What the hell is wrong with our society? We have 7 year old CHILDREN going on self-imposed DIETS – I didn’t even KNOW what a diet was until I was at least 12. There are reports of anorexic KINDERGARTNERS for F’s sake. How did we manage to get here? How do we move away from this madness?
I was a heavy kid – I know what it’s like to be given a treat by a loved one only to hear them asking why I was allowed to get fat. That kind of stuff doesn’t leave you. It stays forever. It makes you feel shameful; it makes you feel confused – it makes you spend an entire lifetime obsessing over food.
Of course there are other issues attached to my weight – but that’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to say is that we need to stop this madness in our own lives. What my grandmother said to me when I was 7 is the past. To move forward is make a decision and try to stick to it. It wasn’t a vow to never eat sugar again or to work out every day of my life – that’s too hard and only leads to abject failure. Change needs to be sustainable –
What I did was to vow to stop calling myself ‘fat’. Three years ago I made the only New Year’s Resolution I’ve ever made. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself.
I ended it – right then and there. I will not look in a mirror and call myself names. I will look and be honest if I’ve gained weight – but I won’t call myself ‘fat’. I won’t spend my time talking about how ‘bloated’ I feel or make disparaging remarks about my body. I won’t list off all the foods I’ve eaten in a day. I just won’t.
Ok, so doing that didn’t make me thin, it didn’t make my issues with food disappear, it didn’t speed up my metabolism. But it did do something. It made all of that emotional baggage a bit easier to carry.
You may think what you like about me and my body – but you will never hear me say anything bad about it and I will not beat myself up. I work too hard to be healthy to throw it all away because my stomach is not flat.
It has to end and it has to end now.
John Waters is my ultimate hero for making “Hairspray” – the movie where Tracy Turnbland WINS –
One of my excellent friends, Vicki, posted a very thoughtful and detailed comment –
I believe the same thing applies in one saying “I’m old”. I’ve noticed that people my age who constantly say this …..actually do appear older and they also seem to act older…… and they DO actually seem “older”….. and compared to others in their same age group. So I vowed I wouldn’t fall into that trap myself! As Ruta clearly knows and also points out …. WORDS and THOUGHTS are very powerful…… both individually and then exponentially so when both words and toughest are also combined. Words and thoughts are the beginning of “manifestation”. When one starts saying things like I’m fat, I’m stupid, I’m an idiot, I’m unlucky, I’m a victim, I’m crazy, I’m old, and the like…..you’ll notice these oftentimes become a form of self-fulfilling prophecies, This happens to us as adults all at the time……and is striking.
Then all becomes even MORE powerful whenever these verbal messages are given….. and then are also naturally received by a child. Children are more malleable, more open, more innocent, and even more vulnerable to any/all these words and their “messages”. As children grow, they are forming their self-image….. which is heavily based on the mirror of others…..and especially one’s family……since these are the ones who obviously “know” you best. This is why it is CRUCIAL to carefully watch you say to and what you tell your children….and be mindful that you are assisting in the creation of that child’s self-image and self-esteem. You are helping to guide that child and to help that child grow in body, mind and spirit.
Instead of criticizing, ignoring, or giving negative and/ or mixed messages to our children….. we should let our children see our faces light up and our eyes shine when they enter the room or are in our presence. Parents and other adults need to tell that child that he or she is lovable and special….. and let them know that they are pretty wonderful just exactly how they are. Adults should acknowledge, praise, support, and encourage their children when they achieve their goals or if they succeed in their efforts and/or when they have done their very best. Adults should also remember to praise them when they do good and/or kind things….or loving things. It is amazing how much these simple acknowledgements will help build their self-esteem…. and so they can withstand the inevitable efforts of others to tear them down throughout life. It will help provide them the strength to overcome the words and effects of other’s opinions that simply do not match their own perception of themselves. They will emerge stronger human beings that can survive the sometimes cold and even cruel world. When they make mistakes and the adults or parents in their lives are understanding, forgiving, compassionate, and loving…..then they will be become secure in being themselves and will ultimately ALSO become compassionate and loving beings too. Finally, when one feels good about oneself in body, mind, and spirit ….they will also love themselves in a healthy way. With healthy self-love…..then I believe people will also automatically think, say, and DO the things they need to do to become and to stay healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
Also, I learned much of this one day when I realized that every time I made a mistake……even the tiniest thing, like forgetting the milk at the store, or dropping a piece of bacon on the floor ….I’d internally say to myself “You idiot” and would say with such venom too…..Suddenly I realized that I am being rather harsh with myself. I began to realize that I would NEVER say (or even think) that someone else who did the same thing….was an “idiot”.! So WHY was I so hard on myself, and way harder than I would be on anyone else…..and I definitely would not feel such disgust and hatred towards another (known or unknown people) if they forgot the milk at the store or whatever.
In that instant I realized that it is only fair that I should AT LEAST be as nice to myself as I am to others. I should maybe have at least the same compassion and understanding for myself that I seem to often have in abundance for others. I suddenly understood that self-love is NOT the same thing as being selfish or self-involved or narcissistic……it simply means ‘LOVE THYSELF AS YOU WOULD LOVE OTHERS”……. and also as A SORT OF “REVERSE GOLDEN RULE”, PERHAPS.. So since that day, I have learned to stop any thought and not allow my inner voice to call myself names anymore….. I learned to stop saying…. “You idiot” . I also learned the same applies to “I’m fat”, or “I’m old”. Words are VERY powerful……thoughts are powerful too. They are the building blocks for creation…..which has some very exciting possibilities too…..(when you think about it!)