I am really late to this Fit Dish from last Tuesday, but it is such an empowering topic that I still HAVE to jump in. Diving all in, folks. I love “self appreciation” posts. I think we need more LOVE in the world. Less hate. Including self hate. So, I am taking part in the I Am Enough project with Jill Conyers and The Fit Switch. Perhaps some of you already took part in it.
Let me first start with why this phrase resonates with me. I fought the good fight with self esteem issues in my past. I was a striver of perfection, always feeling like a let down to myself. I wore myself out trying to be someone that I wasn’t. I had to walk down my own journey to find out that… I am, indeed, enough. Just the way that I am.
I have learned a few things to be true about self esteem…
The first is that everyone struggles with it at times. And that’s okay. No one is immune to the negative devil that sits on the left shoulder taunting the angel on the right. We go through things that may bring up negative thoughts. It’s life!
The second is that whenever these negative thoughts come more often than not, we need to seek help. Not one single person on this planet is alone. Look around. I feel like singing Michael Jackson’s, “You Are Not Alone,” right now. But, I’ll spare you. Help is abundant. Some can seek help with a friend or family member. Others may need professional help. And that’s okay. For the small things I often seek a friend or family member, but for the bigger things I am all about speaking to a therapist. I have had some significant life breakthroughs while speaking to a therapist. (In fact, it is the very reason I gained the confidence to quit my Lease Analyst job at Shell to become a Registered Dietitian). Just sayin’!
The third is that only you can determine your self worth. Did you hear me? A magazine, beautiful model, rude jerk down the hall, or the next diet/fitness craze does NOT determine your self worth. I once worked for a doctor who thought he was God’s gift to women. He was a certified angus chach. He often joked around with the staff, but one day he took it too far. He patted my stomach and asked me if I was pregnant, as he laughed. No lie! I felt humiliated. I was furious. This was in front of three other co-workers as well. He said a few other rude and offensive jokes that day to two of the other co-workers so maybe he was just 100% in jerk mode that day, but it doesn’t give him an excuse. Later on, he continued with the joke and told my co-worker, “Oh now she is going to just drink water all day.” It was as if he knew what he said was a blow to my self esteem. I let him get to me. I let him determine my self worth for the rest of that day. I cried in the bathroom for a bit that night as I pinched my “not pregnant or overweight” belly. I even threw away the jeans I wore that day because in my mind they were part of the problem. They weren’t. I have since realized that people can be rude and say offensive things, but I don’t have to let them get to me. I can stand strong and know my inner and outer beauty. I can believe in that. I can believe that I am enough. If he were to tell me that today, I would probably shake my head and say something along the lines of, “Nope, not pregnant. But I hope to get pregnant someday and if I have a boy I will raise him to respect other people. Guess you didn’t learn that lesson.” And then when I went home that night I wouldn’t cry or throw away my jeans. I would just be thankful that I don’t live an unhappy life to where I have to put down others for my own personal pleasure. I determine my own self worth, thank you very much!
I guess I really love this type of post because it empowers each and every one of us to take charge of what goes on inside those beautiful brains of ours. The mind is a powerful tool and sometimes we just need that little reminder that we are enough.
And here is the full picture… I liked it because I turned away as the camera snapped and have a serious face. I mean business, people! This is vewy sewious!