In some shape or form, every one of us lets numbers define us, and the image is always a false one. Think you’re immune? Let’s find out.
Do you step on the scale regularly, allowing the numbers to raise or lower your spirits?
Do you refrain from certain activities or social events because you think you’re too old? Or too young?
Do you aspire to a certain pants size and feel disappointed when you’re not there yet?
What about test scores?
Let’s not stop there. What about the numbers that command you? Clocks, speed limits, “now serving…”, telephone numbers, street addresses, even the invisible stall number in the bathroom at the gym where you always head without even thinking about it.
And if you sit at a computer or use a smart phone at any time during the day—you guessed it! Numbers are behind the programming that allows you to execute a program or launch an app.
The truth is, we couldn’t get away from numbers in our lives if we tried. But we don’t have to allow them to define us either.
The Shape You’re in is the Right Shape for You
We are not whatever number appeared on the scale this morning. We are more than just the inches in height people use to decide whether we’re short, tall, or average. Our life path isn’t determined by either of those numbers unless maybe you’re a super model. They’re merely distinguishing characteristics, with no hidden meaning, any more than the color of our eyes or the texture of our hair.
Sure we can’t change our actual height, but anyone who has dieted knows, though at times, it might be tough, most of us can change our weight. Are we a different person as a result? Maybe in our own minds, but really? Has the beautiful soul who lives inside our skin changed because we gained or lost a few pounds? Of course not!
Yet every day people allow themselves to be defined by those numbers, those arbitrary measurements of attractiveness which don’t tell a thing about the heart and soul of the person defined either favorably or unfavorably by those figures.
Averages Are Not Real
I get on the scale every morning, and it tells me not only my weight but my BMI. What it doesn’t, and can’t take into account is that though I’m in the “obese” range for my height and weight, more and more of my weight (and most notably in my arms and legs) is muscle. It weighs more than fat, so it tilts the scale further to the right, but I’m willing to bet there’s a whole lot less fat on my body than many who are my height and weight.
Yet every day, women especially are negatively impacted by the numbers on their scales, or the years in their lives, or other facts and figures some “expert” has decided is outside the normal range. Screw normal! It’s nothing more than a setting on older washing machines. It’s not a desirable aspiration. We were all meant, not to be normal, but to be extraordinary. As soon as you realize and accept that, the numbers will matter less and less.
Y B Normal?
Case in point. I have a friend for whom many of us put the word “Tall” before her name to differentiate her from others with the same name. Recently, she told me that she doesn’t like being defined like that, and it brought me up short. Of course she doesn’t like it. It makes her sound like she’s abnormal, which she is not. She is a beautiful, statuesque, graceful woman with a brilliant mind and a dancer’s body. She takes good care of herself, has a multitude of interests, and scores of friends who love her for the person she is, not whether her numbers are within the normal, acceptable range that between you and me, is pure crap anyway.
Could you imagine a world where we were all within a couple of inches of the same height? Where our bodies were the same shape and weight? (it would put the scale manufacturers out of business since nobody would need a scale to know they were right there in the normal range). I love it when someone who would be deemed outside that range absolutely rocks their body, whether it’s someone I see out and about, or up on the screen. And clothing companies would no longer need to design for women seeking to hide or augment certain features. We’d truly be a one-size-fits-all world. If you ask me, that’s the very definition of boring.
Getting Motivation From Women Brave Women
I watched a movie recently which co-starred Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy of “Pitch Perfect” fame). She is as far from the currently accepted version of body normal as possible, but she totally owns her size and shape. Not only does she own it, she makes it work for her by making her stand out from all of the cookie cutter, gorgeous, skinny girls in Hollywood. Those may be a dime a dozen, but there is only one Rebel Wilson, and boy, is she an inspiration to us all. We need to pay attention to women like her instead of those who got in with their looks first.
I’m not saying that those gorgeous women are any less talented or hard-working. I admire the hell out of Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Keira Knightly, and quite a few others. We just need to realize those who are admired for their looks not only work damn hard at what they do, but also to keep those perfect figures.
In the article about Ms. Wilson I linked above, she says something quite profound that I’ve said myself on many occasions. Like me, she’s healthier than many of the “twigs”. She exercises regularly and eats healthy most of the time so she has the energy to keep up with the life and lifestyle she’s chosen.
In my case, it’s dancing. I need to keep myself healthy and my joints well oiled so I don’t have to sit on the sidelines while everyone else dances. (and so I can dance with those crazy younger men who put me through every pace I have and a few I didn’t think I did in the space of a two-step song or two!)
Skinny Isn’t Always Healthy
I see young women who would blow over in a mild So Cal breeze nibbling on plates of cucumbers, little realizing they’re depriving their bodies of important nutrients, and asking for health issues as they age. When they dance, they tend to conserve energy, and only last a dance or two before they’re back at their table nibbling those cucumbers. Meanwhile, the 50-, 60-, 70-, and 80-somethings are out there dancing every line dance, most of the couples dances, and a fair share of two-steps for three or four hours at a time, several times a week.
Sure, we all watch our weight, but not fanatically. We eat healthy meals most of the time, allow ourselves to deviate at now and then, and get off our butts regularly to play sports, lift weights, walk, and of course, dance. Some like me wish they’d known then what we know now, but it’s never too late to appreciate what you have, stop living by the numbers, and take care of the slightly battered version of what’s left. There’s still plenty of mileage in a body that’s taken several decades of turns around the Sun, and the first step in preserving what’s left is to appreciate it as it is. After all, we take better care of the things we appreciate don’t we?
Treating ourselves like trash starts with believing that the numbers matter; height, weight, age, clothes size. When we stop letting those numbers hold any weight, we learn to love and appreciate our meat suit and all it allows us to do. It’s up to you. Are you gemstones or trash? Choose wisely.
Finding Something To Be Grateful For, Not Just Every Day, But Every Minute
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for people like Rebel Wilson who show women that “perfect” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
- I’m grateful I learned to appreciate my body with all its imperfections before it was too late to undo the damage I did as a feckless youth.
- I’m grateful for all I’m able to do because I nurture myself.
- I’m grateful for a life where stress is, if not non-existent, at least manageable through diet, exercise, and most of all, connection.
- I am grateful for abundance; love, health, energy, acceptance, joy, dancing, inspiration, motivation, support, connection, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author