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Breaking Free: My journey from Self-Doubt to Self-Love

Breaking Free: My journey from Self-Doubt to Self-Love

I used to stand in front of the full length mirror, phone in hand. I was hesitant, I was unsure. I adjusted, pivoted, contorted… looking for the best angles, looking for a pose that shaped my body into something as close as possible to the glossy, celluloid bodies I see on the daily, in every form of media. I focused in on every curve and every dimple, feeling less than because I didn’t look like a curated Instagram feed of professionally edited photos.

If I only weighed 10lbs less.

If only my waist was a bit smaller.

If only my chest was a big bigger.

If only my skin was always perfect.

If only…

As women, we all scrutinize ourselves. We are conditioned and socialized to seek perfection; a standard that has been set by industry and media and that we impose on ourselves daily. All we see is the space between what we are and what we are told we should be.

We need to let this go. I am learning to do this a bit more every day. It is a habit, a practice, a meditation. I have to consciously choose to accept myself and give myself grace. It’s been a long journey that continues to this day and something I have to do with intention and gentleness for myself.

I have been doing sports since I was a kid. My athletic journey has taught me a lot about my body. It has taught me to appreciate and celebrate it for what it can do for me as opposed to what it looks like. I learned body awareness, strength, agility and a respect and gratitude for how my body performs.

As women, we are bombarded with images of “perfect” bodies and constantly told of new body parts to be ashamed of should they not have the “ideal” look. I started moving away from seeing myself as an object, as material, and started experiencing my body as a powerful machine that keeps me strong, protects me and allows me to experience the world. The empowerment this change in mindset has brought me has resonated into every aspect of my life.

There’s comes a point where we have to simply refuse – refuse to play the game, refuse to let it diminish us, refuse to value ourselves based on impossible aesthetics and physical expectations. Here’s a life hack for fitting into pants that are too tight… get a bigger size ;)

Now, I stand in front of the mirror and I see strength, I see resilience. I see a heck of a lot of growth. I see all the hardships I’ve overcome, all the moments I’ve survived.

And that’s really beautiful.

Valéry Brosseau 

Mental Health Advocate
Writer. Speaker
Training. Consulting

Visit Val's site

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