At my heaviest, I remember spending a lot of time wishing I was prettier and thinner and that I was anything but me. Yeah, those weren’t great days. I didn’t put a lot of time or energy into myself, and I spent my days looking like a shlump, thinking I wasn’t worth it and wondering what the point was of trying to find clothes that fit or waste a few minutes doing my hair and makeup.
And when I didn’t bother to do my hair or take a few minutes to choose an outfit that didn’t make me look like ass? It just got worse. I’d look in the mirror, loathing the person I saw, telling her how ugly she was and that she didn’t deserve to exist.
On the other hand, the days I took the time to take care of myself? Sure, I wasn’t thrilled looking in the mirror seeing a nearly 300 lb woman, but I could look in the mirror and see an attractive person, manage a smile, and realize I had the power to make changes for the better.
Seriously, standing in front of a mirror seething self loathing at yourself ain’t gonna help you do crap.
Yesterday, I read this post over at A Deliberate Life. Christine puts it five hundred million times better than I can. So go over there and read it rather than get a bad recap from me. Basically it’s how all the negative shit we spew at ourselves is self perpetuating. Read it. Live it. Love it.
Now, that we’re done with the depressing stuff, remember this whole self talk thing is a two way street. Yeah, we’re all pretty used to looking in the mirror and hating everything we see – society has taught us it’s okay to detest ourselves. Have you ever tried looking in the mirror and doing just the opposite?
What’s that you say? Say good things about myself? That’s not right! Well, actually it is. It’s really right. Yeah, I used to think that positive self talk was a whole bunch of hooey. Seriously. What kind of New Age, pyscho babble mumbo jumbo were people trying to get me to use? I’m gonna let you in on a pretty well kept secret: it works. It’s pretty easy and yes, you will feel silly the first one, five, ten, one hundred times you do it, but you say it to yourself enough and eventually it becomes truth.
Today, people ask me why I spend so much time picking out clothes, doing my hair, and putting on makeup every frakking day. They ask why I spend so much on getting my hair done or buying new clothes when I could just go to Goodwill and buy things that’ll pass while I’m still losing weight. My answer? Because I’m worth it. Poorly fitting clothes that don’t fit my style and make me depressed just looking at them are not for me.
This attitude about myself didn’t happen overnight.
Sure, some days it’s a chore waking up early when I’d rather sleep for another hour. And some days I have to force myself to look good. But choosing a nice outfit, doing my hair, doing make-up? The end result always makes me smile.
Other days I wake up thinking it’s not worth it, what’s the point, why do I bother. You know what? I still do it. Fake it till you make it, I say.
When I’m feeling like hell, I still plaster a smile on my face and say hi to everyone just like a good day. When someone smiles back, the day gets a little brighter.
There will always be days when nothing helps. But going through the motions, making sure you tell yourself the reason you’re doing these things is because you’re worth it, that’s what counts.
Here’s my challenge to anyone and everyone: for the next week, every time you look in the mirror, when you’re getting dressed, when you’re doing your hair or makeup, say “I’m worth it”. That’s it. Give it a try, you never know what might happen.