I was a little jealous.
I have a friend, who like so many of us, has struggled with her weight. Over the past 30 years, she would commit to, and eventual get tired of some new diet and exercise regimen, with the scale fluctuating up and down by as much as 25 lbs. She and her husband split up after a long marriage, one that she was deeply committed to despite its challenges. Her husband's infidelity and the breakup of her marriage hit her hard and the legal issues dragged on seemingly forever. Over that time, she lost 30ish lbs. and is thinner than she’s ever been.
I have to confess. I was a little jealous. OK – Yes, I admit it! Yet I very quickly realized I’d never want to go through what she’s been through just to be that thin. Actually, she has quite a few health issues. My momentary envy was that ugly and deeply ingrained societal image of beauty that still creeps into me at times. I’m human!
But I digress….
She talked about her weight, what she eats and how she now exercises twice a day, in addition to taking her two dogs for walks. She loves being thin and shared with me that she’s noticed men are now attracted to her, and that she’s ready to move on and start dating again. I was happy for her. But what really struck me was her view of reality - “now that I am thin, men are attracted to me.” To the most casual observer, the REALITY is that men have always been attracted to her. She's beautiful and vibrant, inside and out, and always has been. I’ve never been anywhere with her where she wasn’t attracting more than just mere glances.The only difference is that she now believes she has met the definition of attractive, and now notices the attention.
I wish her well as she begins to date again, but my deepest wish for her is self-love. I hope that she will realize that loving herself, at her current weight or +20lbs., is the most important thing. That is what will make her truly attractive, and also happy and healthy.
So maybe I didn’t digress so much after all. There’s a message for all of us – myself included, that loving ourselves is far more important than the number on the scale, or some self-imposed image of societal beauty. Self-love is really the starting point for everything, and especially our health and wellness.
Wishing you self-love,