There’s a song by Akron that really hits me. I love that song. Yeah, here’s why.
A few voices started hanging out in my brain at the first of the year. I hadn’t heard them in ages, so I noticed when they came around. Uninvited.
“Why’d you stop doing cardio? You look like shit! Did you really think you could get away with it? Those cute pants you bought sure don’t look good anymore, do they? You’ll never have nice abs. Christ. You look FAT.”
Come on. You’ve heard voices like that too.
When they first arrived, a few weeks after the holidays, the voices kept a low profile. Trying to sneak in, I think, with little comments here and there. “Hmm, why are you so fat today?”
I started looking at my middle more and more, and found myself listening to the voices more and more. Yes, I decided, I’d gained a few pounds over the holidays.
I started to feel a little down. My workout pants were a little too ultra tight. I wasn’t thrilled about tight anything. It doesn’t matter how much I gained, or how I really looked. Just picture the routine – self flagellation, disrespect, obsession.
Eight or ten years ago – and for most of my life – I would have let the voices take over. Not befriending them, really, but trying to ignore them until they got real loud – yeah, so loud I’d start to despise myself. After awhile I’d start chiming in with them: “You’re right. I look like shit. And it’s all my fault.” Sound familiar?
The problem was that if I gave them even a little time and consideration, they’d start digging in. Some were so entrenched that they became who I thought I was.
But this time, after a short amount of time passed, I saw them for who they really were. Uninvited. Not welcome. Wrong.
Yep, I’d gained a few pounds. But part of that was muscle. Part of it was water weight. And part of it was fat. I had a choice now. I could increase my cardio or buy new pants. It was my choice. My beauty was, and always will be, intact.
I told those voices to just fuck off.
Pushing them down only gives them power. They return again and again until you either agree with them (“yep – I suck”) or you tell them to, you know. Get out.
It’s always nice to get compliments from people, external validation that says, “Hey, I like how you look too.” But the real deal are the compliments to yourself: “You’re beautiful. So damn beautiful.” The song is right.
And that’s the only compliment that will ever really matter.