Last night I ran into my former boss at the gym. He was there covering a swim meet for the local newspaper that I wrote for in college. I hadn’t seen him in a while so we caught up and I told him how my family was doing, how I was doing etc.
After a while he started on the subject of my working out and how I looked. It isn’t a secret that he liked me and thought I was attractive – he had told me that since the first day I met him (before he was my boss). But it was surprising to still hear interesting compliments from him.
Example A) “You have the perfect black girl body.”
From him this is a huge compliment because this is obviously what he is attracted to. I take it as a compliment as well. I’m one of those girls who has all her extra fat on the hips, thighs, and butt (hello pear shape!). Yeah, I have a booty and some people like that.
Example B) “You don’t need to lose any more weight.”
Well thanks! I didn’t tell him how hard I am trying to lose weight or that I write a weight loss blog about it. I didn’t tell him I need to lose weight so I can be covered for health insurance. I didn’t tell him I need to lose weight so I lower the numerous health risks I supposedly have right now. I just said thank you, blushed a ton, and went on with my workout.
I always find it fascinating how other people view my body or view other people in general. The idea of beauty is so subjective once you get away from the “ideal” beauty of Barbie or some model and into the real world. Some people look at me and think “OMG you are repulsive and need to lose weight.” Others think, “WOW you are beautiful and shouldn’t change at all!” Their mindset has more to do with whether I am considered beautiful than anything I can do.
The point is you are never going to please everyone with how you look. When you are HUGE there will be people who think you are beautiful. When you are TINY there will be people who think you are gorgeous. There will also be people that think you are ugly, too-thin, too-fat, too-tall, too-small, too-oddly shaped.
The only person who needs to be happy with how you look is YOU.
Really. The only person who needs to be pleased with your body is you. If you think you need to lose a few pounds – do it. If you think you need to work on building bigger arms or a six pack or whatever it may be – then do it. But don’t change yourself for other people. No matter what you look like there will still be someone who thinks you don’t look right.
For me I am losing weight because I have to. I’m pretty happy with my chubby little body the way it is. I know what my assets are and I know that it attracts some people. I want to change my body for my long term health and so I can get health insurance. Looking “sexy” or “thin” is a side benefit that keeps losing its appeal because I realize I already am sexy. I already am hot/beautiful/attractive to some people and, more importantly, to myself.