Love Yourself NOW: Zann’s Guide to Embracing Who You Are

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Recently Lady Gaga posted pictures of herself on her website nearly naked because of critics making comments about her recent weight gain of 25 lbs.

25 lbs? Really? I can gain 25 lbs in a weekend if I really go all out. But that’s MY body.

Something you may not necessarily know about me is that I used to weigh about 450 lbs. When I was younger, I suffered a serious injury when a bully kicked me, shattering most of my lower back. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t bend over… and that’s when everything in my life changed.

Long story short, I put on nearly 100 lbs waiting for doctors to approve reconstructive surgery on my back because I was so young. Eventually, the surgery was approved and I entered middle school overweight and insecure. I got picked on every time I turned around. My friends from elementary school abandoned me… basically they didn’t want to be seen with me in my “fat” form. I fell into depression and continued to gain weight.

Every relationship I ended up in was with boys or men that did not truly value me. I went through years of abuse from family, “friends” and “relationships” that led me to isolation and a deeper depression. I hated who I was and no matter what I did, I kept gaining weight.

Even though I was seriously overweight, I played sports such as soccer, water polo and softball. I rode the bench mostly because my coaches never thought I could keep up with the other girls.

At the age of 25, I peaked out at around 450 lbs and I felt my body slowly start to shut down. I had trouble playing sports, problems with my ankles and walking up the stairs became a challenge. It was then that I decided to seek the help of a nutritionist. With pure dedication and physical need to lose weight, I lost about 250 lbs.

I’m still big, but I love who I am.

I dress crazy and love to stand out.

I can finally see myself in the mirror without being sick.

With the critics coming at Lady Gaga with their nonsense, I wanted to take the time to help you understand how important it is for you to LOVE YOURSELF NOW.

Not later.

Your life will fade away.

Maybe you’re sprinkled with freckles, have stringy hair, huge hair, too much hair (by other’s standards), gapped teeth, glasses, braces. I mean it could be ANYTHING somebody has pointed at and made you feel insecure about. But, today I plead with you to Love Yourself NOW and not later. It took me 20 something years to truly love who I am.

Everyday is a struggle. And people will make you feel like you are less than how you should view yourself. Someday, it will nearly destroy you. If you’re struggling with your body image and loving who you are, feel free to email me to chat at Zann @ 923NOW dot com. You’re never alone in this struggle.

Here are some steps to help yourself with knowing how much you’re worth:

1. Write down everything you love about yourself.
2. Write down everything people have told you isn’t good enough and throw it out, burn it or shred it.
3. Talk to somebody that values you the way you SHOULD be valued.
4. Stop the negative thoughts about yourself immediately.
5. Keep a journal of the good things you experience and do on a daily basis.

And remember, people don’t determine how beautiful you are… you do.

-Zann, 92.3 NOW

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