How We See Ourselves

I had a couple of conversations before and after church Saturday night that got me thinking about this. The conversations were virtually the same except that I switched places.

Before service, I walked into the Resource Center with John to get a book and a DVD. I saw a friend I hadn't seen in a few weeks and she said something about how tiny I looked. I don't remember her exact words, but she suggested that I was wasting away to nothing; thinking I had lost weight. I have not lost weight at all. I told her that, if anything, I was up a pound or two. I have been struggling just not to gain weight lately. I've reached the age when it's getting tougher. And I have almost made peace with a couple of extra pounds having to stay. Not quite, but almost.

My response to my friend was, "I don't see tiny when I look in the mirror."

After church, I saw another friend who really IS tiny. We are about the same age and I couldn't help but notice how great she looked. Her waist is so small. And I told her what my other friend had said to me before church; "You are so tiny!" And what do you think she said back to me? Exactly what I had said earlier. "That's not what I see in the mirror!" She said something about how, no matter what size she is, she feels jiggly or squishy....

The exact words don't matter; I knew exactly what she was saying. Not that I EVER had "abs" or a toned body. It never was that important to me to go the extra mile. I exercise just enough to keep my metabolism going so I can enjoy good food (within reason) and maintain a healthy weight. And I have done that pretty successfully. But at any weight or size, I realize I am so very critical of myself. I do not see myself the way others see me. And neither does my truly tiny friend.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I don't judge anyone else by their weight. I have friends who gain and lose and I don't even notice---because I honestly don't pay attention to their weight or size. It's not even on my radar. So why do I do this to myself?

I wish I could just relax and accept myself; accept and embrace the aging process, the lines I have earned--even a few extra pounds--without the negative, critical thoughts. If you are a woman reading this, I bet you understand.

Know what I really want? I just want to get over myself. I don't want my appearance to matter so much. Not that I shouldn't care at all, but within reason. I want to accept that I AM a grandma now. And it's okay if I start to look like one!


Lynda said…
Shari, I feel the same way. I have weighed in my early years. I want to stay where I used to weigh. But, people say I look good I look good at this weigh i'am at now. I have been execising like mad. So, I feel what you are feeling. You do want to look good. Love you
Shari said…
Lynda, I keep telling myself that as we get older we're better off not being too thin. But the problem is, the weight just goes to my tummy and makes me uncomfortable in my clothes. LOL. If I could get it to go to my face, like a collagen injection, I would be thrilled.

I also have cholesterol issues.

You have always looked fabulous. But the whole point of my post was how we do not see ourselves as others see us.

I love you too! And miss you!

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