EPISODE 98: [STORYTIME] my story & journey to loving my whole self


I will be the first to admit that I have had a rollercoaster of a relationship with myself pretty much my entire life. I have had so many highs and lows when it comes to loving myself where I am, as I am. Its been TOUGH, and in today’s new episode I am sharing with you all the tea on how I have grown into the literal best version of myself. If you are someone who is struggling with loving yourself, I hope that by sharing my story, you can learn that you aren’t alone in your feelings AND you aren’t stuck there either. 


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Maddy 0:08 Welcome to the living in sunshine podcast if you don’t know who I am, my name is Maddie. And I am so excited to have you tuning in to our weekly podcast episodes, where we chat all the things from tips and tricks to funny stories from my life that have helped me to truly live in the sunshine. In this space, we are all about encouraging, inspiring and giving you the tough love that you need to hear sometimes to realize that you are totally made for more than what you currently have in life, and that you hold the power to make the changes that you need to level up and live your best self. So buckle up, grab some water, and let’s get into it. Good morning. Good morning, and welcome back my cutie girl to another episode of The Living in sunshine podcast. I am so excited for today’s episode, we are getting real raw, juicy, personal into my trauma or for the betterment of you. Because like Why wouldn’t I do that? Right? Why would I not expose and unpack some deeply rooted wounds for the betterment of you, my cutie girl right. And as just one more announcement before we dive into my own personal life journey of loving myself, I want to remind you to stick around to the very end to see if your review was chosen for our review of the week segment. This is a new segment for the living in sunshine podcasts where at the end of each episode, I am reading one of your fabulous reviews that you have left. So if you haven’t yet left a review, and you want to be featured on our review of the week segment, go do so right now you can just go to Apple, go to my show, scroll down to where you see ratings and reviews, leave it a rating that feels good to you. And then leave it a written review. So I can read that during our next segment of the review of the week. All right, my friends, let’s go ahead and dive into it. So as I mentioned, we’re talking about my story and journey to loving myself. And while it might be hard to believe, based off of my stories, if you’re in my membership, if you’ve listened to the show, I haven’t always been as confident as I am right now. Right. And I’ve mentioned this in past episodes where I truly feel like this version of me this version of MADI 2023 is the best version of myself that I’ve ever lived in, literally physically, emotionally, mentally, in my relationships in my work. I’ve never felt better. But I can also tell you that there hasn’t always been this level of alignment in my life. And I haven’t always felt this way. And there honestly have been more times than less, where I have felt the complete opposite, right? That feeling of I’m not doing enough, that feeling of I’m unworthy that feeling of I’m ugly. That feeling of no one likes me all of these things, right? And that’s what we’re going to unpack today. Today’s a storytime episode, we’re so we’re gonna get real, we’re gonna get wrong, go grab some coffee or water. And let’s dive into it. So my story might not be too far off from yours, right? As a child, I am the third of three kids. I grew up super confident. I’ve always been very outspoken, very loud, very in your face. And up until a certain point, I was super confident like I thought I was the bee’s knees until about, like age 11. And I remember I was 11 years old when this shift happened. I was in fourth grade because I was a year older than everyone in my class. And that was really when my confidence was kind of shaken and turned upside down because I hit puberty. And I hit puberty way sooner than all of my friends did. Like I said, I was only in fourth grade. And I remember getting my period on my 11th birthday. And I literally no joke and I can laugh about it now because like it’s funny, but like in the moment like How sad. I cried when I got my period, because I had just read the book, Dear God, are you there? It’s me, Margaret. And one of the characters in the book cries when she gets her period. So I just thought that like that’s what you did. And I remember crying. I was scared. I had no idea it was going on. And I had an older sister and like I was super close to my mom or whatever. So like everyone explained to me what happened but that to me in my timeline of life is really when my confidence started to go down. I became very self aware. I remember like being super self conscious about my body and the way that I looked going through middle school and I’ve talked about this before I’ve shared this before, I viewed myself as the fat friend, which again, looking back is like super sad to say that like, that’s how I felt. But I know that I’m not the only one who shares that belief. Looking back on their middle school or high school years, I truly believed that I was the fat friend. And this kind of idea has been shown in movies and in books. And that was me, like all of my friends were really pretty and really thin and really skinny and all the boys liked them. And then there was me, right. And I remember there was a time that in like, seventh or eighth grade, a boy asked me to be his girlfriend. And then the next day, he came up to me in the lunch room and was laughing, and broke up with me because it was a joke. And he did it in front of all of his friends. And it was traumatizing. Like, it was truly heartbreaking. And you know, middle schoolers are cruel, right? That’s like such a common occurrence and a lot of people’s stories. But it was just like culmination of, I developed before all of my friends, I got my period before all my friends, I was like, turning into a like, female, full grown woman body before all of my friends. I was just super, super self conscious, right. And I remember, my mom had this like mural wall, you know, like moms have those like, photo mural wall gallery things and like every single house where it’s like, pictures of you and your siblings, if you have them, like on different stages, I remember looking, there was this picture of me when I was probably like six or seven. And I was wearing this huge hat. And I was smiling, and had a big sunflower on the center of it. And I just remember when I was like 14 or 15, maybe 16, looking at this photo of me when I was little