Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 8: Learning to Love Myself

Okay, I've lazied out on my attempt at blogging from this list every day, but not without good reason. You see, this week has been insanely busy at work, which means that I've decided to skip a few days to Day 8's task, because, well, it was the next in the list that seemed to resonate the most with me.
Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.
I had to be taught, at the age of 28, to say "thank you." If you think I'm joking, I'll put you in touch with the therapist who forced me to figure out how to say it without deflecting, explaining away, or just ignoring whatever kind words were sent my way.

I grew up a fat kid with eczema and glasses. It was suggested at the of 13 or so that I could be the first fat Miss America. I had the butterball turkey song offered up to me at the pool. Etc. Etc. Etc. Yes, we all go through growing pains, but most people get some shot at kindness and a "normal" body. Not this girl! Nope, from day one I was a chubster and up until now, I've maintained that "fiercely real" body that Tyra Banks talks about. Except that my skin isn't as taut and shiny and perfect in those trouble spots like thighs and tummy and tushie. I'm more "real" than even Tyra's girls.

I struggle daily with being okay with how I look, and it's become apparent to me that the way I see myself and the way others see me are two very different things. Most are shocked by my weight, my BMI that categorizes me as "morbidly obese."

"No way! You can't be that weight!" they say.

I am. The truth is, as many have said, I wear my weight "well." My goal for many years has been to be healthy, not thin. My current adventures in eating, body products, exercising, and such are geared toward the former, not the latter. The truth is I'll never be thin. And I'm hoping that someday soon I'll be able to be okay with that.

They say you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you, but I'm starting to believe that isn't true. Loving yourself, seeing the positives, and being polite to oneself are life-long struggles and journeys. Having someone else stand by you and help you see the beauty that you might miss in the day-to-day.

So here I am, learning to be polite to myself. My first compliment? Good lord Chaviva, you sure know how to rock headband!