FoodByMaria shares her struggles, and how she learnt to love herself


9 tips to Learning to Love Yourself + Practice Self Confidence

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Photo Credit: Lux Media Group

“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself”

It has been awhile folks, but I am back with an important topic; learning to love yourself + self confidence.  For years and years I would tell myself, and people around me that I was strong. I don’t know if I did this because I thought I was, or because I was confusing the word strong for something else.  Maybe I was confused because for years I was strong; I was ripped, I had tree trunk muscles legs, and I had the pain tolerance of The Hulk.  I guess what I decided to believe is that when I was young (and I believe this to be the same for a lot of people) I was taught that being strong means you are strong.

Definition of strong – at the age of around 13-16:

  1. You can take on the world, defend yourself, and not be walked all over.
  2. Lift really heavy things, and carry your dad.

This is not a bad thing by any means, but it is a pretty one-sided way to interpret the word.  This word quickly began to shape the person I became, but in as many bad ways as good.  I started to neglect my feelings, and my thoughts, and although I did defend myself when I needed to I was going about it all the wrong way.  When I look back now I wish I would have focused more on healing myself, and then figuring out how to properly get my feelings out to the people that had hurt me.

Photo Credit: Lux Media Group

“The company you keep is a reflection of how you see yourself”

As I got older I learnt that I was not going to be liked by everyone.  Why?  Well, because it is not really socially acceptable to “have a voice that carries through 3 brick walls” or be the girl “who has an opinion about everything”.  As negative as this may all sound it is these types of opinions that helped me learn to love myself.  I was done waiting for something to change, so instead I figured out a way to do it on a my own.  I began to see all the good in being loud, and opinionated (these are just a few examples), and remembered that being boring is something I never wanted to be.   So with something as simple as a noise level opinion I developed the fundamentals to love myself.  I also redefined the word strong, and this forever changed my perspective.

Definition of the word strong – at the age of 27:

  1. Having the courage, and the strength to overcome self doubt, and your own negativity.
  2. Being someone who can be “shit” on continuously, but still know that the opinion that matters is the opinion you have of yourself.
  3. Embracing your flaws, and differences from the world and being ok with it because being like someone us it utterly boring.


“It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine”

So here are my tips to loving yourself, and being confident – while keeping the very important word strong in mind.

Push out Cultural Influences –

Yes Social Media, thats you, so move the f*ck over. I cannot tell you how disgusted social media makes me on a daily basis. Andrew certainly can as he is the one who always has to deal with my emotional vents, and tantrums that lead me to crying for a few minutes before I snap out of it.  How someone meant to be happy when they are constantly comparing themselves to others?  Well there not so you just have to remind yourself is that what you see on social media is often filtered, or “edited”.  We all suffer and struggle in different ways, so the moment you let go of those influences I promise you you will be much more happy, and confident with yourself.

Wake yourself Happy –  

Breathe in, breathe out.  You are alive.  Remember that.  Someone, somewhere wished they had your life.  So as bad as you may think you have it just remember how blessed you are to be breathing.

Own your potential –

That is no ones to touch.  Be confident.  Push yourself.  Never be satisfied with your day until you have learnt something new, achieved a new goal, challenged yourself etcTake action in your life, and believe that the possibilities are limitless and that nothing can stop you from living your dream.  Create a life that is beautiful, for YOU to enjoy!

Positive self talk, naked, staring at the mirror – 

This tip is huge, for me anyone.  I suffered with intense amounts of body dysmorphia for years and learning to love what was in the mirror was a lot of my success.  I say things like: you have flaws but the thing is we all do so focus on yourself Maria.  You have your grandmas eyes, your dads strength (I mean common look at these legs), your mothers teeth, shins and crazy personalty.  There is no one else on this planet that is you.  You have small boobs, they are sexy.  You have a curvy behind, you built that.  The key is to compliment yourself, and too see your flaws.  The sooner you love you, you can grow, and make change. IE: work out more, get that raise, or leave your job to follow your dreams.

“If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.”

Pursue your passion(s)-

Life is too short to be sad, and unhappy.  We all know what makes us happy, so do it! Happiness helps us all become more confident, and love ourselves for our decisions and lifestyle choices.

Be Real – 

“Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-see)”  Being honest, and outspoken is not bad.  It is sexy, and it makes me happy.  YOU MATTER, SO DEFEND YOURSELF.

Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people 

Let go out the toxic people in your life.  You need positive people around you in order to be happy.  Do not confuse this will letting go out honest people.  We all need honest people.. just remember they are trying just as hard as you are, so try to see their perspective to.

Train yourself to Appreciate 

Remind yourself everyday that you are lucky, and that what you have and do is great! There is a reason why you chose to do the things you do and the moment you teach yourself that you rock is the moment you create confidence around your decisions. Live, and learn.  We all get seconds chances.

Exercise, go outside, and take pictures to CREATE MEMORIES!! 

I do not need to say much here as you all know I am a huge fitness enthusiast.  I work out everyday.  Everyday.  I don’t force it, it just comes naturally.  My body needs the release and it helps me stay calm, and driven with my busy lifestyle.  Working out is healthy, so do what works for you, and keep it balanced.  I suggest taking pictures because looking at yourself naked, or in a state of vulnerability is good for your soul.  Remember nothing is permanent so if you find yourself unhappy with something about your body then just work hard, eat well, and change will come.  I promise.

Here are just a few things I have overcome since I started using these tips everyday:

Comparing myself

No longer do I worry about a year from now, but rather focus on tomorrow (in terms of muscles growth and  life goals).  The moment I started going to bed better than I was yesterday was the moment I started reaching my goals.  We all know what we want a year from now, but it is tomorrow that helps us get there.

I stopped worrying about peoples opinions of my outspoken, bold, fierce, and crazy personality.  I realized that I am intimidating, but in the right way. I acknowledged that sometimes the people who push-back on you do it because they are unhappy with themselves.  It often has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.  Just do you, they will either come around, or you’ll leave them behind.

I am now:

Much more happy

No longer living with body dysmorphia

Still very loud, aggressive, and opinionated

Living my dream

Showing the world that being you, and happy is ok!

I hope this all helps you see that you are the only you, and that if you live your lives for the sake of someone else you will be unhappy.  Focus on good intentions, and do things because YOU truly want to.

Love From Your Greek Food Goddess XOX




Bravo Maria! You have wonderful ideas and you are simply amazing! Thank you for being you and sharing your life with the world… Life is too short to fall for the media crap… waste of time trying to be like the stars who in reality spend lots of cash to be who the media want them to be. It’s sad that their faces and bodies are constantly “fixed” by the pros. Looking slimmer, wrinkle and blemish free… What sad and pathetic message they are sending to all young beautiful people out there.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Good morning hun,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It takes each and every one of us time to learn to love ourselves so we must all trust the process.

I hope you have a lovely day!

Maria XXX


I love this post so much. We can all use a boost of self confidence even when we think we don’t–there are just days when mantras like this will come in handy!

Maria Koutsogiannis

I am so happy you like this post hunnie! I really love writing about stuff like this, alot! XXX I agree sweetie. You just do you, because you are amazing!

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