Sunday, March 27, 2011

Learning to love myself

It's not easy, that's for sure.

As I've mentioned before, this blog isn't just about losing weight and getting physically healthy, it's also about improving my emotional and mental health, and a big part of that is learning to love myself, as I am now and as however I'll be over the coming days/weeks/months/years/forever.  Because there's no fixed time limit on loving oneself, after all.

I often find the green-eyed monster emerging within me when I see slender women, who can walk into any clothing store and not have to look for the largest size and who know something will fit.  I start thinking, "I wonder what it's like to be that slim?  I wonder what it's like to love yourself?"

Of course, I'm making the assumption that every slim woman out there loves herself; after all, she's skinny so why wouldn't she?  When I think like this, I know I'm falling for that societal ideal that being a skinny woman = winning at life.  And that's not always (and likely most often not) the case.

When it comes to winning at life, I've got it goodGOOOOOOD.  I'm working in my chosen field, for a magazine I've always wanted to work for.  I'm making enough money to allow me to pay off my debts and even put a little bit away in savings.  I'm in a strong, stable, loving relationship with a man that I'm head-over-heels crazy for.  We live in a fantastic condo in Toronto and we're gearing up to get into a house next year.  We have the cuddliest kitty EVER.  And we're surrounded by amazing, wonderful, supportive and loving family and friends.

See, I've got it good.  And I know this.  But I don't love myself.  So it's not as good as it could be.  Or as good as it should be.

And that's the thing.  My life should be better because I should love myself.  Why shouldn't I?  I'm smart and I have two pieces of paper that say so (though I only have the hard copy of my degree; never got my certificate from college).  I'm witty and generous and loving and helpful and I've got pretty blue eyes.  But I'm not skinny.

Now, how awful is that?  Loving myself less because I'm not skinny.  And I know that being thinner won't make my life complete; after all, there were times in my life when I've been lighter than I am now and my life was far from perfect in those times.  But I look at it this way: my life is so good right now and loving myself will only make it better - and I'll really be able to love myself when I'm thinner.  So I'm going to keep working at losing weight...but I'm also going to keep working at learning to love myself now.

Like many things, though, it's much easier said than done.

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