I’ve spent a fair few blog posts documenting my troubles with self love, which led to the decision last Valentine’s Day to try an exercise called 365 Days of Self Love. It mostly is what it sounds like, unless you have a very dirty mind about everything: every night I write down in my journal one thing I love about myself, be it a part of my personality or my appearance, in the hopes that after doing this for a year it will have helped my self-esteem grow into a much healthier state than it was in last Valentine’s Day.

Now, I’m not gonna lie, I want this to help me almost for the sake of not having to tell you next Valentine’s Day that I hate myself just as much as I always have, so that may come into play with how I relay my progress over the last 200 days. Still, I’m not hopeless, and I’m not as bad as I used to be.

The day before I decided to start this exercise, I felt so helplessly awful about myself. I thought I was fat and unattractive and unlikable, and I hardly ate that day. It took me being lightheaded at a concert to realize I really needed to eat, and by that hour all that was open was McDonald’s. I still ate though, even though I felt awful and knew that McDonald’s wouldn’t help my body, because I knew it was healthier to eat something than nothing.

At 100 days I went for a run and thought to myself “run until every ounce of fat falls off your body.” It wasn’t healthy, but I figured it was better I was exercising than not.

My 200th day was yesterday, and honestly, I got my hair done and felt really cute. I’ve been investing more in clothing and makeup to improve my confidence. I still struggle a lot with my body, and it isn’t healthy, but now when I exercise I don’t yell at myself that I need to be skinny this instant, I yell at myself that I need to keep working hard if I want to be successful in the future, and honestly I think that’s an improvement. I have been going to the gym regularly and eating healthy, but it hasn’t had any effect yet on my weight, which is incredibly frustrating, but it helps that regardless of how the outside looks I know I’m on the right path to a healthier, stronger me.

Some days are harder than others, and I wrote a bit of a poem on one of the harder days, but I do think I’m getting better. I don’t know why but something just sort of turned in my head a few days ago and I thought: “What is the point in hating myself now? I’m really not that bad.” So I don’t feel amazing, but I don’t feel awful, either. I feel…cute. And lovely, because I’m trying to use words that aren’t as loaded as “beautiful,” “skinny,” and “fat.”

I’ll end this as I did at 100 days by saying that if you’re struggling with loving and accepting yourself, you might find it beneficial to try something like this yourself. Keep a journal of how you feel, or just write down one sentence a day like I do. Focus on being positive about what you like about yourself rather than dwelling on the things you don’t. Maybe someday you’ll see yourself start to change for the better. Let me know how it goes, and if you have any tips for me on this journey.

Some of my favorite entries of the last 100 days:

day 101, 25/05/2015: I love that I can appreciate the small progress I’m making every day.

day 120, 13/06/2015: I love my practical optimism.

day 125, 18/06/2015: I love that my legs are strong beneath their fat.

day 135, 28/06/2015: I love that I am mature and young at once.

day 160, 23/07/2015: I love my hunger for knowledge and success.

day 177, 9/08/2015: I love myself, really, I’m pretty awesome overall. 

day 196, 28/08/2015: I love my proportions, I have a great stature.

day 199, 31/08/2015: I love my understanding and appreciation for artistry (and Kanye)

day 200, 1/09/2015: I love how cute I am. 

Also, a song that I love and am using as my new anthem. I promise this is the last thing. x.

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