My Journey to Liking Myself

Renee Cambodia 2005
Partying Days – Cambodia 2005

I wrote a rather lengthy comment on Papa Tont’s post The Mask I Wear the other day, which has inspired me to write this (thanks Tony!) In it he talks about the confidence he’s been forced to exude ever since he was a boy, but how the reality is a whole other ball game, hence the title of his post. I can relate to so much of what he said because I used to wear a mask of confidence too.

I spent my teens and early twenties hiding behind an inebriated party persona, but scratch the surface and there was a little girl inside me crying over the fact that she never got to be a kid. That she always had to be the brave one, the grown up one, the successful one. If I am being unflinchingly honest, at my very core back in those days, I hated myself.

My journey to liking myself and being happy inside my own skin started after hitting rock bottom and realising I was a weekend-bender away from losing absolutely everything that mattered to me. I went through significant change in all areas of my life to turn it around, and it was only after going through this process that I became truly happy with what I saw in the mirror. Gone was the mask. I was at long last comfortable just being me. My eldest daughter came along almost three years after that rock bottom moment, which was enough time for me to have become a whole new and much improved version of my former self.  

I’d like to share with you some of the most important changes I made during that process. I know they helped to become a better me, and I’m sure they could help become a better you too.

wpid-wp-1428137756597.jpegMake Peace with your Past
I have said it on the blog so many times, and will continue saying it over and over again. Without truly making peace with what we’ve gone through before today, no matter how dark and painful it might have been, we will never move forwards and be able to live a brighter tomorrow. Once we have accepted the past and made peace with it, we can start respecting ourselves. I believe that a fundamental lack of respect for ourselves is what drives a lot of our self-destructive negative behaviour.

Take Stock of Those Around You
There’s a saying that we will only ever be as good as the company we keep. If the people around you are dragging you down, even if they are family, it’s time to take a break from them. Be it in the short term, for a longer period or for good, assess what every single person brings into your life and whether you actually want them in it.

Excessive Drinking
Are you a bit too partial to opening a bottle of vino ‘to have one glass’ and finishing the entire bottle (and perhaps opening a second)? No-one will deny you a couple of drinks on a Friday night to celebrate the weekend, but if you are drinking excessively and it is negatively impacting other areas of your life then be honest with yourself and think about cutting down or stopping altogether for a while.

This is more than just a fad to lose a bit of flab for the summer. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating a diet of good quality, mostly natural food. Processed food – even made by the premium brands – is heavily refined and really not good for you. Take a look at my recipe section and Pinterest boards for inspiration.

If you have health related problems and eat a poor diet, take back control. When I was diagnosed with PCOS and told I would not naturally conceive, I drastically reduced my sugar intake and cut down on processed carbs. Within two years I had fallen pregnant by accident. It’s too much of a coincidence to ignore. What we eat has a massive effect over our entire well being. Nowadys I follow the GAPS Diet, and feel amazing for it, even on three or four broken hours of sleep most nights. Take a look at my recent vlog if you are interested in learning more.

Exercise is just as essential. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, and can come in the form of walking instead of driving, and using the stairs instead of the lift. Moving is almost always better than not moving. Unless you’re sleeping of course, and in which case my friend you’re doing better than me because not much sleep is had in my house!

If you enjoyed this post visit Become the Best You to learn more about my journey.


*My word this week is: Journey

79 thoughts on “My Journey to Liking Myself”

  1. Such an inspiring post, I will head over to Papa Tont’s blog now and have a read of his post too. This is great advice and it pays sometimes to be honest with yourself and take stock doesn’t it. I should go with some of these tips myself, especially the looking after myself ones, I’m not doing those very well at the moment! X

  2. You are such an inspiration, what a great post 🙂 As always, a lot of what we need to do is easier aid than done – but must be done for inner peace x

  3. We’ve talked and there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said by almost every other commenter: inspirational, honest, and above all achievable if the mind set is right. Thank you so much for the comments you leave and for sharing your tips.

