yesterday i read this article by ashley judd (please, take just a minute to read it if you haven't already). it really struck a chord with me and then later in the day i stumbled across this pin, which reminded me of a comment thread i'd read on this pin.
as someone who has weighed 35 lbs more than i do now, who gains and loses the same 5 lbs at least three times over the course of every year, who very clearly struggles with body image and weight, this hit home. first, i was appalled by the language and criticism these people put on ashley and the girls in those pins. but then, in reflection, i realized that i have done the same thing- not in the same manner, but equally poisonous. i have definitely speculated about celebrities having work done, made a mental note of an acquaintance who put on some weight, at times felt more pride when i am complimented for my looks than when i'm complimented for my talent. this is all hard to admit, and not something i do lightlly.
i'm critical of myself on a daily basis. there's not a time that i look in the mirror that the running voice in my head (i have MAJOR monkey mind) doesn't nag me about my skin, my arms, my thighs, (i am currently a size 2 and almost 5'8"...i know on a rational level that i can't possibly be FAT, but that's not what the monkey mind tells me). my inner voice can be cruel, ruthless, and unforgiving in it's criticisms of my body. left unchecked, it can be devastating.
and i finally understand where those people are coming from, the ones who are making all of the comments on pins, in magazines and web sites,or just in their thoughts. it's what we've been trained to do to ourselves and to others, and i think it's become far too acceptable. the message we send when we aggressively criticize someone else is that none of us is really ok. we are all "too" something...and we need to change that dialogue. fortunately, it's something that i think can change, and I'm hopeful that it will.
i'm making it my mission to start holding that running voice in my head more accountable. i'm going to challenge the thoughts that pop up in my head: both about myself and about others. i will be attempting to re-train my monkey mind to be more kind, compassionate, accepting and loving to myself and others.
this was not an easy post to write, i feel vulnerable and like i've just exposed a very personal weakness. but i think that's important, especially if it will fuel this conversation. thank you so much for reading, for all of your feedback and kindness, it means the world to me.
* the amazing illustration above is by gemma correll and could be made for me, i love it so much.