I can’t seem to get this out of my head.
Yesterday I was at physical therapy for my feet, and while my well intending therapist was torturing me, I overheard two other employees having a short discussion. It went like this:
Woman #1: Is that all you’re eating today?
Woman #2: (Holding a cup of tea) Yes! It’s almost swimsuit season! I can’t eat from now until September.
*Both women begin to laugh
I realize this conversation was none of my business, and what other people eat or don’t eat is each person’s independent choice. But…this conversation is just one example of what I’ve heard, done myself, or seen my loved ones do since I can remember becoming self-aware enough to care what other people think, and to know people usually DO care what other people think…they usually care A LOT.
I’ve also worked, and continue to work, very hard to undo just that…the caring what other people think. Which is really just like being your own best friend…one that lives in your head.
It isn’t easy to be your own best friend. BUT…like my mom said to me growing up, “Sometimes the right thing and the hardest thing are the same.” I tend to agree.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have someone in this life you know loves you no matter what, withholds judgment because he/she knows you’re better than your worst day or worst vice, and always accepts you at face value…especially your apologies…then you are lucky indeed. Sometimes I have to rely on God to be these things, and next…I rely on myself. If I can do that…rely on my God and rely on myself, then everyone else who can do or be this for me (it isn’t easy, like I’ve said) is like icing to my cake.
I don’t know why I have heightened sensitivity to the current cultural norms of self-deprecating behaviors among us. I like to think it’s because I have children and I wish for them to live in a world where we love ourselves, not in vain admiration, but in accepting appreciation. There is such a significant difference. I also believe I’m made sensitive to this because I wish it for myself as well. I don’t want to live where I’m not accepted and loved for WHO I am and instead am judged for WHAT I’m not. I don’t believe anyone wants to live there.
As I sat on the therapy bed and listened to the women have their 15-second conversation, I began to play in my head all the things I would’ve said to Woman #2 if she were my best friend.
- That is crazy talk! Eating is one of the most enjoyable activities we’re allowed in life. Be picky about the quality of food you eat, but for crying out loud…EAT!
- What do swimsuit season and eating have to do with one another? Yeah, I get it…you think you need to lose weight. What you need to lose is your crappy attitude. What is it you want to do in your swimsuit? Play with your kids? Lounge in the sun? Swim? You can do all of those things now. What would be different about WHO you are if you achieve this? You’d be more confident? About what part of yourself? Your butt and your abdomen? Yeah…those are super important to your character and how you experience this VERY SHORT UNPREDICATBLE MAGNIFICIENTLY BEAUTIFUL SOMETIMES BRUTAL LIFE. I’m sure if your thighs didn’t touch your life would be magically easier and everyone would dote upon you.
- I love you and you should love you enough to understand, at the most basic level, you eat to nourish your body… and you nourish your body so it can carry you…so you can BE WHO YOU ARE and gift the world your unique awesomeness. And trust me, I’m your best friend…I know…you are AWESOME. Or, at least you can be awesome…when you’re not being dumb.
Let’s all try to be the cake…the AWESOME cake, the kind of cake a best friend would make you to show you just how much love he/she has for you…and let everyone else, who can appreciate a nice slice of awesome cake, be the icing. And the haters, the naysayers, the creeps who judge and whisper…well…they don’t eat cake anyway.