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It’s that time of the year again — Valentine’s Day. For the longest time, this holiday brought me a lot of sorrow. As a single lady, sometimes it can be difficult when you’re surrounded by romance…the Hallmark channel hasn’t always been kind to me. But I realized something that has completely changed this holiday for me, and I hope it will for you too! Sometimes its easy to get lost in the romance of the holiday, that we completely forget that Valentine’s Day is simply about love…and that includes loving yourself. So this year, instead of feeling sad or lonely, I’m choosing to celebrate by using this day to show myself some love.
One way I am doing this is by taking part in Dia&Co’s #FullBodyLove Movement. I am a big fan of Dia&Co and their mission to inspire women to always love who they are. This month, they are inspiring their followers to celebrate their bodies by encouraging them to post head-to-toe pics of themselves on Instagram, using the tag #FullBodyLove.
I know from experience how extremely scary it can be to take full body pictures. In group pictures, you’d find me in the very back, hiding behind people or objects to obscure parts of my body. It wasn’t until I began blogging, and forcing myself to push pass my fears, that I began taking pics that showed everything. And even then, I still tried to hide — wearing long sleeves, or dresses below my knees.
Well, no more hiding. I have spent enough time hiding behind my fears and insecurities. It’s time to fully embrace all that makes me, me. For right now, that means wearing capped sleeves and short dresses — but, we’ll see what that means for the Summer time.
As you know, I have had several major surgeries: 4 broken legs, 3 knee surgeries, 1 hip surgery. The last 10 years has been a journey, learning how to walk again, struggling through pain, and learning how to embrace these new scars that mark my body. I have been blessed. There are many people who didn’t make it through the surgeries I’ve had. That fact isn’t lost on me. However, at the same time, there have been moments of resentment and insecurity. What will people think about my scars? Will my significant other find them ugly? For the longest time, I steered clear of short skirts, shorts, or anything that would show the scars on my legs.
So, when I first put on this dress from Charolette Russe, I was a little apprehensive. It was shorter than I’m used to wearing, and I knew my scars would be visible for all to see. However, I wasn’t expecting how liberating of an experience this would be. Much like wearing my arms out for the first time, bearing my scars to the world felt like a final stamp of approval on my journey of self-acceptance. These scars on my legs — or anywhere else on my body — do not define me. They do not determine my value or my worth. They tell my story: one of strength, perseverance, determination, and beauty.
So this Valentine’s Day — and the days to come — I celebrate my #FullBodyLove. I’m celebrating every curve, every stretch mark, every scar, gray hair, anything and everything that makes me, me. Not only do I accept that this is my body, I am thankful for it. My body has been good to me. And for that, it deserves all the love.
I know I say this all the time, but I’ll say it one more time: There’s no greater love, than the love you have for yourself. Yes, being loved by others is great. But it is only by loving ourselves first — knowing our value and our worth — are we able to recognize the love we deserve, and appreciate the love we gain.
Alright Chickadees! I hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day. Remember, no sad faces or lonely hearts on this holiday. Use this day to do something special to show yourself some love…and comment below to let me know what you’re doing. I hope that you will join me in Dia&Co’s #FullBodyLove Campaign, I can’t wait to see all of your beautiful pictures.