Self-love, that is. I have to be honest. I've always liked myself. I'm smart, funny, loyal, a great conversationalist, passionate and purposeful. I've always liked that about myself. But love? Wow. That's a lot harder...and what's even harder is admitting that I haven't loved myself before now. No wonder my past relationships have failed--how could I find love with others when I didn't love myself?
Of course, a great deal of my self-opinion was based on the sexual abuse. What people may not know about sexual abuse is that it makes you feel so dirty. Disgusting. Hateful. Hard to love yourself when you're busy blaming yourself for something heinous.
And when you're busy hating yourself, you do whatever you can to punish yourself; in my case, that meant overeating. When I would diet and begin to lose weight, I would start getting male attention. That should have been a good thing, right? However, when I got that attention, I would self-sabotage and begin to eat again. This was a cycle that got the best of me for years, but not anymore. I'm getting male attention even now--and I'm loving it. I am. I don't stress over it at all. In fact, I welcome it.
Why? What's the difference this time? Before I had the surgery, I took one of those Saturdays I keep for myself, and I analyzed the situation. I looked at my past behavior, the reason for it, and I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to repeat my past. I realized that I can take care of myself now, that I don't have to subject myself to a dangerous situation, that I can handle a situation with anyone now. No one will ever abuse me or take advantage of me again. I can say that without fear or hesitation. I don't have to be fat to be safe. Not any more.
I've lost 60 lbs and am smaller today than I've been in probably 20 years. I'm going to continue to lose weight until my body is done--probably in a year or so. And over the next several months, men are going to notice me. In part because I look better, but also in part because I'm more confident, more comfortable in my own skin. I love myself. I do. And I'm sure that there's a good, healthy relationship with someone else in my future because loving myself just makes me more loveable.