I am guilty of comparison. I am guilty of not feeling good enough.
I used to have a food Instagram page where I posted everything that I ate. It became like an obsession for me. At first it was fun and exciting, until it became unhealthy. The obsession became unhealthy in more ways than one – I craved likes and followers and would do anything possible to gain more followers. The days that I didn’t get a certain amount of likes made me feel like a failure. I would add more food to the photos just to make them look more aesthetic, and so then I would over eat, and after I over ate, I would feel like a failure for having no sense of self-control. I followed very athletic girls who had perfectly chiseled bodies and were extremely regimented about their eating habits. I would spend hours on their pages trying to figure out what they ate and what workouts they did in order to get so thin. I followed people who were super fit and ate super healthy to try and emulate a lifestyle that I couldn’t or didn’t want to, and that was frustrating and upsetting beyond words. So I restricted myself and exercised way too much on top of my already scheduled very rigorous track workouts to accomplish a body image that was unrealistic. I followed pages that encouraged you to avoid unhealthy foods and made you feel bad if you ate anything unhealthy. I wasn’t being kind to myself or my body, I was developing an eating disorder, and my mental health was suffering.
One day I took a long look in the mirror and an even longer look at my Instagram page and decided enough was enough. My food page had brought me so much joy and connected me with some amazing people, but it also brought me turmoil, comparison to unrealistic bodies and an intense need for external validation. It was around the time that I was building up strength to leave a toxic relationship that I decided to stop using my food page. I started to realize my worth and I realized that I only had that page because I needed the satisfaction, admiration, and praise from other people and I realized I needed to find a way to give that praise to myself. I vowed from that moment to only follow pages who focused on the self-love and care that I needed to give to myself.
I am so thankful that I was able to realize and recognize toxicity in my life from Instagram at the same time that I recognized toxicity in my last relationship and that I felt equipped with strength to leave both. Both scenarios I am thankful for, because both have allowed me to grow. Both have showed me that I craved external validation and have taught me that the most beautiful way to receive validation is by giving it to myself.
I hope you find the strength to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy, whether that is a significant other, a job, an Instagram page, your schedule, or something else. Whatever it is, if it is making you doubt yourself and causing you internal pain, let it go. Letting it go sounds easy, but let me be honest with you, it isn’t, but if you ask me if letting go is worth it, I will tell you over and over again that letting go gave me strength, gave me life, gave me self-worth, and gave me freedom, so yes, letting go was and is still worth it every day. Letting go can be hard but the reward is so much greater than anything something toxic could ever bring to you.
I still struggle today to stay away from pages of girls with amazing bodies and seemingly perfect lives, and some days I still struggle to not crave likes on my blog and my Beautifully Simply You social media, but I have realized that self-validation and positive relationships are so much more important than likes will ever be. When I find myself struggling, I stop and pause, I remember where I have come from and I remember my worth. I remember how happy I am today and how self-love is the best kind of love I have experienced, and I smile, knowing that I can fight the negativity that creeps in my mind and I know that I have made it this far, and that I am going to be okay, flaws and all.
Today focus on letting go of negativity, focus less on how many social media likes you can get, and instead focus on falling in love with yourself and giving yourself the self-love, validation and care that you needed all along.
Be Beautifully Simply You