Self Love 101

Alright class, listen up.

If you came here expecting a course on masturbation, sorry to disappoint. I have nothing against that topic, but this is about one’s appreciation for their biological blueprint. There’s a lot more material available on stroking the body than the psyche, so I’m gonna focus on the latter. Strap-in (not strap-on) as we journey into the epiphanous (not erogenous) zone…

pink yellow thin line

Consider the following:

  • I’m big-boned.
  • I retain water.
  • It’s my monthly bloat.
  • My metabolism is slow.
  • I gain weight just looking at food.
  • I haven’t lost the pregnancy poundage.
  • My scale must be broken.
  • My clothes must have shrunk.

Despite the fanciful array of excuses most women have used at one time or another, the truth is, I have a tendency towards being thick. Extra cushioning runs in my family. I’ve tried running from it all my life, but it’s an inescapable fact. Not to mention tiring; to be constantly running and never reach your destination. I don’t expect sympathy. Everyone has their cross to bear. Bear…. Bear claw!  Dammit to Little Debbie anyway.

I’ll admit it, I love food. Desserts in particular. I never met a cookie I didn’t have instant chemistry with, and Ben & Jerry are always whispering sweet nothings in my ear. I’m also keenly aware of my chromosomal configuration. It doesn’t take much for me to pack on the el-beez.

I have been dietetically militant and fitness-minded most of my life. At my lightest, I liked the results, but they weren’t sustainable. Keeping my body at a lower setpoint than it believes I should be at means two things: 1) I’d have to take up residence in the gym, and 2) I’d have to grow a serious aversion to food, and socializing. Sorry, but I need my people. And my chocolate. Chocolate covered peeps will do in a pinch.

Willpower is a funny thing. There are times when it’s been stronger than freshly-brewed Starbucks, and other times when it’s hiding somewhere behind that box buried way in the back of the grocer’s freezer (you know, the one no one buys because it’s kinda crumpled and covered in ice crystals). Most of the time I have stockpiles of won’t-power. That delectable morsel tantalizing my tastebuds and teasing my tongue seems a lot more desirable in the moment than getting back into my skinniest skinny jeans. Cute catch-phrases and incentivizers like “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” or “a moment on the lips forever on the hips” start to become watered down after constant use. They cease to protect me from the traveling buffet of culinary temptations I encounter daily. Sometimes you don’t care about the nutrition police; you just want to eat your friggin french fries in peace.

Learning to love yourself instead of wishing you could change is not an easy undertaking. Your genetic code is written in big black Sharpie marker. There’s no erasing or eradicating it. Your personal perspective, however, is all #2 pencil. You can write, change, revise, overhaul, at will.

I’ve often been bad-mouthed by the critic in the mirror. You’d think we’d be on the same side, yet day after day she mocks me. She’s armed and dangerous, with a litany of unflattering terms: thunder thighs, muffin top, bubble butt, turkey arms.
Yet guess who’s the first one to beg me for a muffin when my stomach’s emptied out? And who’s padded legs take her anywhere and everywhere she wants to go? And how do you think she’d feel if my jello’d biceps stopped fixing her hair or dressing her in the clothes she likes? That’s right bitch…. so enough already with the insults. I would never, ever, let anyone talk to a friend or family member that way. I would staunchly defend them, admonish the antagonist then deliver a soothing balm of compliments and comfort. Don’t I owe myself the same? Am I not worth as much as any other person of value in my life? I simply can’t allow myself to be the target of such useless negativity. A good day shouldn’t be predicated on what the scale shows that morning.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t stretch their self-improvement muscles. Striving to better yourself is critical to happiness, growth, and success. However, that applies to what you can change, not what you can’t; what’s important to achieve, not what’s immaterial. Everyone has enviable traits. The trick is to highlight and build on those, instead of magnifying flaws―real or perceived. I’m gonna let you in on Victoria’s Secret: 95% of the female population will never look like their catalog models. Which really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, since 95% of the male population don’t have a carbs chance on Keto to date someone of that caliber. (Note: see female odds if you play for the other team). That means most of us are perfectly matched in our imperfections; a delicious mélange of the pears and apples and oranges who comprise the fruit salad of the world.

It’s good to remind oneself, as often as necessary, what truly matters in life. The size of one’s heart, not frame. The benefits of friendship, affection, and generosity, not clothing size. It’s also important to note, one man’s cottage cheese is another man’s cheesecake. Not every restaurant critic gives five stars to a five star establishment. Sometimes the palate is most satisfied by the daily special at your local diner.

You can beat yourself down, or build yourself up. Cajole or condemn. Make contributions to better the human experience, or belittle it. It is almost impossible not to feel better when you do a kind deed. Smile a lot. Laugh more. Enjoy your own company. Feel proud of those you’ve helped and what you’ve achieved, then bask in that fresh-from-the-oven goodness. It’s not cockiness, it’s confidence. Celebrate. Joy is contagious.

pink yellow thin line
Nothing makes you stronger than a body double who doubles as your body guard. Love yourself, and others will follow suit.

The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image.”
~ Brian Tracy

Impassioned by the pen,
Platinum Pink

Everyone has their cross to bear.  (Damn it all, that just made me think of a bear claw.)

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