I declare that tomorrow...

May 27 2011 is officially Yep, I'm A Hottie Day.

Did you know having your own blog gives you unyielding power to declare whatever you want? So along with Yep, I'm A Hottie Day, I am also declaring that doing laundry can give you leprosy and Colin Firth is my husband.  Man this rock! This may become a regular segment on this blog. You know how good I am at regular segments.... remember Saturday Supper?  I can honestly say, I have not eaten on a Saturday since my last Saturday Supper post so I'm not behind.  See you really can declare anything on the internet...

Ok, so back to Yep, I'm A Hottie Day tomorrow May 27 2011.  This afternoon, I spoke to a beautiful and talented young woman who told me when people compliment her, she doesn't know what to say because she, "can't really accept" that she is beautiful. To which I replied...Umm, what the fuck is wrong with you?!  Actually that's what I was shouting in my head.  What came out of my mouth was "Come on dude, that's not healthy!"  I'm not saying she should be like "You're god damn right I'm beautiful!", but not being able to accept her own beauty, is just plain sad. What she needs to do is hold her head high and say, "Thanks!", but more than anything...she needs to BELIEVE she is beautiful!

Body image is a shifty character. It's healthy, strong and realistic one day and it seems like it's gone insano the next! About 8 years ago I went on a diet*, and lost 70 pounds.  I looked great.  I was working out, eating right....ish. (I'd put extra bacon on the salad and pick off the carrots...again I remind you I GET A PAYCHECK TO BE A NUTRITION EDUCATOR!?!)  I needed to lose the weight. I was not healthy, and I knew that my kids were going to be  mimicking me so I needed to get a handle on things. I put my mind to it, and did what I thought was going to change my life. Oh it did, my body looked better, but my mind went CRazY! Seriously, for the next 5 years I hated my body, my lack of will power, my relationship with food, the mirror.  It didn't matter what my body looked like, I hated it. I had more hate for my body at my skinniest than I did at my heaviest! I constantly compared my body to others.  I didn't even see it coming, my self-esteem melted away with the fat. I have many photos of skinny me with my shoulders hunched in shame. I remember beating myself up over and over again because I knew I was going to look fat in the picture.

Don't believe me? Here are some examples...

Today, I look at these pictures and think "Damn! I look fit." My body was fit...yes, but my brain was fried! It went from my healthy, functioning mind, giving me the ability to lose the weight & form a workout routine, to the dysfunctional psycho who damned every bite I put in my mouth and every person with a camera.  Finally, after hating myself for so long, I realized Sophia was getting older and this battle with my body had to stop! I did not want my daughter to turn into ME! A 30 year old who wore a completely average size, who was strong enough to run a half-marathon, who had amazing relationships, who's life was really great, but who hated herself because her self esteem was totally out of wack.  It took therapy, personal reflection, and pulling away from the other women in my life who had (and still have) distorted body images, to finally come out of the fog.

It makes me sad to think of all these beautiful women and the years, literally years, they've spent murdering themselves from the inside out. That's not living! I think living is enjoying every second, accepting that even if I never lose another pound, I am beautiful because I love others, because I contribute to the world, because I'm alive!  Will I complain once in awhile that I'm out of shape...yes! Because I am.  I sit at my computer on Facebook rather than working out...that's a fact. Will I talk about balancing my diet** more strictly from time to time...yes! Because we all over do it sometimes, and I feel better physically and mentally when I'm balanced...that's a fact too!  I use these facts to live my life fully.  I'm no longer dictated by the CraZy ideas my former dysfunctional psyche made up.  Working to be healthy and strong does not mean hating yourself!  Part of living is loving yourself, letting go and doing your best! My best may never be less than a size 14, and I'm cool with that.

I am happy, I am able, and I am beautiful.

Now, I know that making May 27, 2011 Yep, I'm A Hottie Day isn't going to solve the crisis women face regarding self-esteem and confidence, but it can't hurt!   To celebrate Yep, I'm A Hottie Day we must not only tell ourselves that we are beautiful, but we have to let others know we actually believe it!  Tell the world what you love most about yourself.  Is it a part of your body? Is it part of your soul? Whatever it is, shout it from the rooftops...or from your computer chair...whatever.

I will start: I love my eyelashes and my ability to make people laugh.  Your turn...

*diet  |ˈdī-it|
a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons

**diet |ˈdī-it|
the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eat