self-love saturday.

12 Feb

Thanks for all your sweet comments on yesterday’s post about my first love… I really meant it to be overall positive, because I’m happy that I had the experiences I had! I love hearing all your stories as well so anything you want to share… Shoot my way!

Today, another rather personal topic for “week of love“: Self-love (the greatest love of all, right?). And I’m tying this in to “Teen Week” over at Medicinal Marzipan.

I’ve been hard on myself for quite some time. I remember being relatively happy and carefree as a youngster, but as early as 3rd grade I started experiencing some rather significant anxiety. My first distinct memory of this anxiety and intense self-doubt was a flute recital in 3rd grade… I was so petrified and certain I’d mess up that I held my flute far too low and barely a note escaped. By fifth grade, I was sobbing my way through essay exams (that I inevitably aced, mind you). I’ve pretty much always suffered from the curse of the “gifted” child whose parents expect a lot of her, and who expects a lot of herself… I beat myself up to the extent that my 5th-grade teacher told me I’d have an ulcer before I was 25. (Incidentally, I think I now have an ulcer…)

This is something I struggled with all through my teenage years. Whether it was my thick thighs, “inadequate” grades, feeling like a misfit at school… I had a lot of self-destructive tendencies, let’s put it that way. I remember hyperventilating and looking at my legs and thinking there was no way I’d ever be able to wear a swimsuit in public, because I didn’t look good enough. I remember being upset about 5 points missed on a test (something I still do, sometimes). There was almost always something else I could nitpick. And really, there always will be.

Self-love, to me, is accepting yourself the way you are. Flaws and all. Yes, I’m overly nosy. But that’s also related to my inherently caring nature, which is something I’m proud of. Sometimes I’m stubborn. Sometimes, it’s just determination.

Sometimes, self-love means baking a small batch of cookies just for me. Sometimes, it means trying on red dresses and taking ridiculous pictures in the mall, just for the hell of it.

This was last week. My first instinct was to say that it made my hips look disproportionately large (No, I’m not “fat”, I’m trying to gain about 5 pounds, but I DO tend to be pear-shaped). Then I stunned myself by having the following thought, and actually kind of believing it: Yes, maybe I am kind of pear-shaped. But maybe it doesn’t matter. And maybe no amount of lunges or crunches or dry salads is ever going to change that, but maybe I can be beautiful just the way I am.

I wish I could convey all of that to my teenage self and save her from the years of self-abuse.

I still suffer from self-esteem issues. I still question how people think about me, and am often insecure about how I present myself. But I’m getting there. Because I’ve realized that the high points in my life have been when I’ve learned to feel comfortable in my skin, when I’ve truly been my somewhat-wacky self. Because I’ve realized that these insecurities ultimately drive people away as I try to get them to stick around. Because I’ve realized that we’re all worth it!

Here are a couple awesome lists of “self-love” ideas…

I personally love: good workouts, trying to look cute, putting on pretty dresses (I’m not a girly-girl, but I *love* dresses!), wearing cute underwear! (it totally helps!), finding a mantra (see below), affirmations/listing things I like about myself, & doing good deeds.

I also like to try smiling. Sometimes, you gotta fake it til you make it… but a smile usually elicits a smile in response, and for some reason that just brightens up my day and makes me feel like maybe I touched someone life in a positive way. And that’s really my ultimate goal.  My personal mantra: “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tell me one thing you love about yourself!

What are your favorite self-love tactics?

Is it okay that I posted something this cheesy during vegan week? ;)


38 Responses to “self-love saturday.”

  1. Tara February 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    I love that I am determined. When I have a goal, I achieve it. This applies to school, running, and other random things that I want to accomplish.

    I was lucky that my mom recognized my self-esteem issues at a young age. I went through therapy for anxiety for about a year. It probably would have taken longer if I wasn’t so determined to get better, so thank goodness for that quality!

  2. whatkateiscooking February 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    I love this post! I had (and still have) self esteem issues, but there is nothing healthy or productive about negative self talk.

  3. movesnmunchies February 13, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    such a wonderful post! i think we are identical because i struggle with accepting myself too!… i have MEGA self esteem issues and it ruins my life! btw you LOOK STUNNING IN THAT DRESS- like legit wish i had your body- so from an outsiders point of view i think your body is AMAZING!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

      You are too sweet! You are absolutely gorgeous as well darlin’… I feel you on self esteem ruining your life, but just keep your chin up and keep reminding yourself that you’re worth it, because ALL of us think you are :)

      <3 n

  4. Emily February 13, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    You look beautiful in that dress! I have this friend who is curvy with awesome boobs (she’s not at all fat) and is dripping with self-confidence which makes her 10x more beautiful. Anyway, she said something to me last week that really stuck with me, girls with stick figures are just not sexy. In my opinion, it’s SO true.

