Ok, so this is going to be more than about sex appeal or just looking sexy. More like where I’ve been and where I’m headed. It’s going to be about how I see myself:
- and how I perceive that others see me
So I have to start somewhere and as Maria from the Sound of Music sings, “Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…I would say up through my middle school years I was a pretty average girl. Nothing to write home about. Then as I hit puberty, hormones took over. I gained weight (topping off at 150 lbs) and had acne issues on a daily basis. All of it just enough to have a negative impact on how I viewed myself.
Add to the fact that I didn’t feel like my dad loved me, had a terrible relationship with my mom (who I absolutely love now) and friends who were prettier than me and it all equaled a very negative youth.
Speaking of my mom, she wasn’t exactly a fashionista. She lived in business suits and on weekend had Mom jeans. Ugh, those mom jeans embarrassed me even way back then! She and I never discussed fashion. We couldn’t afford fashion. My wardrobe consisted of anything we could find cheap. I remember in high school she couldn’t even afford KMart. That’s how bad it was. So, I lived in t-shirts and cheap jeans.
I also was friends with a pretty popular girl who was adorable…and little. She had the big hair, the “in” clothes, etc. Then there was me. I remember one time she was trying to make me feel better and she trying to prove to me that I wasn’t “fat”. She asked her boyfriend what determines “fat” to a guy. You’ll love this. He said,
“If a girls stomach sticks out further than her boobs.” Well, clearly I was fat! You should’ve seen me. I had bad 80s permed hair, pimples and weighed 150 pounds. I stand 5’8 so it wasn’t like I was HUGE, but I was heavy and it was obvious.
One of the side effects of this negative attitude was trying to find a guy who liked me. Well, in high school there’s a plethora of guys and they weren’t all the greatest of catches. Now remember how unsexy I felt with the description above and you’ll understand this next part.
There was ONE guy though.
This ONE guy was sweet. He would write me the sweetest high school boy notes. He was kind and oh so adorable. We even went to my prom together. He was a year younger than me. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t prone to staying with a guy for long. And the thing to do when you dated a guy was to make out with them constantly.
Well, he didn’t work that way. He was really too sweet for me. A girl I worked with knew we hadn’t kissed yet and she offered him money to kiss me. He didn’t go for it. What the heck? Was I chopped liver? That was it! If he didn’t want to get physical, I was done. I mean, what girl in her right mind wants a boy who respects her and treats her right?
Those were the games I played back then. Go from guy to guy and see if I can find my self worth or feel good about myself. That never seemed to work out very well.
Then I got married. Low self esteem will help you make some seriously poor decisions. This being one of them. You should’ve seen me. Always in sweats and t-shirts. None of it cute, at all. I had no clue. Thinking back, it really is painful in an embarrassing kind of way to think of how I went out of the house time and time again.
After I married, had 2 girls, and subsequently got divorced, I went to college. I didn’t know what else to do. There I started taking Aerobics and loved it. I got into shape and I started to change. I lived with another single mom in her house and she had 4 daughters, two of whom still lived there. My daughters and I lived in the apartment downstairs.
I was still relatively young back then, about 27 when we lived with them. Her 3rd daughter had a really good sense of style and since I had lost weight I could fit into some of her clothes. While living there, I got a healthy dose of femininity to say the least. This was definitely about to help me as I started dating THE ONE!
Have you ever held yourself in such low esteem that you made some pretty crappy choices? Maybe more than once? How did you get past it, start to see yourself in a more positive light?
This was going to be a 3 part series, but I was recently inspired to add a 4th post that I hope might bring a smile to your face. =)