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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Where I'm at Right Now in My Self-Love Journey

No makeup, no filter, no self-loathing.

I love the present-day self-love movement. I like to think I was a part of it way back when, when I first started this blog with my best friend. Social media has made it so easy for amazing organizations like So Worth Loving, Operation Beautiful, and Raw Beauty Talks to spread the message. I love all the self-love-themed songs that keep coming out - I even wrote my own (which I’ll happily post once I copyright it), and my current favorite is Colbie’s “Try.”

My own self-love journey has been one of winning lots of battles here and there but maybe never truly winning the war. Maybe that’s just a part of being human and experiencing ups and downs in life? I go through phases where I absolutely adore myself inside and out…and then something might trigger a downslide into a mini depression about it. It might be a picture of myself that I didn’t think was flattering. It might be comparing myself to another girl. It might be the way my stomach looks that day. In fact, it’s probably my stomach. I seem to feel good about myself as long as I like the way my stomach looks. When it is bigger from a meal or at the end of the day, I can get very self-conscious about it. Sometimes I sneak looks at it a billion times a day to see how it’s “holding up.” It doesn’t change the way I eat very much; I love to eat, and I still think if I want a donut, I’m gonna eat a donut. But how much of my day am I spending thinking about my stomach when I could be thinking about so much more worthwhile things? I mean, really. It sounds so unimportant when I spell it out in words. It feels so important at the time when we’re caught up in it, though, doesn’t it? Why do I easily and truthfully believe that all body sizes and shapes are beautiful...for everyone but myself?

I’ve gone through times when I embraced myself (stomach included), only to sink back again into worrying about it. I’ve gained and lost a little weight a few times. But I’m always me. My me-ness is still there, and my happiness with myself shouldn’t rely on my weight or appearance. Why does it sometimes? It’s not right that I love myself so easily when I’m at the weight I want to be and not as much when I’m not. Now, I do have a weight range that just feels best inside my body. I have more energy there and feel less sluggish, and my clothes that I love so much fit better. But it still shouldn’t be the end all, be all. That number is actually higher than most people’s my height, and it took me a while to realize that a number on the scale really is unique to the individual. It helped when nurses weighing me at the doctor’s office would do double-takes at the scale and say they thought I would be ten pounds less than that - as shallow as it sounds, it helped me see that my number looks fine on me. I don’t know if I just have heavy bones or what, but I’m good with it now. When I was in high school, I thought I was supposed to be 115 pounds. I didn’t realize then how vastly different that number looks on different bodies. If I were to actually go down to 115, people would start worrying about my health (they started worrying when I was only two pounds below the low end of my ideal weight). I know people making comments about weight either way can sometimes be destructive, but I’m glad they did in this case, because my own image of myself in the mirror had become skewed from reality.

So what do I believe in my core, even when I do things that go against my beliefs like Stomach Watch 1991-2015? I think healthy (or at least semi-healthy) eating is kind to your body - and I also believe indulging sometimes is kind to your spirit. I believe in exercising or dancing or doing some kind of movement to keep your body healthy, strong, and fluid even as you age - whichever one resonates with you the most or a combo. I also believe in not taking it to the extreme for the sake of being thin or pushing your body too hard. I love makeup and clothes and actually am sort of addicted. I’m not going to say none of that is for the sake of impressing people by looking good. But most of it is just because I really enjoy it. I also finally got to the point a few years ago where I didn’t have to have makeup on everywhere I went. Most of the time, I can now feel just as good about myself in pajamas and no makeup as I do in a great outfit and my face done. I like that I can experience both of those things without going to one extreme or the other. I don’t begrudge anyone who’s at either end of the spectrum, though; a balance of both is just what feels right for me. I believe you should change your appearance if you want to and leave it be if you don’t. If you do, make sure your motivations are in check. Outside validation feels good; it just does. But it can’t be the main source of how we view ourselves. Most likely, you’re already great exactly the way you are.

