It’s Okay To Love Yourself

I was 10 years old when I first decided I was too fat.
I was 12 when I decided I needed to lose weight or else no boy would ever like me.
I was 13 when my friend suggested we do workouts together when we hang out. That was also when I started restricting my food intake in an attempt to shrink my butt.
I was 15 when my best friend made a comment behind my back that compared me to a pig. I never forgave her. She never found out that I knew.
I was 17 when I started exercising vigorously every day. I still wasn’t happy, hated my body, and still didn’t have a boyfriend, which at the time seemed like the only goal worth achieving.
I was 18 when I kissed a boy for the first time. I was so happy to finally be the subject of male attention that I did things I wasn’t comfortable with. He turned out to be an asshole.
I was 19 when I fell in love for the first time. I lost my virginity to him. After he finished he rolled off of me and told me he loved me. My first thought when he said it was “no you don’t”.

I was 21 when I started pole dancing. It sounds counter-intuitive, but pole has given me a sense of freedom I was never able to find. I am strong. I am sexy. I can lift my whole body off of the ground and do impressive spins while I’m up there. I can climb. I can dangle upside down by just my ankles.

I’m just a girl who grew up hating herself, and every day has to remind herself to focus on the good things instead of the bad. I don’t diet anymore, I just eat right. I don’t punish myself for making mistakes or not achieving the ridiculous goals I set for myself.

I’m happy in my own skin in ways I’ve never been before. And it didn’t take weight loss or a thigh gap or a team of Photoshop experts to get me here.

I just wish girls didn’t have to go through those years of self-hatred like I did to make it to a place of self-love.


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

2 responses to “It’s Okay To Love Yourself”

  1. mik1999 says :

    Congratulations in where you have come out

  2. Paul Gauchi says :

    Yes you are right. Girls feel this sence of self lothing because of what the media puts out there. There instances when men go through the same thing, those are few and they experience it in a different way. I too felt what you felt.
    Good for you for seeing it early in your life, many take years to figure it out if at all. It takes a strong mind and character to say “it’s okay to love yourself.”

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