Love Yourself First?

by tessa8m on June 7, 2011

in Awesome Bloggers

I hope I don’t sound like a broken record when I say this, but the support and exceptional comments I get from the blogging community, continues to amaze me! I am beyond thankful for this community and am glad to be a part of it.

Okay enough with the mushy stuff (I’m sorry but I do love you guys :D )! Before getting into the meaning behind the title of this post, I wanted to share a recipe with you I just whipped together for my mom to take to work! Like countless others, I love to bake but since it is summer and most people are trying to be “good” during the warmer months aka eat healthier and exercise more, I decided to develop a lower fat recipe of an ever-popular dessert: Cheesecake! Not just any cheesecake though:

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars

(When I bake treats for my mom and her co-workers, I try to make more convenient options-cookies, bars, small cupcakes- because they are easier to grab on the go in her fast paced work environment. She’s a nurse if ya didn’t know!)

I adapted it from this recipe and and subbed in healthier ingredients

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 9 low-fat graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • About 1/2 cup sugar (or splenda)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For the base:

Place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs. Add the yogurt and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done set aside to cool.

For the filling:

Add cream cheese, egg whites, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Pour onto the cooled base and then cover with blueberries. They will sink slightly but should still be half exposed — as the cake bakes they will sink a little more and break down.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar.

Although I did not get a chance to try them, I was told they were tasty and refreshing! The lemon and blueberry flavors worked very well together, and the creamy inside was spot on. I would suggest to let them cool as long as you can though, they were a tad runny when they were cut, but still good :)

 

So on Friday and yesterday, I talked about taking a chance and the benefits I have gained from this. I can officially say that I have a boyfriend, which is something I have not been able to, or really wanted to say, for a few years now. It is going to take some adjustment to spend time with someone, rather than constantly be alone, how I have preferred it for such a long time now. Although I do love my routine and being able to do what I want and when I want to, at the same time, I envy couples I see, simply enjoying the day together, or those on the blogs I read. Even other people’s sites that have disordered eating issues make it work with the special person in their life, and I am at the point where I want to share memories with someone too.

Some people did say something that definitely got me thinking:

Amanda (love this girl, she helps me out on a daily basis), from the comment section:

Eee! Girlie, I’m so excited for you! Congratulations! You’re truly an inspiration :D I’ve pretty much healed my negative relationship with food, but I’m still working on picking up the pieces of my life and trying to get back out there after isolating myself for so long. It’s not that easy. Like, I’ve gotten so used to my routine, and my solitude, that it’s hard to get back to life “out there”, and with other people on top of that. I haven’t had a serious relationship since my ED started, and although I do get lonely sometimes, I realize I’ve still got some work to do on myself before I can really commit to someone else. Getting there, though :)

I then read a post this morning from Melissa (check out her blog NOW if you haven’t, I love this lady :) ) and here is a part of it:

It’s not that I’m anti-man or even really a feminist.  It’s just that I can identify with what Ashley is going through, and I have the perspective now to know that I am never going to be happy in any relationship until I am happy on my own.  Once that piece settles in to place, I’ll be ready for the rest. But until then, I’m finding inspiration in other strong, independent women.

I can completely agree and understand what both of them are saying, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. Of course this makes sense, how can you develop feelings for someone if you are always putting up a front and pretending to be happy or secure when you are not? I don’t believe it’s possible, unless you are ready to fake it the rest of your life… not a fun scenario if you ask me.

Now that I can consider myself to be in a relationship and am starting to develop strong feelings for this person, well… how can this really be happening? I mean although I am recovering and have taken major steps in a positive direction, I still am not 100% comfortable with my body, I continue to struggle with disordered eating on a daily basis, I feel “fat” often, something is not quite right about me each and everyday… I do not yet love myself.

And yet, I am open to sharing my time and life with someone at this point. Yes, I do not love myself, but it really helps to have someone that likes and appreciates you, flaws and all. During this past short weekend, I felt more secure in my own body then I have felt in a long time, because this guy I was with didn’t really care if my once-favorite small jeans no longer fit, or shorts from last year are a bit too snug. He looks past the fact that I have a bit more a tummy now, and I’m sure he would not think being able to see my chest bones to be too sexy. This guy is liking me for the personality I have and the much healthier body I have now, and the fact that I can branch from my routine once in awhile, and don’t live life in such a scheduled routine.

I understand that during this healing process, self-discovery and making improvements/changes when you are ready to is the most important aspect, but having someone like me (“flaws” and all) really enables me to understand so much more. Perhaps I sound a bit shallow in this post, but I honestly feel better about myself after this weekend, because there is someone that seems to want to be around “fat,” kinda lumpy, too-tall me.

