Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rhetoric

Ladies, I am here to chew you out. You need to cool it. You need to change your daily rhetoric. You need to reinvent the way you see things. You are not being fair to yourselves. You are stopping yourself from thinking of more important things. You are making yourself believe things that aren't true. You need to start being happy with who you are now. Truly happy.


I had an email from a sweet friend this last week about a post I did a little while back. It was a post on how I found myself and was happy with who I am. She just had a baby and that of course is a time when body image isn't at its peak! She is feeling less than adequate about herself and has all the emotions that goes with it. She wanted to know how I got to the point where I was happy with me. That made me think about my journey to where I am now. In addition to that email, another thing that gave me thought this last week was the women at the gym. They are constantly talking about their bodies and how horrible they look. I gave a friend a sincere compliment at the gym about how super skinny she looked (the truth) and she could only point out her thighs. Seriously, there wasn't an ounce of jiggle on her. But, as women, we are really good about talking about our faults, even if they aren't there, and not taking a compliment. We worry so much about being perfect that we don't even appreciate what we have. Honestly, I am tired of hearing women put themselves down.


The truth is ladies, we will never be perfect. Super models even have imperfections. If you are looking for perfection, you will never get there. If you tell yourself every day that you aren't slim enough, pretty enough, talented enough, etc.... you will believe exactly that. By definition, rhetoric is the art of using language in a persuasive way. We use daily rhetoric to persuade ourselves that we need to be a certain way to be content with ourselves. Just 5 pounds more and we will be happy.


Last year, I decided that I was going to give myself a break. Not that I ever felt horrible about myself but I would always look in the mirror with a grimace. I would weigh myself and the scale would tell me how confident I would be that day. Silly, really. No one else would notice  a slight change in my weight. No one else cared if I had my cute jeans on or not. I don't think there is anyone out there who is my friend because I was thinner that week than the last week. I decided that my attitude toward myself was not only stupid but damaging as well. If I felt bad about myself, I was less apt to think about others. I was a little more self centered and introverted if I wasn't happy with me. I decided that this attitude was selfish and needed to change.


I decided that when I look in the mirror and those less than pleasant thoughts come into my head (and we all get them), I was going to change the rhetoric and say things to myself to change the way I feel. I began to be thankful for my healthy body. If I felt bad about my thighs, I would instead by thankful that I had them to run with. If my belly stuck out a little more than I wanted that day, I would be thankful that it made 5 beautiful babies. I began to appreciate me and tell myself that I didn't need to be perfect. I began to believe myself.


Being happy with ourselves doesn't mean that we don't keep trying to look good and slim down, etc. We still need to get in shape and take care of ourselves, we just need to not let it define our feelings. We can't let that be our happiness. Some of my slimmest friends are some of the unhappiest. When I was at my slimmest point, I was more consumed with myself than I am now. It is really all in the attitude.


I think about this last year and how I am where I am now. I know that a huge difference has been the fact that I am so entirely busy that I don't have time to dwell on myself much. I have about 30 minutes to get ready so there isn't much time to stare in the mirror. There is something to the slogan, "Loose yourself in service." 


If you are unhappy with yourself, get out there and serve others. Get too busy to worry about your own problems. Start working out to feel good, letting go of looking perfect. Eat right so you will feel good. You deserve to have energy and health.


Bottom line: No one cares if you are perfect. In fact, people usually like you better if you aren't. People like those who are confident and are uplifting. Those who aren't negative and berating of themselves. Think of who you like to be around the most and you will see. If we become happy with ourselves, we will be better mothers and wives; better friends and better servants. 


I still have my days where I don't feel the best but those are pretty fleeting now. I just change my tone and get out the door. I can honestly tell you all that I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. Consequently, I am not the slimmest I have been. But, that's ok



13 comments:

Melissa said...

Thanks for this post! I needed this today!

Mary said...

AMEN! my favorite sentence: "If I felt bad about myself, I was less apt to think about others."

reminds me of our life's purpose!! praise gods creations (YOU)!! you are such a great example of this.

thanks again for posting.

Wendi and Matt said...

Thank you!

Recently I have been asked if I was pregnant and am not. Its hard to hear those words especially since I am LESS than what I was before having my beautiful babe. It really hurt me and was confused. I have come to terms and have seen a difference in myself.

I love what you have said so thank you!!!

Cindy Sage said...

Thanks for a great message. I have fought this fight my whole life. We have to becareful of the message we are sening our children. I was teased by my dad and brothers for as long as I can remember. I weigh a whole 112 lbs and I still feel fat. A wise friend told me to look for the truth when I think poor thoughts about myself. None of it is true and I am happier if I replace the thought with a positve one. Our parents instill alot of our self-worth. I am constantly trying to point out the good in our children so that they will feel loved and know that they are a child of GOd.

Nichole said...

Such a great post! Funny that I just decided this morning before I had read this that I was putting my scale up for a while. I want to be healthy and active and happy for me and not for what the dang number on the scale says or me comparing myself to someone else. I have found I feel the most happy when I am well balanced in life focusing on positive good things and reaching out and serving others.

Running Mama said...

Right on! I am trying to slim down, and that's OK, but I am trying to be happy and appreciative of the body God gave me and most of all....be SO SO grateful for the healthy functioning body I have. It only takes one instant to get sick or injured before you realize how much we take our health/bodies for granted and then it's too late. Instead, we should focus on all the great things we can do, while treating ourselves with respect and love. Amen. :) Great post! Thanks for sharing. BTW, my blog is called runningtobeskinny.com and yeah, I said skinny but I REALLY mean fit and healthy. :)

The Johnsons said...

Well said! Thanks for positive reinforcement. We as women are so hard on ourselves.

And Wendy...my sister, who is not heavy, was also asked recently if she was pregnant. She responded, "No. Just fat. Thanks for noticing." Stopped the person from asking a question that they should never have asked in the first place.

Connie Lee said...

Well spoken, Shari! Our self esteem mechanism is located in an interior portion of the brain. It has no eyes to see the truth. It knows only what we tell it to be true... and we do tell ourselves constantly in a subconscious conversation how we do or do not measure up. If we are not careful, this conversation can become very negative... and our self esteem takes it for truth. "Oh, I am such a clutz! My complexion is lousy... my mouth is too big... my body is a mess... nobody likes me..." It soon becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The opposite is also true. If we can look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are doing the best we can, that we look pretty good for __ kids, that our husband loves us, that we love to serve others... We walk away feeling that the world is a good place and that we have value. The adversary wants us to believe that we are failures. Easch of us is a gifted and blessed person of worth.

Melissa said...

Great message. This is what I love about getting older!

barbafamily said...

Thanks for this post! I needed it and I love everything you said!

Essentially Basic said...

I have just been trying to really learn what you wrote about! I read an book by Dr.Judith Moore called "Healing from the Heart". It comes with this visualization CD that helps you see who you really are. It is awesome to see that.

diane said...

CandiShack said...

I always want to just copy your posts and send it out to all my friends. This was great.