Yesterday I sketched out a list of all those things I've said "no" to (at least most of the time) "because" of my weight or my age. Here is the list:
- Looking pretty
- Feeling pretty
- Dressing nicely
- Exercising intensely and regularly
- Keeping my hair bleached blonde
- Short hair cuts
- Showing off arms or legs
- Dancing (seriously? I LOVE dancing! Why don't I do it more?)
- Jumping on the trampoline
- Playing nearly any physical game
- Thinking well of myself
- Treating myself well
- Eating well
- Being able to eat just one of something
- Thinking I can ever change
- Being a model for my kids
- Being able to achieve this goal, or most goals
- Feeling sexy
- Dressing sexy
- Acting sexy
- Sitting on most seats without worrying if they'll hold me
- Being comfortable on airplanes
- Being worried about fitting into amusement park seats
- Being "normal"
- Believing people like me just as I am
- Thinking I can be like most people (size-wise - I kind of prize my weirdness)
What has brought about this strong desire to permanently eradicate this mindset? First it was taking care of my face and wearing a little bit of make-up again. I didn't really initiate those things so much on my own; they're a result of a neighbor starting up a Mary Kay business, and me wanting to support her. And of having her say she thinks I'm prettier than I let myself be. That was kind of eye-opening to me. And what I'm learning on the days when I actually "do my face" - either just cleaning it well or adding make-up to it - is that I DO feel prettier when I take care of myself. Duh.
I'd read a few years ago about a woman who decided to love herself unconditionally, large girth and all, and started by rubbing lotion into her legs every night and praising them for all they did for her. That was it. Every night, loving actions and loving words toward herself - and apparently she lost more than 100 pounds. I'm experiencing a little bit of that self-love when I take care of my face. Now I just need to do it every day!
As for my body - yes, I have had hurtful things said to me. Most from my childhood, though, if I'm honest about it. People have made judgments about it, and I've certainly felt the sting of rejection from being too big. But NONE of those words, judgments, or rejections have been as harsh or as frequent as what I've done to myself, and still do to myself daily. That will stop. I wouldn't want my daughter or son to talk to themselves in such a way, so why would I think it was O.K. for me to? And self-criticism and condemnation rarely bring about positive change, they just bring about punitive, destructive behavior. I don't want that anymore.
I may never get to a size most other people would consider normal, but I can get to a better size. I will not get any younger, but I can take care of what I have and show it off to its best potential.
There are days when I will do better at this, and days when I might not. That's O.K. But when it comes to my own life, from now on: COUNT ME IN!