mirrors of self love
Updated: Apr 15, 2018
You know how you can sometimes tend to stare at yourself in the mirror and not completely love what/who you see looking back at you?
Yes, that person on the other side is merely just looking, while you sit there, critically staring in judgement. It's the lens filtered with the ideals of perfection that fades our own image of ourselves day by day.
I hated mirrors for at least a decade, as far as I remember. I wasted away in front of each one I passed by or stood in front of. For the life of me, I could never understand what was expected of me. I'd hear people say "men like 'em curvy", but then I'd hear girls gossiping in jealousy seething and whispering to each other "Look at that thigh-gap, look at her tiny waist and those bony knees."
Then I'd have to deal with my own critiquing, "thick thighs, arms not toned and could flab one day, food baby 24/7, my love handles would probably be the death of me." This list would go on and on.
I would then resume at looking at photos of the "curvier" figures and then at the models you see every second on social media and TV. I would then look at myself and feel disappointed.
My weight would then fluctuate, suddenly 50 kg then even more suddenly to 75 kg, and here's the saddest part, in both cases I see myself undesirable in my own eyes even if I know that's not the case to the outside world.
I was never good enough for myself. Hated shopping, hated eating, and didn't know how to deal with all of this anger. What's the worst part about all of this you ask? Let me tell you. It was the fact that when I was so hard and mean with myself, I automatically felt that that was how the world was allowed to treat to me, I didn't have the energy to fight for my worth because I was so blindly unaware of it.
I contemplated sharing pictures of me in all of my phases when I was in pain in this blog post, but I think it's better to leave it to your imagination, to imagine someone broken down, soul lost and the lights inside all switched off. Someone who cared too much about what people thought of them and what they looked like.
Until one day, I snapped. I had to go through the phase of just not caring about whatever it is I ate, I had to just feel "full" in the sense of my hunger for any food I wanted and for life in general. Only then can I tackle my body issues and my insecurities. It took me a little over a year of just not working out, eating pizza whenever the hell I felt like it, sweets and french fries at 2:00 and 3:00 am in the morning to get to that place I called full".
I saw myself gaining weight, I saw my clothes getting tighter and I saw other girls hotter and fitter and I just didn't care, I was numb. And no, i wasn't happy about my body or weight yet but I was becoming full and I like that I wasn't hard on myself or busy calorie counting.
So what happens when one becomes full? They stop wanting because they're no longer hungry. And that's what happened to me, I started not wanting those kind of foods, my willpower was recharged to its fullest and I was ready to start again from scratch. Probably being at my heaviest, I started controlling my portions insanely and then I started going to the gym twice a day and cardio was my new best friend.
It literally took me 6 months to start seeing any sign of results and a full year for others to start noticing it. I had to keep eating well but I had to keep training. I also used Ramadan as a great way to train before and after Iftar and that's the month I usually achieve most results in now.
I am now two years into this life changing diet as it has become a lifestyle of course, always watching my food, having a cheat day every now and then and working out 5 times a week.
But here's how I feel now about my body, and here's where I am recovering and growing; self image and self love. I accept the things I didn't accept before, and it's not easy, and yes there are things I still struggle with but I do it out of love and not hate or dissatisfaction. I love the lines my face makes when I smile even though I never liked them, my husband actually helped me in that department because he always tell me how much he loves them, so now I see them through his eyes and my new ones.
I love my belly even if it's bloated, in fact I think it's cute when it is. I'm okay if my arms are not as toned as they should be, I will work on it in my own time for the sake of my health and not for the pursuit of "perfection", whatever that's supposed to mean.
I feel beautiful, I feel strong and I feel very comfortable in my own skin no matter the size. I look back at older photos and I see me worn down and sometimes I can't recognize myself.
I will not lie to you, I do want to be fit and I do like to be thin, it's just who I am, it goes back to how I was raised in a way but I will not obsess over it, I will reach my goal in a healthy manner and I will love myself.
So here's my message for both men and women, I know you've heard it before, to love yourself no matter what and to be healthy is most important, and these two things remain true, very true. But here's what I want to tell you, you must be very careful with how you treat and feel about yourself because that is the way everybody else will treat you and feel about you.
Be kind to yourself.
Share your stories with me, would love to talk more about this with you guys.
Until next time, live & love with kindness.