thinking, Where did she go? Like, what happened to that girl? She is so happy. She’s so cute. She loves everything about life, where did she go, like what happened to her right. And that was truly a sentiment that I carried with me for a long time. And through high school, I really struggled with disordered eating and body self acceptance. And really being confident in who I was. I was on sports teams when I really wasn’t all that athletic. I had never kissed a boy until I started dating my boyfriend now husband, Lucas as a junior in high school, which, you know, in the grand scheme of life, like isn’t that late, but like, for me, it felt like so long, because all of my friends at the time were like already in relationships with people. You know, it’s just this whole combination of feeling really down on myself. And like what is wrong with me? No one likes me. I’m ugly, all of these things, right? So fast forward through college, college is when I really started to find my footing, and really started to believe in who I was, and what I was doing. And then I graduated. And we all know what happened after I graduated my five year plan, like blew up in my face. I couldn’t find a job. It was very lost and confused. And so my, my journey of self love has been very much like a roller coaster of, I’m doing a great job. I’m going I’m doing I’m doing the great things like I feel good. I love myself, too. All the way at the bottom of the rollercoaster where you’re like, This sucks. I hate this. I’m horrible. No one loves me all of these things, right? And if you’re like, Wow, I feel this, like, please send me a message because I know I’m not alone in this journey. And this is going to be an everlasting thing, right. But now, like I mentioned at the start of the show, I’ve never been more obsessed with who I am than I am right now. And there are some key things that I have done intentionally that I want to share with you today that have helped me to get to this spot. Have you ever felt like the people in your life just don’t understand the dream that you have on your heart? Or even the desire that you have to be more joyful or intentional or even just plain happy? Like Life is good enough? Why do you need more? Right? Well, my friend if this is you, I have something special just for you. The Sunshine squad community is your go to place for that validation that you’re searching for, to know that you aren’t crazy for wanting more and that you aren’t alone in that desire either. This online community has grown to be filled with amazing joy seekers purpose pursuers, happy hustlers, and dream chasers just like you in the sunshine squad community, you get continued guidance from me that you need to make your dreams a reality, a community of women who get it and the steps that you need to make your life something that you’re totally obsessed with. If you are ready to say yes to those things, you need to jump into the sunshine squad ASAP and you can do so right now via the link in the show notes. If you do have questions on what the sunshine squat community is or if it’s right for you, feel free to send me a DM over on Instagram, I would love to chat with you more about it over there. And my friend, I can’t wait to see you inside of the sunshine squad. And the first thing that I that really stands out to me and a lot of my lack of confidence has stemmed from body image issues, body dysmorphia, just disordered eating obsessive calorie counting a lot of body issues. There’s also a ton of physical abuse and trauma in my childhood, which comes out into confidence and self love issues, right. Um, I grew up in a family where you were kind of expected to do what you were told, and you were given this path, and you needed to do that, right. Not as strict as some people, but definitely had that feeling of like, this is the expectation, you’ll meet this expectation, or else we will be disappointed in you. Um, but anyway, there are very specific things that I feel like I have done to get me to the point of where I am now. Right. And the first one has been auditing, who I follow, who I listened to, and what I consume, okay. And this is true in social media, online life, and real personal relationship life, right? I am so strong headed when it comes to who I allow in my inner circle, to where if you and I are not in alignment, I do not let you in my inner circle. And that’s intentional. And that includes family, okay, there are people in my family who I intentionally do not talk to, because they make me feel less about myself. And I am finally at the point now where I am like, we’re not doing this, we’re not playing this game, this is not how we roll. And you can either get on my playing field and play the game the way I want to play it about myself, and how I talk and believe and think about myself, or you’re not even invited, and you’re not even allowed in the stance, like you gotta go home. And that’s just how it is. And while that’s easy to say, I know, it can be really difficult to do. And I know for some people, it can be really difficult to follow through on right. So I know that that’s going to look different to everyone, which is why I want to talk about social media, because there was a long period of time you guys years, years years where I was consuming and following all of these girls who had bodies that would never ever, ever be mine, right? I do not have a six pack. I do not want a six pack. Okay? That is just not my body type. I have big legs a big but I have a bigger chest. That’s just how I am like a tiny rail. You know, ruler sized torso isn’t in my genetic code. But app for a period of time years, you guys, I was saving these images on Pinterest of these teeny tiny little girls who like I get it like i Hello vegan body. I love it. Like I love that for you. But I also need to love myself, I would save them into this board titled get skinny now, because like that’s what I thought that I needed. And like, that’s what I thought I wanted. And I would save workouts that like the background it like had the workout on top, like the background image was, again, this super tiny model whose genetic code allowed for her body type. And I would use that to fuel this like resentment towards my own body about how I viewed it right and I did the same thing on Instagram I remember I’m sure you guys know this girl Kayla and is sign in sign however you say her last name. She is the BBB girl bikini beach Bikini Body girl if you know what I’m talking about, like, you know if you know, you know, there was a long time where I followed her and I had to unfollow her and I had to completely just get out of her realm of influence because looking at her made me feel bad about myself because I didn’t have that kind of body and I knew