On any given day in social media, you will find articles and pictures telling us to be happy with our bodies. Accept and love them. That the way towards shedding the weight is to be happy WITH the body you have. Be comfortable in your skin. Don’t make excuses in it – revel in it. Buy the shorts and the swimsuit and the sleeveless dress.
Also on any given day, you’ll find the models selling shoes and clothing – even plus size clothing – and they’ll all be a size 0 or 2. They’ll have the gaunt faces and rarely smile.
So this tells me two things: the media is confused and models aren’t happy.
Confession – I’m one of those people on social media who spreads the “acceptance and the happy with our bodies” messages. I wanted that known up front because my light bulb moment arrived when I realized (even though I’ve been speaking the words for years) that I could be simultaneously accepting as well as pretty disappointed with my body. And I am.
I love that I am fairly healthy.
I love that my cholesterol went way down after I lost my weight.
I love that my legs can safely and (most of the time) take me for pain-free walks to experience scenery.
I’m disappointed I don’t do this more frequently or faster or longer.
I love that I can stand for hours.
I’m disappointed that I don’t do more varied activities.
I love that I have a small waist.
I love having an hourglass figure.
I’m disappointed that it’s a lot of hours and most of the time the sand isn’t split very evenly.
I’m disappointed that my bones are weak.
I love that I have blue eyes and that they can see fairly well.
I’m disappointed that I’m at the top of my comfort zone in weight.
I’m disappointed that so far I haven’t wanted to work hard enough to move that lower.
I’m disappointed in a size 8 when I used to be a size 4 but I love that I’m a size 8 because I used to be a size 16.
Why, on most occasions do I confidently follow my plan and on others rip it to shreds and dive in to the chocolate?
Why, if I feel SO good after I exercise do I not do it more frequently?
Why when cooking a variety of healthy and interesting meals do I feel awesome and then get lazy and stop doing them?
Why don’t I ask for help more frequently?
So here’s my letter to myself:
It’s okay. It’s okay to feel all the feelings. It’s not okay to just whine without action. It’s okay for that action to not be immediate. It’s okay to be both happy and disappointed as long as you appreciate the happy and actually do something about the disappointments. If you choose to NOT do anything, then stop the whining. You’re a grownup and you can’t blame someone else bringing candy to the office and your house on your inability to keep your hands out of it. Marci, “No, Thank you” is a complete sentence. Practice it once in a while. You’re 53 years old; you might want to start eating with dignity again. It’s okay to want to feel small. It’s okay to want to feel more attractive – you’re not superficial for wanting this. It’s just as okay to want to lose weight for cute clothes than a more important reason such as good health. Marci, there is no one more important reason. It’s okay to leave something on your plate. It’s okay to spend a little more if it means you’ll feel physically better. It’s also okay to think when people say “food is just fuel” that they’re wrong or crazy but just don’t judge them. It’s okay to think about lunch or dinner while you’re eating breakfast. It’s not wrong just because others say it’s wrong. You’re allowed to be a bit obsessed with food, but you might want to start behaving more appropriately with it. Be grateful for the things you have, Marci. This is really about the serenity prayer. Accept what you can’t change, but do something about the things you can. I’m fully aware that you can. I believe in you.
All my love, Marci