Episode 030: The Keys To Total Self-Love & Acceptance – with Bex Bedford

Bex Bedford believes that the only path to long-lasting success begins with total acceptance of who you are, including the good, the bad, the strengths and the weaknesses. This week, she reveals how to truly embrace everything about yourself and fight the negativity pattern of comparing yourself to others.




The Show Notes

All right Bex welcome to the success Kickstart podcast. How's it going?

  • Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here.

Q: It's a pleasure to have you here. For those of my listeners who haven't come across you yet. Take a few minutes to take us behind the scenes and give us your story because I really love people to know where you've come from, what it is that you're doing right now and how you got to where you are in your life at this point.

  • In 2013 and I started a YouTube channel called being an Being an SSBBW and what an SSBBW and what that means is a super-sized big beautiful woman and I started it because I did a video response and  I kept seeing all these videos from guys who were talking about their experience and their preference for dating, bigger sized women. , I have some thoughts about that. so, I started doing the YouTube channel
  • What got me there so was for a good eight years I was a hermit and I lived a very isolated life because I was so ashamed of the way that I looked. I didn't think anybody should ever have to see me so I didn't see friends. I didn't see family, my job I work third shift. So, I was like just locked away from the world. It was very lonely, very isolating.
  • I hated myself every single day and through a long process of learning to get out of my shell, learning to figure out who I was as a person, adapting tools to help me see myself in a complete way and learn to love and accept who I was did I finally get out of and break out of that prison.
  • Several years later now all of a sudden, I'm on YouTube and I'm doing these videos and there was just such a great response to the videos that I had, that it just kind of lifted off from there.
  • Now I'm out there speaking, telling my story and how I was able to navigate that road of self-acceptance and self-love and you have to put myself out there because I think a lot of us struggle with that.
  • It just could be about where you are in your life, the way that you look yourself. These days everything's centred around image, social media. Everybody wants to show the best sides of themselves but internally, there's a struggle. So that's like the short version of how I got to where I'm at today.

Q: Now along the way I guess if you had to identify the most difficult moment across that journey, the most difficult moment in your life, what would that be and what did you do to overcome that?

  • Well the most difficult moment I think there's two of them.
  • The one that would drove me to become a hermit. So I was like 18 19 years old and you know, when you're at that age, you really don't know who you are anyway, and you're always struggling, you're a teenager you're just becoming an adult and I remember I went out to dinner with my sister and we were in a restaurant and we were seated next to a table just filled with college guys, and I just sat there for 45 minutes, while they just ripped on me, just insulted me the whole time and I just felt terrible and then when I got up to go pay the bill, they just, it broke out even worse. They were laughing and screaming just saying terrible things about me and that really affected me a great deal and so much that I just didn't want to go out anymore. So that's when I started to lock myself away from everybody.
  • The turning point to eight years of isolation was I was driving and it had gotten so bad that I was driving in my car one day and every gas station that I went to had people at it, you know obviously because there is a gas station and people are there at the pumps, pumping gas.  I didn't want anybody to see me, I was so fearful that I literally almost was running out of gas. My car was sputtering because I couldn't bring myself to stop to put gas in my car because the fear of having anybody look at me was so bad.
  • That's when I realized this is not living. I'm sitting on the side of the road. I'm crying, this isn't living, this isn't life. I have to do something to fix this and that's when I decided to try to get weight loss surgery actually.
  • I went to my doctor and I applied with my insurance company. Insurance has all these stipulations and I didn't fit – there was nothing wrong with me other than I was just overweight and so they turned me down once and then they said they came back again and they said, well if you go and see a doctor every month and you go see a therapist for the next six months, and they approve you, for surgery we will approve for you to have this.
  • So I went ahead and I did that and I got into therapy and it was very evident in the very beginning working with my therapist that I had a lot of issues that I needed to overcome and I just wasn't a candidate so going through therapy for four or five years, it was a really long journey, and I had a lot of stuff I had to go through but I was able to slowly work on myself and even after I got out of therapy still learning who I was and still trying to, you know, make all these tools to help me interact in a world where a lot of people look at you poorly and trying to overcome that and live my truth and live my life just like anybody else.
  • Those two were the big pivotal moments in my life.

