There have been a few “news” stories lately of the body shaming of Melissa McCarthy, Pink, and Kelly Clarkson. Honestly, our society seems to be bi-polar lately when it comes to how people look. In the same news show, within the space of an hour, you will hear kudos for some person’s response to body shaming, and then there will be a segment on the best weight loss methods. Out of the context of the interview comes this line from Melissa McCarthy “let go of the quest for perfection.” She was actually talking about herself and something she had done – let go of her younger self’s quest for perfection. But I loved the idea behind it, as well as the words she said.
When Little Man was about three years old, I started the Weight Watchers program. It worked. Within a couple of months, I was down to a weight I hadn’t seen since high school. I thought I would be happy once I fit into a certain size. The number didn’t change the person inside. And when my Daddy called, upon seeing a photo of me, to ask if I were sick, and to tell me I didn’t look healthy, I knew it was time for moderation. Not to mention the fact the weight I was at wasn’t sustainable, unless I focused on it 24/7. And well, life is too short to never have chocolate cake, wine, or bread ever again.
I do panic and obsess about weighing a certain amount, fitting into a certain size. But here’s the deal – you are still you no matter what you weigh. Unless you like the person inside, what you look like on the outside will never, ever make you happy. After doing the 21 Day Fix recently, and seeing my daughter’s response, as well as being truly honest with myself about how I felt, I decided to refocus, move away from any particular number and towards just being healthy. That place is different for everyone. My body type is not that tiny waif type, it’s rather the square, muscular type. Do I sometimes wish I had those dainty shoulders, lighter figure, more narrow back? Certainly. Would I be happy if I suddenly was all those things? Well, that would depend upon whether I actually like the person I am.
You can lose all the weight in the world, drop 20 clothing sizes. You’re still essentially the same person with the same worries, fears, and insecurities. Those will always have to be dealt with no matter what the scale tells you. If you don’t like who you are, how you look isn’t going to change that. This is something I repeatedly need to remind myself, especially with a teenage daughter in the house.
Does that mean I get a free pass? No, because I have some genetics to overcome, and I want to be healthy so I can be around for a good long time. It took me a long time to like myself, and that’s often a daily battle. But I’ve given up the quest for perfection. It isn’t worth the obsession. So kudos to Melissa McCarthy, Kelly Clarkson, and Pink. Be healthy, be happy. Perfection is a bad word.