Food For Thought: Self Love

Today, I think I finally learned self love. Before today however, I struggled with what it meant, and what it felt like to truly appreciate who I am. I’ve been doing yoga for a long time, and I’m even a certified yoga teacher. Through my practice for the past 8 years, I’ve tried to eradicate any self confidence or body dysmorphia issues. This has been a challenge.

A few weeks ago, I had purchased an over priced Bikini from Frankie’s Bikinis. The only reason I bought it was because I noticed a bevy of instagramers claiming how amazing these bikinis were, and how they magically seemed to alter ones perception of self. (Also, they have a new velvet collection, and I’m obsessed with velvet, so naturally it seemed fitting to purchase one.)

After I had purchased the bikini, I had noticed that on their Instagram, Frankie’s, if they so choose, post pictures of their customers wearing their bikinis regardless of their size or shape. The company’s platform revolves around the idea that anyone and everyone is beautiful regardless of how they look. I believe that it was this idea that compelled me to be featured because I by no means thought I was bikini body material. In an effort to be featured, I had a close friend take some pictures of me at the beach. I often avoid having pictures taken of me when I am in a bathing suit because I feel uncomfortable. I used to cringe at the thought of anyone potentially viewing a body that I was unhappy with. For some reason however when I had this bikini on, sentient that photographs were being taken of me for a particular purpose, I felt amazing.

Prior to viewing the nearly 100 photographs taken, I was hoping that there would be at least one that I liked enough to share with the world. Before I uploaded the pictures from my camera to my laptop, I thought to myself that I needed to look at these pictures as if they were of a random person and not of me. When I finally saw the pictures, I saw a girl who was happy, smiling, and above all beautiful. I saw someone I was jealous of; someone who I wanted to be. I saw anyone but the person who that body belonged to, and it took me a second to fully understand that that person was me.

While it may seem to many as though the magic lies in the bikini, it evidently has more-so to do with the companies platform, and the self. The company promotes the idea of non discriminatory beauty. This idea that every girl is beautiful is remarkable, but difficult to understand, especially when it comes to understanding that you yourself are truly beautiful. Unfortunately, I know that a lot of girls struggle with body shaping issues to a certain extent, but I now have faith that the self-hate attitude can be changed. While I can’t accredit the suit itself with the vicissitude in my mindset, I can say that if it weren’t for Frankie’s promoting pictures of their customers, I would have never gone out there and attempted to feel beautiful.

Working with mindfulness in yoga has also helped me tremendously, however it has taken years. For some reason, every time I look in the mirror now I feel so proud. For the first time in a long time I like who I am. I know that the little photoshoot, and the nice pictures did not completely alter my mindset for eternity, but whatever I’m feeling now is a lot different from what I was feeling even a week ago. I encourage anyone out there who has any body shaping issues to go out there, put on your favorite bikini and take some pictures, even if they’re just for yourself. Keep telling yourself you are beautiful because you are, and above all, if for some reason you are truly unhappy with what you look like and how you feel especially for health reasons, change it. You have the power to change anything in your life, especially the way you look and how you feel. If it’s weight-loss you’re after, do what you can to change your lifestyle. If you wish to give up an unhealthy vice, find a new, healthier vice. If you wish to bring some self love into your life, begin by attending guided meditation, and beginners yoga or if you’re not ready for that, write a list every single day of all of the positive things you did that day. Write down what makes you feel good inside, and continue inviting those actions into your daily life. Over time, your attitude will change because you’ll only be making space in your life for things that bring you happiness. You have to remember that no one is going to change anything for you. You have to do it for yourself.

I also noticed that I enjoy writing about these things and sharing stories. After I posted a picture on instagram, the owner of Frankie’s Bikinis herself posted the caption to my post. The company commented on my picture, and I also had a few girls reach out to me about how they are struggling with the same issues. That alone compelled me to write this post. Even if only a few people see this, I hope it can motivate anyone out there struggling with self love.

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