Friday, April 10, 2009


Sometimes I feel as though I can just do no RIGHT.

Not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES this week I was informed by different members of my family (with genuine concern) that I am getting "too skinny."

My response to all three people was first to laugh, and then to smile big and say "Thank you VERY MUCH!" Which wasn't exactly the response they were hoping for.

But please, come on!

First of all, it isn't true. I could point out at least seventeen different websites right this minute that would calculate my age and height and come up with the ideal "weight range" for me. And guess what? I am absolutely not underweight. In fact, I am closer to the HIGH end of the acceptable range than I am to the low end. So, too skinny? Um, no. Thus my laughter, and my readiness to take these remarks as a compliment.

Second of all, what the hell? Can't I feel good about myself for maybe, oh, I don't know, a minute? With the epidemic of obesity in this country, I thought it was an ideal goal to get my weight under control and be as healthy a person as I can be. For years, for whatever the reasons or excuses, I was somewhat overweight and not very focused on taking the best care of myself. Now, I watch what I eat, I try to focus on making the correct choices in my food, and I try to exercise on a regular basis. I don't think I undereat (believe me, I eat PLENTY!), and I don't think I over-exercise (hitting the gym or going running four times a week is not excessive). So honestly, why the criticism? Being that it is family members, I can only assume that it is said out of concern and for no other reason than that. But it is SO, SO frustrating. For the first time in YEARS, I feel really good about myself. I look in the mirror and instead of cringing I am happy with what I see. I still see flaws and see areas that need some work (and I don't think that will EVER change), but overall I finally feel happy about where I am at, physically and mentally. I feel good, and I think I look good. But now that I do, I feel like I am getting criticized for it. I mean, my goodness, I just can't win!

Oh, and third of all, lest you think I am getting full of myself or anything, I've always got my husband to take me down a peg or two. I told him about the comments made to me this week and said to him "Do YOU think I am too skinny?" A big mistake of a question to ask him, and an even more dangerous question for him to attmept to answer. His failure of an answer, by the way, was "oh GOD no!"

(For the record, he did immediately try to save face by saying "I mean, um, you look good, I don't mean that you look bad or anything" but by then I wasn't really listening anymore!!!)

So much for feeling good about myself!

Actually, the truth is, I DO.

If I have learned anything over the past year, it is this: take care of yourself for YOURSELF. Take care of yourself so that you can feel good and lead a healthier, happier, longer life. Don't do it for any reason other than that. Don't lose weight because you think someone else wants you to; don't eat healthier because you think that is what other people expect of you; don't work out to try to keep up with other people. Do it for yourself and do it for that reason ONLY.

Because the honest truth is, people judge and people criticize. It isn't even meant in a vindictive way, but it just seems to be in people's nature to do this. Be good enough for yourself and don't worry about trying to be "good enough" for others.

I feel good. No, I feel GREAT. And as long as I know that I am taking proper care of myself and I have proof that I am making wise choices and staying within medically recommended guidelines when it comes to my weight, I will try not to care about what other people think or say.

What I care about is how I feel. Period. That is all that should matter. And these days I feel pretty good, thank you very much!