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After writing my post with before and after pictures of myself, I got the following comment:
"i think you're an amazing person and mom. but i hope the emphasis you put on being thinner = prettier and a better person does not affect your kids! you weren't uglier or a worse person before, but good for you that you are healthier now!"
This comment made me think and I would like to respond to it. I never meant to imply that I believe that a person can only be beautiful if they are thin. As a matter of fact, I never said those words. It is just that I was doing a lot of internal self loathing. Above everything, I felt and knew that I wasn't healthy. I couldn't walk up the stairs without being out of breath. I had very little energy. I was pre-diabetic and my blood pressure which is usually low, was getting higher and higher. I was not healthy, I was not happy and I didn't feel beautiful or pretty. I decided that I wanted to get healthier.
It is important to remember that it didn't matter to me what everyone else was saying. I didn't feel good about myself and nothing anyone would say could make me think differently. I had to change my internal thinking in order to change my external being. One quote that I once read and that spoke to me at the time (and still does) is this: "I stopped stuffing my face, when I started facing my stuff".
I started running and accomplished things I didn't think I could ever do. I lost weight and gained more energy. The self loathing disappeared. I now feel healthy and happy. I don't think that affects my girls in a negative way at all. In fact, I am now modeling a healthy lifestyle for them. Instead of sitting around the house eating sugary and salty snacks, they see me go out and exercise almost every single day. They see me buy, prepare and eat fresh and healthy meals and snacks.They see me make healthy choices and in turn, they are doing the same. So why I can appreciate the worry that I am putting too much emphasis on the fact that being thin equals being beautiful, I respectfully disagree.
Jazzie and Tahlia are built very differently. One is tall, lean and slender. The other is short and stocky. I think both of them are beautiful. My biggest hope for my girls is that they grow up to be kind, accepting and non-judgmental people. In just our family alone we have people of all different sizes, races, religions and abilities. My kids know that it doesn't matter what a person looks like on the outside. It is the inside that truly counts. And now that I am a healthier and happier me, I feel that I am a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, etc. And I know that that can only impact me and the people in my life in a positive way.
03:07 PM | Permalink
You have done great things for yourself and in turn for your girls and it is an added bonus that you look great as well! Keep up the good work Sandra!!!
Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Well spoken. You are 100% dead on.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Girl, if I could loose over 100 pounds I'd be butt naked in the frozen food section of the grocery store...heh
Congrats on such a huge accomplishment. Your girls are beautiful and you have a great family.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011 at 01:21 PM
we knew how and what you meant. I would shout from the hill tops if I had accomplished what you did. Your daughters watched their mother set a goal and accomplish it with the added benefit of getting healthy. can't see anything wrong with that.
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 10:25 PM
well said my friend!
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Sandra, I never once thought you started this journey to be more beautiful. I understand the self loathing you felt. I feel it everyday. So much so that I can't get myself off the couch to the gym because I don't want anyone to see me. This weekend, I didn't want to dance with my family (or my husband) at a wedding because I didn't want to be part of the wedding picture the bride and groom would receive of the reception. How pathetic is that?!!
I agree wtih Kathleen - Stay the course.. your girls are definitely learning a wonderful lesson.. not only how to be healthy but how to love themselves, how to be strong and voice their feelings and opinions, and more.
You are a true INSPIRATION to many!
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 08:23 PM
AMEN Sister! The biggest reason I want to be healthier is for Amelia. I want her to know how to live a healthy lifestyle, something that I never learned. I also want to live MUCH MUCH longer than my dad did. Not a day goes by that I don't think of how much I miss him and how I want to be a part of Amelia's life as long as possible.
Never have I mentioned skinny = beautiful (I'm a LONG way from skinny), I do talk about eating healthy and exercising as a way to lose weight so I can be healthier - I'm pretty sure we're on the same page with that:)
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 08:05 PM
The person who made that comment doesn't know you. You have never once intimated that thin = pretty. You have always said that you had negative feelings about yourself because you weren't doing anything to make yourself healthier. I think you are the perfect role model for your girls & many others.
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Even all the way out here in California, I can sense from the tone of your writing that you are a happier and healthier person now than you were a couple of years ago. I am so happy for you and for all you have accomplished. I think you are a wonderful example for your daughters.
You've certainly inspired me just with your determination. So I guess I should stop eating these brownies with sea salt from Trader Joe's right now and do something healthier! ;)
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Amen to feeling better, re energized & ready to take on the world.!!
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Your renewed strength and energy shines, your posts have served as inspiration to many including me. By addressing the comment you mentioned, I think your strength is apparent. Clearly, you are sharing your innermost feelings and never has it appeared that you are concerned about anything other than your well being and it's influence on anyone including your daughters, family, friends and blog followers. Stay the course, keep your voice out there, and live your "best" life. Congratulations on your HUGE accomplishment.
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 03:36 PM
I SO AGREE WITH YOU SANDRA! Perhaps the comment came from someone who has her own struggles!! You are such a great role model for those reading your blog, as well as for your family! Thanks for your true inspiration!!
Monday, August 01, 2011 at 03:24 PM
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