Stephanie Lovekin – Anyone who has struggled with body image issues may be able to relate to this.
Throughout life I falsely believed that my body defined who I was as a person. Since I viewed myself as way below average, and after kids even worse because my body changed – I labeled myself as “way below average”. I gained weight and, in my eyes, grew uglier inside and out and assumed others thought the same.
I heard a piece of advice that helped overcome my body issue: to select one part of my body, accept it and even grow to appreciate and love it. The part I grew to accept were my breasts. They symbolized giving my children life.
I grew to appreciate the size and shape, only thought about how I perceived them and no one else. This advice strangely helped me to grow to accept the rest of me. This only happened within the last year.
The irony with growing to love and accept my breasts is that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and will need to part with them. Saying goodbye to the part of my body I recently grew to love, and accept a new shape has been so hard. Honestly, I’m still working through it. The silver lining to this experience though, is that I’ve now learned that my body does not define me at all.
What defines me are the things that I do that bring me joy every day, the attention and care I put into the things I do every day, the way I treat others and the care and love that’s shown in return. I would have never learned this had I not received breast cancer, oddly a blessing in disguise.
We are defined by our essence, our intentions.
Mistakes do not define us. Our appearance does not define us. There is so much love and joy to experience if we just learn to get out of our own way and focus on the things that truly matter. It’s a lifelong journey, progress not perfection.
Stephanie Lovekin is a full-time single mom of 2 boys, 13 and 21 years old. She has struggled with anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and lack of confidence, but has found support through talk therapy and tools such as mindfulness. Steph works full-time in a corporate setting and enjoys sharing her life lessons through blogging, in hopes others with similar struggles find connection through her experiences.