Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Part Deux (Getting Preachy)

This started out as a comment in response to the post below this one. But I think it deserves more. I wish I knew the answers as to how I got into the mindframe that I am in. I have no idea how much I weigh. None. I can give you a ballpark... over 200 lb, under 250 lb. I stepped on a scale back in July and it almost made me quit my brand new gym membership. Scales make me feel hopeless. Measuring makes me feel frustrated. Like... it will never be enough. During my workout today (which was a butt-kicking, led by a trainer class), I was thinking more and more about this entry. Why do I work out? Someone else in the class was talking about her diet... doing Weight Watchers. Hey- if it works for you, go for it. But I'm not there with a weight loss goal. I'm not there to achieve a certain something. Why am I there? Why do I care about getting 10K steps everyday? Why do I care about how much weight I can lift and how many reps? Bottom line. I don't. I don't care about my personal achievements. I don't care what my body looks like. Will I be excited when I walk or run a 5K? Absolutely. Will I be excited to buy new pants in a smaller size? Of course. Does my self image, my self esteem, my self worth get defined by pounds or pants size or minutes I can run? No way. The reason I am working out... my kids. I can chase my kids farther. I can go on walks with Teagan as she rides her tricycle. I can skip and hop and dance without losing my breath. I can chase up and down the hallway. I can squat and bend and twist and hop up again. If I didn't love my body the way it is now, losing 50 pounds wouldn't change that. If I didn't love myself the way I am now, losing 5 dress sizes wouldn't change that. It's a symptom vs sickness thing, in my opinion. This is a topic I frequently get passionate about. Because it hurts me when I hear beautiful, strong, passionate, intelligent women berating themselves, hating themselves, abusing themselves, hurting themselves based on their skewed perception of their body image. I also believe that my soulmate, my best friend, my biggest source of support and love and loyalty is... me. Would I constantly tell my closest friends how horrible they look? How fat they look? How unattractive or stupid or hideous or ugly they are? Can I even imagine feeling that way about the people in my life that I love and care about? Could I ever say such things to my daughter? My son? Dear God, I pray that I never have such a hard heart. And if I can't be cruel in such a fashion to people that I love, why on earth would I be so cruel to myself? AND My daughter is an extension of myself. She has my nose, my feet, my cheekbones, and other features. She hears from people... "You look like your Mommy! You look just like your Daddy!" If she is hearing those messages... and then hears Mommy (or Daddy) berating those features, putting themselves down, hating their own looks... doesn't it stand to reason that she will learn to hate those things, too?

I believe in the power of positive thinking. Of the importance of loving yourself. Of deleting the negative self talk, self abuse. Of recording new, positive, uplifting, hopeful, kind messages. Of being my own very bestest friend.

I believe that all of you are beautiful, creative, intelligent, awesome, positive, life-changing people. And my prayer, my wish... is that you see it when you look in the mirror.

7 comments:

Jim and Garret said...

Wowsers, dead on, especially about your kids looking like you. Well written and well thought. Kudos!

-Garret-

yodaobi said...

I feel mostly the same way
I mostly want to get back down to a weight where I feel healthy again.
Comforatble, active and sexy

Deep down though I don't want my son to be ashamed that he has a morbidly obese mum.

I was asked by a four year old the other day "Why is your belly so big?"
HARD question
I said "Because I loooove cookies a bit too much and I've been sick so I haven't been able to run about and burn off all the food I eat so it turns into storage in my belly"

I'm working on getting well

ImogenSky said...

that was a great post, and a rough one to read. I've read your thoughts on this subject on PO before, but not this detailed.

I truly wish I could look in the mirror and just love what/who I see, but I don't. I'm not there yet.

I'm terrified of passing this, whatever THIS is, onto both of my girls. I think its insane that I tell myself half the things that I say.

It's not about the numbers, well it wasn't, then I got on (I was curious) and saw that I was almost where I once was, and yet I was all wrong.

I guess I just need to get off my rear and move move and move some more.

I did want to tell you, that I have been gentler with myself since I heard what you said a few months back on PO...This was a great reminder.

Liz said...

ImogenSky... I am glad you have been gentler with yourself. Keep building on that. When you hear the negative self talk in your head, physically stop yourself. Imagine a tape recorder is saying that message and imagine yourself pushing delete. Then hit record and change that negative to a positive message. And repeat it half a dozen times. Do it every time you hear negative self talk. Every time. Teach yourself to love yourself, to recognize the gifts you have to offer.

We, as women, are saddled with these ideals and expectations that are completely unfair and unfounded. The truth is that we are strong and beautiful creatures. We have miraculous bodies and powerful souls.

yodaobi- My daughter has asked about my bell before. I have the benefit of being able to tell her that she and her brother took turns growing inside there so it got all stretchy. And then I go on to explain that we are all made differently. Some arebig and some are little. Some tall, some short. Some have brown hair, some have blond hair. Some have dark skin, some have light skin. None of that is what is important. What matters is how we treat people, the choices we make, how we help people. The inside matters. It's on the inside where we find our similarities.

Garret- Thank you!

ImogenSky said...

Thanks again Liz!

morninglight mama said...

Thanks for the reminder, Liz! I have such a hateful relationship with my own belly-- it's so damn hard to feel 'sexy' when my pouch hangs over my waistband... I need to follow your advice, but I also truly desire to rid myself of my big bump, too. I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say that you're doing this for your children... thanks for this post!

Joanie6726 said...

Thanks Liz, for the inspiring post. It's really giving me something to think about.