I want to be me

I want to be me, I thought, as I cycled along the Bournemouth seafront this morning. Not someone else. Not that woman over there with the toned, slim legs or the long, thick, glossy hair. Not that sporty girl in the cute hoodie or that lady cuddling her baby. Not that young lady driving that car, with that guy sat next to her.

I want to be me.

I think I’ve spent a lot of my life wanting to be someone else, to look like someone else or to have someone else’s body, family, career or life. But while this life of mine comes with its own peculiar challenges, today I want to be me.

As I pondered wanting to be me this morning, I remembered a poem I wrote two years ago for Body Gossip, a charity that campaigns for positive body image and healthy self-esteem. It was published in a Body Gossip book, along with other poems and stories. I’d completely forgotten about it, but it came to me the other weekend and I decided to read it to a room full of people. I’d like to post it here too.

A lot has changed since I wrote this poem and since I started my 40-day challenge to accept myself and stop criticising the way I looked, chronicling my progress on my first blog: ‘Just As I Am – An Experiment in Self-Acceptance’ back in 2011. It’s easier to be kind to myself these days, to speak to myself in a more loving way. It doesn’t always happen but it’s easier than it was. Maybe that’s because I understand today, more than ever, that it’s a choice – I can choose to be kind to myself or I can choose to beat myself up. It’s down to me.

And I can choose to accept, embrace and love my life as it is today or I can choose to fantasise about some other life that isn’t mine and probably will never be.

The poem is called ‘If Only’. Here goes …

If Only


If only I had Michelle Obama’s arms, I wouldn’t need any other charms

If only I had Gisele Bündchen’s height, then surely life would be alright

Attractive young woman concerned about her weight

If only I had Cindy Crawford’s cleavage, and Jennifer Aniston’s über-toned sleevage

If only I had Claudia Schiffer’s thighs, I’d definitely have my pick of the guys

If only I had Cheryl Cole’s glossy hair, then everyone would stop and stare

If only I had Kate Moss’ tum, not to mention Jennifer Lopez’s bum

If only I had Elle Macpherson’s skin and if only I had just one chin

In short, if only I didn’t look like me, surely then I’d be much more happy

I’d be out every night with a gorgeous date or married to the perfect mate

I’d have two lovely kids and a flourishing career; I’d be confident and free of fear

Because life is easy when you’re pretty and slim, it’s not a battle, it’s no longer grim

Surely with the perfect complexion, life is simply love, joy and affection

But what if all this isn’t true, and what if I didn’t wish to look like you

What if I decided I was good enough and life really wasn’t all that tough?

No more envy or trying to be who I’m not, because I’m me and I’m all I’ve got

So why not celebrate other people’s beauty, but tell myself I’m also a cutie?

Why not accept myself just as I am, but also put on a touch of glam?

I have a pretty face and a shapely body, my clothes don’t need to look this shoddy

Why do I hide under a baggy dress? Why not style myself to impress?

And why insist on a life of striving, when I could be out there, laughing and thriving?

So every day I’ll embrace my appearance, all it takes is a little perseverance

To challenge negative thoughts when they come, and keep myself from feeling glum

Because regardless of my shape or size, I’ll still be blue if I listen to those lies

So life will flow and I’ll feel content and free, if only I can keep on accepting me.



About Katherine Baldwin

I am a writer, coach, midlife mentor, motivational speaker and the author of How to Fall in Love - A 10-Step Journey to the Heart. I specialise in coaching women and men to have healthy relationships with themselves so that they can form healthy and loving romantic relationships and lead authentic, fulfilling lives. I coach 1:1, lead workshops and host retreats.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Body Image, Eating disorders, Perfectionism, Recovery, Self-Acceptance, Uncategorized, Women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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