Self-love, doubt, loathing and becoming are apart of your transitioning. Think of this time as an adventure that has moments of glory and moments of growth. My journey has been far from smooth and my authentic self is lightyears away from perfection - which does not bother me in the slightest. In all honesty, I am a mess of contradictions and sad songs. Of positive speech and negative thoughts. I love who I am, but more often than not, I do not fully love what encloses my spirit. And there lies yet another contradiction.
It is important to remember that speaking to this shines a light in a community of people who feel lesser because of their makeup. I know in my heart that the way I view love and body do not leave me standing idly on my own. But rather, my journey may resonate with yours, his, hers or they's. And thats more than okay. Erase the taboo, let's just talk. Build a relationship with your body by addressing the internal conversations you have with hated. Get familiar with your self-guilt, disappointment and address your personified loathing. Talk these thoughts through. Talk these insecurities through. Work them through. Cry. Breakdown. Burn into rubble and hold that same body that makes you feel less than until you rise from the ash and remember that this journey. This moment. It can only go up from here. That this moment, is one of many more to come. Remind yourself that this is it. Progress. It is nor has ever been linear. This is you. Becoming. Learning. Unlearning. Thriving. Forgiving yourself from the thoughts that are sure to come. Allowing them to come as they do without warning or apology, greeting them and bidding them farewell. From the extremely open conversations with those around you, or by the fallen water droplets from your ducts, part ways with the thoughts that inevitably come and put them to rest by healing. In whichever forms you need to clear your mental state, do just that. From feeling your pain, riding it through and finally, letting it go. In order unlearn your past ways to pave the way for exciting new ventures in your self-love adventure, practicing self-care can be one of the best and first steps in doing so. Grab a coffee with your best friend and overload them with the over-saturated contents in your mind that have been baring a heavy load. Create something beautiful from the negative emotions that reside from within, these pieces of art in whatever form become the most rewarding. Whether your muse is walking, singing, reading or relaxing. Escape these lows with exciting new highs. This self-care process aids and abets the unlearning process of the embodiments of beauty, and learning why you are so very important. When we learn why we matter because of all that we are, our shell inevitably mirrors that inner beauty. Thereby, creating a new, inclusive, omnipresent definition of beauty that fits you and everyone else so perfectly.
Be kind to yourself. No, it isn't easy to feel your weight gain or loss defining your worthiness from comparisons all around the globe and even a past version of yourself. But loathing yourself through it, doesn't bring you fulfilment. It will not get you to to your goals faster. It will only anchor your roots so far beneath the soil that when they settle in, self-love becomes hard to extract. Be mindful that your thoughts are your own, but they holster so much power over you. Make them kind. or at least make them kinder than they have been. We are taught as women, that our ability to embody and become strength, is the most prized characteristic. While that can be true, I find my softness, my ability to connect with others to be the strongest of my skill sets. Adversity or not, being soft (kind, empathetic, in tune, affectionate, passionate, sensitive) makes me who I am. It is not through my strength that I have found the flaunts in my flaws, but rather in my softness.
I have started to change my language over the last 3 years. Although the change I have made isn't one I always abide by. I try to remind myself that my weight is here but it isn't changing who I am or my desirability. It doesn't determine value. It doesn't make me less than because my jeans fit snugger or because I love the way fries and milkshakes taste against my pallet. It doesn't make me less attractive because everyone's beauty is subjective in this world and we can only hold ourselves up to our own version of beauty. May I add, it is important to refuel society's notions of beauty by allowing everyone to hold the title to it. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, I find that so very much in others but applying these logical notions to myself can sometimes slip my mind. Although my weight is not my worth, it does make ME feel uncomfortable. AND THAt is what I need to work towards. Not a "more beautiful" me, but a cognizant me that understands feeling uncomfortable in my body does not mean I need to feel inadequate in it. I can still want to make a change without my mind telling me I NEED to drop a few pounds because I have been thinner before, or because I was "prettier" before. I do not NEED to make a change because of X-Y and Z that usually have to do with comparisons, appeal and worth. Weight isn't the missing variable to beauty, but seeing as the discourse surrounding beauty has been safe guarded by industries nation wide from athletics, to beauty and of course fashion, it is hard to break the mold. In reality, all bodies are beautiful - their differences make them beautiful. It is astounding to think how I see beauty everywhere I go, or I will seek it out in others, but rarely do I seek them within myself.
FUN FACT: If you ever see something beautiful in someone else, never let that compliment go by unsaid - Gena Moto 101
PSA --- A thinner body does not mean a more beautiful body and the same notion applies to all the beautifully thin ladies of the world who believe thick = beautiful). The constant societal duality of beauty is ever changing and in this community, we all are victims to the unrealistic expectations put upon us that label us as too much or too little. I say to hell with it and just know whatever you are is just right (hi goldilocks and the three bears, I got you there, body love style).
After self-care came the beauty cleansing. I began to follow individuals who emulated beauty that is similar to my own (bodies and inner-workings alike). Shout out to my friend Amanda who shared her practices of self love that I readily adopted and the process is as followed. At first, I unfollowed bodies that upheld the beauty discourse. Not to shame them for being beautifully them, but to begin a journey in search for women that represented beautiful me. If you are starting out this journey (as I had years back), unlearning comparison was one of my first steps - which meant I had to start (and unfortunately) only see bodies of my stature on the confounds of my Instagram feed to reinforce this new narrative. If I believe she is so beautiful, why then is my body not? You begin to confront your own insecurities and illogical thinking of body love by celebrating all sizes, especially ones that mirror your own. If you are curvy, start following curvy, empowering, body-positive women. If you feel love through writing, follow a beautifully empowered writer. Follow these like-minded and bodied individuals to reinforce this love for them which pours into loving you. Uplift yourself through the screen that encompasses your time, fill it with individuals who will help build your esteem and love for different bodies that are like and unlike yours. Slowly but surely, you will have so many different versions of beauty that the narrative will be self-explanatory as you are not just following one type of beauty. You will create your own.
Loving your body during its changes isn't always glitz and glam. It isn't sunshine and rainbows, bath bombs and glitters. It isn't always bursts of overwhelming love and idolization especially when you move up/down a size, or two, or ten. But at the end of the day - it is extremely possible to love these things by changing the narrative. Instead of finding reasons to loath the change in your body, find the beauty in them. From flaws to flaunts, find the beauty in wearing jeans that are a size bigger. Relish in the size of your beauty or the authenticity of your stretch marks. Marvel in the warmth your body guards from the climate and the rolls your body casts to properly bare your future and/or present children. Your thunderous quads take you to where you need to be and the cellulite that you can't quite bring yourself to love fully is natural and found on almost everyone. Those who make you feel lesser for it are people you do not need to keep in your circle. I mean, do we really want to be friends with people who make you feel bad for being beautifully human? Nope. Not my cup of tea.