8th grade graduation photo

Despite my awkward need to be the best even in gym class, I actually had a pretty great group of friends in Junior High. I was part of a group that was the middle of the road popularity wise. Everyone knew me, I didn’t really have any enemies, and I mostly fit in with this middle of the road pack. I was surrounded by people who liked me, but I could never believe that my peers and friends thought I was physically attractive. Because I didn’t believe that people thought I was attractive, nor did I believe I was attractive, I did my best to be noticed in a variety of ways. The first way was to of course be the best at any activity out there (even if it was only badminton). I definitely received attention, but I found out by 8th grade that the boys thought it was great for a pal to be that good at athletics, not a potential girlfriend. Since I told you that I don’t let my son win at anything, you probably can guess that I could not stop my competitive side in order to look more feminine. If I was going to convince the boys I was girlfriend material, I had to find another way to draw attention to my “girlie” side (YUCK!).  I tried flirting and was not really great at it, but at 13 you don’t have to be. So I ended up with a boyfriend here and there for short periods of time just moving from one boy that would pay attention to me and on to the next. At one point, one of my best friends, Jon, asked me out as a joke. We tried it and failed miserably-it was a good laugh for both of us.

Looking back, I know that as I jumped from boyfriend to boyfriend, I was looking for someone to build up my self-esteem and make me feel good about my looks and by extension, all of me. They all fell short as anyone would. We can’t have a boyfriend, friend, family member, or anyone else make you feel good about yourself- that can come only from a balance of your mind, body, and soul. If you don’t feed all three aspects with the fuel required, you will fall short, and those around you will also fall short trying to help you build your self-esteem. Think about it, it’s your self-esteem. How can anyone else build it up? Sure compliments help build us up, but those provide a false sense of confidence- it won’t last against the millions of negative comments you have going through your own head putting you down the other 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day. And that is assuming you believe the compliment in the first place! 

Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break! Take 5 minutes and write down positive thoughts about you on some post-it notes. Place those post-it notes where you will see them daily. Post them in places you tend to abuse yourself with the most negative self-talk. I personally put uplifting bible verses on note cards and put them in my car (I spend a lot of time in there being a mobile personal trainer and mom). This way every time I get into my car feeling worn out, I read one and get the energy, inspiration, and commitment to go on with my day. Try it and let me know if it helps. Or don’t let me know, but give it an honest effort. I guarantee you will be nicer to your soul and your soul will return the favor.  Healthy regards!

Here’s a picture of me at soccer camp at 13 years old, and I am the same height as my goalie coach. (This is the Shaq summer).