Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Just Say No

If you accept the expectations of others,
especially negative ones,
then you never will change
the outcome. ~ Michael Jordan

Once again, my sincere thanks to all of you who posted such loving and supportive comments on my last entry. I've been letting everything soak in over the past few days since I ran into my former Weight Watcher member: your thoughts, emails from friends, my feelings about everything that's happened since I stopped working for Weight Watchers. And I keep coming back to a phrase a dear friend emailed to me:

You are not your body.

It's SO easy for women to define our success or our failure in life based on our appearance. It's no secret why we do: we're surrounded by messages that we must look a certain way in order to be accepted in society. It's almost impossible not to buy into it.

But I think it's critical for all of us to remember that we do NOT need to measure our success as a human being based on what anyone else thinks we should do or be or think or feel. We can - and must! - define success on our own terms.

I chose not to weigh last night at my support meeting because I knew the scale would likely show a gain. I also knew that I have done many good things for myself this week that have nothing to do with the scale: I walked three times -- longer and harder walks than I've done so far; I've cut back on enjoyable commitments I made prior to being empanelled on the grand jury (there just aren't enough hours in the week right now.) Plus I was called to interview for a job that I want very much (keep your fingers crossed for me!) I did NOT want the number on the scale to diminish all the good things that are going on in my life right now.

When I worked for Weight Watchers, I knew that the best thing I could do for my members was help them gain a sense of self-worth, to fight against the messages society gives to all of us about our bodies. Losing weight and getting healthy is hard work. It can only happen when we care enough about ourselves to invest the time and effort it takes.

So starting today, I reject the propaganda that I can only be happy if I'm thin. I reject the lie that I am valuable only if I lose weight. I embrace the idea that my body is strong and lovely and carries me from place to place while I accomplish many good things in my life!

Because of this belief, and not because of the warped messages society sends me, I'll treat my body with love and respect by exercising, eating healthy more times than not, and pampering myself physically as often as possible.

I am not my body, but I choose to care for the body I have!

Until next time...


Felicia said...

Your blog title says it all. You are changing your attitude and that will change everything. Good for you!!

Have a SUPER day!

Kathy said...

When we've had a history of being overweight we sometimes decide that all that is not perfect in our lives is a result of that one imperfection, but that is not true any more than the mistaken idea that everything will be perfect once we are at our ideal weight. We need to put it in perspective and appreciate all the good things in our lives while we work on the weight problem at the same time.

I was attracted to your blog by the name as well because I truly believe that attitude is so important. I'm so happy I'm getting a chance to get to know you!

Hanlie said...

You go girl! We need to see and appreciate the good in our lives!

Nicole said...

Yes!!! What a WONDERFUL attitude! You should print out that paragraph and hang it where you can see it often.

Yay for you!

Grumpy Chair said...

"You are not your body". I love this sentence.

Awesome, inspiring post Pattie.

I hope you enjoy your meditation DVD. I love mine and still do it once a week.

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Im sticking that one on the fridge. "You are not your body".

Excellent post! You go girl! It's tough enough at times, moving through this life, without having to buy into societies ideals of what a beautiful woman is. Society doesn't have a clue.

Iv'e been guilty of falling into the same mindset Kathy talked about in her comment. It's amazing, once you start reading other women's experiences, just how much we all have in common.

Okay, Im totally rambling this morning, I think I need coffee. I just wanted to say great job! What you did this week was healthier than anything a scale could show you.

Lora said...

Amen sister! Very well said and so very true too!

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring post! I feel the need to make this statement "I am not my body" my new mantra!

Scale Junkie said...

Thank you for a wonderful post. We do need to see and appreciate the wonderful things in our lives.

I'm just so happy that our paths have crossed in life.

Purple1 said...

Pattie, you are such an with your Attitude blog, and previously as my WW friend. In our weightloss efforts together, and then, later as my leader, you definitely showed me a wonderful example of love, compassion, and determination - not perfection, as there is no such thing.

Being kind to ourselves is the toughest, most loving gift we can give ourselves. Through that gift, we can share with others the lessons learned in our journies. Just as you touched so many others previously, you are once again doing so...just from another perspective, with additional understanding and compassion learned along the way.

Good luck in your job interview! You absolutely deserve to be happy. You have so much to offer the world just as you are, that's for sure.

Your friend,