I post a lot of gym selfies. But this one is different. This one's to celebrate a turning point. I finally let myself believe I'm beautiful.
Now, before you call me braggadocious, hear me out. After showering last night, I caught my reflection in the mirror. My first thought was, "Wow, I'm beautiful." And it shocked me. Because those who know me know I make self-criticism an art form. I was also surprised my mind had chosen the word "beautiful." Not "hot." Not "sexy." And I realized why.
I saw beauty in the strength and muscle I've gained from working out. But I also saw beauty in my perseverance to never quit even when life threw everything at me. I saw beauty in the woman who was finally letting go of her past and the negative thoughts that had controlled her for far too long. And I saw beauty in my femininity & vulnerability that *FINALLY*, after convincing myself I needed to be hard to avoid being hurt, I was owning and learning to love.
I cried. I cried out of happiness because I am becoming the woman I want to be. I cried out of sadness for the years I spent convincing myself I wasn't good enough and that the *last* thing I was was beautiful.
I don't have the perfect face or body. I didn't lose 15 lbs overnight. My stretch marks (yes, I have them) didn't magically disappear. But I am beautiful because of all I have done and experienced and pushed myself through, physically, mentally, emotionally. And I think that's the best kind of beauty.