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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I just have to write about something that's been on my heart for a long while. I think many of us believe we will be happier if we lose weight, if we fit into a certain size or a specific number appears on the scale. I'll admit it, no matter how much I tell myself and others it's about living a healthy lifestyle I still find my self-esteem connected to my weight. The reality is, even if I weigh what I did 35 years ago, I won't be happy with my body, at least not completely. I would still be able to point out numerous flaws. Something has to change.

I have been at a "healthy" weight since last summer. Yes, my numbers have had some fluctuations up or down a bit...but I have been at a healthy weight. But I find myself finding fault rather than celebrating the victory of being stronger and healthier.

We are so much more than what is on the outside!! Why is so much energy wasted on trying to attain some unrealistic ideal? I'm all for getting healthier, that's why I am still here! I know I can improve my eating habits, challenge my body physically, learn and grow....

But the negative thoughts have got to stop...I know I'm not alone, right?

I was at Target yesterday, trying on summer dresses. There was a mom and two teen girls in the dressing room at the same time. They were trying on bathing suits and the mom and one girl had found suits...but one of the girls was in tears, saying how disgusting she looked, nothing would look good on her....etc...I couldn't help overhearing, or checking her out when they left....she was a beautiful, healthy-looking, young woman...would swap bodies in a heartbeat...but she was in tears...now if a teen girl who looked like that was in tears over HER body, then I should just not ever leave the house!!! Right?!

This is just wrong. Our bodies are created with a lot of variety in color, shape, height, size...if we are at a healthy weight for our frame and able to move freely and do the things we love, shouldn't that be fabulous?!!! We delight in the variety of flowers and trees in nature...why not the way human bodies are made?

This makes me really angry. Angry that women and girls beat themselves up and waste tons of energy, time and money to look like someone they are not. I wanted to tell that girl she was beautiful, hold her head up high and smile!!!

But maybe I need to start with the woman in the mirror.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD9898685
    Sheri, .......you are a very beautiful, wonderful, vibrant, sexy, talented and awesome person! You have inner and outer beauty, and I would love to trade places with YOU in a heartbeat. But I am so happy my hubby loves me the way I am. The problem with me is my medical problems, which have definitely improved. I am working on it so I can be here for my grandchildren and I truly am enJOYing what life has to offer. Look inside and see the awesome person you are, and it will reflect to others. Because YOU ARE beautiful! I am sorry about the teenager, and I hope they are working on her self esteem. I had to go to a self esteem class once myself. We were told to say 10 positive affirmations about ourselves everyday. Something that you really liked about yourself. Like for me, ..I am a good and loving mother. I am a devoted wife. Things that you like about you! We are wonderful! We can do it!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3096 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/9/2012 11:22:29 AM

    I wish I knew the magic answer. I don't have, nor have I ever really had, that kind of attitude toward my body. I loved reading Glamour in my late teens and through my 20s, but never fell into the idea that I needed to be model tall and thin. (Well, okay, I was disappointed to stop at 5'7-3/4" rather than reach my hoped for 5'10", but it had nothing to do with models at all.)

    Maybe for me it is because I don't think of the body as defining me - but rather as my tool to interact with the world. How I define me has so much more to do with qualities. I can be happy I was honest in a tough situation, that I was there to empathize or offer advice, that I remembered a critical piece of information, that I completed a task well before the deadline, and even that I was able to lift more weight on a particular machine than last week. Sure, that last has to do with the body, but the ability of it rather than the appearance.
    3097 days ago
    Great blog, really got me to thinking even though I am a long way from a healthy weight.

    emoticon emoticon
    3097 days ago
  • CANDOK1260
    emoticon blog i hope some mom read and think about it
    3097 days ago
    Wow! Everything is so, so very true!
    3097 days ago
    Your blog says it all...I love it! I want to also come around to having the kind of self esteem that helps me truly love and accept myself. Your words have an impact on me. I too have considered that even if I got as thin as I was 20 years ago, I would still only see my flaws. Fault finding must stop now!
    3097 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9786087
    GREAT BLOG! You are so right and I can relate so very much! Time to look in the mirror with some positive, thankful thoughts! emoticon
    3097 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    Well said!
    3097 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10764669
    This blog hits home with me -- BIG TIME!! I never had a weight problem so I could never understood the difficult process that is involved in losing weight -- until now.

