Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Body Image and Success

"You look so skinny! What are you doing?"
"The same thing as always, not much, and I haven't changed at all...."

This is a conversation I have regularly, and I'm tired of it. Being skinny isn't the ultimate goal in life. Being skinny isn't what it takes to be able to prove to the world that I've made it and am worth something. The magic number that appears on the scale does nothing for me whatsoever.

Body image is something each one of us has since we all have bodies. Some of us struggle and have self-confidence/self-esteem issues or mental disorders due to body image. Some of us are content with the body we were given. Some of us are constantly striving for growth. There are many different ways for the mind to interact with the body, some healthy and some not. And that's just it, we need to have a healthy relationship with our body to preserve our mind and achieve success in whatever form desired.

I don't really know what creates the different reactions people have to their bodies. I feel like personality and life experience sums up the process, but I don't know what specifically causes people to get sick of listening to society and simply care about being healthy instead of striving for a ridiculously unattainable beauty standard. And health is the most important part.

Our bodies are like gloves for our beings. Our being is our spirit, our soul, our energy. It's the ephemeral part of us that drives us. Our bodies are just the physical shell that keeps us safe throughout our journey in this world. We need to take care of gloves, not obsess and stress and poke and prod and damage them. Yes, we only get one glove so you might as well make it what you want it to be, but make it something that's in line with your being, not an arbitrarily defined image that will never be one-size-fits-all.

Ultimately, we lose a lot of time fretting over our bodies, time we could be using to do something we truly care about. I think makeup is fun so for me, taking the time to make up my face and hair is a blast. That's not the same for everyone. Spend your time doing things you actually like and find enjoyable whether that's doing Zumba or reading a book or getting in extra cuddles with your kiddos. Whatever it is that defines success for you, work towards that instead of getting caught up in society's definition of success. Because once again, we're not all cookie cutter people meant to live cookie cutter lives.

Is body image something with which you have/had a struggle? How do you define success? What are you working towards at this moment in your life?