Thursday, October 4, 2012

What I Love About Myself

Before you read - I know it is long, but I think it will be worth your time and it would mean the world to me if you would leave a comment about yourself.

***

My last post had a lot to do about my body and where I stand on the issue.  Since I posted it has been on my mind a lot.  Then I read Another Mother Runner's post about what a Mother Runner looks like.  I'm inspired to do this and I'm inspired to really talk about my body.  This hasn't always been the case.

I believe it was early high school (maybe middle school, I'm not sure exactly) when I was on a bus with some classmates. I don't remember the conversation word for word, but what I do remember is saying something about liking how my body looked.  I don't remember what responses I got from that conversation immediately after those words either.  What I remember is coming to school the next day and being accused of being conceited and full of myself and a couple of girls, my friends, were mad at me for it while I tried to find the words to unnecessarily explain myself.

That time period in a girl's life is extremely sensitive.  We were dealing with trying to figure out who we were, dealing with so many changes as we transitioned from girl to young lady, and trying to find our place in the world.   It is a stressful time where girls could easily take the left turn instead of the right.  Eating disorders, drugs, drinking, sex, etc to allow themselves a place to destructively fit. 

We should be encouraging each other to love ourselves so much earlier on in life than we do, but too often our peers don't allow it.  It's not cool to love yourselves in school.  It was heartbreaking to me that I was being "outed" because I said I liked something about myself to my classmates, to my friends. 

From that moment on you would not find me talking about what I liked about myself.  I have always been shy and have had low self esteem, as did many of the girls whether they admitted it or not, crushing me the one time I felt comfortable enough to share how I felt was damaging and has shaped the kind of person I grew to be.  It kept that low self esteem alive for a very, very long time.

It's sad that the majority of girls, women, ladies have such issues with their physical appearance and it isn't until later in life that they learn to love themselves for who they are and what they look like, close to perfection or not.  Me included.  I'm still working on it. I'm still trying not to compare my physical appearance with the girl in the magazine or the girl in that picture with the inspirational quote who has lines and tone and skin to die for. 

In all my vulnerability and nervousness while pushing the "Publish" button, I'm going to post this. 
The things I love about ME.  Too often in my posts I will write something that is positive, but quickly follow it up with something that counters it because that little voice in my head says I'm coming off as conceited.  Sometimes I try to find balance and make sure I'm being equally positive and negative so people don't think I'm too happy or too depressed.  This time I'm not going there.  This is me.  This is what I love about me.  Love it or hate it.  Praise it or punish it. I'm not apologizing or softening the lines.

This month is filled with things that deeply affect the human heart, especially a woman's; Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  Some of you, like me, are personally affected by at least one of these. 

Painful, life shattering moments that we didn't know how we would move on from.  We didn't know what tomorrow looked like and if the pain would ever stop.  Some of you are going through this now.  But for those that found a way to put one foot in front of the other, we are stronger.  Maybe we don't recognize it, but we are.  So, this post is about celebrating who we are today and all the strength we have gained from each of our circumstances.  This post is about loving ourselves for all we've been through, who we've become, and what we look like; scars, stretch marks, dimples and all.

I'm posting the picture I submitted to Another Mother Runner.  I would encourage you to do the same.  I would also encourage you to join me.  In the comments if you feel lead to leave a message, please tell me something you love about yourself.  It can be something about your physical body or who you are or both, hell make a long list.  My smile will expand with each word you write and it will motivate me to keep going. To love myself more and celebrate you. 

Last night I turned the camera on myself and was photo bombed by a 1 year old so I ran with it.  I'm only going to post this one, my favorite decent one (one that is not in bikini bottoms) because I think it thoroughly shows all that I am proud of from the imperfect smile to the pasty white skin oh, and that little boy smiling on my shoulder.



I'm 32 years old.  I'm in shape.  I can keep up with my boys.  I'm trying my best to live my best life.  Everyone tells me I'm too thin and I started to believe it.  Last night I sat back at the computer and clicked through the images when the house was quiet.  I'm proud of myself.  I'm proud of the hard work I have put in.  I'm proud to say I'm healthy.  I'm happy to see more muscle definition than I thought I had and that badonkadonk butt I thought was flattening.... uh, nope, it's still plumpfully there and hopefully there to stay.

I've worked hard for this and I will continue to work hard to stay healthy and keep being an example of what one CAN do. 

If you blog and feel inspired to post your own What I Love About Myself post please let me know and I will forward it on because I think this is important for those that are coming up behind us.  Love yourselves, love others. 

tsharp12 on twitter and instagram, 5 Sharp Lives on Facebook.  Tag me, hashtag it, post it on my wall.  Start a movement, be an example. 

