I recently did some math and figured out that I have spent about 250 days of my life thinking about what I look like in (usually) critical terms. Almost a full year! And I am a person who has always felt pretty good about myself – I’ve never felt ashamed of my body, and I never let it get in the way of great sex or relationships. I dressed well and stylishly even though for most of my life I was not thin, but leaning toward the voluptuous.
But…I could spend hour inspecting my face – was my nose too wide? My eye crooked? My cellulite!! Oh dear – I would look at in with despair! How could I make that bumpy hideousness disappear? I thought my thighs in general were pretty awful and for years and years I didn’t wear pants. I didn’t even own a pair of jeans!
And now I am 45 years old. I in the past year or so I realized I am OVER this crazy self-criticism! Whether it’s exercise, feeling generally joyous, being healthy, hearing genuine compliments from Harry, maybe some wisdom…or a combination of all of the above I am finding that I just don’t have the time, energy or inclination for trash-talking myself.
I see this compulsion to criticize everywhere! In S’s daughter who is 13…in my friends who are so much older. One of whom just went through a fairly traumatizing experience but deep in the depths of it asked if I thought she looked fat. Because feeling miserable is one thing, but looking fat is even worse. I see it all over the media from women who should know better – I’m talking to you Madonna!! A woman who could be at the forefront of what it means to age beautifully and gracefully is instead trying to stay youthful at all costs. How unhappy does she have to be to not accept the beauty of change? Nothing to emulate there – I feel sad for her.
I love looking good! I am a fashion girl, I love to shop, I love high heels and red lipstick and black eyeliner. I am no natural beauty type for sure! And of course I look in the mirror – but no more negative talk for me. Now I say, “Girl – you are kicking it!”, “Your thighs are strong and muscular and awesome!” “Your boobs look amazing – and by the way, I love your rib cage”.
So try this experiment: How much time do you usually spend on criticizing your physical appearance? I estimated 30 minutes a day average – since I was 13 – that’s 32 years ago! Do your own math – how much time have you wasted so far? Time when you could have been reading, drawing, dancing, laughing, running, cooking, painting, kissing, eating, hiking, roller skating, learning a foreign language…falling in love with yourself?
It’s never too late! Treat yourself with kindness and love and respect – like the goddess you are. Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to a friend. And if you ARE a person who would call a friend “fat” and “disgusting” and point out how much blubber she can pinch from her waist, please stop reading my blog right now.
Look at yourself the way a lover would and honor yourself the way a lover SHOULD. Take yourself out, buy yourself a drink raise a glass and celebrate your fabulousness!