“I don’t know why saying ‘I love myself’ is thought of as being ‘vain’ and ‘self obsessed.’ For me it’s a massive achievement. I spent my entire teenage years hating on myself inside and out. I didn’t really fit in at school, I was bullied for being overweight, I wasn’t the ‘popular’ one at high school. The guys didn’t really pay me much attention, and the ones who did only wanted one thing . I had some family difficulties that I blamed myself for. I felt responsible for my mom’s happiness and I was angry. You’d never know it though because I played the ‘good girl.’ My eating disorder became my solace. It was something I could control and I was good at it…it served me well for many years…but eventually it destroyed everything around me. I wasn’t happy in myself, even when I was skeletal. It didn’t help my mom…just caused her more heartache. Learning to love myself took time and effort. It’s a daily practice of championing the positive things about me. I decided I only had one ‘home’ to live in, so why was I spending my time being so cruel to myself? I was never happier in my eating disorder. I was sad, lonely, tired and in pain physically and mentally. Loving myself for me means accepting my whole self. Some days I struggle to find one thing I like about myself, but practicing gratitude has been a helpful tool to me. I can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for, and it takes me out of my own head . I think loving myself is an attractive quality. It’s not about standing in the mirror and admiring my ‘outside’. NO, it’s about saying “I’m a good person, I am enough for me, and I’m enough for the next person.” It’s an inner confidence that goes far beyond skin deep.
Sonny Keats, New York