Friday, September 13, 2019

The value of ourselves

I have always cringed when I hear someone say that they are losing weight in order to find their perfect partner.  They say that ‘if only I was thin I could find true love.”  These people talk about not being able to live a life and have friends because “I just need to be thin”.    Being thin becomes the holy grail!  Losing weight becomes the solution to all of their problems.  But I am here to tell you that the solution is NOT to lose weight.  The solution is to realize that your self-worth comes from within and NOT from our looks.
Self-worth starts with sitting back and realizing that who we are has so very little to do with the way we look.  It doesn’t come from how much we weigh or how we have styled our hair.  It comes from our personality. It comes from the intrinsic goodness of our souls.  It comes from the kindness of our words and the gentleness of our smiles.  (Or the flip side, it comes from the darkness and nastiness that burns within you if you are one of those people that are mean!) Who we are comes from our hearts and it is THAT facet of us in which our self-worth really comes from.   What the world looks at is only the outside layer.  It’s the skin that protects us.  It is just the packaging for who we are. 
I received the birthday gifts in the mail.  They were wrapped in the brown packaging that they were shipped in.  I kept staring at the packages as the date of the birthday drew nearer.  I knew I needed to wrap them.  I had the birthday gift wrap but I just kept delaying it.   Eventually (hours before the gifts were to be presented) I wrapped them in the festive paper.  Whew…I had done it!  But why?    I literally took off the original packaging and replaced it with a ‘prettier’ packaging.  Did it change the gift at all?  Absolutely not!  The gift was the exact same….it didn’t matter if it was a pretty package or a bland package.  It was what was inside the packaging that counted and mattered to the person that received the gifts.     At the end of that day when the gifts were opened, where did that pretty packaging end up?  It was in the garbage, it wasn’t worth ANYTHING!

Aren’t we just like the packaging on that gift? We can be in an overweight body or we can be in a thin body but does it change who we are inside?   Just like that gift it doesn’t change who we are.    We can wrap ourselves up in a pretty package.  We can lose the weight, restyle our hair, work on our tans and otherwise take care of any and all issues that we think we have with our bodies but what difference does it make?   We are the SAME PERSON no matter what we weigh!
This is a difficult concept to accept and to believe.  Our society has placed so much emphasis on our weight and our appearance that many people are focused on it.   Many people have been ridiculed for their weight (hair, acne, etc) and it isn’t easy to get over.  I get that.  But we need to step back and say ‘It’s just the packaging and those people are too shallow to see that the inside is the same!’
I did an experiment a while back.  I flat out asked people to say something about me.  I wanted to hear what people said. It was awkward because I felt like I was fishing for compliments….but I truly wanted to hear and to share what people REALLY think about me.  So here goes….
·          always available and ready to help
·          approachable and easy to talk to
·         Vibrant personality
·         Great training
·          amazing instructor
·         Awesome, biggest supporter, great listener, non-judgmental, persistently keeping goals in mind and strives for those goals
·         Inspirational
·         Always pleasant and treats you like a friend from the first hello
·         Pleasant and genuine
·         The real deal
·         Go get it attitude and meticulous and organized
·         Someone who gives her heart and soul to each task
·         Contains more creativity in her little finger than most people have in their whole body
·         Nice, sweet, helpful, friendly, outgoing
·         Loud
·         Outgoing and loyal
Not ONE person said anything about my physical appearance.  They all talked about my personality.  They talked about my work ethics.  They talked about my knowledge and my natural gifts.  Not ONCE did they say anything about my weight…..yet some of them have known me at my highest and lowest weights.  In fact, after I explained what my experiment was to one friend she remarked. “I don’t see people for their size but for their heart.  I don’t have fat friends….but I do have GREAT friends.”  That sums it up so perfectly.  
I once heard this remark.  It was in regards to someone that had made a bit of a negative remark about how someone was overweight.  The overweight person responded with, “I can lose weight and look great…my issue is totally changeable.  However, you can’t change your personality.  I can change and be thin and gorgeous….but you will still be mean and spiteful.  Honestly,  it’s you that I pity!”   How true was that comeback? 
Still think that the weight is important?  Sure, we all like a certain type of body, hair color or skin tone (just to name a few) when we are looking at potential partners.  But WHY would you be with someone that is so wrapped up in that one physical attribute.  What happens if that attributes changes?  Will they throw you to the curb like yesterday’s garbage if you gain a bit of weight?  What happens if you lose your hair through some horrible disease or accident?  Would they still love you then?  I don’t know!   I would NEVER want to be with a partner who says they love me but in reality only loved me if I was thin.  Love me fat….love me thin….love me with a curly thick head of hair or bald as a new born baby.  Love me in a variety of different ‘packages’ because the packaging that is me can change….but my heart remains the same!
So that said, I do want to say that it IS ok to try to change the outward appearance of ourselves.   It is perfectly ok.  There is nothing wrong with saying, “I am awesome just as I am…but I want to lose weight to make myself even better.”  There is nothing wrong with saying, “I like me but I would like to be thinner for ME”   Or you can be thinking, I love ME and it is quite ok to not love the packaging.  It’s ok to say “I would like to be in a nicer package.”  Just remember that It doesn’t change you are, it’s just the packaging… doesn’t change the ‘gift’ that inside!
I have been there.  I have totally tried to lose weight for the wrong reasons.  I lost a WHOLE BUNCH of weight once in an effort to make my ex love me.  He was always looking at this or that type of person and I tried my hardest to be and achieve what I thought he wanted.     I lost the weight.  But guess what?  It didn’t make him love me….because I just changed the packaging on my body and nothing else changed in our relationship.  He wasn’t in love with the internal facets of me….he wasn’t in love with my personality and quirkiness.  It didn’t work….you can change the packaging but that is all it is, just the fluff package.   Consequentially, I regained a good portion of that weight.  I had lost it for the wrong reasons.  I had not learned the valuable lesson of learning to love ME just as I am. 
Find happiness within yourself.  Think of your internal attributes.  Think of your sense of humor, your gentleness toward animals, your kindness toward the elderly, your vivacious personality, the way you try to help others….whatever makes you…..that individual you.  THAT is what is important.  The  packaging/external 