(cheeks blushing... I'm hitting publish now)

36 comments:

  1. Tayarra- first off, I'm going to say I'm kinda weird and saved your pic to my phone. It motivates me and you are so amazingly beautiful!! Lets see..what i love about myself- let me say my self esteem is the worst its been in my entire life so I'm digging from deep down to find some things to list for you...i love my hands...my ears are cute and small, my hair is finally long and beautiful, my eyes have turned to a pretty green...i LOVE my tattoos.
    I love that I'm a great mother, a hard worker, a caring giving unselfish person with unlimited love to give. I have empathy, fear, insight....hmmm that's all i can think of right now. You are such an inspiration. THANK YOU

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    Replies
    1. Tessa, I'm honored, really... not weird! You have A LOT to love about yourself! I hope some day extremely soon you find that love and confidence about yourself. Keep working, pretty soon you will be there and it will be like it happened overnight. I for one love that smile I see on your face in your pictures. It is full of life.

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    2. Thanks for your reply!! That's what i love about you! So personal..so great to know you. I hope i can meet you and Tionna someday. You are just amazing Tayarra!! I love your blog:) thanks for your inspiration.

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  2. Good for you! And thank you for sharing. You look amazing, girl! Wish we could workout together so you could motivate me. ;)

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    Replies
    1. I would love to workout with you! We should have done that when we were much closer!

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  3. Oh sweet lord in heaven, this is incredible. Because it's YOU. It's your mind and words and they are so brutally honest.

    You look unbelievable. I'd stare longingly at you're calves, bet your ass ;)

    As you know, I'm at a phase where I'm not as fit as I'd like to be. But I'm healthy. I'm happy. I'm strong. I'll get to the "fit" when I can focus on it. In the meantime, I love my smile. My feet. My eyes. My smirk. My fierce loyalty. My sense of humor. My belief in God.

    I like those things about me. Love them.

    Thank you for letting me share them.

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    Replies
    1. Girl, I love you long time! My calves... they are probably my least fav, but so much better than they were. Thank you! I love your list. I love that you shared. I especially love the last 2. Fierce loyalty... I LOVE that about you!

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  4. You are simply gorgeous inside and out. You have a lovely mind and holy shit abs of steal. You're in a good place my friend. I envy that you can type these words.

    I really have no idea what I love about me right now. I really don't. I'm under construction :)

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    1. Kim, You know what I love about you? Your awareness to what condition you are in. Your love for others when you are hurting so much yourself. The way you talk about your boy and your man. That smile you wear in pictures that hides all your pain. It's a beautiful, beautiful smile. Your honesty. The way you inspire others to come out and talk about mental health. The friend you are and the way you love even when you don't feel like loving yourself. Your dark eyes and pretty hair. You are beautiful, Kim. YOU are BEAUTIFUL!

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  5. You look amazing, girl!!! I love this. I think we should feel good about ourselves without feeling conceited. I do that a lot in my posts, balance out the positive with the negative, because I don't want to come off as too full of myself. But you know what? You've inspired me to hit publish on just the good, if that's what I'm feeling.
    P.S. I'm a running mama too :)

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  6. wow!!! you look amazing!! and let me just say, you are not too thin at all!!!! YOU ARE STRONG, FIT AND BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY WAY! I have been following your blog since Amanda from Runninghood recommended it in her FB page, and I have always loved all your posts. I always mean to comment buy I am always so busy that when I postpone something like this for later I usually end up not writing at all...and there goes a chance to express myself and to tell you what I think of your latest blog post etc. This has happened several times.... but, not this time! since yesterday when I first read this I decided to leave the blog open in my computer so I would be forced to minimize it over and over again to continue working and that way reminding me that I needed to write to you!! and this little trick to myself worked!!! now, a little about me,.... I am a mom of a boy, 8 years old, married to my best friend for almost 12 years already, and I am 32 years old (almost 33..ha!) i was always very fit and into sports until 2005 after I had my boy I started gaining weight, a lot,.... to the point that I got to be obese.....those years were pretty bad for my soul, I didn't really feel obese inside, but when i looked in the mirror i didn't recognize the woman I was staring at. I started feeling like I was in some kind of prison where the real me was locked inside...fast forward September 29 2011, I was 189 pounds (I am 5.2) and I finally woke up, looked at the mirror and decided to slap out of it and be me again, the real me, the one inside. I went to a running store to get new running shoes and that day I walked my first miles in many years. 8 months later I was 128 pounds again!!!! today, 1 year after I started, I am 124 pounds. I had always love running, and I had done two half marathons years ago, so this year I did one in the city and one trail. and I just began training for my first full marathon this coming January!. I am in the best shape of my life. I am strong, i am full of awesome muscles everywhere (which by the way are also thanks to my INsanity work outs along with running over 25 miles a week) I love my calf, my thighs, my arms, my smile and even my bunions...hahahah, I don't feel I love my breast because after breastfeeding and all the weight loss they became almost non-existent, but that comes at hand when running because they don't jump around my bra...so there you go...., I love my happiness, I love being always able to make a difference in those around me. I love the way I see things in life.
    Maybe I have written too much of myself,...but that is what happens when I have postpone writing to you for so long that know everything wants to come out at the same time. Don't be afraid of me. I am a normal person! Keep writing, keep blogging, keep sharing and inspiring!!!!! XXXX Yahu

