This post has been floating around in my head for sometime.
In sharing this I am afraid that a few may think that I have confidence issues or insecurities but I am pretty sure that these thoughts occur in almost every human female that I know and that I am in good company.
First of all lets be clear, I've had 5 kids. Also most people don't know this but I gain weight easily so it is a constant battle. No big deal, I just have to watch it and if I ever let my guard down then I pay for it for a while. So in simple terms I have gone through the weight-loss or get-back-in-shape process several times.
It took me a while to realize that part of my process to getting back in shape involved me hating myself into getting in shape or losing weight.
It was a process that went something like this:
- Looking at myself in the mirror and saying "Yuck, this has got to change."
- Then examining imperfections more closely and feeling angry at myself.
- Then using this experience as a way to drive the change and keep me motivated.
I used this process as one of my inner tools and motivators to make the change that I desired. It seemed to work but did not help a bigger underlying issue of self love. For example, the truth is that if you are unhappy with yourself "heavy" you will also be unhappy with yourself "thin". If you are unhappy with yourself out-of-shape you will also be unhappy with yourself in-shape.
I'm not sure when it happened but I realized this process was beneath me. That I was meant for greater things. Some where, some how I learned my worth and in learning that worth I also learned that hating myself into being something or a certain way was a "tool of change" that I needed to take out of my motivator tool box.
I have seen other people use this tool. I have also even seen women who go further and unknowingly trick their husbands into telling them that they are "fat" or "need to lose weight" and then feeling betrayed. Then they use that experience as a motivator to lose weight. It is the "Does this dress make me look fat?" scenario. Not only does this hurt them but it may hurt their relationship and cause trust issues in the future on both ends.
It took me a few years to first realize that I was doing this and second to change my thinking. It wasn't easy and I still slip now and then but for the most part I have focused on loving myself into reaching my goals.
Now my process is much different.
It is more like this:
It is more like this:
- Looking at myself in the mirror
- Seeing the things I love the most
- Understanding the things that I cannot change
- Laughing at how the world thinks it can brainwash me into trying to conform to its narrow and fleeting standard of beauty
- Deciding what I can do to try a little harder to be a little better
- Accepting that my body is one of my oldest, dearest friends and will be with me until the end.
- Decide what can I do to make "her" life (my oldest friend) the best it can be- the most emotionally rich, active, healthy, and exciting.
- Very simply, I do my best and forget about the rest.