“You is kind, you is smart and you is important.” – from the movie, The Help
So here I am, on a giant boat in the middle of the Western Caribbean, heading in the direction of Belize. I have been on this boat since Saturday afternoon. Everyone tells you they overeat on these cruises or that they have to be “fork lifted” off the boat because the food is so amazing, there is so much of it and it is all included in the price of the cruise. Quite frankly, I see how that can happen. Delightful desserts at every turn, cookies and milk delivered while you watch movies under the stars, four course meals every night and an all-you-can-eat buffet available 24/7. You can overhear conversations at least once a day of “Well, there goes my diet.” OR “I’ll start my diet when I get home because I am on vacation.”
This post isn’t really about the cruise or food on the cruise but it paints a picture of what is on people’s mind….their body and how food affects it. To be honest, food is always on my mind and how the food I eat affects my body is as well. But not in the same sense; several years ago I began to realize that the food I put into my system does indeed shape my body, and it can have a huge impact on my blood (and what is carried in my blood…in my case, cholesterol, platelets, and iron). If you have read my other blogs you know that a high cholesterol scare is part of what launched me into a fitness and ‘diet’ frenzy. Fortunately, the frenzy stuck and better yet, grew to be the core of who I have become since then. Now, having my own (coaching) running and general fitness website and spending countless hours in the gym and the fitness world, food/diet is an enormous part of my everyday life. It’s the topic of many conversations I have with either clients or fitness professionals.
When we “fitness professionals” talk about diet it is usually to share information and help educate each other. When I speak with clients about diet, it is usually because they want to know how to get their six-pack back or can they get they get back to their pre baby weight. These goals are totally fine…I have no qualms about them and think that they are great goals to have. However, too many times, these turn from simple goals of body modification to being the driver of their state of self worth; meaning, what they see in the mirror defines who they are. If they see a less than ‘perfect’ (insert your own definition) body, they think that they are a lesser person or not good enough of a person.
I’m not a ‘good enough’ kind of gal in many aspects but what we see in the mirror should only be the product of what we eat/drink and ‘do’ (IE, exercise). It should not say, “No one will want to date me or marry me because I look this way.” OR “I probably won’t get this job. Look at me; I’ve got more curves than Lombard Street in San Francisco.” OR (even worse) “Who’d want to be friends with me? I’m not as cute or petite as the other girls/women.” (This is also VERY prominent in males as well.)
While most of these comments sound like they’ve come out of a jr. high or high school locker room, they actually come out of grown up’s mouths all the time. I hear it, see it and still cannot believe it!
So, all of you that find yourself equating your self-worth with your weight or body image here is the deal. The people that have the ‘perfect’ body ALSO struggle with their self-worth; maybe even more in some cases. It becomes their obsession. No joke…just jump on any Facebook fitness/health/nutrition group or page and you’ll have hours of reading about how that starchy carrot stick ruined their diet. I am not trying to say that what you eat isn’t important because it is VERY important and if you want to get back to your pre baby weight or improve your health status you absolutely MUST be diligent about eating clean. No bones about it…
Finally, to my end point, what you look like on the outside is NOT who you are on the inside or at least, it shouldn’t be. Who you are, is someone that possesses many talents and beauties that only show their face when you accept yourself and love yourself for who you are now…perfect, imperfect, cranky, patient, lumpy, muscley (is that a word?)…whatever!
You are who you are….learn to love it.
“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
— Audrey Hepburn