For years, I would sit in front of a mirror and constantly compare myself to other people I saw or knew. I felt like I was too fat, too tall, too busty, too ugly, and not enough for anyone. I purposely avoided walking by mirrors so I wouldn’t have to face that reflection of myself that I hated. I hated looking at it. I could sit all day and tell myself what I did wrong or what my flaws were but what was REALLY hard was trying to compliment myself. Trying to compliment me was a challenge. There wasn’t anything I liked about me. I was ugly, fat, and nobody liked me. This was the inner monolog I would tell myself every day when I looked in the mirror. Looking back now, I realize why I felt so crummy all the time. When you are told all these negative things and be around negative people, your thoughts become negative.
One day, I remember sitting on the phone with my very loving and amazing boyfriend bawling my eyes out. That day I had felt particularly ugly and defeated. My boyfriend cut me off mid-sob and said, “Lauren, what if someone talked to me the way you talk to yourself? How would you feel? You would be so mad and you wouldn’t put up with it. Sitting here watching you constantly put yourself down is the hardest thing. You NEED to start treating yourself the way that you treat others.” I went silent and I processed his words of wisdom. Tyler always knows what to say but this time, he knocked it out of the ballpark. I treated everyone around me like gold but I treated myself like dirt. Life should never be like that. Imagine calling someone ugly and fat every day. We classify that as bullying. But I learned that even though people were mean to me, I was my own BIGGEST’S bully.
I went to church the next day and sat in an empty pew and kneeled and said some prayers. I have tried to have a strong relationship with God but it wasn’t always easy. I talked to him and prayed for a good twenty minutes and then went back to my room and looked at some Bible quotes. One of my new favorite ones is:
God made every single one of us be individuals. He made us different and unique because what fun would it be to live in a world of sameness. It’s incredibly hard in our world to not compare ourselves to others. Everywhere we go, we see ads to become slimmer, younger, prettier, richer, and so on. The media paints this ideal picture of what we should look like and what we should strive for. But one thing to keep in mind is that God created all of his children differently. It’s like comparing Apples to Oranges. You can’t do it. Both are delicious but not the same. And that’s what you should be telling yourself.
Even though I struggled with my appearance, I started working out and eating healthier and above all, I stopped comparing myself to others. Comparing yourself to someone’s highlight reel should not hurt your self-esteem. When you take care of your body, you feel good, BUT when you take care of your mind and soul, you feel GREAT. Remember to compliment yourself and to thank God for what you have.