I am repeating myself but Marcus Messiah Garvey (whom is a freedom fighter, the smartest person I have ever heard of and was fat) said:
“If you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started. ”
I can recall a time in my life around the age of 13 we were doing a debate about electrical power usage and its effect on the environment. The teacher put me on the side of the environment and as I researched I experienced an epiphany. I can’t remember the exact numbers I had worked out but I discovered that if every women in our town gave up using their curling iron we would see a dramatic change in electrical usage. My teacher said the point was invalid because the goal was impossible. I vowed that day never to use my curling iron again to prove that it could be done. I realize now that that event started my journey into opposing vanity. I gave up make-up and hair styling and magazine looking.
I had never been the pretty girl or the girl the boys looked at. I can honestly say my husband was the first man to tell me I was beautiful (of course my dad also but he isn’t a boy he is my dad). We met when I was in my late 20s. Now I look back and realize it wasn’t that men didn’t find me attractive it was that I didn’t find myself attractive. I blamed my weight. I blamed all my problems on my weight it became a great excuse.
Also I never liked getting my photo taken and would often delete them from mine and other peoples cameras because I didn’t like the way I looked. It is a joke I played on my mom that I would hide all the framed pictures she had of me. I secretly went into my husbands photo albums and removed all of the pictures of myself. I avoided looking at myself and would openly say I didn’t care and that no one else should either.
Years ago after 3 kids I was visiting my dad and I think that he was in a mood. He asked why I was taking so long to fix my teeth (which I broke off at 10 falling off my bike) he said:
“You know just because you are married doesn’t mean you can be ugly“
Don’t be upset with my dad because he was right. I think about his advise everyday. I rejected vanity by being lazy about my appearance. I was lazy about my appearance because I didn’t have the confidence to be pretty.
Last year I hit bottom really hard. I often found myself unable to leave the house because I couldn’t stop crying. Now I realize that I had robbed myself of my identity, my relationships with people (including my husband), my sex drive (sorry to be graphic) and my desire for life. There were times I would get in the car and just want to drive and never stop. I found myself googling:
“how to get more confidence”
One blog that I read said don’t be lazy about your appearance. If you need to put on some make-up to make you feel better put some make-up on, if you need to lose weight do it lose the weight, dress nice, brush your hair everyday, and look in the mirror every time you can
I never looked in the mirror!
I hated what I saw and I would say that only vain people looked in the mirror. I remember vowing to never look unless I had to. Try brushing your teeth without looking in the mirror. This lead to many incidents of wearing clothes with stains, baby spit-up, food drippings, etc and never knowing until my husband would say “Are you wearing that? It isn’t clean.” or on one trip to the big city a stranger asked what corner I squeegeed on. I WAS apathetic and lazy about how I looked because I didn’t think I should care or want to care.
The advise in those blogs also mentioned look at what you love about yourself. All I saw was fat. I had to work so hard to pick myself up and feel better. I forced myself to look in the mirror everyday. I wanted to feel better. Thanks to the patience, good advise and love of my friends I was able to focus on weight loss instead of hiding from it. I started looking in the mirror with honest eyes and was surprised that I didn’t look as horrible as I thought. The exercising and diet were working and my body was getting smaller. I was accomplishing my goals and growing stronger for it. I often question whether I am a happier person now because of a little make-up and weight loss or whether I get more oxygen to the brain or was it taking time and pride in myself?
It is an ongoing battle I still don’t feel “Trophy Wife” confident but at least I know that it is not my weight that is holding me back but instead a state of mind. If I can overcome my weight than I can over come this too!
I can win this race before I begin.
The “Plateaued” Housewife