A Teen Self Esteem Story …

"How I Finally Made Peace with my Body"

Building teen self esteem can be sometimes very challenging… Going through all the changes that being a teenager involves, can be overwhelming at times.

When we don’t have our personalities fully developed, we find it difficult to fit into society. We feel pressured to fulfill rolls and expectations and we let external factors determine our identity. All that teen stress and adolescent depression can simply take us over. I want to share with you my own story of “teen self esteem”.

How It All Started...

When I was a kid I was very skinny. My mom used to say that my legs looked like a pair of tooth picks! (pic on the left: me, when I was 9 years old)

When I was a teenager (13 or 14 years old), I remember she mentioned once that I seemed to be gaining some weight.

She had had her own weight issues when she was a teenager and suffered tremendously during those years. It was very upsetting for her to imagine that I was going to go through the same teen self esteem issues she had gone through.

And she did what she considered the most appropriate thing to do at that time; she helped me getting started with my very first diet…

We came up with a mild version of the Dr. Atkins® Diet. I lost the 8 pounds I needed to loose and felt and looked great! Not that I was looking bad before but it sure raised my “teen self esteem” and I felt more comfortable about myself.

My diet lasted about a month and after that I sort of forgot and didn’t care about diets anymore.

A little after my “Quince” (15th birthday) party I was looking at the pictures we took, and I was amazed to see how chubby my face was looking… (pic on the right: me, turning 15)

When I finished 9th grade, I took a “Power Of The Mind” workshop in which I saw a girl that I hadn’t seen in many years. She was shocked to see me. She said;

-“Wow!! You have gained so much weight!! I almost didn’t recognize you.”

More and more people that hadn’t seen me in a while were saying the same things… Sometimes they would say things in a more hurtful way, so I started to become pretty obsessed with the whole “being fat” thing.

As all of this was going on, I discovered a special pleasure in overeating. The texture and flavors of food had never been so satisfying. I was especially fond on cookies, bread, chocolates, cakes…The sweeter and the greasier the better…

…Each time I got upset about my weight, I would run to eat something. And as I saw and felt more pounds building over my body, the more comfort I found in food…

I felt extremely depressed and unhappy. My teen self esteem reached a very low point… I came to my mom crying for help. She has ALWAYS been there for me!

I asked her to pay for me to go to one of those “boot camp” type of places that specialize in helping people to lose weight.

Right then and there I DECLARED A “WAR” TO MY BODY!

Ready, Aim, Fire!

I kept on dieting and binging on a regular basis.

I was 16 years old... This was a moment in which I should have been having so much fun, but instead I was at home feeling miserable…

I had a very poor self image. I felt that everybody was sorry for me… I was being ruthless to myself. I was punishing myself for not being “perfect”.

I could have had such a wonderful time if only I could have just embraced my body and loved myself. I just needed a little self love, a little teen self esteem! I would have rocked those school parties!

When I look at my high school pictures now, I see myself beautiful... Some extra pounds here and there, so what! It really wasn't the end of the world... But I created such drama!!!!

During my adult years I kept on struggling with my weight. Sometimes I was skinny and “happy” and sometimes fat and “unhappy”….

When I was 32 years old I reached the absolute "perfect" body that I had always wanted, and it felt so good! But I became addicted to that image of myself, I became a slave of it. I was exercising for hours every day and counting every single calorie.

My life was completely centered in what I ate or didn’t eat or how much exercise I did or didn’t do. I was obsessed with my weight. My health was terrible. I was getting sick all the time. I went through episodes of bulimia and severe anxiety and depression.

I felt pathetic…

And The Love Was Restored…

A few years ago, as I started to explore my spiritual reality, I re-connected with my inner beauty. It gave me such a sense of peace and relief to learn where my real value was. I took the firm determination to stop fighting my body… I decided to finally make peace with it. I accepted it and embraced it exactly as it was. And for the first time, I loved my body…

I didn’t want it to be any different than what it already was. It was PERFECT exactly as it was…

I began to care about my body in a different way.

A meal, then, wasn’t about calories; it was about nutrition and care.

I assumed my exercising with another attitude. My yoga practice is now a moment of quietness and awareness of my body, not a calorie burning routine.

I love my body very much and I feel beautiful. Those teen self esteem issues are long gone!

Soon after I made peace with my body, it naturally shed off the extra pounds. My health is excellent. My self esteem improved enormously, because it isn’t based on my body’s shape anymore. Finding my happiness was not about being in the perfect size but about accepting and embracing the natural beauty of my body. My body became my friend instead of my enemy….

My Story Of Teen Self Esteem Was Just That, A STORY…

This story that I shared with you, hopes to restore some self love to whoever needs it...

In my story I decided I was disgusting and ugly. I chose to be the victim of my situation … I could have chosen differently if I would have wanted to. We all have a choice. If we don’t like what we think or feel, we can always choose again.

Remember, things are not good or bad on their own, it is how we look at them that gives them power. If I gain some extra weight now, which happens, I love myself the same. My self esteem is not determined by my weight anymore. The “WAR” was finally over!

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