Day Eight

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Day Eight: share something you struggle with.

Yesterday’s prompt was fun to write about. Today – not so much. What do I struggle with? Gosh. The first thing that comes to mind is SELF IMAGE and loving myself. I don’t know when it started, but at some point in my life I developed a strong hatred for the way I look. I do remember being in middle school and thinking that I needed to layer myself in tons of clothing, even wearing a yellow, fleece jacket on a hot day because it covered (what I thought was) my fat rolls. I mean, I’ve always been kind of pudgy. Not gonna lie. I have naturally curly hair that I hated until I was around twenty years old and learned what a flat iron was. I detest the gaps in my teeth and I’m always self conscious when I smile. I think I was stuck in a perpetually awkward stage for most of my middle school and high school years. I’m not sure it got much better in college, either. I’ve pretty much just hated the way I look for the majority of my life. I lost a lot of weight in my early twenties and then got in amazing shape when I turned 25. I went through a nasty breakup that sparked a desire in me to start running. I got to the point where I ran three miles every Monday – Friday and then nine miles on Saturday mornings. I was still kind of chunky but I definitely only had one chin. Not four like I have now. HAHA. Well, I’ve gotten it down to only two chins now, but you get my point.  When I met my husband I was in great shape. Then I gained five or ten pounds here and there and stopped running. Then I ended up getting pregnant and eating bean burritos every day for nine months and in case you’re wondering, that’ll make you gain a crap ton of weight. And for the record, it is a heck of a lot harder to lose weight now than when I was in my twenties. So, what do I struggle with? Loving myself as I am. I place most of my self worth in how I look. I know that sounds really vain. But it’s not like I walk around thinking I look good or better than anyone. It’s like I’m chasing a number on the scales or a change in the way I look, all the while thinking that if I can just reach a certain number of if I could fix the gap in my teeth, or get rid of the scars on my face, I’d be happy. I truly hate the way I look. I hate to look in a mirror. This is ridiculous, but when I wash my hands in the bathroom, I stand to the side so I don’t have to look in the mirror. I hate mirrors!!!! I think my biggest fear with all of this is that Morgan will develop a hatred for herself, too. It scares me so much. I try to never say anything negative about myself in front of her because I know that even at one year old, she picks up on more than I realize. I don’t ever want her to feel this way. I want her to be confident and strong and proud of who she is. I don’t want her to place her self worth on her appearance. I mean, I want her to be presentable, but I want her to know that her heart and her character are far more important than if her belly isn’t super flat. I think it’s important to teach her to take care of herself and to be healthy, but I don’t want her to get so wrapped up in how she looks that it’s debilitating to her every day life the way that it has been to me at times. It’s no secret that I’ve also struggled with depression for most of my adult life. Sometimes I wonder if the two are connected. Does the depression cause me to see myself as gross? Or does the way I view myself cause me to be depressed? Heck, I have no clue. Either way, I hope and pray that I’m better for Morgan as she grows.

I hope Day Nine isn’t as heavy.

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