Q: This is really all about self-acceptance and I know that you believe that nobody can ever experience true happiness or true success in their life without total complete self-acceptance. So, can you talk a bit more about that?

  • Absolutely and when I say total acceptance it's not like oh, I just love myself every day and I'm so perfect. That's not what I mean. I truly believe that until you can sit down with who you are and look at everything like the good the bad because we all have that, we're human and we all have things that we don't tell people that we think about that we beat ourselves up about.
  • I mean I know for; we have these thoughts and we get these negative patterns of thinking where were like, oh God, I can't believe I said that or I can't believe I did that or you know, we have secrets that we don't want to share. We just we just constantly beat ourselves up about that and it puts us in this negative space and then we're constantly judging ourselves and we don't like what we see in the mirror.
  • I really believe that when you get to a point where you can look at yourself and say okay this these are the things that I like about myself, that I love about myself, but I have these other problems too and accepting of the fact that you're human you're going to have issues. We all have, you know things that we don't like about ourselves and we have a choice to deal with that so you can do the work to change it or you can accept the consequences of not changing it and that's okay too.
  • Some people just don't want to change certain things. But when you accept the consequences and you're like, okay, well, I'm to accept the consequences of not changing this thing and this part is just going to be a part of my life, then you can just look at yourself in a complete picture and totally be accepting of who you are or take the steps to fix it.
  • I believe it when we get to that space or able to move through the world in a freer way, in a more complete way and look at ourselves with compassion and love and empathy because we're the hardest credit right?
  • It's not so much the world, it's the way we see ourselves. So I think that first step of getting real with who you are, not the way your family sees you, or your friends see you but the way you see you through your eyes and getting real with yourself because nobody knows you better than yourself and then taking the steps to fix or not and then accept those consequences.

Q: I've done it quite a lot of work with people on the idea of body confidence and that area of self-acceptance. I'd love to hear from your point of view, what does body confidence really mean? What does that actually entail?

  • For me, it was just when you live in a world where there's this kind of standard of beauty, right? So, there's you know, the thin, perfect skin, nice hair, you know that's in the media all the time. We kind of look at that and we want to emulate that and we think that's the popular way to look or whatever and it's not just when I say body confidence, it's not just with size, it's with any flaw that we look at ourselves that's different and because I've seen people with scars on their bodies or missing limbs or any kind of issue, very tall, short.
  • It's all about just looking at yourself with loving who you are as a human being and I think that it's important to be able to look at yourself through your own eyes.
  • When I realized and learned that I had complete control over what I would accept into my world view and what I wouldn't, it kind of changed everything. So for me for my body confidence and how I got to be able to look in the mirror and love who I was even though a lot of people tell me and still do on a daily basis that I'm unhealthy or I'm ugly or unattractive, it's like those guys in the restaurant like I said before that were making fun of me. If I'm in that situation today, if somebody were to say those horrible things to me today, I know that it's up to me on whether or not I'm going to take down their ideology, if I'm going to take on their energy. I'm going to accept what it is that they're say. I'm going to accept, society’s cultural view of what is beautiful or not.
  • But that's me making a decision to take that on for myself. Otherwise, it's none of my business – that's their stuff. That's what they’ve got to deal with in their life. That's their ideas. That's their ideology.
  • So, it's completely up to me on whether or not I'm going to take that mantle on for myself. And when that sunk into me, into my brain and realized that I was completely in control and how I viewed me, what I believed in, I was able to stand in front of the mirror and then also coupled that with being accepting of who I was good or bad, looking in the mirror and be okay, I love this person. I love the way that I look or you know, maybe I didn't love the way that I look and I would make that change but being able to stand there and say I don't need to look or go to anybody else outside of me to build up what I know is to be beautiful or what my perception is of beauty is. I don't need to take out anybody else's view on that and that's a powerful thing when you actually let that sink in and you take that on for yourself. The world really does change your viewpoints really do change and it's a very freeing experience.

