Starting With Self Love

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my body image, weight and mental well being over the years. Being a parent has put more pressure on me to change my body and fuelled a lot of self hated. I want to be honest here. I currently do not love myself. I do not love how I look but I do have a lot of love for who I am. In the last few years I have learned so much about what it is to be a mother, a feminist and to accept that despite my own personal hardships I am a person of privilege.

I want to start truly with self love and I’ve been doing a lot of reading surrounding body positivity and fat liberation. I’ve started following strong voices that speak up as intersectionalist feminists and I’ve been paying attention. I have done wrong in the past through my words and actions and I want to say I’m sorry. Because there are so many marginally oppressed people in this world, a world full of online trolls, hatred and outside abuse.

I have been a victim of sexual assualt, violence, gender based hatred and fatphobic attitudes. I have not been understanding of the allies I say I support, but that changes. That changes because I want to love myself, my physical self and my personality. I do not want to be a parent that didn’t call people out when they are being classist, ablist, homophobic and ignorant. I can not call myself a feminist if I don’t want equal rights for all marginally oppressed groups. I do not know everything, I am not perfect and I want my friends and my allies to tell me when I am in the wrong. I want to learn. Learning is self love.

There are a lot of things I am passionate about and creating a healthy amount of self respect for my body is somewhere I need to start because that will benefit my children. It will benefit my daughter because she will see a happy mother no longer held and fixated by a number on a scale. It will benefit my son who will see that real bodies come in all shapes and sizes and your body does not define your worth. I am very much calling out the patriarchy, this capitalist society lead by a dangerous and abusive right-wing group of (mostly) middle-classed white men that have no notion of what it’s like to actually be a poor, working class, fat, anxious mother in the south east where classist attitudes are truly ripe.

I want to love myself and my body. I want to show that self love is self care. That if I start to love myself then I will take care of myself. I am saying goodbye to the scales and ditching weight loss plans. I am not going to succumb to more diet talk, diet culture and instead I am going to focus on the fact that I have so much more to offer than a number.

I am a good mother to my two children.
My body has carried two babies to full term and been cut open to bring them into the world.
My body is scared from pregnancy and dermatillomania. I have never admitted to anyone that I have dermatillomania which is basically chronic skin picking. It is shame full and a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is horrible and it is particularly out of control when I’m anxious. I used to think it was a form of self harm but as I’ve gotten older and learned more about it then its helped me try to control it a bit more.

I am going to learn to love who I am and how I look and that all starts with a lot of self care.

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