I’m not 100% sure where I want to go with this topic, so if I ramble around a little, please forgive. My thought process isn’t always linear.
Over on the Reinventing Fabulous blog, Krissie was imagining people as flowers and thought I’d be a sunflower. The image has me smiling. Earlier today I was musing over self-acceptance and how much improvement I’ve already seen in myself in this area. I don’t mean the improvements in my physical shape although, for sure, that’s happened! I also see that I’m much more accepting of myself than I used to be and I’m learning to be kinder to myself in my thoughts and opinions.
Being lighter in body is one thing. Lighter in spirit is an added, wonderful benefit.
When I was a kid, my friends and I used to play act. We’d take roles in our favorite television shows when we played after school, inventing grand adventures and being heroines. We were brave, strong, resourceful — all of which are qualities that I wanted to have when I grew up. There have been times in my life when I believed that I have those traits. There have also been many more times when I didn’t think that I measured up the way I’d always imagined, and hoped, that I would.
The times when I was positive or negative on my own scale of self-acceptance largely correlated with where my weight hit on the scale. Back in the 90s, I started learning how to build and maintain my own confidence and strength, regardless of what I weighed. I was able to separate the issues so that my sense of self-worth was not tied to how things were going with food, diets, or excess pounds. That was a gift beyond measure and developing it got me through some really painful events. I believe it’s also the reason that I’ve held my dream job for over 10 years and grown in the position, taking on tasks and aspects that I would never have imagined myself doing when I was drowning at the bottom of my emotional barrel.
Lately, I’ve been going back to my early habits of imagining myself in a different role. for the first time in many years, I’ve begun to really picture myself as a woman who is a healthy weight. For the record, I have absolutely no idea what I will come to believe is a healthy weight. People sometimes ask me about a goal but there’s no number in my head. I think I’ll know it when I get there; when I see it for myself and in my image in the mirror. Please remember that I haven’t been at a healthy weight in decades, so it’s understandable that I haven’t figured it out yet. However, with every day of improved mobility, better fitting clothes in smaller sizes, easier breathing, and increased energy, I believe more strongly that I am definitely going to get there. I can picture it in my mind, shape-wise, even if I don’t know the number of pounds.
This is a good exercise for me, to imagine myself thinner and healthier. It isn’t an unattainable yearning. These are very real, very healthy self-imaginings.
A famous Mahatma Ghandi quote says, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I realize that I must embrace, and imagine, the change I wish to see in myself.