Health and Wellbeing

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Excerpt from Underneath My Clothes – a woman’s guide to making peace with her body

When we arrive in this world, we are born with a full tank of self-esteem. Little by little over time, this tank gets depleted. Expectations that can’t be met, bullying behaviour from others, negative environments, these are all tank drainers. Certain life challenges can deplete our self-esteem more than others and we are all uniquely different when it comes to how we manage and conserve our tank.

Some of us have the great privilege of being born into families that naturally keep their self-esteem tanks full constantly and understand the value of this precious commodity. Then there are others who are born into environments where there are little resources available to refuel. Other people around who are also low on self-esteem will readily tap into other people’s tanks to top up their low self-esteem levels.

Imagine each and every one of us is born with an inbuilt self-esteem tank.

It is just like the fuel tank in your car except the gauge to this self-esteem tank is located and visible on your forehead. Just like the fuel gauge in your car, it consists of two parts, the sensing unit and the indicator. The sensing
unit tracks just how much self-esteem you have on a daily basis, meanwhile, the indicator keeps a visible record for you so that you can monitor whether your tank is full or empty.

When you are confident, full of self-love and value yourself, the indicator needle points to ‘F’.

You know you can change the whole world when you have a full tank of self- esteem, it is powerful, energetic, contagious and the most valuable form of energy to possess. When this tank is empty, the gauge points to ‘E’ indicating an empty tank. When your self-esteem tank is empty, you have no energy, you are easily taken advantage of, you feel drained and just like a car, you may require someone to give you a push to keep you moving forward. The problem we all face as humans is that we actually do not have that visible gauge to rely on.

Many people realise that they are low on self-esteem as they can feel it draining away, but they don’t stop to fill up their tank often enough.

They just keep pushing to get through on low resources and then one day they realise when they are all out just how precious self-esteem is.

We simply cannot rely on other people to keep our self-esteem tanks topped up. We are personally responsible for managing our health, our lives and our self-worth. True self-worth comes from deep within. Acknowledging that our health is important, our contribution to the world is important, our role as mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, these are all vital. We must love ourselves enough to accept that each day as we walk this earth, we have the opportunity to really shine.

We individually have qualities that we can share with the world.

Maybe you are a mum, teacher, nurse, artist, a great listener, wonderful friend, a world leader even, whatever it is that you do, you make a difference. You are a valued and treasured part of this community we call the world. Your qualities, your beautiful contributions daily whether they are big or small, are not defined by your weight, your shape or how you look. They are defined by your heart. Your self-esteem is shaped by your thoughts, your actions, your contributions and the value you place on all of your personal achievements and attributes.

It is our birth right to have a healthy amount of self-worth. Although it is wonderful to be acknowledged and recognised for all that we do by others, it really is important to understand that it is actually our own responsibility to see that we are worthy, valuable and incredibly special. If you hold other people in high esteem for their qualities, their achievements, their contributions, it is important to accept that we are absolutely worthy of our own love and affection and recognition.

If you love someone, you naturally treat them with respect. It is vital that you treat yourself the same way.

Building self-esteem and filling up your own tank requires acknowledging that we require nurturing. We must nurture ourselves physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally; the benefits we get when we do this are enormous. Self-care provides the fuel we need to fill up our self-esteem tanks. Self-care and making better choices with all areas of your health and your life is empowering. When we take care of ourselves, we show our children, our friends and our loved ones an example of positive self-esteem.

If we respect our bodies and make healthy choices every day in regard to food and exercise, we will absolutely be rewarded with good health, a healthy body, increased energy and a full tank of self-esteem. If we do just a few things regularly to renew our energy and revitalise our spirit, like witness a sunrise or sunset, hug our loved ones, laugh with our friends, walk on the beach, this will improve our wellbeing and add sparkle to the soul as well as fuel to the tank. If we say no to perfectionism, criticism, procrastination, comparisons and we are mindful of how we invest our precious energy daily, we will keep our self-esteem up. If we express our needs, wants, values and boundaries clearly and confidently, this will keep self-esteem levels well and truly overflowing.

The more energy you invest in yourself, the more self-esteem will be deposited into your tank. We must keep topping our tanks up daily. Refuelling our self-esteem tank is as important as cleaning our teeth! Dig down deep and realise just how precious you are. Believing that you are worthy of your own love, respect, affection and recognition, starts at the source of this tank. Keeping it well fuelled is a sign that you are sincerely grateful for all that you have and for all that you are. You know the way you treat yourself really does set the standard for how others treat you and how the world sees you.

Make peace with yourself today. You are good enough, great enough, and gorgeous enough. Hold yourself in high esteem!

Excerpt from Chapter 11 – Underneath My Clothes – a woman’s guide to making peace with her body

You have one life to live so don’t waste it feeling inferior based on weight, size, appearance or lack of self-worth. Every chapter of your life, just like this book, is a part of your story. You have the opportunity to begin a new chapter. This is an empowering body positivity book for every woman who has ever struggled with body image or low self – esteem. Today is a perfect day to change your life and make peace with your body.