About this time last year, I was battling depression and anxiety in a big way. I wasn’t motivated to do anything. I wanted to sleep all day. I had no patience with my kids. I remember buying a potted plant for our porch and laughing at it cynically as I watched it droop and eventually shrivel up and die because I didn’t even want to take care of that. I did everything without joy in my heart. I would then think how ugly and awful I was because I didn’t care about anything anymore. I’d put on about twenty pounds and even though I was working out, I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. My sister was so thin and I asked her what she had been doing to keep her weight down. She said she was doing a portion control diet. She lent me her brightly colored containers and showed me how the process worked.
I followed the steps and in about a week, I noticed the weight was coming off rapidly. By the end of the first month, I’d lost ten pounds. By the end of the second month, I was down fifteen. And the more weight I lost, the more determined I became to lose more. I no longer used the containers. I just ate very little. Without realizing it, I had become a train-wreck waiting to happen. I wasn’t anorexic, but I was close. I was eating one large meal a day and snacking in between, basically to keep from passing out. Remember DJ Tanner in Full House when she was eating a carrot stick and then torturing herself on the treadmill to get thin? I was a thirty-six-year-old version of that. I was working out every night at the gym and then running at home after each grueling workout. On the weekends, I was going out and drinking to try to feel something other than empty and hollow.
I had lost sight of who I was. No one knew how bad it had gotten. I didn’t open up to anyone about this part of me. I was always angry, tired, and lonely. I thought I was in control of my life because I’d finally gotten control of my weight. But I was doing it in an unhealthy way.
When I finally realized the path of self-destruction I was on, I woke up terrified and humbled by how far I’d fallen. I had to face many hard truths. The control I’d been seeking was not healthy. I surrendered to the simple fact that I wasn’t going to make it much longer looking for meaning in my life through outside validation. Because the truth is, self-worth doesn’t come from others’ opinions of us, it comes from within.
Please listen to me. If you never read another blog post that I share again, I want to make this so clear to you: YOU ARE AN ABUNDANTLY BLESSED AND BEAUTIFUL SOUL. Your beauty doesn’t come from a number on a scale, the flawlessness of your complexion, or how trendy your clothes are. It doesn’t come from how many people love you. You are so much more than what anyone sees on the outside. Your beauty is in your unique and divine energy, your life force. You were created by divinity and whether or not you are religious or even spiritual, I’m telling you, you are living and breathing in this world with a divine purpose that was born in you. It’s something that no other human being can give to you or take away from you; it’s yours alone.
Now, that being said, treat your body the way you’d treat something sacred and beautiful because YOU ARE! From the tip of your big toenail to the topmost hair on your head, you are WORTHY. You are ENOUGH. No matter what you’ve done, or how far off the path you’ve gotten, start treating yourself with kindness, tell yourself every day. I actually took a dry erase marker and wrote it on our bathroom mirrors so that we are all seeing that message every time we look in the mirror.
And now you probably know where I am going with this. For Assignment 4 of our Summer Beautification Program, take a dry erase marker to your bathroom mirror and write, “I am loved. I am worthy. I am enough.”
Read it aloud to yourself every morning. I don’t care if you have hellacious morning breath, puffy sleep eyes, and wild bed-head. You are loved. You are worthy. You are enough.