This post is part of Shapermint’s #ThisIsMyTruth campaign, launched to spark up an honest-to-heart conversation about our own bodies, through the personal stories of four extraordinary women.
We can be hard on ourselves when life isn’t working out the way we expected. As women, we’re socialized to shoulder the emotional burden of comforting others– even when we’re dealing with our own trauma!
How many times have you apologized for crying, or reassured someone you’re “fine” when you absolutely are not? How many times have you looked in the mirror and said “get over it”? For those of us who have struggled with eating disorders or self-harming behavior, this abusive way of handling negative feelings can literally threaten our lives.
Question: if a friend came to you with a problem, would you tell them to get over it or shame them for expressing their feelings? Would you hurt them?
Hopefully not! So why do we think it’s okay to do it to ourselves?
#ThisIsMyTruth : Want to know my truth? To put it straight, growing up I was the girl with the big boobs. At school guys would know me for having a large chest, not for having a great personality. I was always very self conscious about my chest because when you are so young not many other girls have an E cup size...yes E. I was a competitive dancer and for years I compared myself to my friends wishing I had the petite dancer bodies that they did. Along with having a big bust I suffered from a lot of back problems causing so much pain when I danced and it made me so upset. When I was 17 I decided to get a breast reduction. I went down to a D cup and it solved all my back issues which was great, but then I had a new insecurity...my scars. My scars cut under my breast, up to the nipple and around. I was young, I was dating, I was attending college and I didn't feel comfortable being naked or not wearing a bra because I was scared what guys would think of my scars...Eventually I hit an age that I learned to embrace them and find the beauty in them! Sometimes I still get insecure about my bust size, wishing they were smaller and then other days I love how curvy I am at my bust. The moral of my story is to embrace your flaws and learn to love them, once you do someone else will too. What’s your truth? I would love to hear your stories! Share your self-love story with the hashtag #ThisIsMyTruth #shareyourpower (also it’s very intimidating to share your tatas on Instagram lol)
Kindness shouldn’t just be reserved for others – we deserve to be kind to ourselves, especially when life isn’t. If you find it hard to spare a little compassion for yourself, you can adopt habits to create space in your life for gentle self care.
The truth is, treating yourself with compassion when you’re feeling down is the secret to self love and healing.
So the next time you hear that critical inner voice shaming you about your body or anything about your life that you wish you could change, ask it – kindly – to be quiet. Then take care of yourself in the same way you’d take care of a good friend who was struggling: go for a walk or a jog or a massage, treat yourself to a trip to your favorite spot, or curl up on the couch and have a good cry. No shame. Just unconditional love.
At a loss for healthy ways to comfort yourself when you’re feeling down? We asked our #ShapermintGals to offer some inspiration. Here’s what they do to pick themselves up during hard times.
THIS IS OUR TRUTH. What’s yours?
Share your story of self-love and body confidence using #ThisIsMyTruth on social media - who knows, you might inspire us and see yourself in one of our posts ;-) It’s your turn to erase the shame away and inspire all women to let their inner light shine through!
Watch the #ThisIsMyTruth campaign video below:
Bettye: There are days that you just get overwhelmed, you know? There’s this going on and that going on and... it’s not just you anymore that you’re trying to keep all this stuff going and your feelings get hurt about something or other and you tell yourself you’re a big girl and you can take it but you can’t. And decide that you’re gonna go in a room and close the door, and kind of regain yourself.
So a lot of times what I’ll do is I’ll just, I’m a walker and so I’ll get out and go for a walk and window shop or just decide I’m gonna stop and have something cold to drink or whatever.
Jill: I try not to live in the past for sure that's, that's a given. The present is always tough because I'm always, I'm someone who is always seeing what's next what's possible. And I do just try to spend a lot of time thinking about, just focus on where we are right this minute, like experienced right now.
Marcia: I’m pretty good at picking myself back up again and I swear, exercise is... fundamental. And... wearing a smile, because when you say it with a smile you don’t feel so down.
Paulina: I talk to my friends, I try to go out, out of my house, not to be alone because that’s probably the worst thing you can do just sit alone in your house and look in the mirror, not a good thing to do!
On the bad days, I try to... I try to think on... instead of looking at the things I don’t like, I try to find 5 things that I do like about myself and that generally changes... the way you think.