Be nice to yourself.
It’s such a simple concept, and yet it is like the HARDEST thing to do. I see more & more articles out there about how horrible body-shaming is and how, as a society, we need to embrace the fact that bodies come in different shapes & sizes. And I love that message. Like, every time I read something about how a woman (or man) has said a big ‘Screw you haters, this is my body and I love it just the way it is!’, I want to stand up in my chair and applaud them.
Because really, truly feeling that way is hard.
So, can we all climb into the Trust Tree for a minute? Because I want to share a personal story aaaand it is embarrassing to admit. 2 weekends ago I was in Puerto Vallarta with my fam to surprise my dad for his 60th birthday. I was surrounded by people I love. I was in the most Ah-Maze-Ing resort. I was on a trip that I am so blessed to be able to take. I was beyond excited to celebrate my awesome Dad’s b-day. And I was miserable.
At this point, you should be saying “ohmahgah Meredith, what the heck? Why were you miserable??? All of those things sound delightful!” And you would be right. All of those things were delightful. But I was stuck in a mind-loop of self hate. I would look around and think ‘Oh man, she has the clavicles of a unicorn!’ and ‘Her hair is in like the perfect messy bun! And so shiny and fabulous!’ and ‘Man, she has the muscle tone of a mermaid!’ And then I would look down at my own body and say the absolute meanest things to myself. Like, horrible, awful mean things that I wouldn’t even say to my worst enemy.
I finally got home and went for a long run. And if you didn’t think I could get anymore sad sack, you are wrong. Because ½ way through this run I started to cry. Guys, crying & running is surprisingly difficult. Just in case you were wondering. And for a minute, I really was the saddest sack in all the land.
I was the saddest sack because I let myself ruin a wonderful trip. I know my brothers were disappointed that I went to bed early (to try & shut my mean brain up) instead of staying to hang out with them. I closed myself up in this little box of mean and didn’t let myself enjoy one little bit of the awesome things around me.
I finally stopped crying whilst running (dude, so surprisingly difficult!) and with each stride I took during this sad sack run, I got mad at myself.
How can I so instantly see the beauty of others & not return that kindness to myself? How can I be mad at this body? I used to be out of breath when I ran 1 min and now I can run 2 miles! And on Friday I ran my fastest mile ever at 10min 5sec! I couldn’t even run that fast when I was in High School (aka when I was in the best shape of my life). This body lets me go for runs and hug the people I love and dance in the kitchen when I cook and take photos that make my heart sing. How can any of that be less than awesome?
So I am done with the being mean to myself. I am done with setting goals of ‘when I get to this size, I will buy those new jeans’. Screw it. I will buy those new jeans when I complete three 5K runs. I will buy this supes rad swimsuit when I can run 5 miles. And I will never ever ever look at a photo and think “she looks amazing & she looks flawless & I look like a fat toad.” Because that is ridiculous and only leads to sad sack crying runs which is just the epitome of ridiculousness.
And you, dear reader, please please please don’t be like Puerto Vallarta Meredith. I beg you….do not put yourself through that. Please know…like really, in your bones know…just how absolutely stunning you are. I know that when we see photographs, it is so easy to look right at the area you are self conscious about. But don’t. Instead see what a beautiful family you have. See how bright and happy your smile is (and how your spouse/significant other/child/friend are beaming right back at ya). And know that you are stunning on both the inside & out. Just the way you are.
Be nice to yourself. Because you deserve that kindness.
And any ‘deep & wise’ Meredith post needs a pic of Mr Bix being hella adorbs while my socks also have Mr Bix on them because I’m a nerd.