Today on my way home from the grocery store I heard a commercial, a jewelry store boasting that they have more stock of rings over 1 carat than anyone else in the area. They enthusiastically drove their message home by ending with something like, 'Imagine bringing home a 1 and 1/4 carat ring for only $8,000!' I am not a jewelry person, so to me, it sounded completely absurd that people pay that much for a ring. I get that diamonds are rare and cutting them is a skill. I don't understand why women care so much what size stone they have. Sure, if status is important, a huge rock can make a statement that you've chosen someone financially secure. But I think it goes deeper, I think some women equate the size of the stone to how special or important they are. Some people attribute their self-worth to their belongings. And it's not just women, think of how some men are about cars. But it made me think about what I gauge my self-worth on and I think it's on attention. Sure, I have accomplished things in proud of in my life, but when I feel attractive, I feel more self-empowered and worthy of good things in my life. I feel more special and important. I equate the attention of someone else to my self-worth. I have known that I'm sensitive to this for a long time. It doesn't even have to be anyone in particular. It could be my boss, when there's more than 2 of us working and I feel like he takes someone else's ideas but not mine, it can be our receptionists, when 3 of us are talking and I can't seem to get a word in or finish a thought, it can be my husband, if I feel like his attention is diverted or that he's disinterested in what I'm saying. It has been my sister, my parents, even my friends can have an effect on my feelings of self-worth. And then I realized that, whether it's a diamond ring, a BMW or the attention of someone else, we essentially give that power to something or someone else, when the power belongs to us alone. We have been so brainwashed to believe that someone else's ideas of what is good, bad, desirable or grotesque is the law. We all but abandon who we are for the sake of measuring up to unrealistic ideals of things that will never fulfill us, we lose sight of what it really means to be an individual with our own ideas. The thing that will truly make us happy has nothing to do with the outside, that's someone else's idea that we all latched onto. we need to look beyond why want to look a certain way, because it tells us what we are really lacking. Is it attention? Approval? Love? The truth is, nothing outside of ourselves can give us what we feel is lacking because it comes down to roots so deep in our own lives that we have to be the one to confront those demons and overcome them knowing that we are worthy of doing so. If we don't feel good about ourselves or feel powerful from within, nothing outside of us can do that for us either. Being a perfect size six doesn't mean you're a "good girl" who now deserves affection, you deserve it at any size, and it has to start with getting it from yourself. If you rely solely on others for self-assurance, you are guaranteed to be let down. If you fulfill those things from within, it will never let you down. We have to become our own caretaker, nurturing all the magnificent things that make us a rockstar. When we are strong in our thoughts about ourselves, our self-esteem and self reliance can't be swayed by others. It can't be stolen from us in the memories of our past or given away for someone else to destroy. We will find that we are too good to agree with the 5 year old versions of ourselves who cowers in the corner desperate for something from someone. We heal from within when stop judging ourselves by someone else's standards.
Diets are someone else's ideals. We have a choice in whether we listen to that chatter or not. For me, since reading the Spinardi book, I have felt a really huge sense of calmness wash over me. I've let go of the "should" and the "shouldn't" and have resigned to trust my body. Nothing is charged with positive or negative, I eat exactly what I want. I am paying attention to cues that tell me when I'm satisfied and I don't feel deprived or like I have to sneak "bad" food when no one is looking, I don't stress about it much at all. And I am feeling really happy. Better than happy, it's as if I have just gotten out of a noisy amusement park where all my senses were overwhelmed, and come to have a rest in the middle of a plush, serene garden. Finally I can stop being my own worst enemy. Finally I can stop seeing food as torture or reward. Why did I spend so many years buying into the whole diet/body hate lie? I am so much happier this way. My body knows what it needs, I just have to listen.