I’m not saying that breast implants are bad. As you know from my story, I got them… loved them… got an infection and had to have them removed, which was not in my initial game plan. I spent four years hiding and covering my insecurities about my deformed breasts, which brought me back to the negative body image I had when I was young. Sometimes when we think that we are strong and have worked through our issues, life gets in our way and we become challenged to face them again.
As a young girl I was tall, chubby, and had no breasts. What I thought at that age was that I had three strikes against me. I cried out of embarrassment because the other girls were shorter, thinner, prettier, and it seemed as if puberty had been much kinder to them in the “breast department.” The boys liked them but not me. This led me to join Weight Watchers when I was 15 to seek a solution to be just as thin as the girls on the magazine covers because I was already just as tall as they were. Loosing weight was hard. It took time, commitment, and determination. It worked. I actually got some small-time modeling gigs but I still didn’t feel pretty enough. I felt insecure because I never make it on a cover of a magazine. By the time I was a senior in high school, I compared myself to everyone else in the world and I became bulimic and anorexic. I thought that might be the answer. In my mind I wasn’t pretty enough, my breasts weren’t large enough, my nose wasn’t small enough, my hips were too wide… I even allowed myself to believe that I wasn’t enough. Nothing worked…
As a young girl and teen, I was marked with body image disturbance, or body Dysmorphia. I had an imagined defect in appearance. I perceived myself as not pretty enough, even within. But, I wasn’t alone. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 million women suffer from eating disorders. Through my own therapeutic work in overcoming these deep rooted issues, I had to replace my negative, self-defeating thinking about my body image with more realistic, self-enhancing self-talk. Body image has been a main topic of discussion with myself in this first season of LA Shrinks. You have watched me work through my insecurities with my body after my surgery, which I hope has helped some of you work through some of yours as you have so kindly shared with me that it has. Now you are a part of my new client, Katie’s, journey as she begins to embark on figuring out a way for people to love her from the inside and not just the stereotypes that have been placed upon her because of her choices and outside appearance. In order for her to attract a new type of man, she must become vulnerable and allow people to get to know her for who she is in her heart, other than the persona she has created to become top in her game in her industry. There is nothing wrong with enhancing your personal appearance (get the boob job if you want) as long as you realize it won’t fix you on the inside. That takes self care and work. But, trust me -- its worth it.
We live in a world where we are all unique and different in our own special way. This should be celebrated! However, we are bombarded with messages that we are not pretty enough, tall enough, smart enough… that we are not enough. The sad thing is that we start believing these messages.
Building confidence in yourself and in your body is the foundation to achieving what you really want out of life. When you don’t love yourself and you are stuck believing that you are not enough, you become preoccupied with the negative thinking in your mind. You try to find ways to fix yourself. When you can embrace your uniqueness and find love for yourself you will be able to be fully present and available to others.
Next time you look in the mirror, look at it with your own eyes. Don’t judge yourself by TV standards. Judge yourself fairly for a change. Consider your body type and situation completely before you judge yourself. Realize that how you see yourself is different than how others see you. There are no quick fixes; they are optical illusions, which we should not be taken as true representation. Embrace your uniqueness because that’s what makes you who you are. And you are one of a kind. Here are five ways to start loving yourself. Next time you look in the mirror, look at these five things.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
This is a death nail for any of us. In a world full of magazine covers that tell us that our bellies should be flat, our boobs should be perfectly round, and our face shouldn’t have one wrinkle, how are we supposed to feel beautiful? Stop comparing yourself to cover models. They spend a lot of time getting their hair filled with extensions, makeup done and airbrushed by professionals.
2. You are unique
Everyone has something that they would like to change about themselves. If you keep wishing that you had your best friend’s lusciously thick hair, or someone else’s long, lean legs, you won’t be able to know that what you are is unique and beautiful.
3. Focus on what you have to power to change
Rather than focusing on all of the things you don’t like about yourself, redirect your energy to what you can do to change, like toning up. Take a spinning, yoga or Pilates class, lift some weights. Not only does exercise increase our endorphins, we also feel so much better about ourselves when we take care of our bodies.
4. Be grateful for what you have
Point out the different qualities about yourself that make you unique and beautiful. Do you love your eyes, smile, hair, arms, legs? Write a list of the things about yourself that you are grateful for.
5. Practice self care
Self care is vital for our well -being. Take at least 10-15 minutes of me time every day. Take a walk, listen to music, write in a journal, read a book. If you don’t fuel yourself and your body with loving care how are you ever going to be able to fully give it to somebody else? When we are happy those around us are too.