A while ago I came across an article about a young woman who has a pageant title in Iowa – something like Miss Swine (I am not kidding) – What drew my attention to the article was the photos of the woman. she was strikingly beautiful (duh) – but also incredible fit.
She talked about how she had struggled with her weight growing up and found exercising initially as a way to help her control her weight, but had come to see it as part of her life style. She described running in a park one afternoon in her workout top and shorts; an older heavy-set woman in a mini van drove by and slowed down to unroll her window and gave her the thumbs down. The young woman wrote that she felt bad that women tend to criticise each other rather than celebrate each other.
I have found this to be true, women can be tough on each other. I had a woman at work one day compliment me on my dress, and in the same conversation ask me if I was addicted to working out. I have had women tell me that I must have it easy, being skinny. I have been told by mere acquaintances that I would never understand the struggle most women go through, after childbirth, to keep fit. I am always amazed at these comments.. First because I think every one is beautiful and second because we each have our own struggles.
When my sister was in high school she would sit and criticize her own appearance and tell me when I offered support that I would never understand. A few years ago we were looking at pictures from when we were young, my sister commented how skinny and pretty she looked! I was shocked.. I have always seen my sister as pretty and sweet, she has spent her whole life hating the way she looked. I want to shake her!
I have a teenage daughter.. I want her to love her body. I want her to be healthy and active for her own sake, not anyone elses. I want the same for all women. Most of all I want us to treat each other with kindness. Know that it is human nature to see the grass as greener on the other side of the fence.. I challenge you when you start thinking this way to turn around and see the beauty in your own ‘yard.’