By Amy Power
March 18, 2018
Our bodies are changing all the time. Not only do we face puberty and the slow process of aging, but often the additional physical and hormonal changes of motherhood and menopause. We are constantly evolving, growing, learning, blossoming. We are a work in progress until the day we die.
Through the flux, maybe because of this constant change, so many of us feel compelled to compare ourselves to our peers, or worse yet, to women we see in magazines. We envy what they have and play the comparison game; if only I had ___________, I would be happy with my body; my life would be better/different/like hers. But, we never know the whole story behind the qualities we covet. The sparkling “perfect” mom who always seems to have time for a shower and a well planned outfit at drop off may struggle with depression. The model we see in the magazine (or on Instagram) with the perfect breasts and sexy stomach may have an eating disorder or any number of struggles. We don’t know; we can’t know the whole story behind each image we see or of every person we meet. We waste so much time not appreciating the body we have and look back later, wishing we could have told ourselves to embrace who we are right now.
Love yourself, and take care of yourself.
That would be the lesson Tina Cote wishes she learned early on. Now a mom, grandmother, wife, and nurse, her capacity to care for others includes herself. Becoming a divorced new mom in her early 20’s hit her self-esteem hard, and she admits she was bulimic for some time. Her husband cheated on her, and she couldn’t help but compare herself to the other woman. Thoughts of not being good enough, thin enough, or beautiful enough clouded her mind. Raising her infant daughter alone in a life where she felt she had lost control, controlling her food and weight gave her the sense she could control her happiness. With time and age, she came to realize this was not the case, and she is thankful that she was able to overcome those fears and suppositions. Eventually, she was able to look inside and find her inner confidence to overcome the cycle. She pulled her life back together and started over.
Through her struggle with divorce, being a young single mom, and bulimia, Tina learned such a valuable lesson: we cannot derive our sense of self worth from another person, and we cannot spend our lives comparing ourselves to other people. Tina learned that she is enough. She is worthy. She learned to accept and love her whole self as she adapts and grows through life.
I am enough, and I am worthy, too. And you know what? So are you.