I’m Talking To The Man In the Mirror….Oh Yeah.. I’m asking him to change his ways…
Just in case there are a few readers that don’t know the song I’m referencing here it is. (Little known fact: I can think of a song for everything.)
I’m gonna make a change
For once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right
The beginning of this song resonates with me… A few years back I remember looking in my mirror and picking at myself. “I don’t like this extra flab. My eyes are always puffy. I can’t seem to find time to keep up with my hair the way I would like. Ehhh...” I got away from the mirror and went about my business. Then my daughter Sarah came in. She was so joyous. She gave me the biggest hug and kiss and turned my frown upside down.
I went to the grocery store that day and as I waited in line I glanced over at the magazines. I was looking at the women on the cover of those magazines and thinking, “These are such unrealistic goals. You lost how much in just a month? Is that even healthy?” I went home and stared at my beautiful little girl as we watched Word Girl. I was thinking, “I don’t want her to feel the way that I do right now. I want her to stay in this overjoyed state forever.”
I had to do something. That’s when the song came to life. I made a promise to myself:
“I’m starting with the woman in the mirror
I’m asking her to change her ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and make that change”
I determined to be the best example of a woman for my daughter. I decided to be her hero and her model, from what she wears, to how she speaks, and from what she eats to how she loves herself. In order to do that I had to start loving myself. All of me (insert John Legend here lol)! That includes the rolls, the pudginess, the stretch marks, the curves… and everything else I didn’t want. All of it!
I made a conscious effort to change. I decided that I am not going to let society’s doctored images affect me any longer. I will love and enjoy who I am, as I am. I threw out my ‘cants’ and ‘don’t likes’ for ‘I cans’ and ‘I loves’. I started to smile more. I started telling myself how pretty I am. I found my style. I wore some make-up. I did more things that made me happy.
Recently, I began to start eating with my kids. They rarely saw me eat and that was not the healthiest image I wanted to portray. I used to wait until their nap time to feed myself, but no longer. I also started doing their hair in front of the mirror so they can see how pretty they are.
I am their first line of defense against self-loathing and pity. I want for my girls to be confident in their own bodies. This wasn’t just for my daughters. If it’s true that most men marry someone like their mother then I want my son to have a good baseline when choosing a spouse.
This does not mean I will never exercise, or that I will eat any and everything. My goal is to show my children balance. I call it the new normal. We don’t gorge on food, we enjoy it. We don’t diminish our bodies, we improve them. We don’t go into hiding because someone doesn’t like our stretch marks, but we own them and share its beauty. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder we will always see ourselves as beautiful.
This is a change I am extremely proud of making. I am happier and more at home in my own skin. I love myself and I urge you to “take a look at yourself and make that change” if you haven’t already done it! Being confident in yourself is a wonderful thing! You may not have children but there is always someone looking up to you. Teach them how to love themselves.