“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ~ C. JoyBell C.
At a recent visit to the doctor’s office I had some routine checks done. Afterward, the doctor flipped through the findings and said, “Blood pressure, good. Pulse, good. Weight, okay.”
He then continued talking about other things, but my mind was still on his previous words. “Weight, okay.”
Why wasn’t my weight “good” like my pulse and blood pressure?
I had managed to completely skim over the fact that my vital signs were absolutely fine. I immediately fixated on the physical aspect—and added my own negative slant to it.
There is so much that is so deeply ingrained within us that even when we are self-assured, we still get caught off guard sometimes.
A few weeks before the doctors appointment I’d gone shopping for a winter coat. I found one I liked, grabbed two sizes for comparison, and went through to the fitting room. One size was slightly too snug under the arms and the other gave me more freedom to move.
But the better fitting coat had a label that read “large.” And I had a problem with it.
I tried both coats on again, as though somehow expecting a different result. I told myself I was just making sure. Just being certain. Once again I determined that the larger size was a better fit. Except this time, I played it a little differently.
Instead of just looking at my body shape and size in my reflection, I looked into my eyes. I reminded myself that I am a beautiful, empowered woman who does not permit herself to be restricted by limiting labels. Who does not measure her self-worth by numbers.
And off I went to the cash register smiling.
Both experiences gave me a bit of a wobble, but I was also grateful for the opportunity to remind myself of what truly matters.
It can be challenging at times to keep our confidence in tact, because even when we deflect the worst of what some of society (and almost all of the media) tries to throw at us, occasionally it finds a way through.
Yes, I could be slimmer. I could say no to the glass of wine or the homemade fudge. I could. But—empowerment alert—I don’t want to.
I choose my life. All of it. I choose the thoughts that I feed my mind and I choose the food that I feed my body. I strive to ensure that I’m in balance.
There is a space between greed and deprivation and I (mostly) live there. Sometimes I wander. I’m okay with that. Because honestly, it’s better for me to visit both directions occasionally than to be hell-bent on staying firmly in the middle.
I follow a plant-based diet and I exercise every day. But I don’t want to be fixated on a so-called ideal (and unrealistic) image that doesn’t allow me to enjoy my life.
Sometimes a little loss of control is good for the soul.
Like many of us, I used to obsess about my weight. I would step onto the bathroom scales every single day and look to see if I could hit that magic number. Quite often I did. I also had a variety of hospital trips that unearthed low blood pressure, repeated urinary tract infections, and a brutal inner ear infection.
And that’s why I went to the cash register with the large coat and a larger grin.
The bathroom scales cannot tell me how much my contribution to this world counts. They cannot tell me the density of the passion I feel for what I do. They cannot tell me the value of my cherished relationships.
What if we stopped measuring our waistlines and started measuring our magical moments? The ones where we laugh like lunatics with our friends. The ones where we look down and find our hand wrapped in someone else’s. The ones where we let ourselves get gorgeously lost in a book or a movie. The ones where we fill up on love and get dizzy drunk with happy.
Will you get to the end of your days thinking, “I’m so glad I spent all those years sucking in my stomach”?
Or will you smile as remember how much you enjoyed creating precious memories?
Will your final thoughts be that you wish your thighs had been slimmer or smoother?
Or will you just be grateful that they carried you?
Will you ponder on what everyone else thought of your life?
Or will you just think “I’m glad I did it my own glorious way”?
I may have the odd moment of self-doubt (aka being human) but there are many, many more moments where I remember that I’ve come a long way since being that younger, slimmer, unhappier, less confident girl.
I’m now a woman with a wonderful weapon—an empowered mind. And believe me when I tell you, she doesn’t play small.
Feet on scale image via Shutterstock