I'm not sure when it occured, but something has happened to me and I like it.
For pretty much my entire adult life, I have not liked the way I looked, to make an understatement. Even at 125 lbs I thought I looked awful.
Sure, there have always been certain things I've liked about my looks - my eyes, my hair, my ankles, even my bustline (once upon a time LOL), but overall, I was always disappointed when I looked in the mirror.
Now, I have been blessed with a wonderful man to share my life since I was 19 years old. (actually we were 15 years old when we started dating) No matter what my weight, he has always been generous and genuine with telling me I am pretty. I couldn't begin to count the number of times he has taken me in a hug, given me a kiss, and then turned to the kids and said "Isn't your mother beautiful?" Of course, I felt pretty at those times.
However....and this is a big however......I have just begun to realize that my confidence in the way I looked was always dependant on what others (primarily my Mr. Wonderful) said about me.
In the last many years, since I got near and then past the 200 lb mark, ONLY my hubby could make me feel pretty (and I began to not believe even him).
If my kids told me I looked pretty, for example, I did not believe them...I told myself that they were just saying that because I was their Mom, that they just wanted me to feel good about myself. (I'm talking about when they were teens and adults, not little ones who don't know better)
Any compliments I recieved from anyone other than my man, I always qualified in my head..."Yeah, I look good for a fat chick"...."Yeah, it's a nice outfit, but that is all"......I accepted the love that came with the nice comments, but rejected the comment itself.
And I NEVER complimented myself!
That has changed.
It is a change of miraculous proportions.
OK, there are days that I honestly do not look good....when I put a barrette in my hair, wear no makeup (I'm getting old, ya know...need a little paint to cover the aging), and wear my old, baggy clothes - those are the days that I am just working around the house and not going to see anyone.
BUT most days I actually want to put on a little makeup - just for me, I want my hair to look nice - just for me, I want to wear clothes that fit - just for me.
The biggest miracle of all.......I often feel pretty. I look in the mirror and I'm actually happy with what I see. I do not need to have someone else tell me I look nice in order to feel confident.
When one of my kids or a friend tells me I look good, I can thank them graciously, KNOWING that they are right!
When I walk into a business, I no longer feel like everyone is looking at the fat slob who just walked in.....I walk in confident that people will think I am pleasant looking - or, it just doesn't even occur to me that anyone is forming any kind of opinion at all about how I look.
How did this happen?
I have not even lost half the weight I want to lose.
I have not exercised enough to tone up and firm up.
Previously, when I saw a photo of myself, I wanted to cry - every single one just confirmed my opinion of how awful I looked.
Now, I see a photo of myself and I am surprised that I am still obviously obese but I don't want to cry anymore. (Although I do delete the least flattering ones)
I even like to look in the mirror (most days).
I know what the scale says.....I know what the BMI says......I can see in photos what I really look like.......but for the first time in my memory, I think I look better than I actually do! And I don't need someone to have told me I look good!
I see this as a huge step in finally winning this war with my weight, because it means that I have begun to love ME the way I AM. I've always known that my self hatred was one of my biggest stumbling blocks.
I really hope this lasts.