You may wonder where this topic came from, considering I typically write about dating and relationships. But, I also write about happiness and success – two things which are typically intertwined with how you perceive yourself and carry yourself throughout your day to day life.
Furthermore, the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. If that one isn’t healthy, none of your others will be. So understanding how to develop a healthy relationship with yourself is important for anybody who desires growth and prosperity. Whether you already feel you have a pretty decent relationship with yourself or not you can still appreciate why, in this world, such a notion needs constant reinforcement.
Before we can be confident in a relationship, we need to be confident in ourselves. For many of us, this means overcoming the social stigmas of beauty and learning to eventually accept ourselves for who we are, whether or not we resemble the airbrushed magazine cover models. I have taken my journey along this path which I wanted to share with you.
I have never been ‘thin,’ in any aspect of the word. I was always a little shorter, a little stockier, and grew up in a household where there was a lot of Italian food, all the time. I remember being young and never being happy with the way I looked. I always hated sweater vests on Easter. Stupid sweater vests.
As I got a little older and began to mature, I was still bulky, but at least I was old enough to start figuring out how to work on it.
I got into the gym, played sports, and began to work with what I had. I was never going to be the tallest guy in the room, nor was I ever going to be a 30″ waist, but hell I was going to try.
As a guy, this isn’t something we talk about too often. We don’t dwell on body image because it makes us look insecure and people don’t often give a second thought to the ripped 6-packs we see in magazines and the internet every day.
But, it affects us, too.
I remember always noticing the great shape the athletes were in and all of the girls who gave them attention. I remember noticing how their t-shirts fit and being frustrated that I wasn’t comfortable unless I had a shirt on that hid the flaws that were so glaring to me at the time. And I remember breaking up with a girlfriend and deciding to pursue a new image.
After I graduated high school, I started to lose some weight – 65 pounds. While I did eventually put some of it back on, I learned how my body was naturally built and how to use it to the best of my abilities. Instead of worrying about having a smaller waist than I am genetically capable of achieving, I started embracing the fact that I put muscle on quickly, and started lifting weights.
Instead of being embarrassed about my waist size, I started being proud of my bicep size.
Instead of weighing my worth according to the scale, I started weighing it according to who I was. How kind I was to people. How happy I could make someone else. I started gaining confidence after I stopped trying to become a carbon-copy of the people around me, and started developing into the best version of myself.
Of course, I’m still working on shedding a few pounds off. I can’t control how I’m built and I’m still around Italian food pretty often. But, hell, life is too short to be worried about that all the time.
I’ll never be over 6 feet tall and I [might] not ever get that 6-pack that I can flaunt on the beach.
It’s not easy to accept yourself as you are if you are different than society says you ‘should be.’ I’m certainly not telling you to ignore your health, but I am telling you to fit into your mould. Accentuate your good qualities. Smile. Stand up straight. Love people. Be kind. Don’t succumb to pressure. Understand that there is no such thing as perfection, and even if there was, it would be boring.
Perfection wouldn’t allow for personality or nuances. It wouldn’t allow for that unique thing about you that the right person is going to fall in love with. It wouldn’t allow for variety or real beauty.
And, most of all – it wouldn’t allow for you or me to be here. Because you’re not perfect, and neither am I. But, isn’t that what makes life (and you) beautiful in the first place? I think so.