I have a three-year-old daughter. I don’t want her to catch me sneaking stomach peeks. And do you know that even when kids don’t see us doing those things and don’t hear negative self-talk from us, they know when we love and embrace ourselves and when we don’t. They pick up on it. I know because I picked up on it from my mom. No matter how beautiful and perfect she thought I was (and told me), I knew she didn’t think she was. And that sends a powerful message. She passed away before she could ever experience true self-love, and it breaks my heart every day. I don’t want that for myself or my child. It’s crucial to me to guide my daughter into keeping the same self-love she has now at three for the rest of her life - because I think most kids start out with it, only to have it slowly evaporate over time. I hope I’m giving her a good foundation to build on so that she can see herself the way I see her. And I want to see myself the way my mom saw me.

Think of whatever girl or woman tends to trigger your negative feelings about your appearance the most. And then realize that even she has those feelings about herself sometimes. Victoria’s Secret models get nervous and self-conscious - and don’t roll your eyes and say, “Boo-hoo for them,” because we’re all human, with insecurities, doubts, and fears. Everyone on this earth can always find in someone else some quality they wish they were more like. And someone’s looking at you the same way, trust me. Sometimes I have poise and confidence as I walk through town; sometimes I trip on a crack in the sidewalk or over a table at the coffee shop (true stories). It’s a beautiful gift to be able to laugh at yourself and realize that everyone else in the world feels what you feel at one time or another. It’s not until we start talking about it with each other instead of hoping no one notices - and thereby knowing others actually relate to us - that we can start freeing ourselves of our self-set traps. Simply talking about it or writing it down to share with someone automatically releases some of the power your insecurities have over you.

Something that also helps me, which I learned through coaching, is to visualize going inside your body into the area that causes you grief. Describe what it looks like - what color it is, how it feels (warm, cold, texture), how it makes you feel being in there. You can talk to it and tell it you love it - or tell it why you don't love it but that you really want to learn how to. This isn't a once-and-done exercise, at least for me, but whenever I make time to do it, it helps me. Visualizations where you walk up to your childhood self (or whatever age you were when something happened that changed the way you saw yourself) and tell her you love her and want to heal her are also really powerful.

I’m actually miles ahead of where I used to be, and I’m proud of that and thankful. I don’t want to beat myself up for my off days either, because that’s still questioning my own worth. I’m no longer trying to achieve perfection in my self-love journey or in myself. I think if I can truly love and embrace myself inside and out the majority of the time, that is something to celebrate.


Conversation with my daughter today...

Her: (singing "Try" while building Legos)

Me: That song is about loving yourself and being happy with yourself.

Her: (gleefully shouting) I LOVE MYSELF!!!!

Me: I am so glad to hear that. I love myself too. 

Her: Does everybody love theirself?

Me: Sadly, not everyone does, even though they should. I hope you always love yourself as much as you do now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A self-love Valentine.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Free Sexiness & Confidence Telecall TONIGHT!


*I have personal experience working with Elizabeth. Don't miss this call TONIGHT, gals!* 

Join Chief Vixen Elizabeth Malone of Moxie Coaching as she reveals secrets for being sexy from the inside out and living a turned-on life.

Do you want to feel hotter? Do you want to start to believe, even just a little bit, that you are sexy? Do you want to have more of what you desire and spicier relationships? Do you want to feel sexy even on those days you’re wearing your sweatpants and you have a cold? You can. Rendezvous with me for a telecall as I reveal secrets for unleashing your inner vixen and living a turned-on life. Call in Wednesday, February 12th at 7 pm eastern (phone: 1-267-507-0240 and pin: 521285) when Janelle Holden, (janelleholden.com) will be interviewing me on her Expert Series.

We will talk about why your sexiness is vital and how to have more of it. Owning and rocking your sexiness is about you stepping into and owning your power as a woman. It is your birthright to genuinely love your body and know you’re the hottest thing ever, have a vibrant life you adore and beautify the planet with your glow. Everyone who joins the call Wednesday will receive a discount on a special Get Your Sexy Back™ program.

Will you join us and find out more? It’ll be a hot time. I so looking forward to connecting and sharing my secrets with you this Wednesday!

