Leslie’s Self-Love Journey

I’ve known Leslie for almost 20 years now.  That even sounds weird saying it out loud.  How on earth has it been that long?  We can’t be that old?!  Just recently, however, I’ve noticed a change in Leslie.   You can see a new found confidence in her and it’s exciting to watch.   Needless to say, I was thrilled when she wanted to be part of this self-love movement!

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This is what self-love means to Leslie:

“I think it means that you accept your body as it is and love it as it is. You are amazed at what it can do and does do for you. It’s when you treat it well and pamper it. You accept no criticisms from anybody, especially yourself!! No negative self-talk! :-)”

Leslie, where are you at in your self-love journey?

“Well, I’m not sure what the end of the journey is… But I’m definitely not where I was as a teenager. There’s so much pressure to look a certain way as a younger woman! I think Covid has helped a lot of people rethink their relationships, including their relationship with themselves. I’m definitely further along, thinking more about my health than what I look like, for example. I’ve definitely been skinnier, but I wasn’t healthier!

I wear perfume every day — for ME! I am MUCH less concerned about what other people think!! When my kids tell me I look like a “Mom”, I respond that I *AM* a Mom! :-) I knew I was in a different, better place a few weeks ago when my Mom asked if I was going to go back to dyeing my hair when the pandemic was over. Nope, I replied. I’m going to OWN it!! I get so many compliments on my hair now. Why would I go back?! She still dyes her hair blonde…”

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What life events do you feel have gotten you to the point you are at in your journey?

“Defending myself physically — this is a little weird to write about. In middle school, some girl in a “gang” pushed me around in the locker rooms. I pushed her back — me, the nerdy straight-A student! Boy, was she surprised! I think I might have been surprised too! But nobody fucked with me after that. And when I lived in Mexico City, a guy grabbed my Donald Trump on a crowded subway. I found the owner of the hand, slugged him, and started going OFF on him – in Spanish! You could have heard a pin drop, and he left the train at the next stop.

Grrr… In both cases, it was just this visceral reaction — my “rat brain” took over. Driving myself to the hospital with appendicitis. (Everyone happened to be out of town on vacation!!) Having babies, especially having Griffin without meds. What amazing bodies we have!! Turning 50 and having a group of women friends at the same age who are rocking it. No longer dyeing my hair.”

Food struggles…

“I have had struggles with eating. In high school, I got super focused on whether food was easy to swallow — I was worried I would choke on it. I think I had eaten a few things that had gone down wrong, and I turned all my teenage anxieties onto that one thing to cope. Also, my parents were getting divorced. It’s weird to think about now. Maybe not something I want to share publicly? I’m proud of my scars — I think Mater said it best in “Cars”: “Dents mean we’re friends!” Stretch marks = I’ve made other human beings!! Appendectomy scar = when I drove myself to the hospital Other little scars = my gall bladder-ectomy (also the day the Cubs won the World Series!) It’s all just part of life!! Celebrate what you’ve survived!!”

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Want to be part of this self-love movement?  Apply now!