confidence

‘I get told I’m ‘too much.’ I can’t whisper. I laugh at my own jokes. I suck at keeping plans, and I spend more money than I save. But all of these things make me, ME.’: Woman urges ‘stop letting people extinguish what sets your soul on fire’

“You will be told you are too honest. Too real. You may be told your dreams are silly or stupid. You may be taunted, laughed at, or mocked for stepping out of what is ‘expected of you.’ Sorry not sorry, but you can’t confine me to a box, and girl, you shouldn’t either! You have a light that is too bright to be hidden. Stop letting people extinguish what sets your soul on fire.”

‘A sleeveless shirt would ‘bring too much attention.’ Everything I did was a ‘sin.’ There was no escaping it.’: Woman overcomes ‘unique’ childhood, trauma to find self-love

“I was in his bed, having unprotected sex. I lost my virginity. I was supposed to wait till marriage. Within 3 months of meeting him, I got pregnant. I came home and caught him talking to another woman. I felt betrayed, heartbroken, and utterly lost. I convinced myself to do whatever I had to do to create a life with this man. Boy, was I wrong. That’s when a girlfriend set me up on a blind date with a man named Larry.”

‘I grabbed mascara to hide my puffy eyes. ‘But you’re pretty enough, mama.’ The words stopped everything.’: Mom reminds us it’s okay to ‘lower your standards every now and then’

“‘Let mama throw on some clothes and put makeup on.’ Some days, I embrace the chaos. I laugh it off. It’s fine. This was not one of those days. I felt the tears welling in my eyes. There I was, day 3 of dry shampoo, on my knees in my 6-year-old’s closet 10 minutes before we had to leave. My toddler sitting atop the kitchen table, spilling milk from his brother’s cereal while the dogs licked the sticky floor. The words came from the other side of my bedroom door. I stopped frantically searching for a bobby pin. I just stopped.”

‘Things will droop. Little people are watching. The physical features you once hated now define you. Embrace them.’: Mom shares candid lessons on ‘self-love’ learned in her 30s

“People will try to cheapen your self-love with promises of the perfect glow, hair color, or skin tone. Don’t chase the elusive rabbit. Aim for healthy, and you will land on confidence. Little people are now watching. Show them a woman doesn’t have to run herself into the ground to be loved. The woman inside only needs you to love her. No man will make her come alive.”

‘My mom would say I was ‘ballooning.’ I was in 4th grade. She’d implement some new weird food rule for my ‘health.’: Woman is ‘blown away’ by body positive community, ‘I learned to love myself, heal my relationship with my body and soul’

“Maybe my mom thought I wasn’t smart enough to hear what she was really saying: ‘My daughter is broken, how do I fix her?’ I was working out. I was doing everything right, wasn’t I? ‘Why am I still fat?,’ I asked myself. I was 10. Eating 500 calories a day, no cheating. But it was there, in that despair, that my life started to change. I came across a plus-size woman’s account and was… blown away.”

‘Why are you so loud, Nicole?’ a boy asked. ‘You can’t be fat AND loud.’ That moment set something off in me.’: Woman shares extreme weight loss journey, ‘The joy I’ve felt is indescribable!’

“The summer after I got clean, I was at an amusement park with friends. I recall waiting in line for rides and pleading with God, ‘Please, please let me fit.’ I even told the attendant, ‘You can push as hard as you can, I promise you won’t hurt me.’ As 3 people pushed down on the lap bar, I remember tears welling up in my eyes. I turned to my then boyfriend and said, ‘I need help. I’m going to eat myself to death.’ The straps didn’t fit. I couldn’t fit into a single ride.”

‘I called him from a crackhouse. ‘I don’t know you very well, but if you don’t come for me, I’m going to die here.’: Woman overcomes lifelong battle with addiction, ‘I finally found how to love myself’

“I was invited to a party across the street. There were white rocks on the table. I asked, ‘What is that?’ They asked me if I wanted to try it. The second it went into my body, I was already addicted. In the middle of winter, I walked down the street with no shoes as blood ran down my legs. After ONE HIT, I went from start athlete to sticking needles in my arms in abandoned apartment buildings. I sold my body, my soul, and everything for the next one.”

‘My son chooses to wear makeup, dresses. ‘But…what if he catches The Gay?’ Well, then I’ll have a gay son. Simple as that. It’s a non-issue.’: Mom embraces son’s fluid gender expression, ‘it’s their body, their choice’

“My son has had autonomy since he was a toddler. As he grows, he makes as many decisions about his own body as possible. Our only limits are safety and hygiene. We often hear, ‘…But..but…but…it’s PINK!’ ‘Why don’t you just cut your hair like a boy?!’ ‘That’s for girls, you don’t want that!’ He informs them with absolute integrity, ‘No, it’s for PEOPLE!’”

‘I shouted to my husband, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack!’ There I was, lying naked on the table as they announced my weight. ‘249 pounds.’: Mom of 3 loses ‘whopping 125 pounds’ after nearly fatal heart attack

“I remember feeling the most horrendous pain shoot up my left arm. ‘Please, God, don’t let me die. My three children still need me.’ An overwhelming sense of doom came over me. All I could see were the dark eyes of my doctor hovered over the rail of that hospital bed. He told me, ‘This is a wake up call, Adrienne.’ I was alone, naked, vulnerable, and helpless. The only thing I could do was pray.”

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