This topic isn’t new but something that’s been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Simply put: we can be so mean to ourselves. By we, I’m including myself in this category. I’m not a big meme or online quote sharer or anything but I found this adorable picture on Pinterest one day and thought it was such a cute and sweet (no pun intended) way to make such an important point. An incident in my personal life and in my professional life also sparked this post. We really need to be kinder to ourselves.
It’s no surprise that as humans in this oversharing, overstimulating, social media crazed world that we live in, it’s natural to be pretty critical of ourselves. Instagram has easily become a popularity contest over who has the coolest, most fun life and we all know the deal with Facebook. If we take the time to slow down and really believe in ourselves, stop competing, be genuinely happy for one another and ourselves, wouldn’t we all be much more pleasant?
I didn’t step on the scale once since February and really slacked on my workouts. Summer rolled around and I tried on this romper and it wouldn’t zip up. Come to find out I’ve gained nearly twenty pounds and had no clue this was happening. Naturally, I was pretty disappointed in myself. I even cried. How could I let myself go? I spent weeks almost hating myself for it and really beating myself up over it, all the while making friends and family feel uncomfortable with all my talk about how I let myself go. When really in their eyes, I’m still the person they love regardless – romper or no romper.
Then this happened at work: Part of my job is to manage the website at the agency that I work for. I was required to take pictures of a group of staff members for the site. First, it took weeks for people to respond to me because they were all avoiding the person with the camera (me) like the plague. When I was finally able to get them to sit down for their picture, the awful, hurtful comments I heard them make about themselves (both men and women) not only made me uncomfortable but made me realize what I must sound like to others. Here I am, behind the camera and I think they look great! I don’t see what they see at all.
Just like the picture of the fruit.
The next time you start to think about making a hurtful comment about yourself in the mirror, ask yourself whether you would say that to your sister or best friend. If you wouldn’t say it them then why say it to yourself? It’s not easy and I wish I could follow my own advice. Perhaps that’s why I’m sharing this post publicly. Maybe if I share it out loud I’ll be forced to follow my own advice on a more consistent basis. Would you tell your sister that her skin looks terrible? Or that she looks ugly in that dress? Didn’t think so.
I think it’s perfectly normal and necessary to be in tune with your body and know what’s right for you. OK, I gained some weight. It sucks and it’s uncomforatable. But what am I going to do about it? I think the first step to getting back on track isn’t in fact losing the twenty pounds but rather being as kind to ourselves as we can possibly be.
After posting this article my friend Camille sent me this hilarious yet true video. We just need to learn how to say THANK YOU!