We were sitting around my sister's kitchen table on Christmas night, when the conversation went where it always goes with women....to weight. Or in other words, the constant pursuit to be beautiful, because isn't beautiful being thin?
My whole entire life we've discussed and debated the best route to weight loss. We've swapped diets and shared exercise tips. We've moaned about our weakness over chocolate and salsa. We've been pea green with envy when one of us succeeded and smug when she gained it all back.....
A cycle of guilt and discontentment.
I lost a butt-load (literally) of weight when I was nineteen and yet, my future mother-in-law still described me as "hippie". Fifteen years and five babies later, I realize that I hit the pinnacle of thin-ness way back then.....Alas, my hips are even more hippie-er.
Am I a lost cause?
What's wrong with me?
Last night, my nearly ten year old daughter came up to me and said, " Mommy, look how fat I got over Christmas, my pajamas are too little. I just don't want to get a wrinkly butt." This child of mine is gorgeous, inwardly and outwardly. Her pajamas are snug because she's worn them for two years... But I know where her fears are based and who's guilty of teaching them to her.
"You know what Annie, I think I'm beautiful, do you?" She looked at me in stunned silence, and slowly nodded, "Yes Mommy, I think you are beautiful."
Why can't I be? Is there something wrong with accepting the love of my husband and children just as I am at this very moment? Would my friends be friendlier if there was less of me? Does the shape of my silhouette have to measure my contentment?
Was I at my happiest as a thin but hippie nineteen year old?
There is something beautiful about the look in my husband's eyes when he comes home from work. He comes home to me.
There is something beautiful about how my man-child will sit at the kitchen table as I fix dinner and talk about basketball. He shares his dreams with me.
There is something beautiful about how my three little girls stand at the bathroom mirror and watch me put on make-up. I remember watching my own mama in the same way.They are learning their definition of beauty from me.
There is something beautiful about friendships that can survive both time and space. From these rare gems I have re-shaped what "beautiful" means to me.
So there you go....In 2013, I am resolute to be as beautiful as I can be.
Happy New year!