So I have a little somethin’ somethin’ to tell you about me today:
I can be a little awkward.
Especially when I first meet you, and if you’ve dated me in the past, well you probably experienced a fair share of said awkwardness as well.
It’s hard to tell if you see me from behind a computer screen or an instagram feed, but I am actually pretty introverted. Around my family and friends, I am chatty and open, but that’s only because I’m comfortable. But when I first meet people, it takes me an especially long time to loosen up and have the ability to really be myself.
I never liked this part of me. It always made me feel “different” and honestly, kinda like a loser. I always thought…
“I wish I was cooler”
“I wish I could be more outgoing right off the bat”
“I wish I could make friends immediately and be comfortable being myself with them right away”
“I wish I wasn’t awkward on dates”
“Why am I not confident enough to just be myself all the time?”
And you know where this got me? It got me really comfortable in the fridge and the pantry, eating because I felt like there was something wrong with me. Eating because I felt like I was “different”.
Eating because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Eating because I felt like I needed to fix something about me.
And being awkward and introverted are only two examples of things I felt were “wrong” with me that I needed to fix. I also felt like…
…I’m weird because I don’t like to party all the time. I’m in my 20’s, I “should” like to go out and get drunk all the time!
…I’m wrong for not liking my desk job. It’s a great company and an awesome work/life balance. I “should” just buckle down like everyone else can and make do.
…I’m wrong for not wanting to rigorously work out every single day. I “should” really start getting into a morning regimen and just stick to it like other people can.
…I’m definitely not skinny enough. I “should” be thinner.
Do you see all of the ways that I was rejecting myself? I kept sending myself a message that I was doing something wrong, that parts of me weren’t okay, and that I needed to be something different in order to feel accepted and loved.
And when we feel like something is “wrong” with us, we eat. We binge. We go to food to be comforted, to feel loved, or to numb out the feelings of not liking ourselves.
One day, all of this changed for me, and I want to tell you about that. I was telling a friend how I was SO awkward with guys that I “liked” and she said:
“why do you keep beating yourself up for being awkward? Who cares? It’s probably part of your charm. Just own it.”
WOAH. This is something I’ve been wanting to “fix” for so many years and she is just telling me to own it? Talk about a lightbulb moment.
This one line that she said to me changed everything.
“Just own it.”
Why was I fighting this part of me so much? What if I just owned being awkward instead of constantly beating myself up for it?
And that opened up my world. I started owning my awkward tendencies. I could laugh about it, get real about it, and I wasn’t afraid to BE awkward anymore. Is it so bad that I take a while to warm up to people and I’m not some super outgoing extrovert? No.
I realized that the only person I had to answer to is me. I decide if I’m cool. I decide if I’m enough. I decide if there’s anything “wrong” with me. And I learned to love who I am. All of the awkwardness included. As soon as I started truly, deeply and honestly accepting myself, I stopped bingeing. I didn’t need food for love, support, and acceptance. I was full of it myself.
I see this same thing with so many of my clients. We fight who we are. We fight all of the wonderful pieces of ourselves that make us different. We fight the fact that our bodies don’t look “perfect”. We fight the personality quirks that we have. And every time we fight ourselves, it sends a message that we are wrong. That we are not enough. And then we turn to food to make us feel better.
When I work with women, we take a deep look at what’s really going on in their lives, and exactly why they are turning to food. For so many of them, a major reason that they binge is because they feel bad about themselves in some way. They think they should look a different way, act a different way, say this, not say that, participate in this, attend that, like this, get into that, yada, yada, yada. And when they start judging themselves for not living up to what they think they should be, they eat.
Rather than beat ourselves up for not being a certain way, we need to start owning all the little parts of us. Whether we are awkward, messy, curvy, we can’t cook if our lives depended on it, shy, loud, introverted, a home-body, a big partier, we hate shopping, we love dessert, whatever it is. Try owning it, and see how much anxiety and angst releases inside of you. Notice how much more softer and at ease you feel, and most importantly, how much more you’re able to fall in love with yourself. And when you love yourself, all those lovely awkward parts of yourself, you stop needing food to make yourself feel loved.
So I want you to think about this. What parts of yourself don’t you like? What parts of you are you not accepting at this point?
I want you to choose one of those parts and tell me in the comments below. Out yourself about the one thing that you haven’t been accepting that you just want to let go. And tell me that you ARE, in fact, going to let it go.
I want you to own it. And the first step is to out yourself. So let’s hear it in the comments below!
Sending you so. much. awkward. lovin’. 🙂
This post resonated with me so much! I too am really awkward around people, especially guys whom I am attracted to (I blush super easily and speak in broken sentences). But recently I started realizing that I wouldn’t judge someone else who was awkward, so why should I be so critical of myself? I am still working on trying to be okay with my “flaws” but it is an ongoing process. Thanks for the beautiful post and reminder that it is okay to just be as you are – you don’t need to change a thing.
Aw I am so happy you shared. Yes… you don’t need to change a thing Sarah!! xoxo.
When I got to the middle of reading your post, I began crying. I have always struggled with self-confidence in my weight and just recently recovered from a restrictive eating disorder. However, in recovery, I developed another problem with eating, this one on the complete opposite side of the spectrum: overeating. I’ve realized that I use food as a cure to any pain or emotions I’m feeling and now I have began to use food to fill the emotional “hunger” I have for closer friends, a boyfriend, and a more full social life.
I’ve realized that I, too, have always been down on myself for not being outgoing and able to easily make friends with people. I’ve been shy my whole life and have thought that I wasn’t normal and “should” be outspoken like all my other friends. Now I realize that I need to embrace it! Even though I am only 16, I can relate to everything you’ve said in this post. Thank you so much for helping my overcome the last stage in my recovery. I wish you, and anyone else going through the same thing, the best 🙂
Read this at the right time, I have had similar struggles in that awkward, strange part of myself, pushing it away instead of owning it all for who I am. I also unfortunately had a close friend who always pointed out my awkwardness in a negative light, but now I see she was only mirroring what I thought. Thanks for being so transparent here. I own my awkward!
I don’t even know what I think right now… I know that I don’t accept all of me, and I’ve tried so many facades that I don’t even know exactly who I am, but I guess That’s all part of the process of peeling back the layers of lies and self condemning years. I think it’s hard to love my body when I keep judging it and I always seem to have a different personality based on who I’m with ( a guy, family, friends) but I will respect myself and maybe one day love every bit of me.