Self-help author Rachel Hollis gets all the credit for the blog title this week. I'm sharing an excerpt from my book this week with a little self-love tip.
I have always carried extra weight on my stomach, but I’ve always been a normal-ish weight. I vividly remember changing in the girl’s locker room for gym somewhere in that middle school timeframe, so probably 7th or 8th grade. A girl, who will remain nameless on paper, but definitely has a name in my head, pointed and poked at my stomach and called me the 'Pillsbury Dough Girl" playfully making a comment about my fluffy middle parts. This was over 25 years ago. 25 years, ladies! Words sure can hurt. More than that, they can stick with us and make us doubt ourselves. This was definitely the start of my self-hate journey. I bet you can think of a similar moment or a moment when you started to realize you weren’t ‘perfect’, too. I wish we could be adults with the minds of little kids who really know how to love themselves. Instead, we are adults with experiences like the Pillsbury dough girl poke that reside in our heads, reminding us of just how imperfect we most certainly are.
I bet you have a story similar to my Pillsbury dough girl one. What is it? How is it affecting you?
It wasn't all at once, but this once incident began my journey of doubting myself and feeling self-conscious, something I wasn't keen to at all prior to someone calling out my fluffy tummy. I started to really dislike myself. I couldn't even look at my reflection in the mirror. Sure, I'd use the mirror to do my hair and make up, but I couldn't stare into my eyes with any level of comfort.
So, this one phrase has stuck with me since I heard it. It sounds kinda silly, but it carries some crazy power.
"Never Break a Promise You Make to Yourself"
- Rachel Hollis
I learned about it when I attended a RISE Conference last year. I wrote it down in my notes and something about it resonated. When you start to keep the promises you make to yourself, you start to respect and love yourself again.
I started implementing it when I was having problems getting out of bed for my morning runs. I would set out my clothes and gear the night before, my alarm would go off, and I would hit sleep timer and roll back over. I had NO intention of getting out of my warm bed. But, once I started repeating this mantra to myself, I realized that I felt so confident when I would actually do what I told myself I would do. So, if my alarm went off, instead of rolling back over, I would take two puffs of my inhaler and allow myself one sleep timer. Once that went off, it was time to hop out of bed and get dressed to leave. It worked 99% of the time for me. And, each time I would follow through, I found myself disliking me a whole lot less. In fact, I started to feel a whole bunch of respect and pride in what I was doing.
It didn't stop with my morning runs, either. It extended into all facets of life. I promised myself that I would learn to use the word "No" when I really didn't want to do something. And, my inner peace emerged as I used it. I felt better because I wasn't doing things I didn't want to do, but also because I was honoring myself. When I wanted to eat better, I would make a promise to myself such as "No dessert tonight" or when I wanted to be more consistent in my business it was "I'm going to blog weekly". Each time I follow through, I feel such respect for my discipline. When I wanted to show people in my life love, I promised to connect with them and felt better not only because I kept my promise, but because I connected with the people I love.
There is really no negative to trying it out. If you struggle when you see your face staring back at you in the mirror, play with it. It will take time, but I can guarantee that you will start to see beauty in that reflection.
I also can't say enough about surrounding yourself with people that love you for WHO you are, not WHAT you are. There are a few people in my life that have made an incredible impact on how I view myself and I am incredibly grateful.
These days, my wonderful kids have been the delivery vehicle for the tummy comments. But now I have the audacity to challenge what they say and teach them something about it. When I look in the mirror, I smile. I don't see perfection. I might not even see things I really like. But, I smile because I love it all anyway.