that I wasn’t going to have that kind of body because it just isn’t in my my makeup. Right. And so that is something that I have done and I continue to do today is I continue to audit who I follow, who I listen to, and what I consume, okay. And part of this that has really helped me to be on this path of wholly loving myself, no matter what I look like what I do what I believe the current season I’m in is that I continue to bring in new information and beliefs that make me challenge what I was raised and taught to believe. And there’s this very specific account. She don’t know what her handle is, I’ll try to remember and link it in the show notes. But her whole character on Instagram specifically, I think she’s also on Tik Tok. And she calls herself an almond mom. And she has these two characters of living with an almond mom or not living with an almond mom. And essentially, she’s talking about being raised during the like, early to mid 2000s, where you were expected to eat no more than 1200 calories a day. And if you were hungry, you were told to just go drink some water, right. And I just love her content, because she approaches it in such a holistic way that makes me feel good, but also validates my experiences. And I think that that’s really important too, to do if you’re wanting to learn to love your whole self is to find people who challenge the ideas that you were raised to believe, but also validate and say, you weren’t the only one who was taught to believe this, like, it’s normal, it was normal to believe this. But here’s really what we can how we can reframe that belief to be something that’s more productive. And I just, I love her content so much, I find myself like sharing and double tapping and commenting on herself all the time, because it’s just so good. And then the last thing that I feel like I really did to work on getting to this version of me that I fully love and feel so aligned with is working on my mindset to know that I am good enough. And I am the best thing ever right? And no one has to like me except for me. Something that I do, very, on a very small scale is one on one coaching. And what I hear very often from women is that I don’t want to do this because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Or I don’t want to start this because I’m worried about what they’ll think. Or I can’t do this because of this limiting belief. And that all comes back to mindset work, right? rewiring, and re changing and changing the beliefs that we have about ourselves to know that we can have this opinion, or we can hold this belief, or we can explore this new thing to improve our overall life. Because for some reason, this spot in our life, this thing that we do this way that we look, this relationship we’re in is holding us back in some way. And we don’t want to continue to let that hold us back. And mindset work has been the biggest thing for me to know that no matter what season I’m in, I can still know that I am working towards something better. But where I am right now is good enough. And not everyone has to like me except for me, right? It’s that whole, who do you go to bed with at night, most times you go to bed all on your own right unless you have a partner, right? But you sit with yourself the most you don’t sit with other people in their opinions all the time you sit with yourself the most. And so the opinion that matters the most is yours. And really committing to mindset work and working on my mindset through personal development and therapy and listening to podcasts. And creating this kind of content as well, has really helped me to grow that relationship with myself to be in a space and in a season where I love myself, I’m obsessed with myself, I wholly with my whole being believe that what I’m doing is aligned, it’s purposeful, I’m energized, I’m excited. All of these things are happening. Because of the years I have been working to heal this relationship with myself with my mindset, my body, my relationship with other people. It’s all been super intentional. And so my hope with sharing my story with you is to show you that it’s possible, right? No matter what your relationship with yourself has looked like over the years or over the months or in the last year. You can intentionally make changes to improve it. You can intentionally make steps to do better in the areas that you want to do better. And you can know that you should and you are allowed to love yourself for who you are and where you are. And love yourself enough to improve yourself to be even better than where you are right now. Because there’s always room for improvement. There always is no matter where you are in life. So just take that with you today. I hope if my story resonated with you, you feel safe and comfortable enough to come tell me come connect with me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you. I know that this was kind of a more personal episode but every so often I love to do these and I hope that me sharing my journey with you, too. Loving my whole self gives you the inspiration and the encouragement to go on that same similar journey all on your own. And before I send you on your way up today to wrap up this podcast episode, I wanted to read our review of the week. Our review of the week comes from Emily teaching online. Emily, thank you so much for this amazing review. She says Maddie offers such helpful and motivating advice. I relate to a lot of the struggles that she mentioned, but she offers advice in a way that doesn’t make me self pity myself, and stay stuck in that hole. I look forward to each and every episode. Emily, thank you so much for this review. I am so glad that sharing my personal experiences, does what I hope it does, which is inspire you to make change and do what you can do to change your life and make it something that you are obsessed with my friend don’t forget to leave a review so that way I can read your review in next week’s segment of review of the week. And until then I am sending you all the sunshine good vibes. And I hope you make it a great day. That is all I have for you today my dudes and I hope you love today’s episode. If you did, I would seriously appreciate it if you went and left the show a review and rating on whatever platform you’re currently listening on. For every review and rating that you leave it truly helps the show grow and reach more women just like yourself. If you had any major takeaways or aha moments, be sure to take a screenshot of this episode. post it to your social media stories with your biggest takeaways and tag me at living in sunshine so I can share it with my people as well. Again, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. And until next time, I am sending you all the sunshine goodbye