A Letter to My Younger Self


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  174 comments   :  35,068 Views

Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL) wrote a letter to her younger self...

Dear young Beth,

I know you think you are ugly and a monster rather than a girl. Well, you arenít. Dear girl, you have listened to others far too long. From the babysitter who calls you ďMonster child,Ē to the kids at school, and even your own family, everyone else tells you who you are. Do they ever ask you who you are? They should observe rather than label based on your weight. They would see a girl that takes all of that and then some and is still standing.

Youíll come to realize someday that you arenít ugly just because you are overweight. Weight and beauty have very little to do with each other. Youíll learn to appreciate the beauty you do possess when you stop listening to the negative messages of the thin obsessed world around you. So, young Beth, if you can get a handle on ignoring these messages and appreciating your body right now, you will feel amazingly beautiful.

You were never without will power. Do you realize how much will power it took you to get up and go to school every day knowing you were going to be teased into tears, come home from school and hear about your weight from your mother and then listen to your boyfriend make comments about your weight? Yet, the next day came and you did it all over again. Youíre strong, use that strength to overcome.

Yes, I suppose you were a ďWeirdoĒ to some, but I prefer calling you creative. You write poetry, parodies, blogs, paint, make people laugh, find easy ways around impossible situations, and do it very naturally. Thatís nothing to be ashamed of, even if it does come with a bit of Dungeons and Dragons and Doctor Who thrown into the mix. Appreciate your ability to think out of the box, because someday it gets you out of some very bad situations.

Now with these tools, self esteem, strength, and creativity, you can make it through your fitness issues. Despite the fact that your mother stands in your way for joining any gym or fitness group, your creativity can lend to creating your own workouts at home. Work out when she isnít home. Try wearing new clothes and even try some workout clothes, they will raise your self esteem. Your strength will carry you while you make changes. Youíre a very intelligent straight A student. Take some nutrition classes at school or get some books at the library. Work at small changes in eating and exercise and build from there. Count on your Aunt Jo for support. She is a gym teacher who can teach you much about physical education and eating in a non threatening environment.

We've lost 145 pounds, you and I. Here's how. Start now!

  • Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water.
  • Eat moderate amounts of lean protein with each meal.
  • Eat high fiber and whole grain foods.
  • Eat close to nature. Processed food is full of junk and wonít fill you up the same way real food does.
  • Take baby steps, getting one change down at a time. Go for progress not perfection.
  • Tune out the haters.
  • Something is always better than nothing, so always do some exercise.
  • Always order small.
  • Eat from small plates.
I hope this helps you keep from getting where we got, 460 pounds. We made it down to 315 now, but itís harder not being young and skin isnít so elastic. Lose now and you will have less to lose and less sagging skin. You can do it! I believe in you!

The older but wiser Beth from 2011

What would you say to your younger self?

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  • 124
    Thanks for sharing this ... it really helps to hear that other people have the same huddles - 5/24/2011   12:11:01 PM
  • 123
    Absolutely! You are strong, and beauty has everything to do with who you are, not what you look like. You are an inspiration and I hope to make it to one of the Indy meetings soon!!! - 5/24/2011   12:09:33 PM
  • 122
    What an awesome commentary on progress and your personal growth. Thanks for sharing! - 5/24/2011   12:02:32 PM
  • 121
    Wow..that blew me away...excellent,excellent! thanks for sharing that! - 5/24/2011   11:59:32 AM
    Look at how interconnected we all are! Your blog was the conduit today that brought us all together. Someone else's may help us tomorrow. This is what I love about SP. Thank you Beth and Thanks to the other Spark People for sharing. I just started and felt a bit overwelmed trying to learn the ropes and the lingo but this is the secret ingredient that differentiates SP from weight loss plans. Keep up the good work! - 5/24/2011   11:48:13 AM
    Beautifully written. Thank you! - 5/24/2011   11:46:26 AM
  • 118
    I love your blog. I believe u are helping more people then u know.

    Writing a letter to yourself throughout the weight loss journey can be so motivating and hope others are taking a q from you. - 5/24/2011   11:32:27 AM
  • 117
    GREAT post, Beth! Your strength is really inspiring!