  5. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) February 13, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    That picture is gorgeous! Gorgeous!
    It’s taken me a little bit of time, but I’ve learned to love everything about myself! I often feel cocky when I say that, but I’m not saying that I’m perfect (I’m no where near perfect, and never hope to be – how boring would that be? ;) I’m just saying that I love everything about myself simply because it’s me! And I completely agree with you about smiling! I smile ALL the time. :)
    GREAT post!!! (and not at all cheezy ;)

  6. Olivia February 13, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Ooh I love this post!! Definitely self love is the most important thing..literally ever!! I’m glad to hear you’re loving yourself more then you used to, always remember that you are amazing, beautiful and loved by all of the blogging world:) And I’m making your healthy chocolatey oat cookies today! :)

  7. Sophia @ Raven Waves February 13, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    This was such a great, inspirational post! I know what it’s like to be down on myself regarding body type/shape. I’m petite, but have big boobs, and it always seems like my outfits make me look more promiscuous just because my boobs are big. As a teen, it was brutal! Now I’ve learned to accept that there’s nothing I can do about them, so I might as well just love them! :)

  8. carlee February 13, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Honestly, you have such a nice body. I totally agree with Carrie! Most girls do suffer from some self esteem issues! Mine is getting better too like yours! I am way less hard on myself and juts knowing that the inside is FOREVER even though the body is not is a very calming thing to know.
    and sometimes I like to think of my body as a cloth over my heart. Its just there to carry me around to do God’s will!

    <3 you girl!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      I love the idea of the body as a cloth over the heart… I haven’t heard it in those terms before.

      <3 you too darlin!

  9. beautyrun February 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    What a coincidence, when I was in 3rd grade, I started experiencing anxiety as well. But my reasoning was because my family and I moved half-way across the country.

  10. February 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I love this post. I think its a great idea. I love my height. I use to HATE how tall I am but now I wish I was taller:)

  11. Stephanie February 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I love the colour of my eyes.

    I like to take care of myself by making time for a cup of tea every night. There’s something about the ritual of boiling water, choosing a tea (my current fave is mint chocolate oolong) and wrapping my hands around a nice hot mug…it just makes me feel utterly content and satisfied.

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      I LOVE wrapping my hands around hot mugs of tea… I hate being cold so its’ definitely comforting! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Mandi February 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    You look absolutely stunning in that dress!
    I definitely had self esteem issues when I was younger too and found I was never good enough and always striving to do and be better. Which is why, as weird as it may sound, I’m actually thankful I went through an eating disorder. In the end, I came out with such a different appreciation for myself, and have learned to love me just the way I am. Although yes, I still can be quite the perfectionist, but it’s a lot better now than before.

  13. Lee @ Fit Foodie Finds February 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Girlie, you have a ROCKIN’ bod! Yah look good!

    And. I love this post. My favorite self love tactics are….hot yoga, getting my toes done, baking, and a great workout. I do have to agree with you….a great pair of undies can do the trick :)

  14. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Because I’ve realized that the high points in my life have been when I’ve learned to feel comfortable in my skin,
    I totally agree with this I love that you have the courage to admit this out to everyone and know that I do feel this same way you’re not the only one with these feelings and everyone goes through times when they feel insecure. The best time of my life is when I feel happy and comfortable in my skin and I find that I feel happy and comfortable in my skin when I’m working out 5 times a week. I love the euphoric feeling it gives me and I feel good afterward! Thanks for this post I needed it!

  15. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    One thing I love about myself is my lips and eyes

  16. Jenny February 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    You always should find me time. I know what it is to judge yourself and it hurts. Positivity is very important in life.

  17. Sarah (Flavoropolis) February 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    What a great post! I think what you say at the end about smiling is a great idea. A lot of the time our minds will take cues from our bodies as to how to feel, so as backward as it sounds smiling can often actually make you happy.

  18. Jess February 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    I don’t think you are really that pear shaped- you just have a woman’s body!

  19. allieksmith February 14, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    I <3 this post :) This was very awesome to hear, especially today! You are gorgeous and I love the dress!!

  20. Kristina February 14, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Such a great post:)
    Love that i’m self sufficient and try to be as independent as possible!
    Have a great Vday!

  21. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun February 14, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    This is such a beautiful post and I love how much you seem to have come to accept your body as beautiful. It really is! ANd your attitude is too. :)

  22. Alyssa @ Life of bLyss February 14, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    oh my goodness, Nicole, you are NOT pear shaped in the least bit! I understand being hard on yourself, but trust me, you’re teensy! :)

    I love my legs! ;)

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      You’re so sweet! Thank you. :) I love the feeling of my legs when I’m walking and such… They take me so many places!

  23. runyogarepeat February 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    That red dress looks stunning on you! Cute underwear definitely makes me feel good too. I love my red hair cause it’s so unique.

  24. This Italian Family February 15, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    A couple of things:

    1. Yes, it is okay that you posted this during vegan week… girl, it’s your blog – you post what you want, when you want!

    2. You are gorgeous. Seriously. Just.The.Way.You.Are. I’m not saying that you can’t gain 5 pounds if you need it, but I want you to hear this affirmed by someone else. You are beautiful. End of story. :)

    3. I too wish I could go back and tell my younger self that it’s okay not to be a stick. That I don’t have to work so hard to be skinny.

    Thanks for sharing this, girl!

  25. kissmybroccoli February 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    I swear you just nailed me in my school-age/teenage years! I was always really hard on myself and tried to be the best at everything! I still have my perfectionist tendencies, but I have a little bit more balance now. Oh, if only I could have a convo with little teenage me…the things I would say!

    Btw, LOVE the dress and your sexy curves!


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