For too long now, I have been feeling that I am never doing enough, and not good enough for someone else… why would anyone want to be with someone like me? Well apparantly there is and it feels fabulous. I still need to continue trying to love myself, but if there is someone along the way helping me out, well that is fine with me :)

How do you try to love yourself?

Do you think you need to love yourself before developing relationships for someone else?

Do you think it’s an individual process, or could people that love you help out too?

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Allison @ Happy Tales June 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Sing it from the rooftops girl, you are COMPLETELY right about loving yourself first! And i can for sure see that you have taken huge strides in doing that. I am so happy to hear about this new boy, and I love that you are realizing that he is attracted to you for YOU and your strong, amazing and vivacious personality (because you, are totally 100% *all* of those things!). And if you don’t see that now, you will be soon, because girl, you are on the road to loving yourself :) I think this new turn in your life is going to be a wonderful thing…

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2 tessa8m June 8, 2011 at 8:43 am

Allison,
Thank you for writing such a nice comment! This certainly made me smile :D I am on the road to loving myself, or at least being content with myself! It is certainly a process, but one I am willing to try and conquer

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3 Allison @ Happy Tales June 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I know you are *completely* capable of this! And us bloggy folks got your back for those days you don’t feel so great. Don’t worry, we’re all here for you, and we’ve allllll been there to one extent or another.
Allison @ Happy Tales recently posted..To HLS

4 Hollie @lolzthatswim(andrun) June 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I love this post. It is so important to love yourself and it is so obvious that you are working so hard at it. I personally try and tell myself that I am a good person and I’m working hard to believe myself.

That cheesecake.
oh. my. god.
Hollie @lolzthatswim(andrun) recently posted..Monday Morning You Sure Look Fine

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5 tessa8m June 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

That is a great idea, simply tell yourself that you are worth it and trying your best. Clearly negative thoughts have gotten me no where!

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6 Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I totally think you need to love as best you can.. before letting someone else love you. In all honesty.. I do not love my self.. completely, yet. I am working on it.. and getting a little stronger every day. But I think that fact that I am not totally OKAY with myself.. sometimes interferes with my ability to let Justin in.. to accept his compliments as true… and to just be confident. I wil say – that even though these issues exist.. we have an amazing relationship. As I grow ot love myself more.. I think our relationship will get even better then it is now.
Cait @ Beyond Bananas recently posted..Burn OUT

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7 tessa8m June 8, 2011 at 8:47 am

Cait that is all you can do, work on it everyday and I can see that you are getting stronger! I am so so glad to hear that you still have an amazing relationship despite you having insecurities. That is encouraging for me to hear, as this is something I am worrying about potentially hurting me. Thank you for telling me this!

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8 Ragnhild June 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Im actually way to tired to comment, but I just have too! Im just so happy that you feel ready for a relationship., Letting someone in to your life, will make you have to make changes! And that is great! It seems like you are going into this with open eyes. You know you have struggels that you need to work on. But you are ready to let your negative feelings go, even though it will take some time.
Im way to afraid to let someone in. I have been dating quite a lot for the past years, and a few of them (especilaly the last one) I have really liked. But Im too scared to scare them off if I tell them about my eating problems. And this makes it hard to have a relationship. I “need” to lie, and pretende to be normal. A relationship will never work out that way. I believe that when Im ready to be honest and when I have respect enough for myself, Ill be ready for a relationship. At the moment, Im not there. I would lovde to share my life with a boy, but for now it has to wait!
Ragnhild recently posted..Raw Brownies &lt3

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9 tessa8m June 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

I’m sorry you are so tired dear, but I definitely appreciate you taking the time to comment!
I completely understand what you are saying about the fear of scaring them off. I have been frightened of that too but am realizing that it is such a huge part of my life that I am not going to try to hide it. If this guy really likes me than he will accept me for who I am, flaws and issues, as well. Everyone has their own problems and this is the one that we deal with. If this man could not understand my difficulties and couldn’t respect me, well than I would have dropped him like a sack of potatoes!

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10 Alexandra June 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I’m sooo jealous of your food processor, I HAVE to get me one of those babies just to make this cheesecake!! :D This post is wonderful, I’m so thrilled for your readiness for a relationship!
I try to love myself by giving myself a “me” day every once in awhile where I just kick back, relax, and do all of my favorite things–nap, cook, draw, watch movies, ‘spa’ in the tub, and do absolutley NOTHING hahaha It feels like it gives me an opportunity to rediscover myself in the midst of chaos or if I’m feeling low self-esteem. :)
Alexandra recently posted..sizzle-ly- sleep-deprived senior citizen

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11 tessa8m June 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

Yes, you MUST get a food processor! I bought one in the beginning of March and it is one of my favorite buys ever. I now go out of my way to make recipes that require use of this baby, and everything always turns out wonderfully :) No longer does this occur: I find a recipe I want to make and see it requires processing something- damn! But now I can!
Those are all great ways to love yourself! Having down-time certainly allows you to reflect on whatever is on your mind

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12 Sarah - Feeeding Brain and Body June 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

First of all: that cheesecake looks really tasty!

