Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

I am really starting to see some improvement in certain areas of my body from all my working out!  I can tell a big difference in my obliques, thighs, calves, back and arms... this is fantastic because I was beginning to wonder if I would ever have any definition anywhere on my body (besides stretch marks, of course).  The part of my body that I struggle with the most is my abs (actually, I don't think it qualifies as 'abs' yet, how about gut?).  I knew that losing my post-baby belly was going to be a challenge when my neighbor kindly asked me last January, "When is that baby coming?"  I was honestly able to tell her "Oh a month ago."
The thing is, I still feel like I look pregnant now, 13 months after delivery.  I mean, I could probably smuggle snacks into a movie theatre under my stomach flap.  And the stretch marks, oh the stretch marks.  I have flames from my groin to my navel.  I suppose they are cheaper than tattoos...

There are times when I see a picture of myself and shriek, "My word, Quasimodo, stand up straight!"?  There are others when I am standing up too straight, and look like a linebacker with a giraffe neck.  Of course, there are plenty where my gut looks too big, I can distinctly see my triple chin, and "Holy cow, look at my flabby arms!"

The truth is, none of us are probably 100% happy with our appearance.  It doesn't matter how skinny, chubby, bony, pretty, jiggly, or zitty someone is, almost everyone is insecure about something regarding outward appearance.
It's easy for me to roll my eyes when a thin woman complains about not being able to gain weight, or when someone with a 'perfect' physique whines about being fat.  When that super skinny woman at the gym keeps saying how she needs to work on her abs, I just want to slap her and say "you are so skinny that you don't even get to pluralize that.  You have an ab, not abs."  But I just smile and say "Oh me too, plus I should stop eating cookies!"  But, in all honesty, no matter what size we are, we are all a little bit skewed in the way we see ourselves.  Even the beanpoles have fat days, the models have bad hair days, and the goddesses get breakouts.
We make it so easy to compare ourselves to our friends and sisters.  We set goals for ourselves based on their achievements or failures and when we can't meet those goals we tear ourselves down.  Some women begin to tear down others around them as well.  Sad.
The thing is, we can only be the best version of ourselves.  One of my friends has a quote on her bathroom wall that says "Be your own kind of beautiful".  How perfect, for her and for her daughters.  Even on my very best day, I know I will never look as good as Eva Mendez on her very worst day.  That's just the the truth of it.  When are going to accept the bodies that God gave us, start setting realistic goals, and stop comparing ourselves to others?  Young girls are using disgusting 'thinspiration' pictures to motivate them to lose weight, but they are being taught that behavior by you and by me.  We're all guilty, not just the media.
I talk a lot about balance.  I need to lose weight as I am currently at an unhealthy size.  So, slowly but surely, I am working on getting more fit.  I will probably never love my body or feel like I look perfect.  I don't want to be one of those women.  Conceded is not what I am striving for.  I just want be healthy and to love myself.  I want that for you, too.

Remember... you're In Good Company.

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