    Here is what I would say to my younger self: You are different than your family and most of your friends, but there is no need to hide it. Stop caring about what people have to say about your attitude, your style of dress, your class rank, and your love life. Chase after things with full abandon. You're smarter and more beautiful than you think you are. - 5/24/2011   10:47:50 AM
  • 116
    I am going to share this with my daughter. Weight isn't really her issue, but she does have self esteem problems. I hope she will write herself a letter so that she can see for herself how valuable she is! - 5/24/2011   10:13:51 AM
  • ALICE5402001
    Keep track how you lost your weight . When you were youg. - 5/24/2011   9:59:58 AM
    I loved your blog, showed me a new perspective on how others deal with their own self-image and how many times a day one has to deal with others telling them how they look. Thank you for sharing. - 5/24/2011   9:55:06 AM
    I didn't like this blog - I personally don't like the word "ugly" - just a messey message, but I hope someone got it, cause I didn't! Be blessed everyone and keep loosing regardless! - 5/24/2011   9:54:02 AM
  • 112
    so self-revealing. Thanks for sharing yourself with us - 5/24/2011   9:22:42 AM
  • 111
    Great blog, as usual. I would tell my younger self that though there is always tomorrow, it will not be easier to take it off and keep it off than it is when you are young. I would also tell my younger self that though there is always tomorrow, there is NO time like the present for making baby step changes. - 5/24/2011   9:18:47 AM
  • 110
    Thank you for this gift. It made me cry and smile at the same time. You give me hope and inspiration. - 5/24/2011   9:02:45 AM
    Thank you for this letter, Beth. As I started reading it and my eyes started to leak, I thought you could have written it for me. You have written from your heart, and you are simply amazing. It's apparent you can do whatever in life you set your mind to. You are a true inspiration. - 5/24/2011   8:36:59 AM
    I leave some roses for you this morning.
    Never, never, never, never, give up.
    Katie S - 5/24/2011   8:12:41 AM
  • 107
    Dear Beth,
    You are amazing. Not for the weight loss, but for realizing the value that you have as a person on this earth! I can tell from your letter that you are smart and creative. You seem like a person that can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. Keep going... YOU GOT THIS!!!
    Heidi - 5/24/2011   7:56:10 AM
  • 106
    You've got this Beth! You can, you have, and you WILL keep up the success! Thank you for sharing! - 5/24/2011   7:27:15 AM
  • 105
    Wow, that was powerful. Although I was very tall and thin, there are always other issues that eat away at self esteem. Although many of us were teased when we were young, now days they bully. Heaven help those kids and it would be so great if they had supportive folks around them like you! - 5/24/2011   7:25:49 AM
  • 104
    I love this! I may not have had as much weight to lose but I think many, if not most women would write a similar letter to our younger self! Young girls are so hard on themselves and I wish so badly there was a way we could change it. I had a supportive mom and I still had no self-esteem, no confidence and was bullied badly by a few girls in 8th grade. I'll never forget those times. :-( But I am a mom of 3 young girls and I'm doing my best to raise them to feel powerful and truly care about themselves and know they are special and beautiful just the way they are. Bullying doesn't seem to be going away, but getting worse so I do worry. Thanks again for posting this! - 5/24/2011   7:17:10 AM
  • NIKKY111
    I have often thought about what I would say to my younger self. I wasn't massively overweight as a kid, or even as a teenager, but I was made to feel like I was the size of a blue whale by my classmates and my family. In retrospect, I was about a size 12, which is a size I yearn for now! lol
    I still struggle with my weight, and have gone up a couple of dress sizes in the last couple of years (after losing more than a couple!). I wish I could tell my younger self that it's okay to be a little bigger, and that she is beautiful and special, and not to listen to those who are jealous of her creativity and humour and kindness.
    I struggle, in spite of having a wonderful man who loves me for my humour and my creativity and my kindness. I struggle, as we all do, to overcome our past demons and to accept that we are worthwhile people.
    Thank you for that letter. - 5/24/2011   5:32:21 AM
  • 102
    Wonderful article. As a young person I wasn't a lot over weight. But gradually I gained weight and I am now heavier than I have ever been. I love Spark People but can't seem to get started on my journey of losing weight. I have had some health issues that have slowed me down. Now I am ashamed of how I look, it keeps me from doing a lot of things that I would love to do. I have a hard time buying clothes, so I feel like I'm not dressed well on top of everything else. As my younger self, I never thought of or was never taught about eating right and having self esteem. On top of everything else I am very short. I have failed so many times trying to lose weight, or losing some and then gaining more back, that it has me being very negative about it.

    You have done a marvelous job losing the weight that you have. I admire you very much. And hoping that articles like yours will jump start me to be successful.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

    - 5/24/2011   5:24:01 AM
  • 101
    Very inspiring! It made me do a double-take [my name is Beth]. As I was reading it I was flooded with some memories of my younger years and my high school days. You are a truly wonderful person and I admire you. You've inspired me to do this same thing. Perhaps if I can see for myself some of the things that my weight has done "to" me all my life, it will inspire me even more to lose it. Keep up the great work!! - 5/24/2011   2:36:57 AM
    It has been said many times, but I want to agree that this was an eye opener and very inspiring. Congratulations on what you have accomplished so far and thank you for showing us the way. - 5/23/2011   10:33:22 PM
  • 99
    Boy wouldn't I have given myself a right rollicking for being so IRRESPONSIBLE !!!!!
    I used to be SO FIT. - 5/23/2011   6:55:20 PM
    Thank you soooo much for sharing! This made my cry, and realize that I need to forgive and console my younger self. I had no idea. Congratulations on how successful you've been in this journey! - 5/23/2011   1:55:28 PM
  • 97
    Actually I have thought a lot about this and have sought to guide my daughter in terms of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. I have attempted to be an example to all my kids about setting goals, making exercise a part of life, eating healthy foods, etc.

