The Mouldy Banana Moment: A Huge Lesson in Self-Love

“I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don’t like myself, there’s no reason to even live the life.”

Gabourey Sidibe, Actor in “Precious”

A lot of women are extremely nurturing and loving to everyone except themselves. Some psychologists say it’s because from an early age girls are taught to be helpful, selfless and not to trouble anyone. I think it causes some women to feel guilty, as if they are not worth spending time or money on.

This attitude has a direct impact on our weight, health, relationships and success and holds back so much potential that could make a huge difference in the world.

I have to admit being one of the worst. I was always running myself into the ground with several jobs on the go and not giving myself physical care. In my first six months of university I lived in an outdoor converted laundry room with plastic sheeting over the windows with a single bed and some stacked milk crates for my clothes. I didn’t even have proper windows but somehow I thought it was okay.

I remember a really bad time in my life when my self-care was at an all-time low. It’s my official “Mouldy Banana Moment” (MBM) and it serves as a powerful reminder that I am in control of how I feel about myself.

I was having problems with my boyfriend at the time and it was making me miserable. He was living in another city and kept on cheating on me but I just couldn’t break it off. Blah, blah, blah.

After another midnight call trying to get some affection or closure out of him, I hung up and cried. I had reached breaking point. When I had cried myself out, my vision cleared and didn’t like what I saw.

My room was overflowing with rubbish, including my bed which was full of books, dirty clothes, chip packets and only just enough room for me to crawl into. I was overweight, I had dirty hair, I hadn’t showered all day and basically I was living like a hermit, waiting for an indifferent man to love me again.

Suddenly I could smell something rotten and after searching around for a while, I realised that there was a mouldy banana under my pillow. A MOULDY BANANA!

…. a mouldy banana

I had literally been sleeping like an animal and I was too preoccupied with a man who didn’t pay any attention to me to notice. This moment was a turning point for me as it was such a stark realisation just how badly I had been treating myself – it was nothing to do with my boyfriend – I was just using him as the excuse and giving him permission to treat me no worse than I was treating myself.

I am MUCH better now but I still have to remind myself that I’m allowed to take care of myself lovingly. It’s still something I’m working on, but I’ve come a long way since that mouldy banana day!

Why is self-love important?

There are some women who seem effortlessly confident and things just magically happen for them. They might not be the smartest, nicest or most attractive, but there’s something indefinable that makes them stand out.

Usually these women get what they want because they ask for it and feel like they deserve it. It’s as simple as that. They think nothing of treating themselves as they would a special friend or someone they love. It’s not selfish; it’s a form of self love and acceptance.

Self care is not just about buying yourself flowers or going to the hairdresser but treating yourself how you would treat others. This includes “forgiving” yourself for mistakes in any area of your life. It’s about being kind to yourself.

Imagine saying “you’re so stupid, you never get anything right” to a little kid, or “you are so fat” to your mother? You would never!

But quite often we say similar things to ourselves or treat ourselves like second-class citizens.

What makes you feel special and loved? Keep reading for some tips on how to make yourself feel amazing inside and out.

Denise Duffield-Thomas is a life coach and speaker who helps exceptional people create their ideal lives. Her website is