Project Love Myself

Last night I had this argument with my best friend. He thinks I don’t value myself enough. I guess he’s right. He sees me as someone worth something. That’s not what I see.

I see this girl who is a bit of a geek by most people’s standards. She’s ok looking, she won’t stop traffic but she’s not unattractive. She’s slim enough, though it’s not natural, it’s all been through exercise and dieting. She’s caring, maybe a bit too much, and isn’t afraid to express her emotions. And when it comes to Love, frankly she’s a bit of a disaster area, falling for all the wrong men.

I decided last night it’s time for a crash course in loving myself. I’m tired of disappointing my best friend with my bad decisions and my low self esteem. But also, I’m tired of disappointing myself. So I’m setting myself a task a week, in an attempt to love myself again.

My mission – see myself through my best friend’s eyes.

And so it begins.

Week Four – Looking Back

After spending two weeks reflecting, I’ve come to realise something. I may have been happy with my ex, but there were some things that I wasn’t comfortable sharing with him. For instance, for some strange reason I never felt confident enough to sext with him, something that I had done many times before. I don’t know if it was because I might have had to follow through with anything I said, or because I didn’t feel confident enough with him, but I have sext with men that I’ve been close with before.

This realisation has made me think maybe our relationship wasn’t as good as I thought. I need to be with someone who I trust completely and won’t be afraid to share my past sins with. Someone who would never judge me for the things I have done, and would never push me to do things I’m not comfortable with. I’m not saying my ex did anything wrong, but if I never truly let go with him, we must have never really been perfect.

It’s been 6 months since we broke up, and I didn’t realise how good it was being single until I returned to my university town and experienced being happily single again. I still miss my ex, of course I do, but I am actually rather happy being single, and in no rush to find anyone. If I did meet someone, I would be very happy, but right now, I am happy chugging along as I am.

Now, as I move forwards, I will be looking at the future for the next two weeks. Thinking about love, work, and friendships. I’m happy now, and I want to figure out how to stay happy in the future.

Week Four – Looking Back

I’m sorry about the lack of posts last week. I became ill on Thursday, and could barely keep my eyes open when I got in from work, let alone type! Still, I’m feeling better now, and I’m super excited for this week! Last week I ended my task with a A4 sheet of whinges and negative comments, and have decided I am thoroughly sick of sad me!

This week, I am travelling back to spend 3 days with my old university friends in my old university town. It’s been 6 months since I saw these people. In those months, I have lost a stone, paddled my way through a break up, and started to become a new, more positive person.

I have always had trouble letting go however. So whilst I’m back in my uni town, I’m going to look back at the big mistakes I made in my past, and try to move on. I need to accept that some things will never change, and some things were not my fault. I’m a harsh critic when it comes to me, and I want to show that critic that sometimes no matter what you do, things are going to end badly.

So here’s to seeing old friends, getting drunk, and facing the ghost of relationships past.

Week Three – Keeping Shtum

Well this week is going better than last week did! But I have discovered that I don’t just insult myself when I’m talking to other people. Yesterday lunchtime I went to buy myself new underwear, as a girl can never have too much underwear. The size of my breasts (read: large) means that it is really hard to find sexy underwear that doesn’t cost the earth. Standing in the changing rooms, glaring at my lack of choices, I was silently cursing myself in my head. Most of my thoughts were ‘why can’t I have breasts that are more average sized, so I can buy lots of pretty underwear that doesn’t cost the earth?’ But actually, my breasts are one of my best features, and I shouldn’t have been so ungrateful about them!

There have been other moments of abusing myself, but the one that sticks out in my mind happened this morning. My best friend were talking about relationships, as we often do, and I made a comment about how he’d never want me, and when he asked why not, my first instinct was to reply that someone like him (as in, amazing) could never be interested in someone like me. But instead, I waited to reply, changed the subject to a happier topic, and didn’t insult myself. This was the whole point of Project Love Myself – he wanted me to see what I truly deserve, and value myself more. By not undermining myself and pointing out how much better other people are, I think I’m actually on the road to having a better approach to myself.

So far, so good! Let’s see how I am venturing out tomorrow evening with friends!

Week Three – If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

This week’s task is all about my negative attitude. I insult myself a lot. Sure, I make light of it, by being self-deprecating, No wonder my best friend gets sick of hearing me complaining! I think it would actually be rather interesting to keep a list of all the mean things I say about myself – or rather, would say about myself. Instead of saying these things, I will write them down, and say something positive, or just not say anything at all!

Hopefully as the week goes on, my attitude towards myself will become more positive. Who knows, it may get worse! But hopefully it will show myself how often I put myself down, and perhaps that some of my insults are uncalled for. As always, it is all about awaiting the results.

Also, very excited about putting make up back on tomorrow! The first time ever I have looked forward to a Monday that isn’t a holiday!