Shelley said...

MaryFran this is SUCH a good post. You are dead on with everything and I agree wholeheartedly with you.

mxtodis123 said...

Powerful post. You said things I needed to hear. Loved your video.

MaryFran said...

Thanks! I’ve been wanting to write it for a while. For so long I let myself believe that my value was tied up in my weight and physical appearance! I was so wrong!!

MaryFran said...

I’m glad that my words touched your soul!

Jen said...

Wow, fantastic post...thank you for sharing, it’s a truth that needs to be shared.

MaryFran said...

Thanks! This message needs to be spread far and wide honestly...because so many people (all of us I dare to guess) struggle with this!!

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this post. Sad, but our society does put a lot of emphasis on looks. The better looking you are the more worth you are. My issue with weight started young. My father put so much value on weight. When I was fat, I was worthless. When I lost weight I was great. Sad part was I wasn’t fat as a kid or young adult. I still struggle with my weight. Now that I have hypothyroidism it’s even harder to deal with. I am finally excepting myself as I am. But like you said, it sure isn’t easy. Thanks for keeping it real & making me realize I am not alone in feeling this way.

Paula C

Mrs Swan said...

Great post!!!

peppylady (Dora) said...

One need to things for them self, as in self improvement. There been a few times people come to our weight lost group and there doing for there special event.
Usual they don't last long.
Coffee is on

MaryFran said...

Your welcome...thank YOU for letting me know that I am not alone too! I just wish we could change the world to get this message out and make this message the norm!!!

MaryFran said...

Thanks! I felt it needed to be said!

MaryFran said...

Yeah I agree...this has to be a life long commitment!!

Sarah said...

This was so powerful.

Unknown said...

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I read it everyday,and I'm so grateful i found ,
it helped me not only lose weight but keep it off, hope it helps some others!