Learning To Love Myself With Low Self Esteem

I’ve declared 2018 the year that I start my journey to self-love. I say start because it’s something I hope to work on for the rest of my life. I’m a strong believer in that before anything else, we need to love ourselves so, the aim is for self-love to simply become a part of me. I have quite a negative self-image so self-love is something I really feel I need to embrace because I want to feel a lot more positive within and about myself. I know it isn’t going to be easy. Actually, it’s likely to be really quite difficult and that’s due to the self-esteem issues I have. For this post, I’m focusing on the self-esteem issues I have with my appearance.

­I’ve had body issues my whole life. You know how everybody loves chunky babies; especially the fat rolls at the top of their legs? Well, I had those all over, and much like me, they’re stubborn and refuse to leave. I’ve never been into sport, so I haven’t had the exercise to balance out my eating habits and the bad eating habits include the fact that I’ve always chosen chips over a pasta salad. There have been times I have been happier with my weight, mostly while following the Slimming World plan and going to the gym but generally, I have never been happy with my naked body.

"Love Yourself First" It's something we should all do.

I decided in December that it was time for me to make a change (again) because to be honest, I reached rock bottom with my body image. I was on holiday and just felt so uncomfortable with myself and that’s not the person I want to be. I’m in the same headspace now, and it has got to the point where I look in the mirror and feel ashamed. I don’t want to be uncomfortable with myself anymore. I want to be able to enjoy a holiday and not spend every minute making sure I’m covered up as well as vetting every photo taken of me, only to describe myself as a whale and pray the photo doesn’t make its way on to Facebook. And when it does, being speedy at removing the tag and deleting it from my timeline.

I seem to have created a perfect version of myself that is unachievable. I place a lot of blame of this on the media because as we all know, they like to portray a perfect image and they tend to be off the same type of woman. The only similarity I have to this person is that I’m tall. Other than that, I’m broad shouldered, have a dodgy nose (yes, I do Mum and Dad), a big forehead, large boobs (it’s not a positive), belly rolls, thick thighs (not the good kind), big feet & a flat ass. The one thing I can identify physically that I like about myself are my cheekbones and I suppose I don’t hate my lips.

One thing I am is a realist. I may complain about my image but I know there’s nothing I can do about my height or my build and I know I can’t change my nose, forehead, boobs or bum without surgery (which I wouldn’t do anyway). The thing I can do something about, however, is my weight and I am determined to do it. I have done it a couple times before and annoyingly, this is why I feel so angry with myself because I’ve done it already and now have to do it again! I’ve lost two stone twice, and then piled it back on. This time around I’ve piled it back on plus more and I am at my heaviest weight, unfortunately. I know I can lose it again, I know I enjoy eating healthy and I know that when I put in the effort, my body does reap the results. So, let me state this here for everybody to read, I will do it.

The reason the way I feel frustrates me so much is that, like most things, I view myself as an exception to the rule. If anybody came to me feeling the way I do about themselves, I’d do nothing but promote self-love to them and explain that despite anything they’re feeling, beauty comes from within. So, why can’t I take my own advice? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a negative Nancy about every aspect of myself and with some things, I can see the beauty of me. I have some personality traits that in all honesty, I love about myself. I love that I’m a strong-willed character, I’m very caring and most importantly, I believe that the me that’s sat here in bed writing this blog post is a nice person. And in all honesty, the one thing I’d wish for my future children to be is kind.

I will be transparent and confess that I started the year of amazingly in terms of my diet, then ruined it. I then told myself I’d start again, did amazingly again for a few days, then had two days off where I ate pretty much everything. But, maybe this is the way it must be for me now. The previous times I’ve lost weight, I’ve always completely followed the rules. I mean followed it to the letter and lost weight quite quickly. The problem I’ve found with that was that when I did get a taste of something naughty, I realised what I’d been missing and then the diet pretty much flew out the window along with my food etiquette. So, maybe, hopefully, this time slow and steady will win the race.

