Learning to Love Yourself

Worth Living Ambassador Sarah Gobeil

Hi world, I’m Sarah.  I’m an odd, energetic ball of dancing wonders. I love to make others happy and to influence the world in the most positive way I can. I also really like to smile.  Smiles are contagious, please show me yours.

I will be the first to say that I have not lived through it all. I have not experienced all that life has to offer me at 16 years old. In fact, I probably haven’t lived a quarter of my time on the earth.

But I can also say that I have lived. I lived through ups and I’ve lived through downs, just like everyone.

When I was five years old, I would have never thought that I would one day look in the mirror at my dance class and be absolutely disgusted. Fast forward 6 years; that was my reality. I was 11 years old and I didn’t want to go to dance because I thought I was fat. Eleven years old. Fat. A young, pubescent girl’s absolute worst nightmare.

It’s amazing how one small thought can lead to a time of such disaster. I so soon found myself questioning everything I put in my mouth. Will this make me even fatter? Will I look like a whale after this? Will people look at me weird if I eat too much? Will people look at me weird if I eat too little? My mind was constantly focused on food. Spinning around and around.

Life has a way of throwing curve balls, and somewhere along the way a 13 year old Sarah discovered calories. Good grief. What a mistake. 1800. 1500. 1200. “Wow I’m doing so good!” 1000. 900. 800. “Why do people say you need to eat so much I feel so good!” 700. 600. 500. “I’m really tired mom…” 450. 400. 300. Starving.

I was 13 years old, absolutely hated myself, and felt like I was a waste of space. The hatred of my own body felt like it would never end. Until I made a decision. I found myself looking in the mirror for literally hours each day. Critiquing all the flaws, blemishes, scars. But one day when I stood in front of the mirror (bawling) I wanted it all to change. I didn’t want to hate myself. I didn’t want to feel the way I was feeling about myself. So as I looked, I picked things about myself. I complimented myself. Eyes. Collarbones. Nose. Waist. I didn’t care if I actually believed what I was saying to myself; I was still saying it. I started to draw things on my mirror – flowers, hearts, birds. I wrote the words beautiful and strong and powerful and kind. Did I fully believe what I was telling myself? No way. But I wanted to hear those things from the most important person in my life; me. And after a while, I started to believe it.

It only takes one step of initiative to make the change in your life that you’ve wanted to make. Nothing in life worth having comes easy, but everything is worth working for. Draw on your mirror, set reminders on your phone to tell yourself that you’re amazing, take a snack break when you want one, record videos of you complimenting yourself and play them when you need it. Loving yourself is all in your hands and it is 100% attainable.

Self- love is not selfish. Self- love does not equal conceited. Self- love does not mean self- centred. Self- love simply means that you are able to recognize the beauty that you were given without doubt.

Self -love is a beautiful thing.

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