I have struggled with my weight for 20 years or so. For reasons that I’m not going to delve into here, I gained quite a bit of weight during a 15 year span — 80 pounds to be exact (give or take depending on the day, the craving, the emotional turmoil). I’m betting that many of you are shaking your heads and whispering, “me too” at this moment. We are women.
It astounds me to hear women, that by all outward appearances are physically perfect, complain about their looks, their weight, their need to change something about their person. But… we are women. By nature, we are seemingly predestined for a life of wondering if we are physically good enough.
Hair too straight.
Hair too curly.
Eyelashes too short.
I’ve tried every diet plan known. The only thing I hadn’t tried up until a few months ago… learning to like myself. A new concept and not one that has come without diving into my own faults and weaknesses — I think we, as women, are programmed to recognize positivities in other women. We are programmed to see beauty and intelligence and bravery in other women but we have a hard time recognizing it in ourselves. Self-awareness is hard… yet vital.
So, a few months ago I announced to a few friends via the internet that I was going to get healthy (something about announcing an endeavor like losing weight to a bunch of people keeps you accountable). I immediately started a yoga practice thinking it would help clear my thoughts and sort through some things that were burdening my world. Yoga is not an easy exercise. It is not about meditating and lying still and “kumbaya”. It is a workout — one I had trouble making it all the way through when I first started. I also dusted off my year old treadmill and climbed aboard. Finally, and hardest of all, I changed the way I thought about food. This being the hardest because, I think, as women we turn to outside sources to help feed the need that seems to be vacant within our own worlds. Learning to look at food differently meant I had to learn to look at myself… just look at myself. I didn’t do this alone. I reached out to some complete strangers (including a littlefluffycat) and some close friends.
It has been seven months since I started taking control of myself and trying to know what it feels like to like me. I now do my yoga practice everyday, I walk on the treadmill 6 miles a day, I throw in a few other workouts here and there as time permits or my emotions need it, and I eat healthy. I have lost around 50 pounds. I would like to lose about 40 more. I recently had pictures taken with my kids and there are a couple that I think will look nicely here on the blog (soon). I guess that’s part of the “learning to like myself” thing.
I think that we, as women, have a tremendous power to heal each other and ourselves. We have the power to remind each other that we should like ourselves. We have the power to be good to each other and to say to each other that we are okay and we are not alone.