Today the talk is about SELF-ESTEEM.
When my instagram and blog became bigger than I ever imagined they would be, I decided I should be part of this body-positive movement and also talk about self-esteem in relationships, professional life, and motherhood.
We never know who is following us, we do not know their life story, their fears, and so I decided that I would talk about any subject in the most transparent way possible. My mission is to make at least ONE person feel good, have their self-esteem elevated, or their fears crushed.
But let's get down to business...
We grow up in an extremely sexist society, where many abominable behaviors become commonplace. I have lived most of my life surrounded by men, and I have always used that classic phrase "I only have male friends, because women are very annoying." - But I changed my mind and behavior, so today I think it's important to say that, and especially to show that it's okay to change our minds ... Of course, people still point to things I said in the past, but now I am another person. I think differently and I'm very happy to have changed my behavior and my mind... To keep making the same mistakes is foolish.
Of course, for a while, I felt bad for all the terrible thoughts I had over many years, but I decided to make peace with myself and start doing things differently; embracing more and more women who are fighting against these social patterns.
Now let's talk about these patterns ...
It is very important to understand that this goes far beyond our own behavior. The standards exist in the fashion industry, in transportation, television, magazines, and especially in our homes - they are everywhere!
What should we do about it? I say self-love is the most important thing. Let me give you an example ..
Last week I went to my in-law's house, and there's a pool. I grew up on the beach, so I packed my bikinis, but because of insecurity I decided to take a one-piece bathing suit as well.
I woke up on Tuesday and it was a beautiful day. I just wanted to lie in the sun and stay for hours - remember that I'm speaking to you as a person who lives in New York and, because of pregnancy and giving birth to Gigi, spent a year without sunbathing.
Well, I went to get ready to go to the pool. I looked at myself in the mirror and without any shred of love, I put on my one-piece swimsuit to hide my body and I thought, "I do not have a body to wear a bikini ..."
On the way from the bathroom to the bedroom, I asked myself, "Why do I need to have a body to wear a bikini ?!"
- First, I just need a body; and we all know that I have one.
- Second, I just need a bikini; which I also had with me!
And after answering these very simple questions, I ran into the bathroom, changed into my two-piece, and went to enjoy the pool! See how easy it was to resolve this conflict?!
The problem is not what we want to do, it is dealing with the comments and unloving looks of the people around us.
But why do we let ourselves be shaken by what people think?! That's what I've been saying on Instagram several times.
People who do not look to themselves with love, will also not do so with the other person; they only want you to be someone they can't be, so they transfer their frustrations to you! You see how dangerous it is... It's not about you, it's about the dissatisfaction they carry about themselves.
I will give an example that happened to me last year... I got married in July last year, and in May someone criticized my body. They said I had to lose more weight for the wedding, to look beautiful in my wedding dress. Below you can see two photos from May 2017. I was very insecure about everything, I looked at myself in the mirror and I felt fat. In my head, I would be a horrible bride if I could not lose more weight.
So I decided to follow what these people said and I started a super restrictive diet to lose even more weight...
The result was much more stressful than you can imagine ... I had a kidney infection because of the diet I was doing, I went to the emergency room, and besides the medication, the doctor said that my recovery would be faster if I ate carbohydrates. I do not need to say that the consequence would be to put on weight so that my kidneys would not be overloaded.
Also I had the stress of my wedding dress. The one I had bought did not fit anymore a month and a half before my wedding, so I was desperate for a dress that would be ready on time. It was pure adrenaline, because after I found the dress I wanted, I received the news that it would only be ready two days before the wedding. What if something went wrong in the dress ?!
Luckily the dress was ready a little before, because they had errors and at least gave time to fix it... But you see the point I want to make?! It's not about weight, it's about being at peace and happy with who you are. Love your body and yourself no matter what. If I had just ignored the comments I heard and was secure about my body and what I wanted for myself, this would not have happened. So you can see that it is not the other person's fault, IT IS 100% MY FAULT!
Taking responsibility for yourself is one of the most important factors in this process. All the stress I have experienced, was my responsibility!
The wedding was great, I looked beautiful, I had fun, and that's the most important thing! But if I had not taken that responsibility for myself, I would have spent the entire time whining about what happened.
How does this work in our lives?! It's exactly the same thing!
Today my priority is to strengthen myself more and more to raise a little girl who is completely free of these patterns. Is it going to happen outside the house?! OF COURSE! But if she practices the self love when she is little, she will understand that she can be who she wants, do what she wants, and learn to ignore any comments that shake her self-esteem.
Kids are free of patterns and prejudices when they are born. Adults are responsible for their insecurities. It is not that they teach this purposefully, but what happens is that the child begins to identify these patterns in adults and if the parents, for example, are insecure people, who are always complaining about their own body or think less of themselves, they will start to feel insecure as well.
Think about it, if mothers and fathers are the most perfect people in the world, and if they feel horrible about themselves, how will this child feel about it?! How will she grow up to be secure about her own body and her behavior?!
That story of building a better world for our children begins at home and goes far beyond material issues.
So what I want to say to you here is: Do not let yourself be shaken by the comments of others. Take care of your self-esteem, exercise your empathy with other people instead of looking at them full of judgment. When you look at others with empathy, it automatically comes back to you, and it's easier to deal with issues that still bother you.
But the next time you are judging someone, ask yourself why it bothers you so much. What's inside you that makes you judge or comment on other people's bodies and choices?
To finish this post, I will challenge you to start a week with more empathy and no judgement!