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  7. Wow, Tahu! Goose bumps, inspiration, tears, smiles! Wow! 1 decision. 1choice is all it took. Congratulations isn't even a strong enough word to celebrate you. I'm truly in awe! 8 months, to go from "obese" to fit. I'm truly just stumbling over my words. You certainly did NOT write too much. That right there is exactly why I wanted to write this and exactly why I wanted to hear from you! Thank you so much for spilling it!!!

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    1. Auto corrected your name... Sorry, Yahu.

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    2. thank you so much for your words!!! they mean the world to me! thank you!!!!!!!

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  8. I wanted to respond yesterday, but time got away from me! Wow, girl you look AMAZING and are so inspirational and honest. I feel like I know you so well, yet I can't remember the last time I saw you! Thinking back to high school: how we were perceived and what we thought of ourselves...yeah not the best self-esteem! When I was younger I always thought I was fat, hated my legs, thought my nose was too big, was too soft spoken (not sure that has changed) :) It is funny, now after given birth to two children, I love my body and the work I've done to make me feel this way and think my legs are one of my best features. I love that I'm a good mom. I love my passion that I share for family and friends. WOW, this is great therapy! LOL seriously, thank you for being so honest and letting me do the same.

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    1. Thank you, Lana! The only "bad" thing about this blog is that the people that feel closer to me because of what I post here I don't get to return the love, if that makes sense. I would LOVE it if ALL my friends blogged :) Lana, I've loved and admired you since we were little. I always thought you were beautiful! I always looked up to you and was probably too desperate to be your friend a few times. I know there were times along the way that probably didn't make it seem that way and I'm truly sorry for that. Thank God I'm not the same girl I was back then and I learned from a lot of mistakes. I don't like to say I regret things in my life but I do regret 2 times where I didn't respect myself enough and I hurt others.

      Your legs have ALWAYS been amazing and I can't say enough about your beautiful smile, Lana! It screams happiness. Thank you so much for sharing, commenting and being so supportive. It means a ton to me!

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  9. As always, I am in awe of you my dear friend. I love so many things about YOU! What do I love about ME? That's a harder one to answer, but here goes. I love my brown eyes. I love the fact that even though I am far from a "risk taker" I have taken a few giant risks in the past decade, and I didn't let the fear of the unknown get in the way of me becoming a mommy. I love my perseverance. I love my work ethic. I love that I feel like I truly make a difference in so many lives, both at school, and at home. I love my husband, and the fact that with all of the challenges we have faced, we have truly faced them together and continue to strengthen our love and trust in each other with each struggle. I love that even though I am a "working mom" I am still domestic. I know it sounds silly and old fashioned, but I like making my husband coffee in the morning, and cooking my family a good dinner each night, putting their meals on plates and sitting around the dinner table in a quiet kitchen, talking about our day. I love my boys, and I love the way I am teaching them about love, family and adoption in small ways everyday. I love being a mommy to a baby girl.Even though I am scared to death about the future with Madi, I am proud to say I love her with my whole heart. I love YOU TK. Thanks for being so amazing.

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    1. I love you so much, Christen! You know that, I know! I love your strength, your confidence in who you are. I love how sure you speak and how you have your head together through such stressful times. I love how much of a gift it is to call you a true friend. I love what a gift you are to so many people. What a difference you make indeed. You inspire me in so many ways. I love how adorable you always look, your love for your husband, boys, and our sweet precious Madi. I do love those beautiful brown eyes of yours! Thank YOU for being so incredibly amazing!

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  10. Tayarra, the first word that comes to my mind when I look at that picture of you is STRONG. What am amazing role model you are for your boys -- you are showing them all the many facets of being a woman. Because of you, they will grow up knowing that women can be loving to others and love themselves, too. They will know that women can be strong, fast and proud while also being sweet, kind and humble.

