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#12ThingsILoveAboutMe

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My friend Kendra approached me last month about creating an opportunity for us all to be more self-loving.  She said, “I feel like allowing ourselves to share with the world why we are special, unique, beautiful, strong, etc., can start to diminish any bits of self-loathing and hopefully give us permission to love ourselves the way we should.”  She suggested that we start a social media movement called #12ThingsILoveAboutMe and encourage others to post, Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, or Pin one thing they love about themselves each month.

 

I took to her idea immediately and asked her to write a guest post about her motivates behind #12ThingsILoveAboutMe.  Here’s what Kendra had to say, and if you’re so inspired, I hope you’ll comment with something you love about yourself or share your thoughts via your favorite social media channel.

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I have stretch marks from my second pregnancy. I consider them a “flaw” and as much as I love my babies so very much and as proud as I am of my body having gone through the wonder of pregnancy, I don’t love them. I don’t even want to convince myself that I love them and I don’t feel like I should have to.  They aren’t pretty, they won’t go away and I envision myself wearing a one-piece swimsuit for the rest of my days because of them. And that is okay in my book.

 

I don’t think as women we should have to convince ourselves that something we feel is a “flaw” is really what makes us unique. I know it is true and each of our little quirks makes us who we are but I don’t necessarily want to be forced to love them.  What I do feel like we have a hard time with as women in today’s world is allowing ourselves to love other things that make us who we are… the good things. Not the flaws, not the quirks, but simply the “rock star” type things.

 

I’m as guilty as they come for self-loathing and focusing on the negatives for the majority of my life. I am now 32 and have two kids and I am just now starting to really feel comfortable in my own skin.

 

Now I am starting to look in the mirror and instead of taking inventory to mentally cut-down and talk badly about, I’m starting to celebrate and appreciate what I see. Believe me, I haven’t beat all my demons yet and the self-loathing can still creep in from time to time (hold habits die hard) but I am a work in progress and continuing to improve every day.

 

For years I wouldn’t feel worthy of being beautiful. I had a skewed idea of what beauty was anyway and didn’t think I lived up to the idea in my head. It has taken many years of growing up, and also many therapy sessions, to finally start allowing myself to feel good enough to be considered beautiful.

 

Once I started to believe it and see it with my own eyes I felt a tremendous weight lift off my shoulders. I felt lighter in my footsteps and I felt a calming sense of confidence that I have never felt in my entire life.

 

One thing I think needs to be clear is I’m not always talking about physical beauty either. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is so much deeper than just what is on the outside. Finding balance, finding your voice, believing you are strong, etc. are all important pieces to the puzzle as well.

 

Come to find out, I was always all of those things and more but I never allowed myself to feel. But that has all changed! Again, I’m not perfect and I still struggle with this every single day. Going from daily self-loathing and negative self-talk to appreciating, respecting, and {GASP} LOVING, yourself is not an easy feat. But it is possible!

 

My idea is to start by shouting from the roof-tops with reckless abandon something that you love about yourself. It could be anything. But the trick is you have to believe it. Maybe you secretly have always loved your nose. You’ve looked in the mirror from time-to-time and admired it. Or perhaps you are athletic and work-out to keep your body healthy which has resulted in some really sexy and muscular legs. You look in the mirror and you flat out love your legs.

 

Like I said, it doesn’t even have to be physical. You might feel really proud that you are a hard worker. You get the job done (whatever the “job” might be) and you get it done well. You love that about yourself and it drives you.

 

There will be no shame – just pure, genuine love… for YOURSELF. Can you do it? Are you up for the challenge?

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Here is the gist. Once a month for a year, you will shout out one thing that you love about yourself. You can include a photo or just use your words. As a community we will be encouraged to show love to those who participate and encouragement. So shout it out here in the comments section or tweet it out with the hashtag #12ThingsILoveAboutMe.

 

You are beautiful. We all know it… so it’s about time you do too!

{ 25 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun July 12, 2013, 10:02 am

    I love this idea! It is so important to practice self love. I know I am so hard on myself most of the time that some days it is important to just sit back and think about whats important. I would have to say if I had to name one thing I love my long legs. Even though I used to hate them they really help me in my running!

    Reply
  • RunEatRepeat July 12, 2013, 10:04 am

    Love this! Pass it on :)

    Reply
  • Rebecca July 12, 2013, 10:10 am

    What a wonderful idea! I love the mental and physical strength that I have to!

