Some days are good days. Some days are bad days. Some days I feel like a Victoria’s Secret model, and other days I look in the mirror and am harshly reminded that I’m 5’2″ with thunder thighs and I haven’t washed my hair in 5 days (it’s a lot of work, okay?). Today was one of those days, and instead of dwelling on it, I’m gonna talk it out. With you. And hopefully you’ll read this and it’ll resonate with you and hopefully I’ll talk out all of my frustrations and go to bed knowing tomorrow can be a good day. Because one thing I’ve learned when it comes to my journey of self love, is that I.AM.IN.CONTROL.
Control. It’s a funny word to me. I have none of it and all of it at the same time. If you’re reading this and you don’t know me, my name is Jillian Rose Reed and I’m a semi successful actress living in LA. I was one of the stars of the MTV comedy series Awkward and now I voice a character on your child’s favorite Disney show (see what I did there?) Elena of Avalor. I have absolutely no control over my career!! I’m 100% at the hands of the next producer I’m trying to impress or even the teenage girl next to me at the mall who I secretly hope is following me on Instagram. So many people have to say yes to me before I can even think about when my next day of work is going to be, and let me tell you, stressful doesn’t even begin to describe it. Now throw in the fact that I was on a tv show geared toward young females and the entire entertainment industry wants me to preach a message of “self love” to my fans, but also wants me to be thin at the same damn time. It’s a confusing mess of emotions and I can’t change it or control it or predict it. All I can do is love myself through it all.
My journey of self love started when I was 13. My best friend told me that we had to stay thin enough to see our hip bones. Boys liked hip bones. I heard her words…. I processed them… and I immediately knew she was wrong. I told myself I was never going to care if I could see my hip bones or not because what boys think doesn’t matter to me!!! That thought stuck with me all these years. My hip bones don’t stick out…and surprise, 12 years later and boys still talk to me!!! I learned at that time, that my self love wasn’t linked to a number on the scale. It was 100% about my happiness and my confidence in myself…it wasn’t about my body at all. I want every single young girl that I cross paths with to understand that. Your weight and your shape DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.
Now, I can’t say I’ve always loved my body. But I CAN say I’ve always loved myself. Even through my toughest days, I find comfort knowing that THIS… this body… this mind… this heart…. I can control this. I can control how I feel… and how I look… and how I love myself. Your mind is such a powerful thing, and I encourage every one reading this to think on that for a minute.
So. How do I love myself, you ask?? Well, I find things daily that make me happy. Boxing makes me happy… hitting a punching bag really hard feels really good and if I’m in a crappy mood it’s a definite way to lift my spirits. Bravo! No no, im not congratulating myself…. I mean the tv channel. The one with the housewives of every city ever?? That one!!! That’s my guilty pleasure. When I’m down on myself I rely on some trash reality tv to make me feel like my life is AWESOME. Wanna know what else makes me happy? FOOD. Oh my gosh, I love food.
A friend of mine once told me that I eat like a teenage boy. She was so right! I love everything that’s bad for me including buffalo wings and mcdonalds. And for a while, I couldn’t shake my bad habits. I put on a few extra pounds and I felt like I had lost all control. Oh great, here we are, back to the control thing. It was brought to my attention by someone way smarter and more awesome than I am, that maybe my eating habits were just a result of me feeling like that was the only thing in my life that I did have control over. It took me at least 2 years to fully understand what this meant. But I get it now, and once I gave some thought to it, I was able to take back the part of my life that I felt I had lost. I’m 2 months into being vegan (mostly), and I feel good about myself for the first time in a long time. I didn’t give up meat and dairy to follow a trend, I gave it up because I started doing something CRAZY. Listening to my body! Okay….that’s not crazy. But for 25 years, I didn’t listen. For 4 years I struggled to accept my body. And more recently, self love was more of a hassle than a reward. After making some necessary adjustments to my life, and focusing on one of those daily things that makes me truly happy, I’m now cooking more… seeing the person in the mirror that I want to see… and learning so much more about that little word that’s been haunting us this entire article.
If you take anything away from this, I hope it’s not that you should change your diet or restrict yourself by any means. The message I want you to take away is that your life is YOUR choice. Loving yourself is a choice. I try to make it every day, even when it’s hard and I feel frumpy and gross. I love myself. I love my body. I love my cellulite (but if it goes away I wouldn’t be mad or anything), I love my butt that I can’t grab with two hands, I love boxing, I love food, and I love bravo. And guess what… loving yourself feels SO GOOD. Tomorrow… do things that make you feel good. Put yourself in a good mood! Stand naked in a mirror and do a freaking victory dance!!!!! Listen, I don’t want to peer pressure you or anything, but you should totally try it. XO