    I am not (yet) brave enough to write my own post about what I love about ME. From a body image perspective, I don't have any real issues. In fact, I really do like my body. And I do think it is something I should write about so that my daughters can grow up and be proud, too. But I am just still too worried of what others will think of me if I do.

    But since I feel completely "safe" writing on YOUR blog (as opposed to mine!), here goes:

    I love my legs...they have carried me through so much in my life. I love my green/blue eyes...they have shown me the beauty that surrounds me every day. I love my laugh...it shows others my silly side. I love my abs...they keep me standing tall and proud. I love my arms...they have lifted me up when I have fallen. I love my feet...they have danced at my wedding. I love my curls...they have been passed down to my curly-haired daughter. I love my ears...they have heard the sweet whispers from my husband. I love my confidence...it has allowed me to dream big dreams. I love my nose...it has smelled the sweet scent of my babies. Last but not least, I love my heart...it has shown me that it can be broken but will never be shattered and that my capacity to love is limitless.

    Thank you for your post -- it is so beautiful and honest!
    xo
    Kristen

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    1. Kristen, BEAUTIFUL! You SO need to write your own post. Especially for your daughters. They need to know how to love themselves and how to express that. If you aren't comfortable on your own blog, I would be absolutely honored to post it here. If you would reallly like to send me an email.

      Thank you so much for your words and for sharing. So inspirational and now I wish I would have written more.

      I'm serious about that guest post!!!

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    2. Tayarra, I think a guest post sounds kind of fun! And then if I get brave, I could eventually decide to share it on my blog. I seriously do love your posts, by the way. You write SO beautifully and your spirit really shines through your words. I am so new to blogging and still not very comfortable being vulnerable yet.

      I just got back from my amazing vacation (the one to Italy!) on Sunday and am still trying to get the house back together and wrap my mind around all that has happened in the past ten days. Oh, and I'm turning 40 tomorrow so that is also on my mind! I want to get a post out on my blog about my trip and then will write something up to send to you. :)

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  11. Your post almost brought me to tears.....I am so proud of you and almost wish I could be as honest as you. I am 50 going on 51 and in pretty good shape. Actually...that's probably a lie....I'm in great shape and have a hard time sharing that. I thing I am a lot like you in that I try not to come across too confident so others don't think bad if me or whatever. But you're right....we should be proud of our accomplishments. I love that I can still run marathons at age 50ish and do pretty good for age 50. Almost a Boston qualifier again last week which meant a lot even though I was incredibly sad I missed by only 2 minutes. However I felt good, I'm strong, and based on the feedback from others.....I know I can do it next time. I'm 5'6" about 115 (a little less right now after all the training) and mostly muscle. I have good boobs too I've been told so look pretty good. Ok...I guess I am in the best shape ever and at times get frustrated since I've run several marathons under 4. What's different is probably my age but the trouble is....I don't think I feel any different but they say as we get older we lose speed not endurance. Many of my runner friends are so very encouraging and say such nice things but than there are others who are discouraging.....almost as if they are envious. This is I think why I hold back ...it's hurtful maybe? I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks so very much for sharing.

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    1. Karen, WOW! Do you know how much hope and inspiration you bring me? I've wondered to myself how long I can keep this up. Then I tell myself if I'm doing it with 3 small kids, a full time job, supporting my family's agendas, and loving my husband, how can I not keep it up. Your comment just confirms it. Thank you so much for stepping out and saying what you said (have to interrupt, my son is singing I'm Sexy and I Know It, seemed fitting)

      I wish you so much luck on qualifying. I would love to get updates on your progress if you track it anywhere. If you blog or are on Facebook I would love to connect with you there.

      Other women can let their insecurities get in the way and that is another reason why I wanted to post this. Love each other for people THEY are not for who you aren't.

      You sound like such a badass, just have to say that! Thank you so much again! If you don't blog and want to post something here as well, I would be so honored!

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  12. Yep on Facebook so yes I'd love to stay connected. Also......I do blog
    Eatyourvegetablestoday blogspot. I love to cook.....and love to entertain:-). I'm not real consistent on my blog but enjoy posting when I do:-). Thanks again.

    Karen

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  13. What in the world?! You should be on the cover of Runner's World or something! Seriously. You are strong and beautiful. :-) I love your honesty in this post. You look amazingly fit. Whatever you've been doing is working!

    What I love about myself... have to say my legs. They've taken me many places and I continue to use them day after day.


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