy with myself in 8 years?
Honestly, I think I was tired of getting bullied. And one day I was just done being sad about it. I was done yelling at myself. It was kind of like a lightbulb that went off in my head and I decided to make an agreement with myself to stop saying these things (whether I believed it or not).
And this is where my first tip of self-love comes in: Fake it Till You Make it. Just like if you tell yourself enough times that you’re ugly – reverse it and tell yourself the opposite. That’s what I started to do. It’s SO dumb but I literally used to do a corny wink, finger guns and a click in the mirror. I was like “heyyy you look good today!” and it went from there. It just worked. Find what works for you. Go to the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful everyday (on board with the thoughts or not) and wait for it to stick.
Accept the things you cannot change and do something about the things you can. Find what makes you sad and fix it so it stops. Boyfriend make hurtful comments about your body? Talk to him about it (or like just leave him because you don’t need that in your life)! Reading mean comments about yourself online? STOP going to that page! Don’t like the jiggle in your arm? Hit the gym! Someone online making you feel not worthy? UNFOLLOW them! For most problems there is a solution. Just find out what your problems are and list out ways to alleviate them.
Find the things you love about yourself and think about them often. Maybe you hate your knees but love your eyes. Thinking about your knees makes you self-conscious and sad but thinking about your eyes makes you feel happy and beautiful. Focus on the good – start training yourself that every time you find something you don’t like and start to get fixated on it, switch to something that you LOVE and are so happy about and fall in love with yourself!
If you’re going to compare, do the right comparison game. Compare yourself to your future you. How SICK would it be to have this exact body you have now in 40 years. I mean I would kill for my high school body and on the same note I know my mom-bod in 20 years would love to look the way I do now. I feel like people don’t think about themselves in that way (the future them) enough. They compare their own unique body to someone else’s totally different unique body but you can’t compare apples to oranges. So why not compare yourself to yourself? I think it just makes too much sense.
Be nice to yourself and love yourself first before you love anyone else. There is no one more important in the world than you, so be nice! Take it easy. Have fun, laugh a lot, don’t get caught up on the things that don’t matter 2 years from now and L-O-V-E yourself (even when you don’t). Because if you don’t have the unconditional love from yourself who else can fill that void for you? (Answer: no one)
So that’s it from me. I hope you were able to take away even the smallest ounce of help from this. I hope more than anything that you love yourself SO much the way I love you and the way I love myself. That is a kind of happiness that is truly life changing and I want that for every single person reading this.