Q: So, this is really interesting. It's the idea of separating the fact that what other people might think or say or believe or the impact they might have is actually   their problem. That’s what's going on in their world. That's got nothing to do with you. What else can we do to really quieten the negativity that we sometimes face from other people? We get that that stuff coming at us and then stand up for ourselves. What else can we do in order to quieten that negativity?

  • It's kind of funny what you said forced to stand up for ourselves towards negativity. For me it's being assured in myself that I know who I am and I like who I am and I love who I am.
  • So, when people come at me and they spread that negativity. I get a lot of trolls especially on the internet. I get a lot of people who say a lot of terrible things, terrible messages and when I get those messages it goes back to what I'm saying. I sit back and honestly today there's literally no reaction for me. I don't get upset by it. I don't have a moment of any flash of anything because I have done this work of being able to just sit down – meditation is very important to me and it's something that I do on a daily basis.
  • It's being able to sit down and get real with myself. Some days there are days where I I'm not perfect. There are days where I do wake up and I'm like, oh God, I really don't like who I am today. I don't like the way that I look today. Self-acceptance isn’t always perfect and it's not like a straight narrow path. You do have days; you do have moments when you don't like who you are and that's okay.
  • Being able to acknowledge that you're in that space, being able to sit down and figure out why you're in that space and allowing yourself to sometimes to stay there. But making sure that you don't stay there for too long and that you remember who you are, that you're human. This is a moment, that we have these moments and that's okay and that tomorrow or later in the day, you know, things will be different.
  • So, meditation is a really big thing. So, when there's a lot of negativity around or, you're starting to question yourself because outside influences, what I would suggest for people, it's being able to, detach from that negativity – go do something for yourself. Go for a walk, go do something for yourself.
  • I personally would do meditation. I would do something that would quiet my mind and be able to get in tune with myself and meditation doesn't necessarily mean just sitting there and closing your eyes. It could be drawing or colouring or doing something for you that's quiet. It's intimate with yourself and being able to get in touch with what why it is that you're feeling the way that you're feeling and why this particular instance is affecting you in a negative way.
  • If somebody's coming at you and saying horrible things and it's not just strangers on the internet, you know, sometimes we have to deal with friends or family that could be that way and if it's starting to affect you that way and you're not able to push stuff, I really always suggest to bring it back to centre – get in touch with yourself in the way that you're feeling, go over it, why you're feeling that way and start that process of moving out of that space.

Q: I think one of the big natural flaws that almost all humans have and it's one of the things that stops us from really truly accepting ourselves is this ability or Instinct that we have to I guess to compare ourselves to other people and that's a really slippery slope. So how do we stop ourselves from comparing ourselves?

  • It is a slippery slope and I struggle with that too even today with being accepting of myself.
  • I will have moments where I do compare myself to somebody else and it doesn't necessarily need to be with looks it could just be with oh that person's doing that and I need to change my game or I need to do better at this and this and I often, you know, like it's just a flash – that's something that I'm working on as well.
  • What I do is I remember and I have really great support system. So even sometimes when I'm like, oh God, you know, I'm talking to my friends I really wish I could be better at X, Y, Z. They are great and say Rebecca just refocus and I sit down and it goes back to realizing that I am whole and complete myself now.
  • Everybody can be successful – there’s so much room for success. We don't need to compete with each other so we don't need to sit there and constantly compare ourselves with each other. Everybody is different and that's the beauty of living in this world that we live in – human beings are different. They're supposed to be different. We're supposed to have different levels, of success and there's room for everybody and when you realize that you don't need to compare yourself with somebody else or their looks or how they look, that there's room enough for you to in your life to love the way that you look or be a beautiful person or be successful in your business – that there's room for everybody.
  • Stop comparing yourself with others. I'm not perfect. I still have moments where I do that as well where I'll compare myself to somebody else but I bring it back to centre and I remember hey, I don't need to compare myself to this person. This person is separate from me. They have their own life going on and that's great and that's wonderful. I wish them all the best success, but I can have that as well for myself too. And I don't need to be in that comparison mindset.

