Sunday, August 18, 2013

Your mind is beautiful.

I just saw this on PostSecret and felt an immediate connection with the anonymous author. Though I wouldn't really consider my body fat, I notice its imperfections on a daily basis. Like most women in this country, I'm not a supermodel. And, like all women in this country, I'm subjected to media and a society that expects me to look like one.

Every day, we all see posters, magazine ads, commercials, and billboards featuring skinny models with airbrushed "curves," faux tanned skin, and impossibly "perfect'' bodies. This, society tells us, is what a woman should be. Beautiful, desirable.

But, what we don't see millions of times a day is stated so simply and perfectly in this anonymous postcard. Being thin and stereotypically sexy doesn't make you happy. YOU make you happy. And who YOU are has nothing to do with your clothing sizes or how attractive people think you are. Your mind is beautiful. Your thoughts, emotions, and meaningful contributions to this world are worth so much more than anything that shows up on the outside. 

The overarching message is cliche, I realize. "Inner beauty supersedes outer beauty." We hear it all the time. But I think it's important to remember, especially if you're going through a weight loss journey like me. When you focus most of your energy on looking good, and you use photos of skinny girls to push you through a workout...are you doing yourself any favors in the long run? I don't think so. 

I've found that for me to lose weight and focus on my health, I have to try to push the supermodel/ so-called "ideal" body out of my mind. I'm never going to look like that because I'm a real human being. I have flaws and I'm learning to love them day by day. Instead, I try to focus on how I'll feel at my goal weight. Confident, healthy, proud. I think these words are a lot more positive than skinny, desirable, perfect. 

If you're trying to lose weight, or if you're just feeling unhappy with your looks, I ask you to take a second to focus on the things that make you YOU. I don't think your "flabby arms", "red skin", or "thunder thighs'' are going to be on that list. For me, they are:
  • My corny sense of humor
  • My passion for arts and education
  • The love I have for the special people in my life
And, of course, other stuff too :) Just remember that your mind is beautiful, and that's so much more important than any physical imperfections you may have. So keep working hard and continue on in your health journey. But along the way, remember that happiness is a journey and not a destination. And real happiness comes from your amazing personality and not an image in a mirror.

Have a great night!
-Ellen <3

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