My beautiful sister visited me for a few days last week, and while we were having a heart to heart and we talked about our weight loss goals for the summer, and somehow the topic of high school came up. We talked about the how some people LOVED that time in their lives and actually miss it. Neither of us belong in that camp, for multiple reasons, but one of the big ones was our confidence and our self-esteem. Or rather, lack of those things back in high school. We both feel much better about ourselves now than we did back then.
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In high school, I was a girl who didn’t know where she fit in the world. I had a wonderful and supportive group of friends, many of whom I am still in intermittent contact with to this day. However, I was incredibly insecure, and definitely didn’t feel beautiful. I even had a list of things I needed to change about myself in order to be attractive. I had very unhealthy thought patterns, and constantly engaged in negative self-talk. And while I still have a long way to go, I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was back then.
No big deal right? Many of us hated high school and love life now, so what? Here’s the kicker:
I weigh 50 pounds more now than I did in high school. While I’ve become accustomed to making myself pretty vulnerable on this blog, that does embarrass me a little.
You know what I realized that meant?
My weight doesn’t determine how I feel about myself. It doesn’t define my self-worth.
I’m not going to pretend that I don’t care about my weight. That couldn’t be further from the truth, I am actually working on losing a substantial amount of weight right now. Actually, as of this week I am down 7 pounds, and I’m pretty stinking proud of myself. I’m trying to be patient with myself as I shed this weight that I have gained for various reasons.
Why is this significant? (And why should you care?)
If I can be more confident with 50 additonal pounds on my body, what does that say about where confidence and self-worth comes from? Does it come from the outside?
Our confidence comes from ourselves. And not from how good our bodies look, or what other people think about us. While the people around us can bring us up or even down, it is our job to create a positive inner dialogue for ourselves. And recognize toxic relationships and interactions that are bringing us down.
I am a mother now. I want to model for my child what it looks like to love yourself, and be confident. It is important to me that he know that loving yourself isn’t contingent on how you look, or how much you weigh. It is important to not put conditions on loving ourselves. Our self-worth doesn’t diminish depending on our circumstances.
I know women who weigh 200 pounds who are confident and happy in their own skin. In addition to that, I also know women who weigh 100 pounds who hate their bodies and lack confidence. I also know many people in between who are all over the map in their self-esteem and confidence. Their attitude, their inner self-talk, and the people they surround themselves with make a big difference. It is not how you look on the outside that determines how you feel about yourself.
So if you are waiting for a future event or goal to be confident and feel good about yourself, you need to stop it. If you want to lose weight, or make other healthy changes, go ahead and do it. But don’t wait until it happens for you. You will be the same person when that day comes, no matter how drastic the changes you make are. So learn to love yourself now.
What have you learned in your life about self-worth, and self-confidence? What have you learned in relation to your confirdence and your weight?
If you read this and think, Hailey, you have never been overweight, so you don’t get what I’m going through. You are absolutely right, I can only write from my own experiences and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.