Go L*ve Yourself – Blog by Amy Allen

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“Love yourself”.

This phrase seems to be all the rage right now.  It seems so simple, right? We all know that it isn’t.  The more I see this, the more I think about what that means to me.  I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflecting lately.  This self-reflecting has only intensified as I’ve become a mother.  I am hyper-aware that my child will be perceptive to how I view myself and the repercussions of that will be many.

Something that’s been very apparent to me relating to self-love is the idea of compliments.  I’ve picked up through the years that when people receive compliments (especially amongst us females), the response is seldom just a wholehearted “thank you”. I know for us ladies, the response often comes with “Oh thank you, (eyeroll)” followed by some sort of personal tear down.

Here are a couple of mine:

“I like your hair today.” My reply: “Thanks, it’s greasy and I need to shower.” (Usually true)

“You’re so fit!” “Thank you, if only I could get rid of these saddlebags.”

…The list goes on and on. Surely this isn’t foreign to you readers.  We hear them all the time!

It’s like we can’t just take a compliment.  I’m not pointing fingers. YOU might not do this. But I can be honest and admit that I have.  Why do we do this? Is it insecurity? Is it out of fear that we will appear to be consumed by vanity if we don’t “un-compliment” ourselves?  Do we really just think we are that disgusting?

I’m not always like this.  Some days, most days actually, I really do feel that I love myself.  Sometimes I feel completely content with my appearance and some days I don’t (oh that wretched body image beast!)  Some days I feel that I am fulfilling my role in this world and some days I feel that I am so far from it that I haven’t the slightest clue.  I think that’s normal.  If not normal, then extremely common.

The crazy thing is, the very things I think are flaws with my appearance, are things that I DON’T SEE on other people.  For example, I can complain about cellulite but when I see someone I think is beautiful in a bikini and they have cellulite, I STILL THINK THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL. And it’s kind of a wakeup call.  “Well, if she has a little cellulite and can be beautiful, THEN I’M GOING TO ROCK THIS CELLULITE SO HARD!” 🙂 So why are we so hard on ourselves? The fact of the matter is, we are all so consumed with ourselves and in our own heads that we are not picking other people apart.  Only ourselves… We don’t care about how YOU look in a bikini, we care about how WE look in a bikini (and we shouldn’t, but that’ll take some time). So my lesson here is we should ALL wear bikinis (or whatever the heck we are comfortable in if we can’t handle this bikini metaphor) and not give a rat’s hind quarters because no one is concerned with how you look in it anyway.  Are you guys following me?

As I sat down to write this, I realized that I could compose an entire book on this topic.  I feel like I’m starting to go down some rabbit trails if I haven’t already, so I’ll try to hit the key points here.

So what does “loving myself” mean to me? I know that loving myself means taking care of both my physical and emotional (and spiritual) well-being.  Um, ok. But how?

It does not mean believing I am perfect.  First things first, it means respecting myself and not tearing myself down.  I have to remind myself that when I disrespect myself, I disrespect my Creator.  I am actually insulting His masterpiece!  (There are obviously loads more on this topic of loving who you were made to be, but I won’t get into that here.)

Loving myself means taking care of my body. It means getting regular exercise and fueling my body with (mostly) nutritious foods.  (Hey, *TREAT YO’ SELF too!) When I feel fit, I feel good physically and emotionally.  (But loving myself also means that I don’t beat myself up when I splurge on *insert favorite sweet treat here*.)

Loving myself means standing up for myself and for what’s right.  It means not letting people mistreat me or others around me.

Loving myself means being honest and open with people and not getting embarrassed easily.  Those who know me know this to be true. 🙂  It means knowing WHO I AM and being ok with that!

What does “loving yourself” mean to you?  I love you, but do YOU love you?  That answer might take some reflecting, but maybe in the meantime, we can agree that a good place to start is being a little more mindful about our negative responses to those compliments.

Amy Allen is one of the Coaches for Palo Cedro CrossFit. She is a strong athlete, snapchat enthusiast, cheerleader of others, and criminally gorgeous.