Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get a Death Grip on Your Self Esteem!

Out of the mouth of babes comes some of the most innocent truthful facts of life. Recently, I walked downstairs sporting an outfit that I loved before Gladys entered our lives. Just a basic tank and button down shirt and a little more fitted than I have gotten myself used to. I was feeling on top of the world when I realized that I could button the shirt ALL the way up...yes, even past what Rhondalynn refers to as the mountain-y area. So I am floating downstairs where I sit on the couch to ask Rhondalynn about the latest book she's been reading when I notice a look on her face. I couldn't really decipher the look. It was someplace between wonderment and disgust. So I ask... and she says, "Mom, you look fabulous! I am so proud that you only have 3 more rolls to lose!"  So there we were. A fleeting moment in time when all that great stuff I was feeling came to a crashing end. I realize that what an 8 year old says probably shouldn't affect how I am feeling about myself but this 8 year old is almost always right in matters of 'reality'. I didn't really bother to ask 'what rolls' at the moment. I didn't really acknowledge what she said really. We began to immediately discuss the book she was reading and of course, I let the moments in life carry me past her words. I didn't give her words another thought until a few days afterwards. We were in her room checking ourselves out in the mirror before leaving the house for some shopping when I asked her what 'rolls' she was referring to. So she says, "Well mom, the rolls I was counting was the one under your chin, the one under your arm, and the one on your belly...but you know that mom! You are the one that is always looking in the mirror complaining about them to daddy."    Well, crap! She was right. I complain about those. I didn't realize she paid so close attention. In that moment, when I realized her innocence in telling me that I had only 3 rolls to lose and that she was only repeating what she had heard, I realized that once again I am being watched by hawk like eyes by the most impressionable being. So just like that, a single comment meant to be a compliment, had turned into a self esteem killer. Actually, the compliment extended past my physical appearance and to her great listening skills. Who knew she really does hear everything we say?! We, as women and mothers, are such an important example. I know that we know this but do you think of it when you are standing in front of the mirror complaining about all those things that we don't like to look at? I wonder if we think of it when we are in Walmart and grab for the fat free sour cream and say to ourselves out loud that we need the fat free because God knows we don't need anymore fat on our bodies. I wonder if we think about it when we grab the next size up and say to ourselves out loud this one is longer and will cover more fat. We can be very degrading to ourselves and our little girls are hearing it all. I have caught Rhondalynn waving at herself in the mirror and watching to see if her arms 'jiggle'. I have also caught her pinching and poking her belly and telling me that she's worried that her skin roll is going to grow so that it can fill with fat. Seriously. We should let this moment in my life be an example for anyone else with children. Don't talk about cutting calories, burning fat, getting fat, being fat....etc etc etc... in front of our babes. If so, we are telling our children to never be happy with their bodies. We are teaching them to ditch self esteem and beat yourselves up because parts of us may not be perfect. When really, we should teach them to love themselves, all of themselves, just as we love all of them, and just as our Heavenly Father loves ALL of us. Probably best to stop referring to ourselves as big butt, wide load, fat factory, or whatever else you may insult yourself with. This life is a blessing and our bodies are a gift. Yes, it is important to take care of it, to maintance it, even if it means no cookies and self inflicted pain. We should teach our children the importance of exercise and eating healthy but we should not be teaching them that we have to look a certain way to be beautiful and healthy. We should really be grabbing hold of our self esteem. Just like some of us have to work at being patient, loving, or obedient...we should also work on our self esteems. We should be developing our self esteem and letting it devour our every thought and our every action. A confident person can accomplish so much with their lives even the minor things. If you have ever crossed the path of a confident person, you can feel the strength and inner peace bursting from them and you can almost feel yourself feel uplifted in their presence. This is the person we should aspire to be. This is the person we need to be for our children. This is the person our Father in Heaven would want us to be. He wouldn't give us a gift and want us to spend all our days on Earth complaining about it. Would you like to hear your children complaining about all those Christmas gifts you just spent your hard earned dollars on? Probably not. This is something that should be on our minds when we look in the mirror. And if you really can't find something to love than only you have the power to change it. Only you have the power!!! It's your life. It's your free agency. What we do with it affects not just ourselves, but everyone around us. So get up off the couch and start one day at a time. Feel blessed to be given a body and then, like any other gift, cherish it and take care of it. Once you find that inner self esteem buried under all that garbage talk, hold on to it! Don't let go! And go to your Father in prayer and He WILL help carry you through. I know that in my life, He sees me sweating, panting, and quietly begging for my efforts to pay off, and I know that He has helped to gain the will power to excel and to not give up. Without my faith in Him, I am positive that I would not have the constraint to avoid the things I know are bad for me. He sees that I am trying and I see that He is present in my life. I have acknowledged that this body is not my own and I know that He has acknowledged that I can't live this life on my own. Parenting has and will always be a struggle and a learning experience but I am grateful that we have the example of our Heavenly Father and His Son to lead the way. So ever onward we go with our self esteems tucked safely in our big butt pockets.... 

By the way, day #24 of the 'shred' started off with 33 miles on my bike. I am now working on Level 3 of the dvd and I intend to stick with it until I get bored and then I will start all over again with Level 1 only pushing myself to do the harder variations of the work outs. For now, Level 3 is kicking my butt! and I think it shows! I thank everyone that has sent me messages and encouraging words. I love hearing about everyones experiences. I need to hear it. You are driving me forward. I go to those messages when I lack the motivation or inspiration. I believe that God has sent every one of you into my life for that purpose. Thank You!!!  

PS Sometimes I feel like writing and find it hard to know what to write about so if you have a suggestion or something you would like to hear me rant or rave or discuss, please feel free to send me your ideas!