drop that zero and get with a hero

by humanmama on June 29, 2011

A lot of you have given me feedback about the posting on weight that I did a few weeks ago. And I loved hearing what you had to say over the different media outlets. Struggles with weight are universal, and an especially female problem. Men, don’t think I’d leave you out. I know lots of men (*in my own family) who feel angry and self-deprecating about gaining weight. But not like women do.

Truth is: a lot of us treat ourselves like we’re our own abusive boyfriend. When something goes wrong, we think “that was so stupid of me!” If we gain a few pounds, we call ourselves “failure!” And when often doubt ourselves when we want to do something new or different. We sit on the beach thinking “I’ll never be like that again,” or, if you’re me, just “I’ll never be like that,” [wistful sigh]. We look at our wrinkles and think “Too late! I’m old now!” So many abusive and horrible thoughts go through our heads.

I love to look at my hubby when he is looking in the mirror at himself. Usually when he gets into the shower there’s a moment when I’m asking him a question and he’s looking away, distracted. I turn to look and he’s looking at himself in the mirror. Even if he comments that he’s gaining some weight, I say, “You know you’re still hot,” and he glances towards his mirror-image, smiles knowingly, and says “Yeah, I am, aren’t I?!” before getting into the shower.You gotta love that! Actually you gotta do that. For your own self.

I read an article many years ago in which a woman had asked her husband to say “You’re so beautiful” every morning to her when they woke up. For many years, she wrote, he would kind-of jokingly say as they got out of bed  “Oh yeah, and honey? ‘You’re Soooo Beautiful!'” But one day he looked at her, truly, and said “You know what? You are so beautiful.” What a good woman for training him like that. And oh, that we could train ourselves to look at our mirror image and say, “Oh, honey, you’re so beautiful.”

My trouble, maybe yours too, is that I can always see how other people are beautiful. Even the worst people have something redeeming about them (I’m not getting into murderers here, just those relatives you can’t stand). How they parent. How they relate to other people. Their eyes. Their laugh. There’s always something gorgeous I can see about others. I just have a hard time seeing that beauty in myself. So I try to take another look and say to my mirror image (wish a knowing smile, like Carpenter), “Yeah, I am, aren’t I?!”

Stop treating yourself like you’re your own abusive boyfriend. If there’s one thing I can leave you with it’s the strength to laugh at yourself and your situation. Drop that bad habit of hating yourself and get in the healthier mindset of just appreciating who you are, and laughing about the stuff that goes sideways.

Because there’s a lot of things in this world that go wrong, and only so many that go right.

And I think that you’re one of them.

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