    Reply
  • Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries July 12, 2013, 10:10 am

    Love, love, love this! Just wrote a post about “self love” earlier this week! Here it is if anyone is interested: http://www.myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com/2013/07/09/practicing-self-love/

    I love my EYES! I also love that my body was able to create and give birth to our beautiful baby boy – such a miracle!

    Reply
  • Presley @ Run Pretty July 12, 2013, 10:19 am

    She’s awesome. And yes, I love her eyelashes, too! I definitely thought she was going to go with smile. :)

    Reply
  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance July 12, 2013, 10:56 am

    What a great idea! I used to be really into self-loathing but I turned 30 this year and with that came the realization that I’m getting older and I should appreciate how pretty I am now. Everyone gets older. Everyone gets wrinkles. Everyone loses that youthful glow. So while I still have it, I’m going to appreciate it and not focus on the things I don’t like. I now look in the mirror and think “Wow, you look good!” whereas I used to think “Wow, your arms could be thinner.” You know what, I generally feel better as a result!

    Reply
  • Amy G. July 12, 2013, 11:49 am

    I love this! Self-loathing is such a nasty thing that comes to us so easily. Especially with external features. I’ve been working really hard to ditch all the negative thoughts. So today I say that I love my feet! They’re not the most beautiful feet (my crooked toes and calluses won’t let me be a foot model :), but I love that they allow me to run the distances I do time and time again! They also help me to stand my ground and keep going no matter what!

    Reply
  • Laura Ann July 12, 2013, 1:28 pm

    Very cool. Someone emailed this article to me today and thought you might enjoy: 10 Radical Art Projects That Celebrate Women’s Bodies — http://flavorwire.com/402681/10-diverse-body-positive-artworks-about-women

    Reply
  • Verna July 12, 2013, 2:42 pm

    I just had my 3rd baby on Tuesday. Pretty proud of my body for the hard work it’s done to grown 3 babies, bring them into this world, and continue to feed them for many more months after.

    Reply
  • Kim July 12, 2013, 2:45 pm

    What a great idea. I love my eyes as well. They are blue, but sort of grey-ish blue with dark blue rings as the border before hitting the white part.

    Reply
  • Suzanne July 12, 2013, 3:08 pm

    I love this! I will be participating for sure :)

    Reply
  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 12, 2013, 6:38 pm

    I love this idea Kendra!!! Even though I consider my body image to be very positive for the most part, I won’t pretend like I don’t have those negative thoughts once in a while too. Today, I’m loving myself for having patience! There are a whole bunch of really great things happening in my life right now that I’ve been shooting for for a while now. I’m so happy I waited for these opportunities to come along, rather than rushing into other decisions that might have been the wrong ones.
    Oh, and every time I think about self love, I like to watch this for a giggle! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

    Reply
  • Kat @ Where the Sidewalk Ends July 12, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Love, love, love this – how empowering and beautiful. Pass it on, folks!

    Reply
  • Gertie July 12, 2013, 10:06 pm

    Another blogger (Roni over @ ronisweigh.com) just posted the following an amazing Maya Angelou: “When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”

    Even though I’m nearly 30, I’m just starting to begin to learn how to do this now.

    Reply
  • Kristi July 12, 2013, 10:09 pm

    I love this idea and will definitely be taking part. It’s time that we start loving ourselves.

    Reply
  • Alex July 13, 2013, 9:34 am

    Awesome post. So important!

    Reply
  • Amanda July 13, 2013, 11:28 am

    I love this! I will definitely will be participating! We all need to love ourselves more and walk away from the self criticism. :)

    Reply
  • Lauren @ Breathe & Nourish July 13, 2013, 5:31 pm

    Absolutely love this! I’ll definitely participate. Thanks Kendra!

    Reply
  • Girl Eat July 16, 2013, 8:49 am

    What a beautiful and wonderful idea. Too many of us do not practice self-love by taking care of ourselves and celebrating ourselves every day! 12 things is a great idea for a movement. More power to you.

    -Girl Eat

    Reply
  • Nicole July 17, 2013, 12:26 pm

    I love this post! Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. I will definitely jump on board with #12thingsIloveaboutme. I’m so excited to share this!

    I have a hard time with self love as well. I’ve recently been trying really hard to work on this. Journaling, meditation, and daily affirmations are really helping me begin to rewire my brain from negative to positive thinking, but, like yourself, it’s a life-long process.

    One thing I love about myself is my capacity for empathy. I always seek to understand where other people are coming from and walk a mile in their shoes. I think it’s a great quality to have :)

    Reply

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