You hear it all the time in various phrasing and tidy little quotes:
“believe in yourself,”
“be who you are”
“you are the only you there is and ever will be”
They’re cliche, they’re overused, and have lost their meaning but the root of all of those silly little quotes is one that will never go out of style: LOVE YOURSELF. The act of valuing yourself will never be cliched.
Loving yourself and doing right by yourself is the most powerful thing you can do as a human being in this world. Loving yourself by yourself for yourself.
I think these days we all, as a society, seek affirmation and approval from outside sources before we turn our attention inwards and ask “is what I’m doing good enough for me? Am I good enough for me?” The answer should ALWAYS be yes.
I’ve always been tiny and I’m not saying that as a good or bad thing, it’s simply fact. When I was a child, my mom would buy me the smallest size pants and still had to sew the waist to keep them on my hips and off my ankles. I was tiny. Obviously I’m not still that small, I’m 19 years old, but body image is something that has always been in flux for me. When I was that tiny, I was prone to “wow, you’re so petite!” and as I grew up it became “wow, you’re really filling out!” Great, right? So, I’ve always been back and forth between “yeah I love myself, this is awesome” and “ugh, but i could be a little tinier here and a little curvier there and GOOD LORD WHY CAN’T I JUST HAVE KENDALL JENNER’S BODY!!??!?” I’m constantly up and down, my self image is never steady but I’m working on it.
That’s the catch.
I’m working on it.
I have good days and bad days, as we all do. On one particularly bad day, I went to dinner with my aunt who just happens to be one of my favorite people in this world. Over a salad from our favorite place, we talked about the importance of putting yourself first, of falling in love with yourself, of forgiving yourself, of surrounding yourself with people who only want to see you get better. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. DUH, CHLOE!
I was so focused on how I was being perceived by the outside that I forgot to care about how I felt. And the truth is, I feel amazing but for a while what I felt was being jaded by everyone else’s opinions. I’ve been in and out of the gym all summer long, between 3 and 5 days a week. I don’t diet. I eat foods that make me feel good, whole foods high in protein, loads of greens, and all that other good stuff that I don’t understand but that I know is good for me. But ice cream makes me feel good, too. So do Pringles and Doritos. And cheeseburgers. And sometimes even McDonalds french fries. Diet culture is for the birds, and so is letting expectations and outside influences effect how you feel about yourself + your body. Your self perception is based on YOU.
Train yourself to look in the mirror and absolutely LOVE the person staring back at you. Train yourself to love the sound of your natural laughter and the way your eyes squint into tiny slits when you smile your biggest smile. Love yourself as you are. Love yourself as a work in progress. Love yourself enough to push to where you want to be. Love yourself because you deserve it.
Thanks for being here.