When I tell people who didn't know me as a kid that I was 20 lbs heavier back then, I'm met with, "Yeah right. I need to see pics!"
I'm frustrated to admit that I GOT RID OF EVERY PICTURE, as I had so much shame for how I looked-- even AFTER I shed the weight.
After all, BEING SKINNY MEANT BEING WORTHY!
At least in the town I grew up in.
But lucky me when an old friend from home came to visit LA this past weekend, and BUSTED OUT THE AWKWARD, INSECURE, MARY-CLAIRE-BYRNE PICS!!!
My heart immediately sank seeing this image of my 12-year-old self--25 years later--despite feeling relief that I still had access to this young girl I NEVER KNEW HOW TO LOVE.
Yes, I had parents who loved me unconditionally, but they didn't know I was obsessively comparing myself to Brenda Walsh's tiny physique every Thursday night when I tuned in to Beverly Hills 90210.
And I probably didn't tell them about a boy calling me fat in seventh grade, or that a guy who actually had a crush on me, admitted to my friend:
"She's no Cindy Crawford, but I like her."
I guess the mole on my nose wasn't as hot as the one on her upper lip...
So I proceeded to be the guys' friend (especially if I was close to the girl they were crushing on) and the skinny, pretty girls' confidante about all the boys who liked them, and accepted that a boy ever looking my way just WASN'T IN THE CARDS FOR ME.
And I navigated through the 90's eating fat-free errrything, all the while berating myself and having a near panic attack every time I performed in an annual dance recital in front of the whole school.
As I divulged all of this to Jackie, who had just presented me with these prized pictures, she said, "I'm SHOCKED. I would have NEVER known! The only thing I remember you being insecure about were your lips!"
(Is it weird that my lips are now probably my favorite physical attribute?!)
We had a great laugh, but the enlightening conversation with Jackie and our other high school friend, Jamie, (yes, @wholelifejems!) reminded me of how WE NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
Furthermore, as I lost the weight and began to get attention from the opposite sex in later teenaged years and into my twenties, I was STILL TOTALLY UNAWARE THAT BEING SKINNY WASN'T THE ANSWER TO MY PROBLEMS...
Nor was the attention from ANY dude.
After all, I started MAKING MONEY BECAUSE OF WHAT I LOOKED LIKE, modeling for various print campaigns, but my not-enoughness continued to play out, AS I NEVER HAD DONE THE INNER WORK THAT MY MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH DEPENDED ON.
It was hell facing the music with myself when I hit rock bottom 7 years ago, finding myself in a narcissistic abusive relationship,
BUT SO EFFING WORTH IT.
I thought my problems were because of the things other people "did" to me.
I thought my problems were because my body wasn't perfect.
I thought my problems were because I wasn't successful.
Today, I get to DECIDE that NO ONE can "do" ANYTHING to me.
I get to DECIDE that my body is perfect, EVEN WHEN I WANT certain areas to be a little tighter... I'm super kind to myself now and know that if I want to see my abs again, I'm totally capable of making it happen, without jumping on the shame train.
And I get to DECIDE what MY definition of success is...
Success for me is doing what I love every day-- guiding people to make transformational shifts in their lives. Teaching women like my old, insecure, self, that the answer to complete freedom and healing is TRUELY LOVING YOURSELF...and furthermore:
I KNOW HOW TO SHOW YOU!
Success for me is authentically loving myself even when I've made mistakes. And if I feel strongly that I'm not in the wrong, I can gracefully and confidently own where I'm coming from by effectively communicating my stance, without attacking or losing my shit.
If the person on the receiving end doesn't agree...
NOT. MY. PROBLEM.
Success for me is letting the few haters that I know of continue to hate. The judgers of my work continue to judge, knowing that if I'm NOT pissing someone off, I'm doing something wrong.
I love that I'm not for everyone. I love that my honesty can ruffle feathers. I love that I instigate eyerolls, unfollows, and unsubscribes on the reg!
I choose who I am in every area of my life without apology and without second-guessing myself a solid 98% of the time!
As I always like to remind you, I TOO AM A WORK-IN-PROGRESS-- how boring would it be if we had it all figured out?
The work works, my loves. It ain't easy but it truly WORKS.
You've got FOUR MONTHS LEFT to make your 2018 everything you want it to be. If you haven't made the changes you "know" you need to make...
maybe the reality is that you don't know how... because if you wanted the result SO BADLY, why aren't you making it happen??
This is NOT an opportunity to shame yourself for not being further along than you think you "should" be, but an opportunity to say, WHY NOT NOW?
What are you waiting for?
Dylan McKay's scar on his eyebrow to heal? Then you'll NEVER get to where you wanna BE!
No time like the present, my loves.
Message me for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Happy Claire Your Mind Monday.