Now on to the deeper things…What does it mean to truly love ourselves? If we are truly and honestly working on accepting ourselves, wouldn’t that mean that we love ourselves enough to improve?

I think as long as you are committed to learning to love yourself as an individual before diving in a relationship you are at a great place. Learning to love yourself is a long process and I think once you are at least part way there then being in a relationship could really help that along.

I hope what I wrote made sense, the more and more I read it though the more and more confusing it gets…oops :)
Sarah – Feeeding Brain and Body recently posted..Confessions of a 21 year old

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13 Sara June 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I think it’s to each their own! If you’re ready to be in a relationship, then go for it! It sounds like you’re happy and that it has a positive effect on how you view yourself :) I think it’s important to make sure that you can find a way to feel good about yourself when it’s just YOU and make sure you’re not only feeling good about yourself around him, but at this point I think its a stepping stone and I’m totally happy for you :) For me personally, I want to get all of my stuff in order before I focus on that….part of it is because I’m scared, but I have so much confidence type stuff to work out along with ED that I know I am not in a good place to be in any sort of relationship. To be honest, I’m kind of okay with not being in one…sure, I compare myself to other girls my age and think about how weird it is that I’m not up to par with society’s relationship cycle, but when I get down to it, I don’t really NEED it. Not to say that no one else should need it either, just for me personally :) Anyways, I’ve enjoyed your posts about this stuff…so insightful, as always!

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14 Amanda @ . running with spoons . June 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

If this guy can make you feel good about yourself, then he’s a keeper for sure :D I definitely think that others can help us love ourselves more… what you’re experiencing is proof of that, and I’m super happy for you! I think a lot of it is because others see things the way they really are, whereas the way we see ourselves is distorted by all our disordered thoughts and feelings. And others don’t focus on our flaws the way we tend to hone in on them… we see a zit or a bit of a muffin top and can’t take our attention off it, when others probably don’t even notice.

I’m definitely still working on loving myself, but I’ve actually made some huge strides thanks to recovery. Before my ED hit, I was always really insecure and extremely critical of myself. Recovery forced me to get in touch with myself more and I started to learn a lot more about who I was… and actually found out that she’s not too bad of a chick ;) To love myself, I try working on accepting myself as I am, instead of trying to say “okay, I’ll like myself when I weigh X or when I look like Y”. Just gotta appreciate what God gave ya.
Amanda @ . running with spoons . recently posted.. satisfying the sweet tooth

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15 Crista June 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

In my opinion learning to love yourself is a personal journey. Who can tell you what is best for you? That is part of what you’re learning, yourself and what you need and that’s a beautiful but not flawless process. No one, in my opinion, can tell you whether you can learn to love yourself while in a relationship or not. I have felt like I learned in both situations, and both were hard and beautiful in their own way. While single I struggled so much, while in past relationships sometimes it was easier, or aided, I definitely learned important things about this subject while in past relationships. Before my current relationship I spent 10 months single with no desire to share my life with someone else. So I didn’t and I explored very painful parts of my past and present. I spent so much time alone it was ridiculous (and so finished like 100 books) and I didn’t know if I’d ever want to share my time with someone else again. I’ve needed different things at different times. Being with Dan now has been a lesson as well, many lessons. I do believe I learn so much about love from him and that I have healed a lot, changed alot, seen how I should love myself from it. But there was a past boyfriend that what I learned from him is that I wasn’t strong enough to love myself when someone else wasn’t. That was tough, but important. You obviously feel like this is something you’re ready for, someone you want to be with. Wanting to share life with someone else is wanting to be happy. That is a little part of loving yourself enough to give it to yourself!! One step forward!
Thinking all good thoughts for you :)
Crista recently posted..An Equal Debate

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16 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food June 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Tessa,

As always, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts as you go through such an amazing journey. While I do agree that it is important to be a strong, healthy, and secure individual I think that we all need the love and support of your friends, family, and even a significant other. I think humans were in a way designed to seek out love, comfort, and assurance. As long as you continue to work on yourself as your relationship with your SO progresses, I think that all will be well. :)
Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food recently posted..When the Going Gets Tough- the Tough Gets Vegin’

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