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body image,loving yourself, self-esteem, self-image, eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder

Dear Me: Love Letter to My 13-year-old Self

by Deborah Cruz

Dear Debi (the 13-year-old with a skewed body image),

Hold your head high.You are beautiful even with a mouth full of silver.Don’t hide your smile in Freshman gym class. Smile big and hard with those big shiny braces, because one day that smile will light up the world for two of the most incredible little people that you will ever know.

Laugh your goofy Ricky Riccardo laugh because one day the man of your dreams will find it as endearing as you find it disgusting.

Write in your journal, put pen to paper and remember these moments because they are what will make you who you will become. Be fearless!

Try everything, go for your dreams, exhaust your potential.

Walk tall my love, 5’7″ may feel enormous at your age when you are towering over all the boys but in a couple of years, they will all be taller than you.

Little Girl with poor body image

Your value in life is not measured by the size of your jeans and comparing yourself to others is a pointless waste of time. Besides, you are never as big as you think you are and eating disorders and body issues are so not the way to go. With it, comes years of shame and guilt and it will take years to undo the damage that you will do to your body.In the end, it only makes things worse.

Be the best you that you can be, that’s enough. That’s better than enough, its exhausting potential and being comfortable in your own skin. It’s amazing.It is more important than I can even make you understand. It is the kind of knowledge that I’ve had to learn the hard way.

No matter what box you have been put into by people and society, you are free. Your horizons are boundless. Your potential is limitless.

Breathe little girl, there is plenty of time for growing up, embrace yourself. You are the perfect you and what seems momentous today and earth-shattering will pass and make you stronger.

Love yourself with the reckless abandon that you would give anyone else who has a special place in your heart.You deserve it!

Sing at the top of your lungs, dance like nobody is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, and laugh like Ricky Ricardo!

Your Older, Wiser Self

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Imagine a world

…where every girl grows up with the self-esteem she needs to reach her full potential.
…where every woman enjoys feeling confident in her own beauty.
…where we all help to build self-esteem in the people we love most. 
Dove,Thanks for this wonderful campaign.It makes my heart soar to  know that the world will be a better place for my girls because of it.

My body image is bigger than just my reflection in the mirror

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Krysta 2010/10/25 - 7:23 pm

Love it!

Day 2 Day Living 2010/10/25 - 7:36 pm

Wow…that was amazingly written. I think I will make my daughter read that, because girls today are so worried about body image, boys liking them, and fitting in.

Kerry McCullough 2010/10/25 - 8:40 pm

I love that! What great advice. If only we could have really sent that to our 13 year old selves 🙂

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/25 - 10:33 pm

Thanks.Too bad the 13 year old self wouldn't have listened to any of it:)

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/25 - 10:36 pm

@ Day 2 Day,
We've all worried about these things for so long.I remember growing up and always worrying about my weight.Even though in retrospect, I was a perfectly healthy weight but my dad was an athlete and my Mom was rail thin and my meter was skewed.It led to eating disorders and body issues so bad in college that I couldn't even trust the mirror.I'm way past those days, but I am very aware of how they spiral and how easy it is to fall into these patterns.I don't want my girls to ever feel that way.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/25 - 10:37 pm

@ Kerry,
Amen tot hat. I would never have listened to my now self when I was 13. I would have thought my 38 year old self was ancient and had no idea. I would have given myself NO credit for experience.

MommaKiss 2010/10/26 - 7:35 am

laugh like Ricky Ricardo. FAB! You were 5'7" at 13? Amazing. I've never passed 5'2"

Great letter to yourself. Gorgeous at every age.

AirForceWife and Mommy of Two 2010/10/26 - 10:09 am

You look amazing!!! I am following you from Follow Me Back Tuesday. Hope you can follow back 🙂


Barbara B 2010/10/26 - 1:08 pm

Following you from follow me back Tuesday, I would love a follow back.


Mommy NaniBooboo 2010/10/26 - 2:07 pm

Sniff… I love it.
And I totally know the feeling of towering over the boys. Took me forever to find the courage to stand up straight.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/26 - 10:17 am

Yes, Ricky Ricardo laugh.It is ever so sexy!LOL It's only when something is really funny so it only happens like..always:) Yes, 5'7" since I was 12 actually. I was a giant but compared to my 6'5" husband, I'm a shorty. Thanks for the great idea for this post:) And thank you for the compliment!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/26 - 10:19 am

@AirForceWife and Mommy of Two,
Thanks and I am already a follower:)Happy Tuesday!

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) 2010/10/26 - 4:48 pm

Love this love letter to yourself. Your 13 yo self looks a lot like my 13 yo self! Except I always considered myself short and looked up to the taller and more beautiful girls around me. Crazy how that works, huh? We are so critical of ourselves at such a young age.

Rock on Mama, Ricky Ricardo laugh and all…you're beautiful!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/26 - 2:24 pm

@ Mommy Nani BooBoo,
Yes, unfortunately the boobs that arrived shortly thereafter didn't help the cause. I am convinced I will look like a question mark in my golden years:)Luckily, I married a small giant (6'5") so no worries:)

anuncommonfamily.com 2010/10/26 - 6:50 pm

Fabulous post. (And you're gorgeous!)

The Mrs. 2010/10/26 - 7:19 pm

to go back to those days and tell ourselves it all works out… if only! But I suppose those days do make us who we are so it all evens out right?

Fantastic post!

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet 2010/10/26 - 8:27 pm

What a fabulous letter!! It's so true, isn't it – being the best that you can be IS enough. These are the kind of lessons you can pass on to your little ones, though (and that I hope to pass onto mine!)

Jacqueline 2010/10/26 - 9:56 pm

I am your newest follower from FMBT, come follow me back.
I loved the letter to self. Someday we all have to accept ourselves and I love Dove's campaign. Unfortunately our lovely daughters get hit up with way too many campaigns that are surgically altered, airbrushed, reshaped, etc. These are lessons we all need, even as adults, thanks.

Canadianmom 2010/10/26 - 10:08 pm

Stopping by from follow me back Tuesday!
Feel free to check out my blog at:

Take care and make it a great day!

tawna6988 2010/10/26 - 10:54 pm

Stopping by from a tuesday blog hop and hope to see you by my blog too.
I have 4 blogs, you can follow all 4 or pick the one(s) that best suits you.
Twitter: tawna6988
FB: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tawnas-thoughts-plans-and-journeys/110934798966532

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/26 - 9:07 pm

@ anuncommonfamily,
Awww, thank you!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/26 - 9:14 pm

@ The Mrs,
It evens out but oh, the insanity that I could have avoided.Life is what you make of it, we grow from experience, so I guess you are right we have to live to learn, to grow and appreciate who we are.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/26 - 9:16 pm

@ Sarah @Strollerballet,
The best us is more than it enough. WE only need to strive to make ourselves happy and fulfill our potential. I do hope I can pass these lessons on!

KLZ 2010/10/28 - 11:00 am

You are going to have to teach me all of your "Hot Mama" secrets.

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