As the owner of a women’s boutique, I get to meet many different women. I’ve met stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, seamstresses, teachers and bus drivers. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with realtors, dentists, business professionals and caretakers. There are so many amazing women in this world. But one thing remains the same. NONE of them are happy with their body. Literally none. And that’s what I want to correct. Today. Right now. Here.
It’s not a blatant dislike. It’s a subtle, almost unheard comment muttered while trying on a dress that is too long, too short…doesn’t show the curves, shows too much curves. It’s the jeans that are too tight on the hips, too loose on the hips. It’s the top that accentuates the flabby part of the arm, the same top that accentuates the bony part of the arm.
My gosh ladies…I got news for you. The clothes don’t matter! If you aren’t happy with yourself, nothing will look right. So how do you get right with your body?
Look at it.
Your body. Right now. (well, unless you’re at work or in the middle of a meeting, in which case you shouldn’t be on social media anyway!)
Go ahead…look at those curves. Look at the stretch marks, the arm waddle, the double chin…look at every inch of your beautiful body. Are you perfect? No. Do you have an overgrown toenail? A mole? A crooked tooth? Who knows! Who cares!
We, as women, have got to start loving our bodies – as we are right in this moment. Not what our body is going to look like after our diet, our new exercise program, our gallon-a-day-water-drinking-walking fad.
We have to embrace who we are with or without the added weight.
Because guess what? Every inch of who you are is part of your history.
I used to be a size 8. I used to have a size 7 shoe. I used to wear bikinis…(well, once on my honeymoon). Now, I’m not a size 8. My shoe size is now an 8, well, truth be told, one foot is an 8, the other is still a 7. That’s what happens when you have 3 babies and gain about 35 pounds during each one. Feet grow. In my case, just one did. I don’t wear bikinis anymore and for a few years, I tried to actually avoid Summer. Yah, like — the entire season!
Now, I look at myself in the mirror and I see the back fat. I see a bit of flab where there used to be muscle. I see a few wrinkles around my eyes and a forehead line that I used to hide with bangs. (I know…I know…way to talk myself up!)
The point is, I could spend the rest of my life on diets, on avoiding foods that I love to maintain a certain look, a certain weight. Or I could live my life. I could embrace who I am and the woman I’ve become in the process.
I’m a mom. The kind of mom who takes frequent trips to the ice cream shop with my kids because getting them one isn’t as much fun as partaking in the fun of trying to eat it before it melts on a hot Summer day.
I’m a wife who enjoys going on date nights, and refuses to get a glass of water or diet anything, over a tasty Cosmopolitan, delicious dinner and of course, dessert of any kind – because I know these date nights are rare and I’m not going to regret a second of it!
I’m a business owner, who doesn’t often find time to make a healthy lunch before I head out, or remembers to eat during a fundraiser, so I may stop on the way home and grab my favorite take out (pad thai) with dare I say, extra peanut sauce!
This is who I am now. This is me. And I have to be okay with it, or I’ll spend my life trying to compare my flaws to someone else’s assets. I’ll spend my life hiding in a cover up, instead of hangin’ with my kids in the pool. I won’t go to the party because the dress makes me look fat. Guess what? It’s not the dress. I’m fat!
Skinny girls, fat girls, tall and short girls – we all wish we were more like the other. We need to stop. We need to appreciate who we are, on the inside, and give value to that!
Look at yourself in a new light. Look at the woman, not the shell. See yourself as others see you. You may not even realize what others think of you. But I’ll tell you this from experience: all of the women who walk through my boutique doors are incredible. Some have the weight of the world on their shoulders, but still manage to smile and offer a kind word to another…every.single.day.
Some of my customers are givers, working tirelessly to rescue animals from harm, some are nursing home helpers, feeding those who cannot feed themselves, with care and humanity. Many of my customers are teachers and work with children, literally inspiring the next generation of scientists, and freethinkers, while creating an atmosphere of hope, kindness and generosity.
And you my friend are just as magnificent. I don’t care if you are a stay-at-home-mom and have Lucky Charms stuck to your floor. You are perfect.
I don’t care if you are stuffing your face in the drive-thru because you are running late for pick up/drop off/meetings/appointments…You are perfect.
Everything that you have faced, dealt with, overcome…it has made you who you are.
So stop looking at yourself in the mirror and finding fault.
And if you see someone else criticizing herself, tell her to stop. Let’s keep building each other up. Let’s keep reminding each other that we all deserve crowns.
We all deserve love – and self-love is the most important love of all.