Learning To Like Yourself
I don’t know about you, but during my midlife divorce recovery journey, I often didn’t like myself. I thought, “maybe if I were thinner, prettier or smarter ‘he’ would have liked me better.” I secretly worried, “maybe everyone really thinks I’m not worth that much, either.”
I identified with Geneen Roth, author of When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair, 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But). That’s a long title, but it’s a great book. I found it on the $2 table at Barnes and Noble several years back. It should be on the Best Seller table because it’s full of such down-to-earth advice about being kind to yourself.
Geneen’s specific subject matter is eating, dieting and what we think about ourselves. Even though the “feeling fat” days still come around occasionally, I have learned a lot about liking myself just as I am. (I admit that at one time I thought to myself,”well one positive thing about this divorce is that I’ve lost 20 pounds!”)
Feeling “Too Fat”
Almost all women tend to think we’re too fat. Women who look more like pencils than like real, flesh and blood women think they could lose weight.
And I’m increasingly fed up with those fashion magazines that continue to have completely unrealistic views of real women. Can you imagine that one of those hollow-cheeked, hollow-eyed, non-smiling women would be fun to spend the afternoon with? For one thing, you couldn’t walk down the sidewalk with them, because they would be “strutting” with their hips ahead of the rest of their bodies instead of walking.
As Geneen says, “when you wake up feeling fat (a side affect of menopause), go outside where no one can hear you (or get in your car in the garage and instead of turning on the engine like you might be tempted to do,) shout as loudly as you can, ‘SHUT UP!’ Feel free to curse, even if you never use the ‘F’ word. Shock this part of you into leaving you alone.”
Take Care Of Yourself
Every time you defend yourself from an attack from this negative inner voice, you become more powerful and strong. You make choices to change anything you want to change instead of having some ridiculous, faulty inner self bully and harass you into feeling ugly and guilty which pretty much ensures no positive change at all.
Make the decision to take the best possible care of yourself that you can, not because you are forced into it, but because you are an amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman who is worth it, no matter what size you are on what your hair looks like today!
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'” ~ Matthew 16:23 (NIV)