Thursday, July 26, 2012

Change One Thing?

I’d like to lose some weight. Not just a pound or two, but serious, double digit numbers. But then again, I’d like to get rid of the grey in my hair. Permanently. Not just by coloring it every 4-6 weeks. I’d like to be an inch or two taller – just enough to reach things in the kitchen without the step ladder or calling for my son. I’d like to know how to put outfits together that make me look younger, thinner, and taller. 

The truth is what I’d really like is an attitude, self-esteem makeover. I’d like to find a way to consistently feel comfortable in my own skin whether or not I’ve got weight to lose or grey hairs to hide (or embrace?) or I'm not tall enough. I’ve found out over the past 50 years that I can lose weight (albeit, it’s tough), exercise, color my hair, buy new clothes, and even put on heels, and yet none of it really matters if I can’t embrace who I truly am.

I grew up a chameleon. I took on whatever persona was required of me at any given moment. Abuse will do that to you. It’s an act of self preservation. Try to figure out what it is the abuser wants and be that person, and maybe, just maybe he won’t hit me, yell at me, humiliate me, or sexually assault me. That’s a lot riding on a momentary choice/decision. Not to mention the mind reading aspect.

I saw this quote the other day:

Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about discovering who God created you to be. 

I don’t disagree with this, but at the same time I can’t help but remember the confusion I felt all those years ago. I really believed I was being who God wanted me to be, the problem was my picture of God and His wants was so skewed from being abused by “good Christian people” that I was in a state of constant disorientation, anxiety, and denial.

The makeover I’m looking for goes more like this: be who I am – who God created me to be. Recognize that health -- physical, emotional, and spiritual -- is what really matters. Take care of me as well as I would take care of my children and husband. And trust that those people in my life now don’t want anything from me but that.

Sure the exterior impacts the interior. I want people to think I look nice. And sure a good hair day can make everything else better, but to be dependent on the exterior for how I feel about my value as a person? Well that just can't end well, because what happens when the hairdresser has a bad day and ruins my hair? Am I going to hate myself for the next 4-6 weeks? No. I’m going to choose to value myself for what I believe, say,
 and do. 

I’d just like to be cute while doing it.

linking up at Writer's Workshop

(originally posted 4/20/12)


  1. Healing those wounds inflicted at the hands of others is such a difficult thing. I wish you great persistence and success. My bet is that the weight loss and perceived beauty enhancement on your part will follow the healing naturally.
    Voice of experience here....the gray won't go away. May as well embrace that! Sounds like you have earned every single gray hair on your head! Wear it as your badge of survival!

  2. Wow! I couldn't have said it better myself! I, too, struggle with what I once looked like versus what I look like now -- but even more, I recognize that, for better or worse, I see how I have changed in so many ways (emotionally, spiritually, personally)in 50 years. Those changes don't always make me happy (some do), but I think I recognize why they've occured -- something I don't think I had the wisdom to do 25 years ago.

  3. I wish achieving our goals didn't have to be so dang hard!


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