In a perfect world my sense of self-worth would be derived from a compilation of intellectual, moral and physical achievements. And it is, much of the time. However, ever so often I lose sight of the big picture and look to the reflection in the mirror for personal evaluation.
And that’s when it all goes south.
Prior to my last vacation, I got caught up in a myopic feeding frenzy of self-degradation. The reason? Swimwear.
Shopping for swimwear is typically an unpleasant task, but shopping for a bathing suit in January when the last of the holiday season lingers around your waistline and your skin is ghostly white — fuhgeddaboudit! Never before had I longed for a return of the Victorian era swim dress. Unhappy with my choices, I made do with last year’s model and vowed to whip this body back into shape — no matter what the cost!
But upon my return, I got sick. Like really sick. And my vision of a perfect body swiftly morphed. No longer did I care if my thighs were a little jiggly, or if my skin looked like crushed crepe de chine; I just wanted to be healthy!
I looked at my vacation in retrospect and saw all of the things this not-so-perfect body had accomplished. Photos flashed through my head — the 15-mile hike, the white-water rafting and the insane trek up what the local’s call cardiac hill. Acceptance, confidence and appreciation once again took precedence over any of my body’s superficial flaws.
To drive the matter home, a week or so later I got this text from a friend who had unwittingly dropped down the same rabbit hole of self-worth despair in which I had just emerged. It read:
How’s that for a humbling reality check?
What triggers your disapproval or appreciation of your physique? BTW, my friend is thankfully active, healthy and has completed the Grand Canyon’s Rim-to-Rim Hike, twice! Goes to show we are all human. —Karen