Something a little bit different and much more personal, however it’s a significant part in my journey towards a healthier and happier life. In this post,
I’d like to address body image and my personal experience with low
self-esteem and self-consciousness. I ramble a lot about makeup and skincare,, but having made the conscious choice to go green stems from something deeper.
This. This gif (from The Breakfast Club movie) sums up how I felt throughout my entire teenage years and early adulthood – and I don’t think I’m wrong if I say that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, no?
It would be hypocritical of me to say that I accept myself entirely. No. I have moments where I don’t feel great at all, BUT compared to several years ago, it’s a world of difference now. It had nothing to do with other people; my family and close friends loved me dearly and never made any remarks of some sorts, this was just me.
I could spend hours trying to figure out the causes; it could be the general environment, or the magazines which relentlessly try to sell you “perfection”, but this question is not relevant to me anymore. I can’t change the medias, the environment or the people. What I can change, is how I see things.
I was what you’d call a bit chubby growing up, (I just love bread ;), and what my parents lovingly referred as “baby fat” was just plain grossness to me. Going shopping and trying on clothes used to be my definition of hell. I’d be excited to see a nice piece of clothing and then once wearing it on, I’d see all my hopes of looking good, vanish. I thought nothing looked appealing on me, and when something was ill-fitted, I blamed my body. I pretty much blamed it for everything. My stomach, my legs, my short height, everything looked distorted to me, and I would bottle up this anger towards my body. So I let myself go. I felt ugly, which led me to emotional eating and as I ate more, I got heavier, and as I got heavier, I got more depressed, leading to a vicious circle. Sometimes, I’d go for the yo-yo diets, (where I’d cut out almost everything) and quickly lose weight (more like nutrients and muscles) and gain back
everything (and more) a few months later. At 16, some health issues ensued and that was the last straw. It’s not normal to experience repetitive acute sinusitis (at least 1-2 times each month, knowing a crisis would last minimum a week), repetitive antibiotics treatments, fatigue, hair loss and joint pains at 16. I was 16 but I felt like 80.
It made me think of what we call karma. You hear people say “beware of karma”, but I believe there’s a body karma, because later on my
body made me pay for all this animosity I had towards it. It’s only after going to a naturopathic doctor that things started to brighten up. She didn’t provide any definite cure to my ailments, but she showed me that small changes could have tremendous impacts. The first thing for me was cutting out dairy, which triggers sinusitis. As the crises were less frequent, I started eating better and avoid sugary drinks. Overtime, I slowly reduced my antiobiotics intake and regained more energy. Same for workouts. I didn’t start with running or anything like that, I began to go for little walks until I walked longer and faster. Then I started taking an interest in essential oils to reduce my stress and anxiety. Eventually, my passion for wellness and green beauty grew from there. Slowly, but steadily, I started seeing myself under a new light: as I treated my body right, my body looked right to me.
Choosing more ethical and greener product has been my way of overcoming insecurity. Would it work for everyone? I don’t know. But since going green, step by step and day by day, I accept myself more as I am. It’s not about looking prettier, slimmer or younger. It’s about treating my body with kindness and respect, by choosing gentle products and by giving it the right nutrients. Going green has been my apology to my body.
And no it’s not perfect, it never will be, but there is a constant improvement and that’s what matters to me. So now, when the pants don’t fit, I blame the pants, not the body. 😉
I felt a bit nervous writing about this, and apologies if it seems to go all over the place, but it’s what happens when emotions take over. Now I’d love to hear your stories, so feel free to share them here – in the comments or per email if you prefer).
I'm very happy that you are in a better place. I've gone through thankfully a very short period of time of not going anywhere without a little bit of makeup. Weirdly enough my inner control freak helped me out with this, I hate the idea of being dependent on something, so the thought that I was relying so much on makeup made me not want to use it every day (plus natural laziness, seriously it's so much effort to have a completely made up face everyday!). Generally it makes me sad that women tend to relate to each other by recounting our 'flaws', you say something you don't like about your body, and the other person is almost trying to top it with a 'flaw' of her own. Like accepting a complement is not ok. "You look beautiful", or "your skin is glowing", is almost always followed by "oh it's just the makeup" or "good lighting". As if liking ourselves is a crime. People who are confident are often referred to as full of themselves, or stuck up, but at at the other end of the spectrum you get constant self criticism, and I don't think that's healthy or helpful. Life is really short, with so many struggles, I think this particular battle is emotionally and physically draining, and I have long ago decided that I'm not going to engage.
