Jackie and Marilyn | Self Love Week: It’s Not That Simple

This week on Jackie and Marilyn, we are focusing on the very important subject of self love and body confidence, which is often the driving force behind many of our fashion choices. Today we hear from guest blogger Claire Eckel, who reached out to us with the intent to spread more self-love in the blogging world through sharing her own journey.

Hi, my name is Claire Eckel. I wanted to reach out to as many people as I could to spread self love. Our society is so criticizing and I think it’s important to take a moment and appreciate ourselves, because we are awesome. I also wanted to share a little about my journey, in hopes of helping even one person feel less alone in this world.

As a kid, life had endless possibilities. Be famous? Check. Travel the whole world? No problem. Invent awesome things? Like, obviously. I wish as adults, society as a whole could revert back to enjoying the simple joy of living life. Why do we start expecting so much from ourselves even though we logically know that no one is perfect? We all strive for the unobtainable over and over.

As I grew up, I did what so many others do. I started to dislike the way my body looked. I began noticing unappealing aspects that I wished I could hide. For me, however, this thought process never stopped or even eased up. It grew and grew and grew. I decided had to do something about it. So I began restricting foods from my diet. I was living in England at the time and by the time I came home I was a skeleton. My family barely recognized me. It wasn’t just the weight loss that was lost. I lost my inner self, my sense of who I was and even my self- respect.

Thus began a journey in and out of hospitals, psych wards and treatments centers. A war was raging inside my head and I was losing. I couldn’t stand myself. You would have never known it, though. I pasted on smiles to hide the chaos in my mind. I did anything and everything to numb out the battle that was incessantly tumbling around in my skull. I starved, cut, purged to get rid of my emotions. I desperately to disappear. The bloody battle raged on for years. My life was centered on the chaos it created.

Then a wonderful surprise happened. I became pregnant. I began to grow a tiny little being inside me and it was amazing. I gave birth to a beautiful daughter. I learned how to be selfless. I began to put others before myself. Slowly, the center of my world expanded to encompass a loving husband and vivacious daughter. No longer was I alone in my own imprisonment.

I have learned to re-center myself, to include only healthy and loving things in my life. It has taken many trials, many failures, to learn how to balance my life, my daughter, my husband and our future as a family. But I am so proud of how far I have come. No longer am I stuck in a dark hole of self-hatred. No longer do I stare for hours at myself in the mirror, despising every inch of body. I can fully live life, and it feels amazing! I know what it feels like to feel so alone, so trapped in our own minds. I understand the urge to disappear. And I want others to know that you’re not alone. You are loved, loving and loveable!

Xoxo,

Claire

11182821_10152942758748667_923844755_o 11212052_10152942758438667_1630061462_oIn honor of Claire’s story, we want to see pictures that embody your confidence and love for who you are! Instagram your pictures with #jandmloveyourself so we can share how beautiful you are. As an extra incentive, anyone who shares their photo will receive a bonus entry into our earring giveaway!

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