Thursday, January 12, 2012

Loving Ourselves and Others

Today's post is a bit of an elaboration of yesterday's, and also a bit rambly, I am afraid...

We often forget that fitness is a lifetime journey. It's great to have goals, and great to be always working to better yourself, but it's so easy to get caught up in hating your body now, and telling yourself you will love yourself "when _____." Truth is, you have to love yourself at ALL stages of your journey! NOBODY is perfect, and that size 3 next to you is probably freaking out about her imaginary love handles just as much as you are freaking out about your imaginary butt jiggle.

A friend of mine, we'll call her Stacy, recently told me about trying on bridesmaid dresses with a size-4 friend. In a nutshell, the seamstress called Stacy fat and compared her to her size-4 friend, making several other hurtful statements. Now, I don't know what size Stacy is, but I do know that she isn't fat. I also don't think there is a single thing wrong with being a size 4, but I do know that not everyone is meant to be a size 4. The fact that an older woman (the seamstress) would stoop to being mean and hurtful makes me sad and angry. In a society where loving ourselves is a daily struggle against the pressure to look like Kate Moss, who is she to take such a blow to Stacy's self-esteem? Who is she to say a size 4 is ideal?

I am a firm believer that beauty comes in many different packages. Cliche? Maybe. But true, nonetheless. I hope Stacy realizes this, and I hope both she and her size-4 friend love themselves and know they are beautiful EXACTLY as they are.

I hope that I can learn to love myself and my body as a size 10 and stop standing in front of the mirror in disgust.

I hope that seamstress will learn to keep her mouth shut before she destroys someone else's perhaps already-shaky sense of self-worth.

I hope all of us can set fitness and health goals that aren't based on reaching an unrealistic 'ideal weight.'

Let's practice together. Loving ourselves. Right now, at this very moment.

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