So, I don’t know about you, but I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one that’s gone on a deep dive through their Instagram or Facebook and stalked all their pictures from YEARS AGO! Am I right? Sometimes you gotta go down memory lane.

As I looked through my feed from 2014 - 2016 all I could think about was how much better I looked. So there I was wishing I looked different and body shaming myself for the changes my body has made the past couple years.

Why couldn’t I just enjoy the memories? Why did I have to take it to a place of comparison and put down who I was today?

I honestly thought that who I used to be was better than who I am today.

Growing up, my weight and how I looked was a BIG DEAL. Like I always had to have my make up on, hair down, wearing my best outfit and of course, not being “too big”. Not quite sure what “too big” was, but It wasn’t just pressed on me through my family and friends. Society as a whole puts so much pressure on women and young girls to look a certain away.

And I fell fully into this brainwashing.

It has sculpted the way I have seen myself for 20 years. No matter what I tell myself, those lies just keep on sneaking in. In the 90’s and early 00’s there wasn’t this strong female empowerment like there is today. We didn’t have real women models or body positivity ad campaigns. My idols were Mary-Kate and Ashley, Hilary Duff and Aly and A.J. They were everything that my 12-year-old self I aspired to be — fashionable, beautiful, perfect figure.

But that definition of beauty and what was perfect is completely different than what it should be. And that’s something that I unfortunately have to keep reminding myself of over and over again.

So because of that, and the fact I know I’m not the only one who struggles with loving every single thing about themselves, I am writing this to say, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Every pound that you’ve gained, every wrinkle you’ve got, every bad hair day and every pimple have made you into a beautiful woman. They’ve shaped you and molded you into who you are today.

I came across this post on Instagram a couple weeks ago, and it’s helped me put my struggles into perspective.

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YES. I love everything about what that says, but it’s hard for me to live that on a daily basis. I’m going to work on that though. And I hope this journey of loving myself inspires others to love every part of them as well!

I can honestly say though, that the person I am today is so much better and stronger than who I used to be. I think a little of that has to do with age. As you get older you don’t care so much about what others think of you. But I think a lot of it has to do with accepting myself and choosing to do what makes ME happy, not what will make others happy.

So, do you babes! Eat that cookie if you want. Go run 5 miles if you want. Just LOVE YOURSELF!

xo, Alyssa

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