Self-worth: “The sense of one’s own value or worth as a person”
Now I know this might seem a strange topic, but to me this is my greatest demon. The one thing I struggle with every single day. Since I was a little girl I was told how to dress or behave or react to certain situations, as it would be socially acceptable to do these things in this particular way. I developed this very strong “hatred” (maybe not the right word) for what society deemed acceptable and tried to go the opposite direction whenever I could.
As a girl we were told to wear pink dresses and act lady like, and as I result I turned into the biggest tomboy rebel ever. I still hate pink to today. Maybe it was just my personality and in a way I am happy I never conformed to what society expected. I can remember when I was about 12 years old all the girls around me (including my friends) started talking about diets and cellulite. I had no idea what it was but pretended that I also care. Sadly, one of my best friends developed anorexia due to peer pressure and that day I promised myself I would never go on a diet. Needless to say, I wasn’t very successful.
This post came about while I was watching this very touching video (I don’t deserve a swimsuit), and realized that just like the lady in the video, I constantly put myself down. Why?? Because I do not fit into the mold society created for “working moms”. Today, I did exactly the same thing again when a work colleague complimented me on my weight loss. I turned around and told her that the few kilograms I lost meant nothing and need to lose a bit more. Why didn’t I just accept the compliment and use it as encouragement to keep on going?
It also got me thinking, as women, will we ever be happy with what we see in the mirror. Back in 2007 (when we started dating), I use to think I am so fat and overweight. Looking back now I wish I still had that body. Even after losing some weight the last few months and dropping about 2 pant sizes, I still think I am fat and overweight. So what is my self-worth? Will I only be happy when I get on the scale and it shows my goal weight? Or will I be happy with my body regardless of what the scale say, and be truly healthy?
Over the weekend I wanted to catch some rays, seeing that it is summer and everybody needs a tan. At first I was covering up, too shy to show my curves to hubby (as if he never seen them before??), but then I decided that I am worth more. I changed into my bikini (last wore it on honeymoon in 2011) and really had fun playing outside with Little M and catching some rays.
Looking at Little M, I realize that the way I see myself directly influences the way she sees herself. If I constantly put myself down, she will start doing the same thing and this evil cycle of self-hate will continue for another generation. Little M already picked up on my habit of constantly weighing myself and now she wants to do the same thing. The numbers still mean nothing to her, but I am sure if this habit continue she will soon realize that she might not fit the description.
I never gave much thought to the concept of self-worth and what role it might play in my relationship with my daughter or husband. I just always knew that I was not skinny enough or not tanned enough or even not “blond” enough to get the same attention my friends use to get. I use to tell myself I am ok with it, as I have different values, but this was anything but true.
This demon shows it face at the most inconvenient times ever. I always (I know I shouldn’t) measure myself against hubby’s previous girlfriends. They are so skinny, they are so successful, they are so much better than me…. I know that all these nasty thoughts are just my own insecurities. He chose me, flabby or not, and that should be enough for me.
It is so sad to see how vain the youth of today can be. Girls of 12 wearing full make up to hide their “imperfections”, going on diets because they do not fit into a size extra small. I have two gorgeous nieces and I see it every day with them. Trying to fit into the mould society created. Luckily they also realized that being unique and true to oneself is more important, and now they are the trend setters in their small Karoo town. I can just pray that Little M take after them and be true to her unique self.
My biggest demon still rages on deep inside me, but I will no longer feed it. I will start love me for me. I will embrace my grey hair (yes, 32 is very young to be grey, and yes I will probably still dye them) as it is part of who I am. I will embrace my curves, I might never to skinny, but I will be healthy and fit. I will embrace my wrinkles, it’s a sign of loving life and enjoying every moment.
So my new measure of self-worth will be confidence! I am confident that our low carb lifestyle will result in great health, not measured by a scale. I am confident that we are giving Little M the best nutritional foundation to grow into a strong and independent, unique being. I am confident that my physical appearance (curves or muscles) will be unique to me and my life. Nobody can make me feel guilty for not fitting into a size medium. I am confident that without the support of hubby and other special friends (also embracing this lifestyle) I would still be hating myself for not losing 30kg, instead of being proud of my progress up to date.
Remember your self-worth is determined by YOU! You don’t have to depend on someone else telling you who YOU are!