  4. You’ve done so well to lose the weight hon, just news to keep the momentum now. Be proud of yourself and don’t waste your precious energy thinking about coulda, shoulda, woulda xxx

  5. Really glad you found the post useful Aby. Change never happens over night, but over time you can create good habits that will last forever. Best of luck, you’re doing fab xx

  6. Thanks so much Fiona, it’s certainly been a long old journey to get to this place. I’m glad you you did the same and came to a place where you’re happy too. Real confidence is a funny old thing isn’t it!

  7. Thanks so much for commenting hon, really means a lot. What happened between us in Cambodia plagued me, and I’m so pleased we cleared the air via good old Facebook. I love hearing all about your cullerfull life, and your zest for it. Always having such a good time. Big love lady xx

  8. Thank you hon, and for all your support. I’ve kept the sleep reference tongue in cheek on purpose, because so many people will be in the same boat as we are and not have any control over how much they sleep due to being woken up by kids. You’re right of course though, if you can sleep it should be a top priority xx

  9. Great post my lovely. This is a really good summary of everything you should do to enjoy life (and yourself) more. I would probably add ‘sleep enough’ as an extra ‘must do’. I am guilty of not sleping much, and overtiredness is not good for the body or the mind. x

  10. I think I’ve opened this post five times now without managing to leave a comment before being interrupted by small people!! Another really inspirational read; inspiring in how you made the changes and in writing about it so eloquently to help others move forward too. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  11. So true hun…I really am so proud of you! Its just so awesome to see that you’re so content and centered. I read this post and without realising had tears rolling down my cheeks, with a smile on my face! Beautiful! Xox

  12. Such a wonderful and honest post with sections I can really relate to, I hope some youngsters will read this and take note, it is the sort of post you can only write with the wisdom of age to reflect back! Looks like you came to love the real you just in time to enjoy your new family life. Enjoy being the real you! I think I was 40 before I really gained confidence in myself as me so you did much better! #MagicMoments

  13. How great that you are so positive about such a dark time you had. I think you have done an amazing job of sorting your life lovely

    Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

  14. An amazing and truly inspiring post. Everything you have mentioned here is so important. I suffer from long-term depression and need to follow all of these guidelines to keep myself balanced and happy. I still struggle to like myself sometimes but I am getting there. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  15. Fabulous post huni. You are an inspiration! I think changing my diet would make a massive difference to how I feel but habits are hard to break. When I am on DC is it fine, but when I am not on it I know I could feel a lot better. Well done huni, great post . Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

  16. You know, I was just thinking about the whole “making peace with your past” thing this morning because I was getting annoyed with myself for not losing weight sooner. But then I thought, I’ve done it now, and yes I might have been happier if I’d done it sooner, but what can I do about that now? Nothing! Other than continue to improve, obviously!



  17. Although not an ideal situation, it sounds like you’re very lucky to have the mum you do Morgan. Making peace and reconciling what your mother did was likely one of the hardest things you’ve had to do. Hugs xx

  18. Thanks for dropping by Rachel, really pleased you enjoyed the post. I think our own wellbeing has to be made top priority, because if we aren’t happy the world can be a pretty grim place, especially if we have kids…

  19. Thank you so much for your lovely words Elizabeth. Forgiveness and positivity are essential to everyone, but even more so when a dysfunctional past is concerned…

  20. Thanks so much Zena! Forgiveness is so important because it releases us from the associated heartache, and at that point we can start burying those demons xx

  21. Great advice. I particularly agree with the nutrition side of things. Too much emphasis is put on correcting and fixing illnesses, when so many could be prevented by feeding our bodies properly. But it’s not just physical well being, it’s mental well being too.

  22. another belter of a post lovely. Making peace with yourself and your demons is the only way to start the journey isn’t it. All those negative thoughts & behaviours that went with them can only be changed when we forgive ourselves

  23. Thanks so much Leigh, I’m really pleased you enjoyed the post. Genuinely valuing ourselves is fundamental to a happy life, but can be so much more difficult to achieve than it sounds. Have a great weekend xxx

  24. Love this, Renee. As you know, I think your book and tips are spot on. Recently I’ve been learning the effect food can have on me – comfort food makes me feel crap, and exercise makes me feel empowered. It’s about valuing yourself xxx

  25. Brilliant post Renee. It’s so inspiring how you have managed to put the past behind and forgive, it’s not easy but is totally the only way to move forward. I agree so much with all of your points. There are people in our lives who can bring us down and I certainly try to surround myself with positive people. Thanks for sharing #pocolo

  26. I really hope they help to give you a gentle push Jenni. Change is never easy, but admitting it needs to happen and putting the wheels in motion is half the battle won. Very best of luck, please keep me posted won’t you. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    You might find my book useful as it gives practical advice on how to implement change.

