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