I’m finding myself getting very irritable of late. Like I’m stuck stationary when I want to be moving forward. I stopped writing for almost an entire week, and have been feeling kind of stuck. This is very hard to break through, and despite being able to talk at length with people about the things that are on my mind, I haven’t been able to put it into writing. I’m not really sure why exactly; maybe I was piling too much freelancing on my plate. I have regained some semblance of control over that and allowed myself to take a break over the weekend. I’m feeling much better now about writing and the flow of words, and I plan on making sure that this lesson stays forefront in my mind.
There was a whole different source of frustration for me fairly recently, and I did know that it would happen. Being around people who are so vastly different from me in almost every way is very challenging and emotionally draining. It takes a lot of effort not to snap or freak out about things that I cannot control. It’s not that these people are bad people, they are just different from myself and I am pretty firmly set in my ways and my thoughts.
There was also the rampant focus on weight in terms of how it impacts physical appearance. There is so much more to a person’s appearance than just their weight. Every compliment that was shared during the weekend had relevance to that person’s weight and/or how much weight they had lost. Sure, some people need to lose weight, but it’s not a matter of numbers or girth, it’s a matter of health. The focus being on just size is frustrating and aggravating.
I once believed that to be considered a healthy weight, you had to be a size 6 or less. Now I’m sitting comfortably in a size 10 (or so) and I’ve never felt healthier. Sure I have a little bit of weight on my hips, legs, and stomach, whatever. I eat pretty much whatever I want and don’t fluctuate in weight. I eat healthy foods, and I try to get in a little bit of activity every day. Some days are better than others, but I don’t beat myself up over it. If I’m feeling particularly ‘bleh’ then I know it’s either time to eat some food, or time to get my body moving.
I don’t beat myself up about having any extra weight either. It’s healthy to have a little bit of flub. It helps keep me warm (that was certainly a huge challenge when I was size 3-6) and if I get sick I don’t worry about eating, I can focus on relaxing and healing. Even after I got my wisdom teeth removed, I had lost about 10-15 pounds. Once my mouth felt better and I could eat properly again, I ate whatever I wanted and my weight went right back up to where it was. No muss, no fuss. This is where my body wants to be, so why should I fight it? Just to fit within someone’s ideal of what a perfect woman looks like? No thanks. I’m perfect the way I am, because I am perfectly Laura. Why would I want to be anyone else?
Fighting with self-image is a huge challenge that many girls, women, and even boys and men go through. For what? So that companies make money trying to tell you that you will feel better about yourself if you lost 5 more pounds, if you fit into that lower size, if you buy this, buy that. F*ck it! Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” and I stand by that. Take the focus off of appearances, and worry more about actions and words. Take the focus off of being “beautiful” and “pretty” and focus more on being “confident” and “comfortable” with yourself, your children, your family and your friends.
When E comes to me in the mornings after she’s gotten herself dressed, she asks me: “Mommy, do I look beautiful?” and I always reply “You look very comfortable and ready for your day.” She smiles and gives me a hug. Because being comfortable and ready for your day is more important that being fancy, stylish and pretty. Being dressed to be able to take on your day and show it that you’re the boss is both essential and freeing. When you don’t have to worry about how you look beyond being appropriately clothed, you have more time to focus on what really matters, like play, work, fun, and learning.
In the morning when I get dressed, I choose clothes that are comfortable. Always. If I’m not going to be comfortable in my clothing, I won’t be able to focus on my daughter, my wife, my job or my friends. I will be too busy worrying about if there are wrinkles in my clothing, or how much I have that this shirt chafes, or how much I’m going to need to soak my feet at night after wearing a horrid pair of shoes all day. Why bother? There are so many more important things in life to experience, so many positive things, to worry about focusing on something as silly as looking perfect. Because perfect is different to everyone, and just because the magazine or advertisements say that you’ll be perfect in a size 0 doesn’t mean you will be.
Feel confident in your own body, because it is perfect for you. What else can you ask for?