Loving the woman in the mirror

In semi reply to/conjunction with Angela’s post this morning I have some thoughts that have been running through my mind today definitely, but really over the last few weeks.  This morning my daughter, K, and I were in my bathroom getting ready for the day.  She said “Mommy that is a REALLY pretty shirt you have on. Is it new?” I said “No.  I wear it all the time” to which she quickly replied “I have never seen it.”   Before I even thought about it I blurted out “Well I always wear it under a sweater so you can’t see my fat”.  She scowled at me and said “You are not fat, mommy…you are beautiful.  You should be proud of who you are. I am.”

After immediately tearing up I hugged and thanked her for being such a “sweet pea”.  These little ones hear our words as expectations of how they should look.  Just as we have learned from magazines and other forms of media what you’re “supposed” to look like.  These women’s  bodies are their careers. They have unlimited budgets to spend on custom prepared and delivered meals , personal trainers, hair and makeup artists on call 24/7…and the list goes on and on.  But somehow we believe those are the naturally REAL pretty women. And I see it happening in my own household.

Now…don’t get me wrong.  I am in no way using this as an excuse NOT to try to lose weight and get into a healthier me. It’s a need, not just a want.  After a year of lonely depression followed by a superbly cold winter of eating…as my woman Oprah says, “It’s time to put yourselves back on your to-do list.”

Starting March 1st, as it is the first day I can sign up on my new cheap plan through the school district, I am going to leave work daily at 4:30 and work out at the YMCA for an hour before picking up K.  I have to go there to pick her up anyway, so this is really a win win no excuses plan.  And…with my new job it is only about $20 a month for the whole family. Perfection.  And while I would really LOVE to lose a good 60 pounds, its more about being HEALTHIER and loving myself again.  For those of you sitting next to me on the HMS Self Loathing…lets embark on this together!  

Here are a few suggestions on how we are going to start loving the body we were given and make it work for us, improving our own body image.

  1. Try and not weigh yourself. Go by how you feel. If you are at the gym exercising regularly and eating well, throw the scale away. You don’t need it if you’re doing everything else correctly. It just leads to obsession!
  2. Surround yourself with realistic images of women. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and stop perusing through US Weekly, Cosmo and Vogue in the grocery line.
  3. Look for clothes that compliment your OWN body shape and size… NOT THE ONE YOU WANT TO HAVE. Wearing clothes that fit you properly and look good on YOU will help you feel better. However, please note, external beauty isn’t only about your size. It’s about how you carry yourself, your confidence, your aura. Stop those negative thoughts.
  4. Exercise. Do something 3-6 times a week that makes you sweat. The endorphins do great things for your brain. They give you feelings of euphoria. It will in turn have beneficial results on your body. It’s a whole positive cycle.
  5. You’re gonna have to be with yourself for a very long time. Treat yourself kindly. Wake up gently. Grab a cup of warm tea. Shower with care. Get ready slowly if you can. Take a hot bath at night with lavender or chamomile oil or salts. It’s not realistic every day, but pampering yourself makes you feel better. And when you feel better in your brain, it shows everywhere.

I have a hard time especially with the last one. I don’t do good with “me time” and treating myself very nicely.  I focus more on getting things done around the house and for the family to slow down enough for MY needs.  Lets cut ourselves some slack…learning to love yourself inside and out is a process.  Keep me posted on your wins and struggles as will I!



3 Comments to “Loving the woman in the mirror”

  1. i loved both of these posts/blogs. I’m in…and it terrifies me. I am an emotional eater and just undid in the last three months what it took me a year to accomplish in 2009/2010. I find myself searching for a way to exercise, and yet saying, I don’t have time to work it in. However, I can’t afford NOT to. You know you aren’t feeling healthy and ALIVE when you don’t even want to fold the laundry sitting RIGHT in front of you…lol.

    Truth is, I am just as guilty of talking about myself in front of my every-increasingly-self-conscious 13 year old. (As I imagine a lot of moms are…without even meaning it!) My daughter is totally pre-occupied with image and I wonder…is it any coincidence that I am as well…I say self-degrading things to myself daily***hourly. I am currently listening (again) to the book “5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter”. (I find listening to a book is the most likely way I’ll finish it, with my busy schedule.) In any case, the first chapter addresses image…did you know that by the time a girl is 12 years old she has seen over 75,000 commercials/images projecting the idea that physical perfection=beauty? I am appalled… As mothers, we have to send a different message to try and combat what the world says to girls…and boys about what beautiful truly is.

    “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”” 1 Samuel 16:6-8

    Here’s praying that I find the time, and the will be know that being healthy is worth it…And to somehow send a positive message to my daughter while working on myself! It’s about Health not Image.

  2. As you know I was thin a lot of years. Didn’t mean I was healthy. Meant I smoked, drank coffee and didn’t eat properly. Advanced age came, quit smoking, got borderline diabetes and gained weight. Now I try and fight my weight as it definitely is bad for diabetes and my heart. Being thin for years left me with the impression that I could eat whole chocolate cakes if I wanted. Drink anything I wanted, “go ahead and have three chocolate mochas”. That isn’t true any more and now I have to learn to eat better, drink better and exercise more. I still love me more today than I did then. God has made that difference.

  3. I loved reading this! I especially like the “look for clothes that compliment your OWN body” I am a fashion dunderhead. I really don’t know what clothes to buy that look good on me. I see people all the time who are bigger than me and look great in what they are wearing. I need advice in this area for sure. Memorial Day shopping date, perhaps?

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