Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful

There is a new study that just came out that links weightloss to depression. A little hinky at first glance, but after reading the short version here or the long version here, I have my own insights into the findings of this study. Let me be clear, they are totally unscientific insights, but I believe they are valuable.

I can make a lot of assumptions about my readership, but the reality is I can only speak from my own experience. I have 100 pounds to lose. I am depressed in the sense that I am diagnosed with chronic depression, I take medication and I am being treated by talk therapy. Now my depression doesn’t stem solely from my weight, but I do have hopes that losing some of this weight will increase my level of happiness. I have had this hope for years that losing some of the extra weight I have been carrying around would turn my life around. If I just…..

What this study said to me is there is a large portion of the overweight population that has undiagnosed depression. I highly doubt that the depression manifested itself through weight loss. There are a host of ailments that doctors fail to treat as they chalk things up to weight and expect that losing it will clear up the issue. Depression is one of them.

So where does that leave us? This study almost seems to discourage weightloss, but no, that cant be it. Lifestyle illnesses will take their toll if we don’t drop the extra weight. And the ramifications of those are far harder to treat then depression.

Maybe what we need to do is learn is to love ourselves exactly where we are at. Not putting off til tomorrow what we can do today. I have a vinyl sticker on my bathroom door that says “Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful” and when I saw it yesterday it struck home with me. I am beautiful. I am worthy of love. I don’t need to lose weight to be any of those things. While I may have a broken leg and be out of work, I am still a fantastic human being capable of many things. Yes, I have things to work on, but for this moment I am going to love myself, because I am all I have in this world. I have said it before, but it all begins between our two ears.

In closing I am going to post two pictures, taken 8 years apart. In both I thought I was fat. In both I was depressed. In both I am beautiful. Losing the weight was good for me, as losing the weigh now will be good for me. But there are very few differences in my mental state between the two. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor and tell them you need a referral for talk therapy.  You must become your own advocate if you are suffering with depression. No one else will do it for you, no one can lose the weight, and no one else will advocate for you. Be your own kind of beautiful and embrace yourself where you are on your path. Don’t wait til some day in the future when you feel you are deserving, you deserve your own love today.

Ode To The Participation Ribbon

The participation ribbon gets a bad rap. With no clear winners defined, how are we to strive for being the best? Everyone has heard the “participation trophy” brought up in an argument. Parents are mad that T-Baller’s don’t keep score. Everyone is a winner and no one is a loser in these scenarios and that pisses people off.

Well since when were people not allowed to be pissed off? In my personal opinion, cant we just leave these individuals to their own miserable existence and move on with our lives with our ribbons of mediocrity? I don’t have to be the winner. I don’t need to be the best. I tried and that is a horrible, exhausting way to live. I don’t need first place, but I do need motivation and reward for my effort.

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This all stems from my very first participation ribbon. I did a Rugged Maniac OCR and got a finishers medal even though my tibia fracture took me out at mile 2 of 3. So out of anyone on that course that day, I certainly didn’t deserve mine. But I got it. And I love it. It hangs in my kitchen. It motivates me to move my body more to be more prepared the next time. I’m proud of that damn thing. I got up and tried my best July 14th, 2018 an no one can take that from me.

Why all the fuss about someone earning something for getting off their ass and trying? Be it in a race or in science fair? If we don’t rank in the top three its just tough shit try harder next time? This isn’t the damn Olympics. We aren’t competing for the Nobel Prize. These are high honors to receive, but I don’t think my participation ribbon is going to be confused for an Olympic medal.

At my best, I am still mediocre. Chances are so are you. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I have entered other competitions for my sewing and didn’t win. Maybe some of us are motivated to be the best, and great for you if you are that person, but this isn’t for you. This is for the home maker that can barely squeeze in squats between loads of laundry. This is for the office worker that cant get off her ass 8 hours a day and somehow still figures out how to get her steps in. This is for those people who know they have the odds stacked against them but pull through and do their personal best. I am reminded of the Special Olympics Motto: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Good for you for your attempt, and wear that ribbon/medal/trophy with pride. You could have sat the game out, but you got up, dressed up, and showed up. And that is behavior that we should be encouraging by any means necessary.

What are your thoughts? Tell me how wrong or right I am in the comments below.