  27. Thanks for sharing this advice, I must admit I am severely lacking motivation with my diet at the moment (my general diet) it just seems to be getting worse. So over this weekend I have made myself a promise to go over and have a look at your pinterest boards and try and take a bit of control back and hopefully the motivation will follow!

  28. The Mother says – I always find your posts so inspiring and so admire that you can use your past and previous experiences to guide the way you live now. You know I’ve read your book and am a genuine fan and this post just reinforces my original opinion; you’re one amazing lady xx
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  29. The more I find out about the “you” behind the mask & your thoughts on change the more I am amazed by your bravery, inspired by your strength and your determination to change the negative in your life.
    Great post

  30. Hi Renee. I’m new to reading your blog (newbie blogger). Found via #thelist. Really enjoyed this thought provoking post. You make some great points that liking yourself means prioritising not only your physical wellbeing but also your social and emotional health too. Looking forwards to reading some more soon.

  31. You’re so right hun, making peace with your past is very important. It’s also very difficult and even now I struggle with it sometimes. Wondering if I’ve done the right thing when I see happy photos of my (biological) mother with my sisters. But then I realise that I have the most wonderful family right here, by my side. My mum is the best I could’ve wished for and I am happy. I don’t need to wonder any more. I KNOW I made the right choice.

    Thank you for sharing your helpful words Reneé. xx

  32. Louise I’m so pleased that my book has helped you to make peace with your past – that’s my ultimate aim – to help folk make sense of their past and move on from it. I get a real thrill hearing feedback like yours, thank you so much 🙂

  33. Oh Claire, where to start. I felt so sad reading about everything you went through, and can only imagine how tough it was rebuilding your life afterwards. We certainly share a fair bit in common, and if there is one thing I’ve learnt during my journey it’s that forgiveness is absolutely imperative to moving on. Once we’ve forgiven ourselves and those that caused us the pain, it frees us from it. As soon as I had done that I felt like the big black cloud that had been following me around had been removed from over my head. Be kind to yourself lovely, you’re doing a marvellous job xx

  34. Thanks so much Kriss. It all feels like it was a very long time ago now, and I’m definitely a very different person (thank goodness) 🙂

  35. This is such an inspirational post and really resonates with me.
    I too have a fair few demons from the past tucked away. I recognise a lot of myself in your own description. I had a fairly destructive childhood, my teenage years were shaky to say the least. I thought falling in love and having my son when I was 21 was going to be a catalyst of change for me (certainly the months of my pregnancy were a wonderful turning point) .
    It wasn’t meant to be, when my son was stillborn at 41 weeks that all came crashing down, the loss of my relationship followed and the next three years of my life were horrifically bleak. So so many mistakes and so much to forgive myself for.
    It’s been ten years since I started turning my life around. I have a lovely family, a business, friends and my health. It isn’t always easy though. I feel the reminders of my previous life tugging at me sometimes.
    You are so right. Diet, exercise and the ability to forgive yourself are the cornerstones to change.
    The last one is the one I work on day to day.
    Great post, thank you for writing what I needed to hear!

  36. I love your honesty Renee, and you always talk so much sense. Keep meaning to say, I have your book lined up to read on my Kindle 🙂 xx

  37. Fabulous post and some great advice for helping be happier with the person in the mirror. It’s something I struggle with at times but I’m getting there. I definitely agree with making peace with your past – this has probably been the biggest factor for me at helping me be a happier person, accepting what I can’t change and making peace with it. I think the biggest piece of advice which has helped me is the point you make in your book that the only person who can make you happy is yourself. It’s certainly helped me take back control and take positive steps forward.

  38. What a great post Renee! You really astound me with your bravery and honesty. I hope it helps others to be honest too…that would make the world a much better place xxx

  39. So inspiring and loved reading these points in your book and re-reading them as a reminder. I have read your brilliant book twice, it’s so good. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

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