- Sara Mann
Why I Love You.
The other day I was scrolling through Instagram (always a dicey thing to do, but I had messages to check), and I stumbled upon a post that had a challenge on it that I’ve heard before but I needed reminding of. It went like this...
1. Think of someone you love.
2. Ask yourself “Does their weight have anything to do with WHY I love them?”
3. Apply this thought process towards yourself; your weight is NOT why people love you.
If you are a person that either right now, or in their past has allowed themselves to believe that the only reason people like you is because of your style, your weight, your shape or your looks, this is for you. I’m guilty of it too.
After seeing this post it really stuck with me over the next few days. I started to think about all the people I love and what I love about them. When I think of what I love about my best friend it’s that she is empathetic, trustworthy, fun, loves a glass of wine, we can talk for hours, hike together and just depend on one another. One woman in my bible study who I think is the most amazing woman, isn’t amazing because of how she looks, it’s that she prays for me, she is kind and gentle and thoughtful. I love my mom because she is wise and loves to walk through flower gardens. I love my husband because he is my partner in life, he has a fun sense of humor, he is spontaneous and fun. I love my sister because she is hilarious and I always have a fun time when I'm with her! I don’t love any of these people because of their weight or how they look or dress.
I think when I was anorexic and as I’ve healed I’ve come to realize that not only was my weight and looks the only thing I felt like people liked about me, it is all I really truly like about myself and all I really offered. As I lost myself to my eating disorder, the things that made me awesome dimmed and my worth became solely about my body, calories, and food. I remember once when someone had to do an impression of me and they said, “How many calories are in that?” Ouch!
As I have fought to recover I’ve had to re-learn to love myself and re-find who I am and what it is that makes me unique and love-able outside of my body, style and weight. What is it that I want to give others and how do I want to represent myself? This is and was not an easy process. Eating disorders are strong and the mindset of them is difficult to overcome.
As I pondered this challenge I realized that I’m harder on myself then I am on other people. I don’t care about how people look, what they wear, what their job is or their weight. I care if they are honest, kind, empathetic, considerate, passionate and thoughtful, not a size 6, firm abs or beach ready. I care about what makes them them.
I had coffee recently with a woman who has gone through some similar stuff as me. The recovery process forced her to quit her high powered job and she has been feeling insecure, like she has lost her worth and that she doesn’t have much to offer anymore. What’s interesting is I found her to be absolutely fabulous! This woman may not have a job that makes her a ton of money and gives her a big title, but she is truly a gem. We both love art, God, renovating, and have similar senses of humor. I could care less what job she has! If she saw herself the way I do I bet she would be incredibly confident!
I wonder if I’m the same? Maybe what people love about me has nothing to do with my looks or weight. In fact, I’ve learned through this recovery process that this is actually more truth then a maybe. My body is a weight I never would have dreamed of because of recovery. I don’t have as great of style because of lack of inclusivity at clothing stores and my insecurity in how to dress this current body, but people still like me! People still hire me to photograph their special moments! People still want me to stand on a stage and play piano! People still want to hang out and spend time with me! Most of my friends have remained the same and crazy enough I’ve made new friends in a body that doesn’t exactly scream “perfection” right now!
I’m learning that instead of walking in a room thinking all I have to offer is how fit I am and how perfect I am with my diet, style and body, I can now walk into a room knowing I’m compassionate, empathetic, fun, creative, generous, sarcastic, faith driven, a good listener, encouraging and I can cook a dang good pie! My confidence no longer comes from my body, it comes from my character. I have so much more to offer people than what they see when they look at me. It’s taken me a long time to believe that about myself, but honestly I’m really starting to get there!
I think that this challenge can be applied with more then our weight. Put in anything you struggle with in the second question!
Does their job have anything to do with why you love them?.....NO!
Does their car or size of their home have anything to do with why you love them?.....NOPE!!
Does their income have anything to do with why you love them?........DOUBT IT!
Does their degree have anything to do with why you love them?........ WHO CARES?!
Does how many kids they have have anything to do with why you love them?..........DEFINITELY NOT!
Don't believe the lies that our brains and eating disorders want us to believe! When you truly love someone, weight, income, career or home size are not the reasons you love them and they shouldn't be the reason you love yourself or where you find your worth either!
- Sara -