I was twelve and helping my mother set tables for a fundraiser dinner. She was hoping to raise money to help my brother go and play basketball “down under.” Instead of helping, my two older brothers spent their time teasing me about the meticulous way I was placing silverware. I was used to this. However, somehow the subject of their teasing went from my fussy table setting skills to my weight. Within a few minutes, I had to run away to the bathroom so they wouldn’t see me cry.
While my brothers words were only meant to tease, I created a fallacy in my mind that day that I was not “worth” anything unless I was thin and as beautiful as a super model. Of course, I never lived up to those ridiculous ideals, but deep down I carried this idea that I was not “worth” anything.
In the last twenty-five years since, I have struggled with my weight and self-confidence. I think I still had those lies embedded deeply inside of me and they take priority without me realizing it.
However, I am happy to say that those ideas and fallacies die today! I am more than some number on the scale. I am my own kind of beautiful and it is great to be me. I have so may blessings in my life to be grateful for.
Today I am sitting in a nice, comfortable home when the weather is in the teens outside and the ground around my house is covered in two feet of snow. I am warm and I have a roof over my head. I have so many things to be grateful for. I have an amazing husband and three great kids. I could feel blog posts with the number of blessings in my life that I am grateful for.
I imagine myself going back in time and finding myself in the bathroom with the tears flowing down my face. First, I would tell her that our brothers were only making fun of her because they didn’t want to help mom and she shouldn’t listen to what they were saying because it wasn’t true. They grow out of it and turn into great husbands and fathers. Second, I would tell her that weight doesn’t matter and it is who she was on the inside and how she treated other people that is important. She is always “worth” something to her parents and to the Heavenly Father who created her. I would give her a hug and dry her tears and tell her she was already beautiful.
Thirdly, I would point out the good things about her, how she should continue to sing, to write, and to be kind to others. I would encourage her to continue to be vivacious and not to worry what others said about her. (Finally, I would tell her that I could come back late in the night to our log house and cut off my sixteen year old brother’s mullet and he would have to go to Australia without ‘looking cool.’)
Now back to today, my brother recently took photos of our family and here is the one he took of me.
I have to say it is the first photo I have liked of myself in a long time–a really long time. I want to talk to myself now. First, the idea that you are only “worth” something if you are thin and look like supermodel is a lie. Who you are on the inside and how you treat others is important. You do not have to be certain size to be “worth” something. You are always “worth” something to your husband, your kids,your extended family, and your Heavenly Father who created you. You are beautiful.
Second, you should continue to sing, to write, and to be kind to others. Continue to be vivacious and not to worry what others say about you.
Finally, mullets weren’t a good idea in the eighties and they certainly aren’t now.