Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Girl Thing

I think it must just be in female DNA to state the words, "I'm fat" at least once a day. I have no idea why women do it because I'm pretty sure every woman that utters those words is not fat at all. Sure we all have our days where we recognize that eating that personal pizza at 2am was probably not necessary. And of course, it's no fun waking up and realizing that the only way to put on your jeans is by becoming a contortionist. However for the most part, these days only occur sporadically, yet the "I'm fat" statement has becoming somewhat of a daily mantra for most women. So when my girlfriends and I decided to take a road trip to my college apartment in Vermont, I knew that these words and phrases had ultimate potential to be uttered. It's nearly impossible to take a group of women, put them in a house together, wearing bathing suits, and eating late night hot dogs without some sort of esteem blowing comment. I knew that the trip would not be fun nor healthy if all of us took out our Debbie Downer sides every time we got dressed or went out to eat. So, the first night we got there as soon as I heard one of my girlfriends utter, "ugh I have nothing to wear I'm so fat", I made everyone come into my living room and sit down. It was there that we made a pact that for the entire trip none of us would make any negative comments about ourselves. Surprisingly, the pact actually stuck. Anytime one of us would start, the others would quickly cut us off, reminding us of the promise we had made.

It may sound odd, but by the second day, life became noticeably more refreshing because there was no negativity in my mind or coming out of anyones mouth. Instead we completely relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. We swam in the lake, walked around town, shopped, and ate whatever we wanted without any sort of guilt. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves because we let ourselves be completely content. It's a strange thing, but when you are obsessing about that pimple on your face, your jiggly thighs, or the scar on your arm, you miss a lot of great things going on around you. And believe it or not, most people do not notice the "imperfections" you see on yourself. And truly, what good does it do to put yourself down? Saying that you're fat won't make you any thinner.

It's a tough thing to love yourself completely because we are constantly shown images of beautiful, perfect models and actresses and being told to live up to that ideal. But who said that was ideal? Maybe my body is my ideal, and yours is your ideal. Not everyone can have personal chefs and trainers 7 days a week and lock themselves away drinking lemon water for a month straight, and that's ok.

Whenever I am feeling bad about myself, I always try to think of something positive that my body can do. For instance, today I ran in my yard with my dog. My body allowed me to run around and enjoy the fresh air. A lot of people are not fortunate enough to even have the opportunity to run around anymore and that is important for me to acknowledge. The easy way out is to think, "the grass is always greener." But do you really want to take the easy way out in life? Think that no matter how bad things are, someone out there has it much worse. The real life struggles that many face each day are much bigger than having a fat day. So remember that you choose your body image fate, and that when you can feel the negativity coming out, push it aside. Someone out there would love for their biggest problem to be a fat day.
My beautiful girlfriends and I, who I love so much.