I have wasted so much time worrying about what I look like. Recently, I went through all of my journals dating back to 1998 and tore out every page that had any negativity about my weight or any complaint about what I looked like. I had quite the pile to burn.
Over the years I have tried so many diets, but none of them would stick for longer than 3 weeks. They say it takes 21 days for a habit to stick, but that never quite happened for me. Most of my life I would hate to look at pictures of myself because I thought I looked fat. Sometimes I would not go out because I didn’t have anything to wear that magically made me look skinny.
I don’t know how many times I have said I am never eating another chip or I’m never drinking again. I’ve asked my husband to not let me eat bread or whatever food I was deeming bad at that time. He started to just roll his eyes at me and say, “Yes dear”.
Think of all the fun I missed out on because I was afraid I didn’t look good enough. There are still days when I refuse to look in the mirror before getting in the shower or keep my cover up on when we are at the lake, but they are getting fewer and fewer. I think about all of the delicious food I passed up because I was on some sort of restrictive diet.
I have not found that miracle diet or easy fix to get skinny. I look the same, but I have decided that it is time to love myself. It’s time to stop worrying about what I look like and just be healthy. We all are born with different body types and they change all the time. You are who you are, and it is up to each one of us to be the kindest we can to ourselves.
I started doing Pilates with a good friend of mine. I was going once a week and started noticing changes in my body that I liked, so I started going twice a week! I love it and I love how Pilates makes me feel. I also take walks with my husband and my dog several times a week. This may seem like too little or too much exercise for you, but this is what works for me right now. My clothes fit a little better, and I feel more confident.
When it comes to food, I still struggle, but I’m learning to make decisions about what I eat on a moment to moment basis. For example, for breakfast should I take the easy way out and have toast and peanut butter or do I take the time to make oatmeal and cut up some fruit? Should I drink that second glass of wine? Do I need a second helping? Listen to what my body is telling me.
There are so many rules out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat or what types of exercise are going to make you lose weight. At this point in my life, I need to decide what works best for me. I know I should eat less and exercise more and love myself while I’m doing that. We all know what to do, we just have to do it.
When I worry about what I look like, that means I am comparing myself to others. When I tell myself, my hips are too big, I must be comparing them to someone. As Rebecca Campbell says in her book, “Light is the New Black”, comparison is an act of violence against the self. We need to quit being so mean to ourselves. Another huge waste of time. God made me in His image, just like everyone else. We are all unique and we are not supposed to all look the same. I need to let go of society’s focus on being skinny and instead make good choices that make me happy and healthy. Each of us as individuals need to look for the ways that can help us feel good, whatever that means to us.
Life is not about being perfect, it’s about being real, true, transparent and authentically you. We need to quit being so mean to ourselves. Learn to love what you were born with!
I want to live a long time and be here for my family and friends. I am going to quit wasting my time worrying about what I look like.
“Accept who you are, love who you are, and build a lifestyle focused on health, not some abstract idea of perfection.”Body Love, by Kelly LeVeque