    When I was growing up, none of us in our house were overweight. But neither did we have discussions about the impact of good choices (or for that matter, poor choices) over time.

    My sis has what I term a lifetime of borderline eating disorder due to her perception gained in her teen years. She has used fasting in a "spiritual" sense to manage her weight. I actually think she does not experience hunger any more. She has decided in her head how the "facts" are from our teen years, and still 30 years later is believing the same things. Sad...

    So I talk to my daughter about my journey, what I've learned, where I tripped up, how to take steps to preserve health & fitness. I hope that as she enters her teen years, that she will be able to make healthy choices for life! - 5/23/2011   1:48:50 PM
  • 96
    WOW! So heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Thank you for sharing. Now, if only we could actually go back and tell our younger selves to do those things so we could avoid this current situation. Congrats on your amazing weight loss as well! - 5/23/2011   12:38:22 PM
  • 95
    Thank you so much for sharing! It reminded me to stop being so hard on myself and that what happens during childhood prepares us for our adult lives. Congratulations on all you've accomplished and all you've withstood! Best of luck in your journey! :) - 5/23/2011   10:52:22 AM
  • 94
    My younger self would get a very similar letter. =) - 5/23/2011   10:33:52 AM
  • 93
    Wonderful post! Very inspiring. I believe we all have some ghost in our closet. - 5/23/2011   8:42:52 AM
    Make everyday matter! - 5/23/2011   8:28:41 AM
  • 91
    Thank you for writing the letter. I'm going to start using the, stay close to nature, tip. - 5/22/2011   8:02:31 PM
  • 90
    I just had a talk with my 8 year old granddaughter this morning about how beautiful she is. We also talked about inner beauty. I wish I could remember if my mom ever told me that I was beautiful. What I remember her telling me cut like a knife. She is obese too but would remind me that my cousin just decided to lose weight and then did it. Mom didn't do it. I was taught by mom to eat 2 donuts as a serving etc. By the way, my slender cousin is now obese and diabetic. Mom, I forgive you. Young Kathy....I love you and you are beautiful. - 5/22/2011   7:51:24 PM
  • 89
    Great job, keep up the good work. - 5/22/2011   7:06:09 PM
  • 88
    What a great idea... we often imagine re-doing our lives, but you've actually done something about it. Thank you for sharing! - 5/22/2011   6:30:03 PM
  • 87
    great will power, so much to stand proud for. Good luck in your journey. - 5/22/2011   6:25:27 PM
  • 86
    I'd tell the younger me to stand up straight and be happy with who she was rather that seeking to be what she thought all those "normal" people were. I now realize there's no such thing as normal. - 5/22/2011   6:11:59 PM
  • 85
    I would say to my younger self, you are in great shape now, so try your best to eat healthy, keep on exercising, even if you don't feel like it, and above all, please don't gain and lose weight over and over. It will eventually do a number on your skin, not to mention other health problems. try to keep at a fairly constant weight. - 5/22/2011   5:11:58 PM
  • 84
    Awesome,Beth. There is much food for thought here.*Hugs* - 5/22/2011   5:07:02 PM
    WOW.. i could have written this letter! I was teased at school and i went to school every single day knowing i would get beat up in the school yard. But i went....

    Thanks for sharing... - 5/22/2011   3:20:15 PM
  • 82
    What a marvelous blog ! I'd tell my younger self that life does get better ! Boys do like you and you do go on dates !

    I'd also tell my younger self to stick with that biology major instead of transferring over to computer science ! ;)

    - 5/22/2011   1:40:07 PM
  • MELLY3183
    thank you for sharing this, it hit home way too hard.

    I wasn't teased, I was always one of the bigger girls. But knowing that others are going through the same struggle I did helps. my family always made fun because they "cared" well that caring led to some destructive behavior. I'm glad for all the struggles I went through because I wouldn't be the person I am today.

    I would tell myself that even though its hard right now, I have already lived through it. I'm stronger and happier than I ever thought possible.

    thank you for this, it has brought back why I have fought for so long on things I believed in. - 5/22/2011   1:34:57 PM
  • 80
    The letter is to your younger self, but it's to all of us who have ever thought, "I'll do it later" or "just one more day." The way you write is so honest and moving! Great blog. - 5/22/2011   12:35:47 PM
  • 79
    Great !!!! - 5/22/2011   12:29:42 PM
  • 78
    I loved this. Your words are such an inspiration. Thank you for this. - 5/22/2011   11:33:19 AM
    Your letter brought tears to my eyes. I completely get how insidiously people close to us can steal our sense of strength. But to flip it over and give ourselves some credit that we were, and are, in fact strong for putting one foot in front of the other day in and day out - that's the honour we have to give ourselves. Thank you for your letter. - 5/22/2011   10:56:43 AM
  • JOCY57
    What an amazing letter!!! I loved reading about the will power, and strength. I saved it to my favorites. - 5/22/2011   10:49:41 AM
    Excellent thought process and words of wisdom. Keep those positive thoughts going, they were just what I needed to hear. Thanks. - 5/22/2011   10:30:21 AM

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