Oh boy. It’s been awhile. I’d like to say that I took a break from writing for some thrilling reason. Some unbelievable tale of courage and adventure. But really, it was just because I was tired and needed a rest.
This hiatus, though, reminded me how much I’m fueled by writing and sharing my stories with the world. I’m excited for the kids to return to school next week because it’s just easier to write when I’m not constantly interrupted by “mom, I’m hungry,” “mom, let’s go to the pool,” “mom, she’s TOUCHING me.”
Anyhoo, here’s the thing about me taking such a prolonged break from writing….I’m so ready to be BACK AT IT. While on break I’ve made all sorts of really great decisions for myself and my family and my business. I’ve gathered up stories to tell. I’ve taken lots of photos that I can attach to blog posts (being married to an intellectual property attorney makes one a little jumpy about violating copyright laws). So, with any luck, I’ll be back in your inboxes and newsfeeds more regularly.
Now – onto the important stuff …. the story I want to share. I started writing this at the beginning of the summer, which you can tell from the first paragraph. I thought about editing it … then I realized I could just be honest with you and let you know I started it THEN and I’m finishing in NOW. Because, in all honesty, this needs to end … now.
So, tell me what you think in the comments. It’s time to begin a new chapter. Rebirth and all that jazz.
But that’s not how I know it’s summer.
I know because EVERY WHERE I look we’re talking about body image. There are blogs on it. Books on it. Tweets on it. Random Facebook posts on it. Everywhere you turn you’re inundated with the “Get the Summer Body You’ve Always Wanted” message. Just as prominently featured is the “It’s Ok To Love Your Body Like It Is” message. I don’t disagree – but I do take issue. So, let me set the record straight before you think I’m some kind of body shaming life coach.
I think everyone should love themselves as they are. I think everyone is beautiful, regardless what the scale, their mother, their cousin, or their “best” friend has said about them. And I wish we lived in a world where each individual person recognized their own unique beauty.
But we don’t. Is it evil mysogyny that caused this? Is it societal pressures? Is it the porn industry? Is it our own weak constitutions??
Frankly, it’s doesn’t matter WHY we don’t live in that perfect world.
What matters, at least to me, is that this is the world we live in … so let’s live in it. Steep yourself in it. At the end of the day – when you remove all the blame and the worry and the accusing and the anger – who is really responsible for how you feel about your body?
Yeah. You. You’re responsible.
So, I’m going to pass along an amazing piece of wisdom that my husband passed along to me back in 2008 (or was it 2009 … irrelevant) when I was obsessively caught up in being unhappy about my weight:
“I love you no matter what you look like. But you’re clearly not happy. So, either start loving yourself as you are, or do something to change it.”
How’s that for a truth bomb?
As for me — I set about changing my weight. That might be the road for you. You might need to set about loving yourself as you are. The thing is — neither of those decisions is the wrong one. The real problem is that when we’re inundated with media on one side or the other, we’re often left feeling bad about the choice we make. Don’t. Don’t feel bad about the choices you make. But, if you make a choice and it makes you feel bad … well, then, change your choice!
I know it’s easier said than done. It’s frightening to realize JUST how “in the driver’s seat” we are. But you can do this. You can start small. Or you can go big. Just start in some way. Rarely are the decisions we make on a daily basis life or death. So if you make a “wrong” decision? So what. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and then choose again. Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books in the 70s/80s? Well, your life is YOUR adventure … and you get to choose.
As soon as you start choosing, you’ll realize that this advice can work on ALL things in your life … not just your body image woes. Don’t like your job? Either start loving what you can about it or do something to change it. Don’t love your relationship? Either start learning to love what’s great about it or do something to change it.
Does that feeling empowering? Good.
Now go on … go about loving yourself as you are (with the attendant responsibility to eat a big cone of ice cream) or work on changing it.
If you get scared, I’ll be waiting right here, ready to help.
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