WARNING: RANT AHEAD!
Let me start this post with a disclaimer. What I'm about to say is directed just as much towards me as it is to anyone-I am most definitely guilty of trying measure up to unrealistic expectations "imposed" by others :) Understand that this is my opinion and I know that everyone may not see it the same way. So here we go.....
I want to know: How did we, as a society, end up in a place where what we look like often defines how others think us...and worse yet-how we might actually think of ourselves. Do we really think that we can stop, or even reverse, the natural aging process? Do a few extra pounds make us lazy? Do wrinkles make us dumb or old school? Remember the Benjamin Button movie? ....Be careful of what you wish for! We can't stop the progression of our aging bodies. We are born with certain genetic tendencies. (yes, at 5’1 I’ve given up my dream of being tall!) I believe we are often sent the message that we can achieve “perfect” (and stay that way!) if we only try hard enough :( Just check out magazines, movies and more! Trust me...that's simply not possible. Maybe we need to define what the new "normal" looks like.
Now, don't misunderstand me, I firmly believe that maintaining a healthy body weight, getting some regular exercise, and eating right is "vitally" important to being able to...well...to LIVE! Lots of extra weight just messes with your joints, your organs, your blood sugar, your blood pressure, and on and on and on.
I have always struggled with my weight, and although I lost the 60+ pounds 29 years ago, I still look in the mirror and focus on the "two C-section tummy", the 31 year old stretch marks, the body parts that used to be a few inches higher, and of course, as I near my 52nd birthday-ahhh, yes...the wrinkles! I would love to be able to look at myself in the mirror and think I'm not doing too bad for a 52 year old, instead of being so critical of what I see.
A favorite client (who, by the way, has done an incredible job of turning his bad health around to good health), told me that a co-worker had asked him "if you could take a pill that would guarantee that you would lose all the weight you wanted to, but that there was a 50% chance that the pill would kill you, would you do it?" I immediately thought that was a no-brainer, but I then realized there are plenty of people that are so tired of being overweight, that they would seriously consider it. But that's another blog post....
What I'm trying to say is-our looks should not define us-nor could they ever!! Think of all our life experiences-that's what makes us who we are! Think of the things we've learned over the years-life lessons and formal education-we can't see that on our body anywhere!
The other day a friend told me that she had intentionally allowed herself to gain some weight back after she had lost it, because her weight loss was the basically the most serious topic people wanted to talk to her about-like she must have lost her brain along with the 100 pounds! How sad is that!? This lady is one of the most generous, empathetic, smart! people I know! That is ALL I see when I’m around her!
I have a friend who has a fairly large scar after undergoing cancer surgery, and ya know what? It is a beautiful scar because it reminds me of how precious her life is to me!
Another friend is this very attractive woman who confessed to feeling less confident because of her weight. What?! I was totally shocked! She is one of the most caring, gifted people I know! I don't look at her and see her weight.
Honestly, what I want is that when people look at me, they see that I care deeply about people, that my faith has gotten me through some tough times, that I love my husband, my family and my friends passionately, that I have a wacky sense of humor that is always running in the background :) Not what size I am or what my hair looks like (a shameless plug for my hair stylist daughter) or what flaws I have.
So my idea is that all of us imperfect people must unite! Let's all "pinky swear" that we will be ok with looking ok! How about a magazine cover with a real, untouched person on the cover? And no, I'm not volunteering... Because honestly? I am a work in progress and wouldn't have the guts to go "untouched" :/