Q: One of the things that everybody faces at some point in their life to some extent is this idea of trolls and naysayers – people who just come at you with negativity all the time. What tools do you use to really focus on your own personal development and focus on building a path forward in your life and without taking them on without having them have any impact on what you're doing?

  • They really don't have an impact on what I'm doing and it goes back to what I said before. I don't ever delete a comment on anything that I post online for the purpose because I want to show people I follow what I preach unless somebody says something like violent or threatening. I don't remove anything. I keep those up there. I believe everybody has the right to their opinion. It's a shame that a lot of people choose to spread hate with that power, but that’s on them.
  • I think it's a very important to realize that you're completely in control on what it is that you believe or don't believe and when you realize that and you truly believe that what people say, it's not even just letting it roll off your back, it literally doesn't even come into your Universe when people say horrible things to me or send me horrible messages, I sometimes feel kind of sad for them that they're choosing to spend their time in this world feeling.
  • It takes way more energy to hate somebody and to spread negativity than it does to just be positive about things and I feel sorry for them.
  • It's knowing that I don't need to believe what it is that they're saying to me -that's completely within my power. So, when naysayers and trolls come at me, it doesn't affect me because I don't believe what they're saying. It doesn't matter to me that's their stuff and unfortunately, they have to deal with that and that's a shame that they are dealing with that hate and anger within themselves, but I don't need to take that on. I don't need to believe what it is that they're saying and so that it makes it very easy for me to be able to just not let that enter into my universe to affect me in a negative way.
  • So that's what I would suggest for people who are dealing with that kind of thing is, you don't need to sit there and they get in an argument with them. You don't need to try to convince them to see your viewpoint on things because you can't convert the unconvertible, right? And why would you even want to try? Live your life the way you want to live your life – live it out loud. Look at it positively, be solid in your decisions and don't let them even come into your orbit. They are outside of that – don't take that mantle on or yourself

Q: So, what would you say in general are the real keys to absolute self-love, absolute self-acceptance?

