Yesterday, I shared THIS post… it was an update on my training and I included my progress pictures from completing my own 30×30 Fat Loss Shred plan. Then, I posted about it on Instagram and something came to mind as I was typing THIS caption. Woah, that’s a lot of links to throw at you haha.
My point is that when I was writing both of those, something kept coming up… self love. I feel like the whole “self love” thing is a little overdone and over-discussed. Do you agree?
Like it’s all over magazine covers. Every coach and business is talking about it. But, to me, it’s more than a marketing tactic or a way to sell things. Self love is something I take seriously.
Also, for this post, I’m sharing throwback pics to remind myself of how far I’ve come with loving the Lauren I am today.
“Just because I walk alone doesn’t mean I’m lost.”
^high school throwback. This picture represents the place I grew up. When I say I grew up in Wisconsin, most people think cows and farms but this Lake Michigan “beach” was just minutes from my home. Mequon, Wisconsin will forever be a part of my story.
I haven’t always loved myself…
That was a really weird thing to actually type and see in black and white. It’s true though… I haven’t always loved myself.
I think the most common way I expressed my lack of self love is by being a chameleon.
There are so many instances I can think back on in which I wasn’t confident enough in who I was that I became whatever that situation/that group wanted me to be.
This is almost laughable now… I always excelled in school but academics didn’t come as easily to some my friends. When I was in elementary school, I remember lying about my grades in order to be like my friends who complained about scoring low on a test or a report card.
I was interested in anything and everything everyone else considered “cool.” Whether that was playing soccer (I hated soccer yet played because all my friends were on my team), wearing a certain brand (remember the Abercrombie and Fitch days?!) or acting a certain way (this is the one I most get mad at myself for).
Even as an adult, I see this playing out. For example, I’m all about spirituality/energy/the whole yoga vibe but sometimes I’m afraid to share that with people because unless you’re into that, you sound like a whack job haha.
AND, speaking of spirituality… I’m a Christian and it’s a big part of how I live my life yet on here I hesitate to even write that because I’m afraid I’ll offend someone who thinks differently. You know?
“Your life doesn’t get better by chance. It gets better by change” -Jim Rohn
^I am cracking up! I probably went to the tanning salon every day that week. This is me at age 15!
^another high school picture. My parents did not want me to get my cartilage pierced but all my friends had it, so I went by myself as soon as I could drive. And, when you’re that immature, your friends take pictures of the experience haha.
^I wanted to include this picture from college because when I saw it now, I thought, “sweet girl, adorable suit, strong body” then I noticed I was covering my stomach… probably because I was embarrrased there was a roll.
^college graduation from St. Norbert College. At some point, I learned to embrace my love of learning and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology. To this day, it’s still one of my most proud achievements.
How I learned to love myself:
I think a really big part of loving yourself is knowing who you are and having the courage to be that person in all situations and with all sorts of people.
I got to the place of knowing myself (and loving that girl!) by being alone a lot.
It’s as if we have to treat the relationship with ourselves just like any other relationship…
you spend time with that person. You get to know him or her. You make memories with that person. You allow the relationship to grow with time and commitment. It’s the same for self love!
I actually like spending time alone. Oh gosh… it’s actually one of the harder things for me as a new mom because you get like zero alone time so here are 6 things I love doing by myself that have helped me love who I am.
“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow”
^I never knew this picture existed and was thrilled to find a flexing photo dating back a decade! Love those baby biceps!
6 THINGS I DO BY MYSELF TO PROMOTE SELF-LOVE:
NUMBER 1: WORKOUT
I actually prefer to workout by myself as opposed to with a girlfriend or my husband. When I drive to the gym, I use that time to start clearing my mind and then when I’m in the gym, I get into the zone. There is something about weight training, facing challenges and conquering them by myself that provides me a great deal of confidence. That confidence helps me love myself.
NUMBER 2: BATHS
Not in the cliche, relax and take a bubble bath to show yourself love and care type of way. When I take a bath, I don’t listen to a podcast, read or talk on speakerphone (don’t laugh – I totally used to do that!). I sit there in silence with my own thoughts. When a thought pops up, I can’t distract myself by going on my phone or doing something else. I am forced to deal with it. I think that is a healthy step towards self love!
NUMBER 3: READ+REFLECT
Reading is amazing but the way I turn it into a self love practice is through adding in a reflection. I’m totally guilty of reading 15 pages and then not having a clue of what I just read. Especially when it comes to personal development books, I like to read and pause every page or two. I think about how what I’m reading can be applied to my life. What lessons can I learn? How can I think through this perspective? How can I use this to become my best me?
NUMBER 4: SHOP
For some reason, shopping tests my patience so much. I go into Homegoods and there are literally 34 people in line (that just happened to me when I went in there to get pillows! 34 people! all with carts piled with 1200 items). I wanted to say out loud, “are you serious” or “why are there only 2 cashiers right now.” But, I use this as a practice for being my best.
In those moments alone, you could act anyway. Your mom wouldn’t be there to say, “sweetie, don’t say that.” You could treat the saleswomen unkindly and no one in your life would know. BUT, that’s when I learn to love myself. I love that I can show kindness and love when no one is looking.
NUMBER 5: EAT AT RESTAURANTS
Is this not the ultimate test of confidence?! I’m not talking about Dairy Queen! Can you go to a sit-down restaurant, order by yourself, sit and enjoy your meal and feel okay being there alone?? If you answered no – you’re probably in the majority. This isn’t something I’ve always been able to do. About a year ago, I began eating alone at restaurants and it was w-e-i-r-d.
“Do I just sit here on my phone?”
“Can I make eye contact with that random lady? Oops, too late.”
Over time, I felt more confident with what I brought to the table… literally! I enjoy eating at a restaurant alone. It’s like taking myself on a date and being my own best friend.
NUMBER 6: WALK
Not for a workout. Walk to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. This is kind of like why I enjoy a bath. I think going for a walk alone helps you get to know you. And, hopefully love the person you are!
Are there any things you enjoy doing by yourself? Happy early Valentine’s Day! XO
Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”
^this is my “nana” I’ve talked about her on here from time to time. She is such a strong-willed, do-it-yourself woman and I love that people say I’m like her! We call and text all the time!
^another beautiful face. This is my bestie, Liz who I talk about. We met in college and have been best friends… more like sisters since.
^how could I not end this post with a high school throwback to my high school sweetheart and I. Anthony is someone who has always paved his own path and he helps me feel confident doing that too.