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Why you can’t embrace yourself

Be you. Love you. Embrace you.

‘We’ – and I’m going to lump myself in there – we tell you that you should try to love yourself through the bullshit and through the noise.

We even acknowledge that it can be difficult to do so. I know I’m not perfect, and it can be hard to put my nose down and get to work.

But we don’t always talk about how we got here – sometimes it just seems like a light switch got flipped and we magically started to believe in something else.

I don’t think we talk about the voices in our heads enough and where they come from – or who they sound like, I know mine certainly isn’t me. We don’t talk about how our environments have truly shaped us and our beliefs that may have got us started or caused us to step back and reflect. I think that we’ve mentioned individuals in our lives that have played a role, but I don’t think it’s further than superficial.

I do believe that we – and this now includes you too, use a collective ‘they’ without defining they.

They can be businesses – they tell me to look a certain way and use this product to get there.

They could be family – they comment on my definition of health or they always say the diet starts tomorrow.

They could be the Internet, magazines, celebrities or people like me not even meaning to be part of they.

We create an Us versus Them kind of conversation.

I’ve shared many bits of my life including how I “got” PTSD and anxiety as though I bought it. I’ve talked about how I’ve coped with food and my diagnosis of BED. I’ve talked about how I’ve worked through my eating disorder with therapy and how it’s linked with different high stress experiences. I’ve also talked about how it can still be work.

Through my weight loss, I showed what I was eating or doing for exercise, but I was also mindful to not overshare because I didn’t want someone to copy exactly what I was doing with the hope it would work for the them – we’re all different.

Recently, I’ve shared what my goals are for this year, and how I plan to achieve them as well as what I’m doing to maintain my health, my size, my fill in the blank and find what I believe to be a healthy life post-weight loss. While being transparent is my goal, you aren’t with me all day, so you are left to your own devices to fill in the gaps.

So I’m sure there are people who see me and others like myself, who seem to have it all, who talk about what we do and ultimately try to encourage others to do similar things. But what if my suggestions don’t work? Then what. What do you do?

Have you thought about why suggestions from someone like me may not be helpful for you?

As an adult who experienced childhood abuse, I reflect often on my behavior – all my behavior, which to some degree is exhausting. These are conversations I have with my therapist. But regardless of how exhausting it is, it’s helpful, but again only to a degree. However, I know that many don’t do this because it is exhausting and can be difficult to be objective. I see it in my clients and I still see it in myself.

I saw a post that said “girl, how many times do you need to be told that you’ve got this.”

It’s cute for social media, but here’s what’s wrong with this message – you can tell me a million times, but I need to believe it too. Talking at me doesn’t help. Telling me is just like talking to a wall, I need to experience it and I also need to dissect it.

So the question isn’t how many times do I need to be told, but maybe try when did you start believing you couldn’t do this? Or maybe the question is who or what made you feel like you couldn’t…and why are those the words that overpower all other words?

The questions you may also want to ask when you fill with doubt may be, whose voice is it that you hear? Is it yours? Is it male or female? Is it genderless? Is it sneaky or mean? What does it say to you?

We can say you should utilize self-care, but you need to define self-care for yourself and some days it may look like a really long shower and other days it may come in the form of overly organized or an extra few hours of sleep. Take our ideas, question them, then morph them to fit you.

I want to be me.

I want you to be you.

I want us to madly love ourselves, but we also need to  still accept that growth is necessary and that there will be times when we’re not satisfied – I’m sorry to report we’re human. These are the times that we should ask why. What is satisfaction? Is there something that will be more satisfying? What is still good about getting to this point?

I want us to feel empowered so that we can be bold and take risks, but we also need to look at where we learned that we shouldn’t or couldn’t before we can and are able to do.

So if you ever find yourself frustrated that you aren’t able to stick to a plan that’s been given to you, step back and consider this: maybe it’s not you, maybe the problem is the beliefs invested in that plan and it never took all of you into consideration.

If you ever find yourself struggling to use the inspiration in an Instagram post to get yourself motivated to move forward think about the time it may take to get yourself to the point where you feel ready and the prepare to get ready. 

I learned I was less than, that I was undeserving, that I was foolish and self-righteous. But I have also learned that I am worthy, that I am capable, that I can and I will and I do, because I have looked and connected and am continuously working to change the voice. There are times that I go back and forth, but more often I take steps forward.

You can’t embrace you because somewhere you learned that you shouldn’t – where did you learn that from?

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