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The Suburbanite
  • Necole Sims: Learn to love yourself, flaws and all

  • As you read this I am relaxing on a beach in Mexico. No, I’m not bragging. Believe me, it’s been a hard-fought battle — not only with my finances but with my self-esteem.

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  • As you read this I am relaxing on a beach in Mexico. No, I’m not bragging. Believe me, it’s been a hard-fought battle — not only with my finances but with my self-esteem.
    Five years ago, the idea of taking this trip and putting on a swimsuit would never have bothered me. I wasn’t vain, but I knew I wasn’t chopped liver either. Fast forward to two weeks ago and I realized that somehow my psyche has taken a huge hit.
    What could have happened in that span of time, you ask? Something that should have elevated my esteem higher but somehow deflated it? Since the beginning of last year, I’ve lost a little more than 100 pounds.
    We’ve all seen those TV programs and People
    magazine stories about folks who have lost a significant amount of weight.
    They are smiling while standing inside their old pants.
    They then give their exercise and diet tips, talk about how they’ve never loved themselves more and how all their dreams are coming true.
    Good for them.
    I know that sounds hateful, but I only slightly meant it that way. I am happy for anyone who has a healthy self-image, and we all should strive for that in our personal lives.
    However, we live in the real world and have real-life body issues. I knew months ago the dates of my vacation and put off buying a swimsuits because the thought of it made me nauseous, five sizes smaller and all. Does it make sense? No, but what makes sense to one person makes no sense to others.
    So there I was, in the department store two weeks ago trying on swimsuits. This time I didn’t burst into hysterics and scare my poor daughter half to death. Instead, I checked to see if the swimsuits fit, didn’t look too closely at my imperfections, and took it off never to think about it again. Two months ago, things didn’t go that way.
    I was in a different store with my daughter and picked up the first swimsuit to try on, looked at it and began to hyperventilate.
    Sarrah, my daughter, looked at me with her
    “Really, Mom, what’s wrong with you?” face then proceeded to tell me to put the swimsuit back and try on a dress.
    The second swimsuit try, I went alone. I had to do it alone because I doubt Sarrah was all that interested in dealing with her mother’s issues a second time.
    After I left the store, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. I am a big girl, mentally, not physically.
    I called a friend who also had lost weight and told her that I finally picked up the swimwear for my trip. Plus, I got most items for 90 percent off.
    Page 2 of 2 - Her response? “Well, it took you long enough. Besides, who cares? You’re gonna be at the beach where no one knows you. Besides, I remember when you weighed so much more and didn’t care what people said. Snap out of it.”
    Of course, that agitated me at first. How dare she? By the time I got home, it had sunk in. Those people in People worked hard, lost weight and are proud of it. What makes them different than me? Nothing.
    Few people are perfect. Even the supermodels on the runway aren’t that super in normal everyday life. Ever see Hollywood actresses when the paparazzi take pictures of them without makeup and airbrushing? Some are unrecognizable.
    My journey is not complete, but a work in progress. We all have to learn to love ourselves, flaws and all. We need to look in the mirror every day, say something positive and before we know it, we’ll believe it. Fake it until we make it.