I read so many amazing things from you all in yesterday’s post about comparisons with real women. So many light bulb moments!! This morning I wanted to highlight some of the comments from yesterday.
“I used to be much smaller. I used to be the skinniest girl in the room for the most part. I was 100% obsessed with it and was miserable.”
Many of you pointed out that you used to be very thin and you were miserable because of the effort that it took to stay that way. That used to be me as well. The amount of obsession and mental energy that it takes to maintain a body size so small sucks everything out of you. When I used obsess about my weight, it was literally all I could think about. I had a hard time studying for courses, focusing in class, or even just being present in a social situation. My mind was always on my weight. I didn’t have any hobbies because it consumed all of my free time.
“Great topic, I think. Not many people are willing to open up about their insecurities when it comes to attractiveness. It’s like..we all know they’re there, we just don’t truly believe other people have insecurities too because they’re very good at hiding it.
I don’t regret my experience one bit. I’m now doing cognitive therapy, and I feel stronger. I’m gaining knowledge about psychology and proper nutrition while I’m at it. What helps me to remind myself that I’m attractive in my own way is for every bad comment that slips out, I give myself two good ones, and I feel better. I also have cards that I read everyday like "You are an AMAZING person! Anyone who says otherwise is blind, a big booger brain, or insecure with themselves." It really sets the tone for the rest of the day. I highly recommend making cards to read to yourself everyday. I also do the mantra thing.
But most of all, I don’t let it stop me. I don’t stop to mope about someone snickering at the fact that my hair looks messed up today.”
I love the suggestion of telling yourself two compliments for every negative one that you receive! The idea to make self-affirming cards is also a really great one! How fun would it be to design some GLOW cards that we all could print off our computers and take with us everywhere? :) The wheels are turning…!
“Its funny, when I asked my boyfriend if he found me more attractive now that I have lost thirty pounds, he said that it doesn’t make a difference to him, that I was always beautiful. That really put things in perspective, because he saw beauty when I felt like there was little there. I try and remember events like this when I feel down and it is a reality check that the size of my pants does not define who I am. It kind of echoes your idea of positive thinking through workouts.”
I used to ask Eric that all the time. He loved me at my highest weight and at my smallest weight. When I gained weight, he didn’t see the weight, he simply saw the person that he fell in love with. And you know what? I believe him because his weight has been up and down over the years (no, not even tall skinny men are immune to a little weight gain!) and I never once ‘saw’ the weight when I thought about his appearance. What I do see, and what I see for everyone in my life, is whether they are HAPPY. If someone is happy, I automatically see beauty. That is all there is to it. If Eric is smiling and being goofy with me like he usually does, I see one heck of a handsome man. It has nothing to do with weight. And anyone in your life that makes it about weight probably isn’t worth your time and energy!
“Everyone has body envy, even if they look "picture perfect." i think it is natural to compare and sometimes even want to look a different way, but i think if you are positive about your body, it’s okay to think that someone else is pretty or has great arms or a great nose, or whatever it might be. you just have to remember the things people are envying when they look at YOU!!”
This is so true. Even the models and actresses in Hollywood are looking at other actresses and wishing they had this or they had that.
What I have learned from all of this is that being confident with yourself and your body has nothing to do with how you look. I know, it doesn’t seem logical but it is true. Confidence comes from feeling good about yourself, your behaviours, your actions, and your intentions. When you have this you will feel security with yourself, even if you gain 10 pounds. It will still be there because you know your worth as a person. That is why you will sometimes see ‘that girl’ who isn’t the textbook definition of a skinny minny or model gorgeous, yet she has this ‘it factor’, she has this quality that you can’t quite pin down, but it drives the men in the room wild. She has CONFIDENCE in herself regardless of her pant size.
“All of these comparisons come down to having a negative core belief. At some point, you’ve determined that a perfect body equals a perfect life, or that being thin is the best thing ever, that being thin means that you’re in control, or whatever the case may be. The negative belief associated with that would be something like "She’s thinner than I am…that means she’s better than me"
When that creeps into my mind, I CHALLENGE IT.
"WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE that she’s better than me? WHERE’S THE PROOF that I am not as good as her?"
Then I start answering that question…"I don’t know her, she might be evil, and I’m not evil, I’m a good person! Maybe she is nice too, but that doesn’t make her better than me"…and on, and on, and on…”
I think that is what I was sort of mentioning above. When we are not secure and happy with ourselves, no weight will ever been our happy weight.
“Yes, I definitely do compare myself to others. I think although it is somewhat natural, it is also very unhealthy. For myself, the more I compare, the more I feel badly about myself. It does absolutely no good to size up the other person, because somehow I think we are all doomed to come up the loser. After all, we are always harder on ourselves. The sad past is, that it doesn’t end there. As life progresses, the comparisons also increase. Who has a bigger house, who makes more money, whose kids are more beautiful and smarter….It goes on and on. Actually I find the child comparison to be the most evil. Moms are very hard on each other and often look down upon others for different parenting styles etc. It is a really hard transition in life, to find a way to make friends with other moms, without them driving you mental!!! ;)
I try to remind myself daily how lucky I am for all that I have..a beautiful family, a nice house, a job etc. I may not be as thin as I was before kids, but I am healthy. I try not to be bitter at the other moms at the gym who are skinnier or prettier. Who knows what battles they may have within or what they must sacrifice to look that way. I am not about to give up food I like or obsess to the point where it consumes my life. If I want a cupcake, I am going to eat it and I shouldn’t feel bad about it for the next 2 days :)
If I look back on my 5 years ago, I think, wow..I was so thin and pretty, but guess what? I didn’t think so at the time! So, I should live for today and be happy for who I am and what I have become because one day, I will look back on today and smile!”
That last part really struck a chord with me. I will often look back at pictures and think I looked nice but then I remember that on that specific day I was upset about my weight or what I was eating the day before. We need to start living in the moment and realize our beauty TODAY, not in 10 pounds, or at our wedding this summer, or when you go away to school. TODAY is the only day that matters. Walk out the room, strut your sexy self, and hold your head up high!
And I am going to end today with this amazing comment- talk about inspirational!!
“I have tears in my eyes. When I read the mantra "I don’t need to change" it really hit home for me. I don’t need to change. I will not be happier 10 pounds from now. Life will not be better. People will not love me more. Life will not be perfect. I’ve got a healthy body that I have not appreciated for the first 28 years of my life. That changes. Now. I always think of the saying "Appreciate the body you have now because, one day, it’ll be the body you wish you have." That’s always true. Love yourself today. Don’t love yourself when you lose 10 pounds. Don’t wait to live life and enjoy it in 10 pounds. Do it. NOW.
Thank you so much for this incredible post.”
Thank YOU all for such amazing and insightful comments! There are so many more I want to talk about!
I don’t know about you but I have an extra kick to my step today after reading all of your comments! :)
Today’s question: Was there any part of yesterday’s or today’s discussion that really made a light bulb go off for you? Do you think about social comparisons any differently now?
Are there any other questions that you’d like me to address in a future hot topic post?