I do believe I’ve already started the long journey to self-loving the internal me, and hopefully, I will now be on my way to starting the external self-love journey. I’ll continue to motivate myself by pinning numerous wellbeing pictures on Pinterest & I’ll discuss it on here because as I said I’m all for self-love and we all need to participate in self-care more often than we do.

If you came here for a positive viewpoint on self-love, sorry you haven’t quite got that from me yet but I will get there and will share the body positivity I gain for myself. Just remember that beauty comes from within and the one and only thing you should pride yourself on is being a nice person. If you’re looking for an extremely inspiring, self-loving individual to follow, you need to go watch Imogen(ation) on Youtube. I aspire to reach her level of self appreciation.

I’m so interested in hearing if any of you struggle with a similar thing and how you’ve worked on loving yourself. I could do with some tips.

  • Oh God babe, bless you! You are absolutely gorgeous, but regardless of that I know it can be hard to love yourself sometimes. I really struggled with it especially from the ages of 16-19, and I look back at pictures now and regret how much time I wasted being mad about how I looked, because I looked just fine! It can be hard and it certainly is a journey to stop comparing yourself and also just be happy with what you look like. I don’t know if it will help, but I wrote this blog post a while back of how I started to feel comfortable in my own skin, it might help (sorry if it doesn’t!) but I hope this year you see how beautiful you really are.


    Yasmin x
    The Sweet Seven Five

    • kaiesha stewart

      I do the same thing now with pictures from a couple years ago. I thought I was huge and I’d kill to look like that again! Thank you so much for your comment and from reading your blog post, I think we were quite similar when younger. Xx

  • I think the great thing is that you already connected all of this to self-love. I always had self-esteem issues but could eat what I want and still stay slim (even though not in shape). All of a sudden, about 18 months ago I started gaining weight and haven’t really done much about getting back to my previous self. While I think everyone should be wherever they feel happiest, I think that for me, I want to be the best version of myself. At least, that’s what I think. However, then I realized that this wouldn’t be an issue if I really loved myself because if I did love myself I would eat only the healthiest food around and not poison myself with junk food. If I loved myself I would work out.
    So you’re absolutely right that this is about self-love first, and then the rest will follow. At least I have started doing yoga again every day this year, so that’s a first step.
    I wish you all the best on your journey!

    • kaiesha stewart

      Thank you for your comment. I 100% agree that if we felt happy within ourselves, everything positive will follow. I wish you luck on your self love journey too. X

  • Really good post, we as women all need to love ourselves more even with low self esteeem!

    • kaiesha stewart

      Yes we do, 2018 will be the year! X

  • I am on and off with stages of loving myself and hating myself. November was probably one of the lowest parts in over a year or so. I definitely hated myself. It was honestly so terrible. It’s good to surround yourself by supportive friends, that are genuine, and want what’s really best for you. You have to drop anyone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. I also spent a lot of time reading. Reading takes you somewhere else, while at the same time giving your brain and heart time to heal. I really recommend reading some self-improvement books. They do wonders for the soul. You feel like you can do anything if you set your mind to it. It’s a great way to set your brain to happy and positivity mode (even if it’s just for a little bit). Lastly, exercise. Not only are you improving your body, but you are also giving your brain the happy hormones by exercising. I’m slowly but surely leaps and bounds happier than I was in November xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

  • kaiesha stewart

    Oh I’m sorry to hear that. I’m glad you’re feeling happier than last year! I love reading but I tend to pick up my iPad instead of a book so I definitely need to read more & I 100% need to get back into the gym. Thank you for your advice & for always reading/commenting on my posts xx

  • Self love is so important!! I write a bit about that on my blog. Your honesty is great 🙂

    • kaiesha stewart

      Thankyou xx

  • Hey Kaiesha,
    First off sending you a big hug! “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha. What a wonderful gift you are giving yourself to work on that inner voice and vision of yourself. I struggled with this as well from teenage on and have gotten a really good handle on it, so have faith and let the beautiful light within you shine brightly so that you may see that you are perfect in every way.

    • kaiesha stewart

      Ah thank you so much!