Week Two – Oh Thank God I Can Put Make Up On Again

Seriously, I can’t wait to put on make up tomorrow. Although normally I don’t bother on Sundays, so I may actually wait until Monday.

So, did I learn anything this week? Yes. I have an unhealthy attachment to my foundation and mascara. When I went to see the new Thor on Wednesday (totally awesome, go see it), I spent ages trying to decide whether to put on make up or not. In the end my will power won, and I stuck to my no make-up diet, but it was a close one. I don’t know why, I was just desperate not to spend the evening feeling distinctly unattractive. But I’m not even that unattractive! I’m just unimpressive. I’m just convinced that I require Bambi eyes to have someone love me again.

After months of spending 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, with a full made up face, I think it would be healthy for me to spend one week day going out in public with no make up on. I know I don’t actually look that bad. It would just be nice if I felt confident not having anything to hide behind!

All in all, not a fantastic week. But I’m trying to stay positive. Because the tasks to come are much worse. Like next week’s one. Eurgh it’s going to be hard.

Week Two – Growing Accustomed to My Face

The last two days have gone better than Monday and Tuesday did. I definitely feel less self-conscious about my naked face today. My complexion hasn’t improved this week, and it’s not like my eyes have suddenly grown to Bambi proportions. But I’m getting used to just walking past mirrors, and I haven’t been automatically wiping my eyes to remove eyeliner smudges.

I still don’t love my face. I can’t stop seeing the scars, moles and flaws. I keep thinking this is the first thing people see when they look at me. If I had a prettier face, would I still be single? Would I have been dumped so unceremoniously? Maybe. Maybe not.

Slowly, I am growing used to my face. It is nothing to write home about, but it has its good features. Two days left until I can put make up on again. It will be interesting to see how it feels, after days of allowing my skin to breathe.

Week Two – Barefaced and Feeling Naked

After two days, I am hating this week’s task. Honestly, I feel so self-conscious without any make up on. This is how I normally look:

Made Up Face

Anddd this is my face when I don’t have make up on:

No Make Up

There may be no huge difference to some. I do photograph fairly well… But for the past two days, my skin has been patchy, I have large dark circles under my eyes and my eyes themselves look significantly smaller than when they have eyeliner on them. Also my lips are a lot paler and less sexy! So far, I don’t love my face, and I’m not comfortable with my face. I think my main aim for the end of the week is to at least be comfortable with how I look. I doubt I will ever love not wearing make up.

I can’t wait for Sunday, so I can put make up on again and have a lovely even skin tone! Sorry best friend, there is no way I am going to think I’m beautiful without make up on.

Week Two – You Don’t Know What Makes You Beautiful

Oh god, forgive the One Direction title. But let’s face it, all of those ‘beautiful’ people in the magazines, they have so much make up they probably have trouble holding their head up. But hey, I too put on make up every day. And not just a little bit. Here is a photo of what I wear every day:

Make Up

Yep. Two foundations, one concealer, one mascara, one liquid eyeliner, one lipgloss, lots of perfume, and occasionally lipstick. The only time I leave the house without my war paint is when I go on my early Sunday morning bike ride. I don’t know why I wear so much make up. I’ve been wearing it for about 6 or 7 years now, and I can’t imagine going out in public without it.

I think it’s partly because I have a few blemishes on my face and I like being able to cover them up. I have a distinct memory of being 14 and telling my mum and sister that I needed more foundation to cover up my blemishes. For some reason it was put in my head that I needed to cover up these flaws with make up, instead of learning to accept my face the way it is.

So this week’s task is to go without all my make up for 7 days. I’m dreading going to work tomorrow without make up on, all the women in my office wear it, even though they’ve got 30 years on me. I know no one will comment, but part of me still expects something awful to happen! Fingers crossed no one will run away screaming from me.

Week One – Can I Learn To Love My Body?

So these last seven days, I’ve been trying to look at my body in a new light. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly love certain parts of me, both physical and mental parts. But I have to admit, I am more attractive than I thought. My legs aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were. They’re never going to be stick thin, but I have actually realised that they are becoming less fat and more muscular each week. And truly, I would rather enjoy birthday cake and chips (separately, not together) than have super thin legs.

My arms are a different matter, they can’t ever be changed. But I think it’s true what they say, the people who matter don’t care, and the people who care don’t matter. The people who used to remark on my arms were never my friends. I don’t talk to them any more, I haven’t done for years. My friends from university tell me I’m beautiful. And I think they believe it. I can’t ever express how much their love has changed the way I think about myself.

Will I ever be a model? No. Do I deserve more than a man who uses me and throws me away as soon as he’s got what he wants? Most definitely. It’s all about confidence. Which links into my next task beautifully. I am not going to enjoy the next seven days. All will be revealed tomorrow.