I love Operation Beautiful
I've written about weight loss time and again--my struggle to find balance and control disordered, unhealthy patterns. Though it terrifies me to put my struggles out there, I feel like the mental aspect of it (which can be the biggest road black) is finally on the upswing...because of five words I said out loud to my husband before falling asleep a few nights ago:
"Have I let myself go?"
As soon as it left my lips, I knew it was true (of course Rhyno didn't agree). I knew that gaining weight had done more to my body that add pounds. It had zapped me dry of my confidence on all levels. I realized that I've been putting much less effort into myself in the last year and a half while gaining back the weight that I had lost. Gone were the days of putting my hair up in funky styles with bobby pins, now I was shoving my curls into a messy top-knot. Since I out-chunked most of my cute clothing I was sticking to slouchy sweaters and stretch pants. I had let myself go in the familiar sense--the effort just wasn't there for the last year and a half. It isn't fair to me or my husband that I had made my looks and how I presented myself a last priority. Don't get me wrong, I'd dress it up for client meetings and big events but day to day it was schlubville.
I'm not saying looks are everything because clearly health is, but I used to really enjoy finding a colorful and fun outfit, pairing it with a couple fun accessories, slapping on makeup (my mascara techniques are the stuff of legends), and letting my curls fly. I had allowed a few extra pounds to override my love for looking and feeling adorable.
The next morning, thinking about the question I'd asked Rhyno I decided to let myself go in another sense. Let that naggy voice that says, "Well, you're chubby, why bother trying to pretty it up?" (P.S. Isn't that naggy voice just the biggest bitch?) I am letting go of the negative thoughts about myself and learning to love my body even if I am a work in progress. I'm slowly learning to let go of that naggy, uber-bitch of an inner voice. I know, it's so mega cheese-ball but I've been making an active effort in the last week or so to focus less on the cellulite on my thighs and more on the feet below them with a perfect arch. I smile at myself in the mirror after brushing my teeth because I'm working on getting healthy and losing weight, but I still love myself and my body now. For all its flaws, my body gets me where I need to go and responds to healthy changes as it should. I have all my limbs and digits and I'm able-bodied. That should be good enough.
We live in this world where if someone admits that they like something about themselves, they are conceited or boastful. I am wired to focus on the flaws instead of making them positive things. Ew, so over it. I love my shoulders and my crazy curly hair and my eyelashes when I glob them with magic mascara and my lips and my feet. I love my body and am working to make sure it is as healthy as it can be and that change really starts from the inside of your noggin. We've all seen those great Dove ads about seeing yourself differently and we SHOULD see ourselves differently. When my friends talk about their physical flaws, honestly? 99% of the time I can't even see them. You can be a work in progress like I am (with necessary work to be done) without hating yourself or your bod.
So basically, long and rambling story short, I was feeling sorry for myself one night and I realized this magical gem: something doesn't have to be perfect for you to be in love with it...and that includes YOU.
You are beautiful! I mean it. Now go forth and kick some ass today, you stunner.