How Do I Love Myself?

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Growing up, one of my favorite things was when my Dad would send my mom and I on a shopping spree. Whether it was for back-to-school shopping, a special event or just because I was growing and needed more clothes, shopping excursions were so much fun for me.

Technically, my childhood shopping trips should have been awful. In elementary school I was 5’9 and a size 16 which made me both big and tall (yeah, it was rough). My ultimate goal was to navigate through the “grandma clothes” at Lane Bryant in the hopes that maybe I could find something like what Cher Horowitz wore in Clueless.

As if!

I did my best to make the plus size clothing designed for grown women work for me. I think I did a decent job, but the main reason I look back at those times with fondness is because of what would happen when I got home.

After dragging all of my shopping bags into my room, I would put on a fashion show for my Dad under my Moms direction. One by one, I would put on every outfit we had purchased, then I would prance around our living room “runway” so my Father could see my new clothes (and where all of his money went).

Getting my Dads approval on how cute I looked made the fact that I was wearing “grandma clothes” from Lane Bryant completely irrelevant. If my Dad said I was cute, I was cute.

Every Valentines Day my Dad sends my sisters and me presents; an over-sized teddy bear, candy, jewelry… I’ve gotten it all. Because of this, I have never sat around moping on Valentines Day. I’ve always had a Valentine!

I get a lot of emails from Plus Size Princesses about self esteem, self worth and loving yourself. 90% of the time, when women struggle to love themselves, our struggle is intertwined with our relationships with the opposite sex. Lets be honest, having a boyfriend is definitely an ego boost, if feels great! But not having a boyfriend shouldn’t make us feel bad about ourselves.

As I navigate through my first “grown-up” relationship, I often wonder how I avoided the emotional boobie-traps that so many PSP’s (and women in general) fall into. How do I know that I’m pretty, smart, attractive and valuable when I’m dating someone and when I’m single? How do I love myself no matter what?

I give props to my Dad for that, he nurtured me and gave me this invaluable sense of self without me even knowing it. But that’s my story… I soaked up every ounce of love that my Dad had to give and learned to channel it into self love.

Of course, not everyone is that lucky. There are many women who had Fathers growing up and still look to find their worth in a man. There are many more women who grew up without Fathers and find themselves… searching. There are also women who grew up without Fathers but still know who they are, what they’re worth and don’t wait for relationships to define them.

No matter what your situation was growing up, I’d like to remind you that self confidence and self love is something that comes from within. Hopefully, we have men and women in our lives who will plant positive seeds, but ultimately the choice to love ourselves is ours alone. Loving yourself can start as simply or as deeply as you want it to, but if you can, find a way love yourself today.

Happy Valentines Day!

xoxo

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  • Pipermaria

    This is right on time. After being single for 7 years, I believed that I needed to lose weight in order to attract the kind of guy I want. Now, after reading this, I must say, it’s easy to say that when you have somebody, CeCe. A lot of guys flirt with you, but it’s tough being a black woman, and even harder being a plus-sized woman. I wonder if guys are turned off by my weight. It would be really beneficial to have a guy (or guys) do a guest column, maybe some BBW lovers. Thanks again! Luv, P

    • Anonymous

      Hey girl, I know its rough… but my message has been the same even when I was single ;-) Loving yourself no matter what is a long journey, with a guy or not. But I’m working on it. xoxo

  • ShoeJunkie

    Fantastic post. I’m one of those girls who grew up in a wonderful two-parent household but always struggled with self-esteem issues. I’m less than two weeks away from my 29th birthday and I’ve finally figured out that loving myself is really the key to my happiness.
    I really, really wish I had figured this out sooner.

  • YummyP

    still not loving myself…

    NO boyfriend…and i feel like i’m not pretty enough for someone
    and even when a guy was interested i used to feel like…beyond all the girl around i’m not the best, surely he is just joking…
    something may be wrong with me^^
    but nice post and Happy Valentine’s day!!!!!!

  • Chantalb

    Oh Yummy P I feel the same…
    “Even when a guy was interested I used to feel like…beyond all the girl around I’m not the best, surely he is just joking…”
    Strangely enough I just realized that’s the reason why I use to ‘’date down’’ nasty as it might sound, but I use to date losers because I didn’t feel that I’m not good enough. Now I have a shot with an amazing guy , the type of man that I really deserve to have in my life and I know it, but still I feel, I’m not the best why me.
    Cece I love your blog, I think you are such an amazing woman and I find so much inspiration from you and this blog and the reader comment.
    Warm wishes from sunny South Africa

  • Jess

    Thanks for including everyone at the end. I grew up in a terrible household, I was always put down. When I was 10 and had a chubby belly and my mom told me I looked pregnant. My mom is a fairly large woman and even tho I’m like half her size she’s ALWAYS making comments about my weight. The only time she stopped was when I first moved away and got away from her I lost all my extra weight, I was down to 135 lbs. Then when I was pregnant I gained it all back and the comments started all over again. In High School I had a hard time thinking I was pretty because I was bullied a lot, but once HS was over and I got out into the real world I surprising was able to realize I’m me and I’m awesome regardless of what anyone else thinks.

  • http://girlslashwoman.wordpress.com/ G/W

    “How do I know that I’m pretty, smart, attractive and valuable when I’m dating someone and when I’m single? How do I love myself no matter what?”
    I’ve also received a lot of love and support from my family but I always felt down about the way I look. That’s what I want all PSPs to know. I was about 200 lbs and felt unattractive most of the time. I’m at 120 lbs now and I still feel unattractive most of the time. Weight has nothing to do with self love- you have to accept yourself as you are at all times. It just doesn’t work otherwise. And losing a bunch of weight isn’t going to make you happy with yourself.

  • http://grownandcurvywoman.com/ grownandcurvywoman

    Self love is hard but Im determined!!! Everyday I make a conscious effort to feel good about myself no matter what. I used to look for validation in the eyes of others but all that got me was nowhere. Kudos to you for staying on the path to self acceptance and love!!!

  • http://www.hollisterco.me.uk/ pheobe

    I should love myself better,because we do not lovemyself,who love us?hollister tell me。

  • Michelle Ellis

    To those finding it hard..Treat yourself with the respect and love you wish you had, it will soon rub off on those around you and before you realise it, things will have changed. x Good Luck to all xxx

  • Lexi

    LOL. Thanks for that post. I have also always been a big girl, and did the same thing in high school down to getting Dad’s approval on the clothes that I bought. It is definitely something that when I was growing up, and even now made me comfortable in my own skin.

  • Rav Matt

    Everyone should love themselves. If you love yourself, everyone love you.