  • I think there's a there's a few steps. Meditation is a really big thing and meditation for me is gets me to that space of being really real with myself and I do mean being really real with yourself. Getting into the nitty-gritty of who you are and that first step can be the hardest and can be the darkest and it's really difficult for us to do that. Sometimes people have difficulty sitting alone. I've known people in my life who are incapable of being alone and being with their thoughts because that's a scary thing because when you have to look at yourself in a very real and open way, you kind of look at those demons that you push off and it's unsettling and it can be uncomfortable.
  • Some people like to fill that space with watching TV or going out and drinking or smoking or something like that. They want to fill that with noise or hanging out with friends or family but just not being able to be alone with yourself.
  • That very first stop is the most important. I feel like being able to be alone with yourself and getting real with who you are in discovering who you are because it's a discovery process. Sometimes you find bits of pieces of yourself that you didn't even know was there and finding out what it is that isn't working for you and being able to begin that process.
  • Once you do that and you find out these are the good things that I love, these are the bad things that I love, then it's an action step. Your next step is saying, I can live with the consequences of that and be happy and not beat myself up and that’s the big key rate.
  • I like to give an example of a non-weight issue. So, like I have a flaw that I realized is that when I get in my busy world where I'm working. I work a lot and I'm working on these projects and I don't reach out to friends and family. I don't return calls or messages and stuff like that very quickly or I just don't reach out to them first. They are always reaching out to me and I get into the space where I feel like I'm connecting with them in my head. I'm working. I'm thinking of them, you know, I'm sharing jokes with them in my head, but I'm actually not doing that. I've had people, say Rebecca, you don't answer us, you're not responding to messages or you know, why do I always have to reach out to you and you're always busy and I had to sit down and get rid of myself – this isn't really a cool way to treat the people that I love and care about like.  I need to show them that I care so I could do one of two things.
  • I could not make any changes to the way that I respond to people or reach out to people and just be like hey you guys just need to you know deal or not deal with this – this the way I'm going to live my life and I'll get back to you when I can and know that I feel uncomfortable about that and I'm not happy with that behaviour or I could take that step to change and try to be more proactive and show the people that I love that I care about that. I'm here for them, I’m thinking about them.
  • So, there's two ways that I could go. So I like to use this example because I went ahead and I do make those changes and it doesn't happen overnight and I know that I’m not always good at it, but I'm trying to change that part of myself and I really don't like the way that I communicate sometimes with the people that I love to show them that I love them.
  • So that's just an example that I like to give. So that's what I mean when I say looking within looking at the things that are uncomfortable for you that you don't like either accepting it or making those decisions to change.
  • Then another thing that I think that is important when you're on this path to self-acceptance because it's never a straight one, it's being able to know that you are going to fail at being happy with you. You are you're not always going to like it and that's okay too and don't beat yourself up about it.
  • So, when you find that you're getting into those patterns of negative thinking where you're starting to spiral into this negative mindset of beating yourself up, it's important to break that cycle. It's doing something for yourself whether it going to buy yourself something nice to make you feel better or doing an activity that's creative – writing, painting, drawing, just doing something for yourself to break that cycle of negative thinking in that moment.
  • It could just be you've been hating on yourself all day. You don't like the way you look; you don't understand how anybody can be happy with the way they look. Get up, go for a walk, get up, go do something positive for yourself, go see a movie, break that cycle at that moment and it's almost like distracting yourself, but just go out and do something for you to bring it back to centre to remember that you are a valuable person.
  • You're a beautiful person no matter what and try not to get into that spiral and staying there which causes all this anxiety and negative thinking so you just want to try to break that thought process by going out and doing something positive for yourself.
  • It could just be something as easy as picking up the phone, calling a friend, going for a walk, just changing your little daily routine to try to get yourself out of that loophole.

Q: What would you say are the top three things that you would encourage our listeners to do right now, today, to start making tremendous changes in their life based on what you've shared with us?

  • First of all, remember that you're completely in control on what you take on for yourself and what you believe – remembering that you don't need to adapt other people's ideology as your own. Find out who you are, being able to sit down with yourself finding out who you are as a person and then taking that action step to change it if you don't like it.
  • So those three things: not taking on other people's ideologies, their viewpoints their standards. Number two looking within yourself, getting real with who you are, finding out who you are as a person and then that's taking the action step to change or being able to look within and accept those consequences.
  • So those three things are very important when you're on that path of social acceptance.

The Quickfire Round

Q: Let's jump over into the quick-fire round. So, question number one. What's the best self-development advice you have ever received from someone and who was that person?

  • It was my therapist. She told me once it really resonated with me. What other people think of me are not my business, it’s not my business and that was very powerful me. It's just that that's mind-blowing right so what other people think is not my business.

Q: Number two. Can you give us a personal habit or personality trait that you think contributes to your success?

  • I drive, I have a very strong work ethic. I love working. I love being passionate about things and I love throwing myself into whatever it is that I'm working on.

Q: What does success mean to you?

  • Being happy – loving what it is that you're doing?  That's the ultimate goal for me. So as long as I'm happy doing what I'm doing, I feel like I'm successful.

Q: Finally, and most importantly question 4, for where can people go to find out more about you and what you're up to.

  • You can all check out my new site. It's actually just Stepbexbedford.com.
  • All of my links to all my social media, my YouTube, my podcast. Everything is right there on the site.

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