Finding a Powerful Woman in the Mirror

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Why does being a woman have to be so complicated? I stood in front the mirror this morning in jeans and a bra, just staring.  This body of mine is just a body.  Over the course of the last couple of years, I have been trying to figure out how to give myself a pass for how I look, again. There has been unemployment (twice), moving (three times), changing jobs (three times), loss of my dad, the tail end of a bad marriage, a divorce, and a traumatic event.  I ate a lot of feelings.  But instead of focusing on the good, like the fact that my body is still capable of getting me anywhere I want to go without assistance, I make derogatory comments and hope people laugh with me. I’m so much more than my physical self yet I, as well as many other women, get caught up thinking about the body. We must find balance, but where is it?

Almost 13 years ago, I was 38 and was continuously telling myself that I didn’t want to turn 40 looking the way that I did. I was extremely overweight. I had some very bad habits. I made everyone around me think that I was okay with my weight. I used to talk about not having any health problems and I was going on dates, so men didn’t seem to mind. I don’t believe that anyone likes or enjoys being overweight. Anyone overweight that tells you that they are truly happy, are lying to you. I know because I was there, and I was one of those people lying to you. My inner dialogue was so much different.

Turning 40 wasn’t important enough, though, because 40 came and went and I still looked the same. Unfortunately, all I did was gain more weight after turning 40.  I stayed overweight and continued with conflicting internal and external dialogue through age 40, 41, and 42. 43 was the point when things started to change for me, physically. After a very emotional conversation with my parents in January of 2014, I started walking the next day and gave up eating sugar and a lot of things that would turn to sugar after eating them. It was somewhere between low carb and ketogenic.

Even after one hundred pounds of weight loss, I was still figuring out the mental part. A lot of people only think about the physical part of weight loss and don’t ever address the mental part. Aside from physical illnesses or certain medications, there millions of other reasons for weight gain and lack of ability to lose weight. We need to tackle the reasons why we gained weight and why we continue to hold on to the weight.

Are women ever truly happy with the body that reflects in the mirror? Honestly, no. After I lost my weight, I thought that I would never question my body again. I will admit that I questioned it far less than I had in previous years, but the questions were still there. The problem is that women do not ever look at their bodies through their own eyes. We look at our bodies through the eyes of media, through the eyes of men, through the eyes of other women, through the eyes of the 5th grade bullies, through the eyes of their love interest, etc. Women are consistently being set up to question themselves. Women are not allowed to be content with their own personal perfection.

Perfection related to anything is relative. What this means is that we all believe that “perfect” is something different. My point of perfection might be complete crap to someone else. The part that makes this so ridiculous is that I believe we all know this, yet we still set similar goals of perfection. The idea of perfection is something that all people need to let go of. The reason I say this is simple. We never reach the point of perfection in our own minds, let alone what anyone else thinks about what we are trying to accomplish. I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “you are your own worst critic.” It’s true and that is why we never reach what we believe is our personal perfection. We sabotage ourselves by believing that we have never quite gotten to perfection, when our lives, our bodies, our love lives, our whatever, is just where they are supposed to be. Instead of worrying about perfection, we need to start trusting ourselves more. We need to be dialed in to feelings of greatness. If it feels great, then it probably is. Take weight loss for instance. You have a goal to weigh 125 pounds and you have worked incredibly hard to get there. You changed your eating habits. You exercise regularly. You feel more amazing than you have in years, but you have been sitting at 128 pounds for months. And? What makes 125 more perfect than 128 pounds…absolutely nothing!  Everything is telling you that 128 is the sweet spot, so what’s the harm in listening to the universe and nothing else?

 

I am a single mom of three beautiful daughters ages 29, 20, and 15.  At 50, I am recently divorced and making a career change.  I'm trying to put my BA and my MA to use finally!  My life hasn't always been easy but I feel good about the future!

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