Happy In my Own Skin

on January 29, 2010
“Start where you’re at!  Love what you got.”
– The still small voice

I wasn’t always “full figured” (a.ka. plump, fluffy, real-woman-sized, reubenesque, fat, overweight, too-short-for-my-weight, portly, er –  big.)  In fact being overweight was one of my biggest fears when I was a teenager.  Oh I fluctuated a few pounds here and there but even returned from my mission with the original shape and size intact.  Someone who knew me in my “lean years” may say that I “let my self go”.  And believe me if it was just “letting myself go” it would have been a lot more fun.  It used to be easy to judge others before.  But I’ve learned — don’t judge another woman unless you’ve walked a mile in her stretch-pants.

I look at myself now, not always comfortable with what I see in the mirror.  I worry about my health and  I know very well that I don’t fit in to societies standard of what is an acceptable weight and size.  The funny thing is — society is getting fatter.  I’m sure there are lots of reasons for that – not to mention the invention of Almond Joy Pieces, but does anyone else notice that we are morphing into what we have already deemed unattractive and unacceptable?  Are we rebelling?  Or are we continually feeding the pain of realizing all that we are not?  Maybe a little of both.

A couple of weeks ago i was staring  into my mirror, plucking the tiny stray hairs on my chin (hah – just you wait until you hit 40) and feeling bad about my body, and why on earth I had let myself gain weight over the last few months,  and the thought came to me  “start where you are and love what you got.”  I wrote it down.  I wanted to believe this could be the key.  I’ve repeated this to myself several times since then and at times feeling completely unworthy to be the receiver of that love – even from myself.  But still – it rings true to me.

I am not happy in my own skin right now.  That’s not to say I’m completely unsatisfied with my life — I have so many blessings for which I’m incredibly grateful.  But it’s so easy to slip in to self loathing when I see my body in a mirror or on an airplane praying that the buckle clicks so that I don’t have to ask for an extension.  It seems impossible to “love what I got.”
For me – each pound represents a pound of pain, fear, and working things out.  That’s way too much energy expended to “let myself go”.  Instead what I did was “wrap myself up”.

My spirit has become a little girl wrapped up in a big blanket protecting herself from the pains of life – but even blankets can be suffocating.  I am beginning to believe that a little compassion for that little girl will help more in getting her to crawl out from under that blanket than stern ridicule will.  I’ve too long been like the parent who spanks a crying child for crying.   Its is completely ridiculous, yet perfectly rational to the frustrated parent.   How often have I done that to myself?
So here I am — sitting in my own skin (which happens to be the only skin I’ve got) and a choice to make.   I choose to start where I am at – this very moment – and to “love what I got”.

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3 responses to “Happy In my Own Skin

  1. Laurel says:

    there is positively absolutely nothing more to be said than this.

    thank you for saying it so perfectly.

    I love where you are…

  2. Erin says:

    I love this idea, start where you are and love what you got. Beautiful. I love and support you.

  3. Mandy says:

    OK, I have been plucking hairs from my chin (and other places I don’t care to mention) for years, and I’m 29! Well, technically 30, but who’s counting? And I love your new motto!

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