    I was at JCP yesterday with my 19 year old daughter. We have a family event on Saturday. I will admit, I sat in the dressing room and cried. I knew I was gaining weight, but never admitted to myself how heavy I had gotten. Why? Because I'm a stay-at-home mom who is comfortable in her jeans and t-shirts and never needs to get dressed up. So after my little pity party and wondering how I could get out of this event, I realized some things.

    Number 1 -- This event isn't about ME. It's about a little 8 year old girl making her First Communion.

    Number 2 -- I can't allow a certain in-law to get inside my head and make me feel less of a person because I'm no longer a size 7!

    Number 3 -- What did my obsessing over my weight say to my daughter?

    After my daughter made her purchase, we walked to the car and I had a frank conversation with her. I tease her sometimes "A moment on lips, forever on the hips" -- and we laugh. But yesterday I told her that even though that's a cute little saying, I wanted her to be mindful of what she eats -- and not just because she could some weight -- but because she needs to learn at 19 that her body needs to carry her through her life and it needs to be healthy and strong. I told her she needs to make wise decisions now that will become habit-forming. She knows that I think she's beautiful -- not just because she is pretty and has a cute figure, but because she is a wonderful, caring, thoughtful human being.

    I so agree . . . . . . this constant obsession of our bodies needs to stop. We need to love ourselves unconditionally right now and we can't let anyone tell us we're not worthy or not good enough or can't do something because we happen to be overweight!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your story. I hope that the girl in the store learns to look in the mirror and see how wonderful she is!!

    3097 days ago
    Your story about the beautiful, young girl at Target makes me sad. I hope her family is working on improving her self-esteem or she could have some REAL problems.

    Sorry you are feeling like this. Time to stop the negativity is right! During the time I've been your spark friend, I know you are a healthy person. Sure you indulge now and then, and you're aware of your sweet tooth. You are so good at getting your fitness in and that helps you when you indulge and you are able to maintain a healthy weight. Time to do some daily positive self-talk about YOU! That really helps me when I get into a funk. I know that even when I get to a healthy weight, I'll still have some realistic body issues ~ flabby under arms, facial hair, leg vein issues ~ but I'll also be HEALTHIER! I have to accept me as I am and go with it!

    You are a beautiful person ~ inside and out!
    3097 days ago
    I can so relate to this Sheri. It is exactly the way I feel when I look in the mirror too even though I have been at a healthy weight and just 3 lbs above goal for almost 2 years now. Lets do this together....positive self talk from now on :)
    3097 days ago
    Love love love this blog...

    I go through this with my girls at work (adolescent teens) and I often think to myself...practice what you preach.

    I don't care about a number or a pant size, even though I know that the number on the scale tells me if I'm improving and I'm not stuck on a certain pant size...just know that I need to get smaller...all for my health and of course my self esteem.

    Although, I remember being estatic about losing weight along my journey, but I've put lots back on. I look at a past photo of myself when I was at the weight that I am now and I was smiling, because I felt better and was losing. Now I am down and beating myself up for allowing the weight gain. I looked at the photo and thought about starting over with that smile. After all, I have not gained it all back! But I can't find my smile...

    For me, it's about being scared for my health. Of course I want to look good. Looking good to me isn't about a size...it's the feeling. I guess when you have been as big as I was, you'll just settle for happiness and good health.

    i have humorous goals...like...

    I don't want my stomach to sit on my lap...ewww
    I don't want to squeeze into a lawn chair or break one

    To me, these improvements are a better judgement of how I'm doing.

    I don't know...the world is full of what we are supposed to look like. If we were all so "perfect"...how boring of a world it would be.

    3097 days ago
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