In hotness and gratitude, Elizabeth ~ Moxie’s Chief Vixen

The Details:

Complimentary Telecall
Wednesday, February 12
7:00 p.m. eastern std time
Call # 1-267-507-0240
Passcode #: 521285

A bit about Elizabeth and Moxie ~

Elizabeth Malone helps women get their sexy back and live hot fun lives that they love. She is a certified life coach via the Coaches Training Institute and the International Coach Federation and has coached hundreds of women since she opened her business, Moxie, in 2006. Whether coaching individuals or groups she uses her tools, training and experience to help her Moxie Chicks tap into their innate feminine guidance, which every woman possesses.www.Moxiechicks.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hey, you out there. You're not alone.

A TV in the background at lunch today alerted me to the recent suicide-from-bullying in Florida. A 12-year-old girl from Florida, Rebecca Sedwick, committed suicide after being bullied (online and in person) for a year by two girls. Both girls have been charged with a third-degree felony. You can read more about it here

On the way home, I popped in Taylor Swift's first CD (a classic, man!! I love it!), and her song "Tied Together With a Smile" made me think of this girl and the countless others like her. While the song doesn't specifically address bullying, it talks about a girl (assuming it's a girl, but it could be anybody) who thinks she isn't pretty and is struggling to hold it all together so everyone else will think she's still "the golden one" - a/k/a perfect. She doesn't talk to anyone about her problems and cries when she's alone so no one will know. 


There are so many hurting girls and women out there who don't realize how worthy, loved, and inherently amazing they are. I hope and pray that my little section of the blogosphere can help some of them out there to at least begin the journey toward self-acceptance and, ultimately, self-celebration.

P.S. I am getting an insane amount of spam comments through Intense Debate, and since Blogger now offers a direct reply option, I'm going back to Blogger comments. If you go to any old posts and don't see anything, either the ID comments disappeared, or no one ever commented...lol. I hope reinstating Blogger commenting will make it easier for at least some of you out there to leave thoughts! I love reading them. If you prefer to email so it's more private, I'm at theclosetnarcissist at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Labeling: The Good, the Bad, & the...IS?



Something that I have really started paying attention to in my life is how I tend to label myself, particularly emotions and traits of mine, as "good" or "bad." 

As an entrepreneur (I never get tired of saying that!), I have run across scads of other amazing and inspiring female entrepreneurs. One of them is Stephanie from Personal Branding for Introverts. While personality tests tell me I'm not exactly introverted, I definitely have some introvert traits that run deep. My horoscope explains it with my sun sign being Leo (typically extroverted/attention-loving) and my moon sign being Virgo (which apparently tempers my Leo-ness with a bit of timidity). So I really enjoy her insights on how to be confident and sell yourself and your services as a businessperson. One post in particular really resonated with me recently because she talks about those labels we tend to assign to things.

Sometimes things aren't really good or bad. They just ARE what they are. One example is how I was complaining to my business coach that I am just too impatient as a person and that I was feeling a lot of guilt over it. She said, "What if impatience didn't have to be 'good' or 'bad'? What if it's precisely your impatient nature that makes you a go-getter who has the gumption to run your own business and go after what you want in life?" 

I had never looked at it like that before, and let me tell you, that was life-changing. Ever since, I've been trying to consciously examine the things I assume about myself - whether inside or outside - and decide if it can really be labeled so concretely or if it just is what it is. It's quite freeing.

The very opener to Stephanie's post is:

Q: What makes a personality trait good or bad?

A: The word you choose to describe it.

Doesn't get much more powerful than that, right?

Sometimes, simply changing a word you use to describe yourself can make all the difference in how you view yourself - and, therefore, affects your level of confidence and sense of worth. Merely converting "timid" or "bashful" to "unpretentious" or "non-aggressive" certainly puts things in a different light, no? What if "loner" becomes "individualistic"? Stephanie offers several more examples, in addition to these, of adjective conversion in the post.

While the post is geared toward common adjectives that introverts might use to describe themselves, the principle can really be applied to so many ways we use to describe (read: judge) ourselves, whether you're introverted or not.

What is a negative self-talk adjective you commonly use, and what is the more positive equivalent you can start using instead?