Something has been weighing on my mind ever since yesterday’s beach day. In the group of 12 adults and 2 toddlers , conversations about weight and body image kept surfacing throughout the day.
Some of that is surely to be expected, after all, swimsuits = abundance of bare flesh.
What bothered me though, is how relentless we are in judgement of ourselves. I was saddened to see that it doesn’t matter a great deal if we’re 22 or 62…. The judgements are still there:
•”I shouldn’t have this cupcake”
•”How often do you check your weight ?”
• “I know if I work really hard I could lose it”
• “Don’t you dare post that picture unless you crop out my arms”
•”I can’t wear a swimsuit, I have to keep my legs covered.”
•”Oh yeah, like I could really do that with my little noodle arms”
•”Standing next to me, you look tiny, so no worries!”
And on and on. I found myself wondering when will we ever be happy?
When will we realize that we are often harder on ourselves than anyone else would dream of being, and that we truly are lovable and amazing no matter what size clothes we wear?
When will we give ourselves permission to appreciate our bodies for the incredible masterpieces they are, and when will we learn to embrace our imperfections ?
This is a tricky one for me. I shared my observations with Hawea and she remarked that “it’s all relative”. And, I couldn’t disagree.
After all, I’m the one who has been desperately searching for balance the last two years, jumping from one diet theory to another: juicing and eating “clean” foods, only to relapse into a month of eating any and all junk food that crosses my path.
And I’m no stranger to the all or nothing exercise game. Some weeks I’m up at 4 am to fit it all in, and some weeks I can barely pull myself out of bed, and “fork to mouth” is the only inspired activity I have.
Although the constant (self critical ) chatter at the beach was disturbing , it was something I needed to see. There, in the faces of my beautiful, perfectly imperfect friends, I saw my own reflection.
Truthfully, we were a mixed group. Some of us are skinny and noodle-y, some buff and sculpted. And some of us have an abundance of wobbly bits and jiggly parts. But when it comes right down to it, none of that actually matters.
What matters is our freedom and ability to immerse ourselves in the ocean and sunshine, because our bodies are healthy and able; our ability to come together and celebrate our friend’s birthday and appreciate the fact we have such an awesome woman in our lives. It’s our ability to love ourselves, love each other and let ourselves be loved.