YOUR beauty is more than skin deep...

Listen, Lucy,

YOUR beauty is more than skin deep"

Sometimes, I hate the way I look naked. "Maybe if my arms and waist were thinner, or maybe if I could just get rid of my inner thighs." That's what I tell myself in the mirror some days. I often wonder if I'll wake up one morning and think differently. Probably not. I'll probably look this way forever. Maybe if I step on the scale and I am 5 lbs lighter, I'll be happier. As if this magic number is an automatic gateway to ultimate happiness. It has to be, because it's the only thing that keeps me from being happy. Everything else in my life is perfect.

The reality is, that's not true. Those things that I used to tell myself every day were false perceptions of my own reality. I recognized that. It wasn't too late for me, fortunately. Even when I was staring at myself in the mirror (all those times), waiting for the pounds to disappear before my eyes, I knew it was irrational. I knew that as I looked at myself, there was a discrepancy between what everyone always told me and how I felt. They would say, "you're beautiful", and I'd say "thank you", but in my head I would think, you must be lying. For some reason, I couldn't look past the skin. These fleeting moments pop up every now and again to haunt me, regardless of how beautiful I know that I am now. When they arise in my head, that's the very moment I have to take a breath and look in the mirror to tell myself, "you're beautiful". It's a constant battle to remind myself that I am me, there is not another like me and there will not ever be another like me. And--and, and, and--I am perfect the way I am. I love myself.

I have realized that this life is perfect, regardless of how messy and often destructive it can feel. The strength that we build to over come the messiness is what keeps us going every day. My hope for you, and for myself, is to be the best possible version of myself every day and to never stop improving that version of myself. To wake up every morning and be the first person to tell myself, "you are beautiful" and to go out into the world with courage and confidence. If I can be true to myself, I can be true to others. As they say, you can't do it alone."