Thank you for your comment Tammy <3 Yes I'm in a much better place now 🙂 It's funny because I did the exact opposite, I never ever wore makeup back then because I thought it wouldn't help anyway. Now when I wear makeup it's not to feel prettier, but simply because I'm in the mood for playing with makeup ;D. What you're saying about compliments is so true, having confidence is considered as cockiness/arrogance and it shouldn't. Confidence is key to elevate ourselves and achieve what we want in life. Regrets stem from a lack of confidence. xx
Liz, this is beautiful. This post pulls at my heart because I felt the same growing up and I still struggle with accepting my looks/ what iv been given. Green beauty and trying to live well has helped me, as you said, feel better about myself.
Love you Liz! you are beautiful inside and out! x
Love you too Liz!! Thank you for sharing your experience and I hope you feel better each day. You're beautiful inside and out Liz <3 xx
I can totally relate. I went through a similar journey as you! Beautiful post!
Thank you Hazel Sending you love <3
Aww Liz, beautiful post. So glad you opened up and shared. I'm entering my late 20s now and I feel like I am only just starting to accept and appreciate my body (even though it isn't in the ideal state I could hope for). The green beauty community has opened up so many doors to self-love and this world of peace I never knew about before. I'm so happy to find people like yourself who are having similar experiences.
You're gorgeous and talented Liz! Sending smiles 🙂
Thank you my sweet Lauren <3 Yes I'm not sure if I'll ever accept myself entirely, but every little step is a step in the right direction and we are here to support each other! You're beautiful inside and out Lauren. xx
Beautiful post, Liz! I felt the same way growing up and still feel a bit like that especially after my corneal abrasion last December that caused me to wear my glasses most of the time. I'm scared of recurrence, I think I already had one in June. I'm blind as a bat and even though I have nice frames now I still feel very self-conscious about my thick glasses and how they make my eyes small.. Also, naturopaths are great. I try to stay away from conventional doctors unless it's something really serious.
You're beautful, Liz <3 xx
Yvonne, love, you're a darling and I'm glad we get to chat more lately!This resonates so much with me too, (I have a love-hate relationwhips with my glasses) but really this doesn't alter your natural beauty in any way. You're beautiful because you're you <3 Xxx
I have a daughter who, although gorgeous, doesn't see that. It's great that you've found something to help with your insecurities – it's so important to love and respect ourselves – warts and all! Looking after yourself from the inside out is a great place to start….x
Thank you Carrie, and I hope your daughter gets to see her beauty too! With a loving and gorgeous mother like you, I believe it's only a matter of time until she comes to realize it 🙂 xx
That was a beautiful post! I admire your courage and honesty. Very inspiring!
Best wishes, Nora
Thank you Nora! Your support means a lot <3 xx
Wonderful reflection, it's so true that we need to be kinder to ourselves Xx
Thank you Ana! Xx
What a beautiful post, Liz! I find that the older I get the nicer I get and when I worked in Zara I always said to customers – it's the pants, not you 🙂 We just need to be kind to ourself, think positive and everything will fall into place. Much love to you sweetie<3 xx
Thank you so much sweet Jana and I agree with everything you said! Customers were certainly lucky to have you since you're an absolute darling! <3 Xx
Dear Liz, thank you for sharing such an honest and confronting post. I think we all, somehow in one way or another, have been there ! The most important thing is to be happy with who you are right now, there's no yesterday and there's no tomorrow. Just embrace who you are at this very minute. We all have felt at some point not pretty enough, not tall enough, not intelligent enough, not thin enough, not successful enough; when in reality 99% is in our own heads. If you master your own mind, you would have already won a big battle! Lets embrace who we really are at this exact minute, because this is what we have and usually as you said it is ourselves who are not being kind to ourselves by thinking our bodies are not pretty enough ! xoxo
A resounding yes to everything you said!<3 Thank you for sharing your wisdom Anouk! Xx
I've read and re-read this post a couple of times now, and just wanted to thank you for writing it. Although it seems pretty obvious that most women struggle with something similar at times, it always strikes me just how insanely powerful that feeling of hate for your own body and blaming it can be. This was an incredibly reassuring post for me to read, and everyone elses comments have been so helpful too! Lots of love xx
Thank you Aimee for your words, I'm truly moved. Hearing this resonates with and others gives me strength and when we support each other, things become much easier. Much love your way <3 xx
You are stunning, Liz. I think we all deal with body issues in one way or another and I love that you mentioned green beauty has helped you feel more positive about yourself because I feel the same way. I think the community and ideas behind green beauty are so supportive to loving yourself for who you are and not trying to change it. Thanks for sharing this ♥
Thank you lovely for reading it's funny how harsh we can be on ourselves. It shouldn't be that way, especially regarding our bodies. <3
Ah, I love this Liz, thank you so much for sharing, and I’m going to try to remember to blame the pants, not my body! That’s such a original, lighthearted but powerful way to see it! Sending a giant hug to you! xoxo Karlie
Thank you my sweet Karlie! So glad you found it helpful <3