Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reclaiming Myself: Step 1

So I've FINALLY gotten over my melancholy at being a year away from 30 and not where I thought I'd be at this age. I know, it only took me a month and a half. (What can I saw, when I wallow, I wallow.) Part of what snapped me out of it isn't something I'm necessarily comfortable discussing, but needless to say it did what it needed to in snapping me out of it. So now, I'm working on feeling GOOD about myself and loving myself above all else. Not at the expense of ignoring the ones I love, but I feel that right now, I need to make myself a priority more than anything or anyone. (Don't worry, the dog and The Hubs will still be fed and cuddled as needed. ;D)

One thing that I really need to work on is my own self-esteem, as evidenced by that post about identifying a little too much with The Bieste on "Glee". I still identify with her, that hasn't changed. I simply want to make myself feel better about the face I see in the mirror.

I think most married ladies would agree with me when I say that while it's nice to know that our spouse (male or female) thinks we're hot when we're wearing pajama pants and a ratty t-shirt (Team-building exercise, '99), it's not quite the same as knowing other people who you're NOT married to find you attractive. It's crazy, but witnessing someone you're not married to give you the eye is such an ego boost. For me, at least, it makes me feel like I'm not settling for my spouse because he's the only one that finds me attractive, instead I'm choosing to be with my spouse because OBVIOUSLY I'm super-foxy and have options, as evidenced by that one dude totally checking me out while in line at the grocery store. Yeah. I know, it's crazy, but it's how my brain works... and I suspect I'm not the only one. It's a girl thing; we're conditioned by society to want to be found attractive at all times, and when we're not getting that reassurance from anyone other than people we suspect are too biased to be honest, it makes us feel ugly. The Hubs could tell me I'm beautiful until his tongue gets tired, it will still only hold so much weight when the rest of the world isn't giving me the time of day.

So why isn't the world giving me the time of day? Because I got comfortable. I stopped doing my hair other than in a ponytail, stopped wearing make-up, and settled into a rather asexual wardrobe of guy t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops. SEXY. (Yes, The Hubs still told me I'm sexy, even with the hiddy wardrobe.) I got my man, so I stopped putting the effort in. Simple as that! Not saying it's right, just saying it is. Well, no wonder I wasn't gaining any notice from the outside world, I blended in too well.

As part of my image rehab, lately I've been putting a little more effort in. If I don't feel like blow-drying my hair, I at least try to put some product in it to let my natural texture do its thing. I've taken the extra 10 minutes to take care of my skin and put on makeup (yup, I have it down to 10 minutes, I'm THAT GOOD). I'm aiming to wear cuter clothes, even on my "off" days. For example, this past Wednesday I think I only planned to leave the house for, like, 20 minutes total - I still did my hair, put on some make-up, and wore a sweater that made me feel pretty. It worked! I felt like a babe all day, and was seriously only out of the house for maybe an hour, max! Even The Hubs noticed when he came home (and promptly asked what the occasion was, worried he'd forgotten something, hahaha). There was no reason other than I wanted to do it for ME. I wanted to feel pretty, and I did. =)

Now, has the rest of the world noticed? Somewhat. My students are loving it - they're a bunch of superficial teenagers, so OF COURSE they immediately noticed a change, esp. the girls, and are encouraging it. Some of my sophomore boys started hitting on me a little, which was creepy and I quickly put a kibosh on that (but was still a little flattering ;D). But it really doesn't matter - I love how I feel when I look in the mirror again, and that's what's more important to me.

This positive attitude has started to spread into other areas - now I want to be more active, so I've started a very mild walking program to get myself back in physical shape so I can move up to dance videos; I'm very out of shape, and I don't want to jump into more physical action than I'm ready for and then injure myself and stall any forward momentum. I also plan to watch what I eat; not just watch it go into my mouth (har har), but try to be more thoughtful about what I'm eating, as well as try to make the portions smaller and make lower-fat versions of my favorite foods. Not a diet necessarily, just watching it and being more thoughtful about what goes in my mouth. I hate diets. They're too stressful. I do better when I treat it as just being more aware of what I do and how I eat. Will I lose 100 pounds in a year? Probably not. But as long as I feel better about myself and my clothes shrink a little, I'll be happy.

Please don't think I'm only focusing on my outside and think that people only value me FOR my outside. There are two voices in my head; one is insecure and thinks lowly of me, the other is a cocky a**hole that thinks I am the SHIZ inside and out. I'm just trying to give the other voice a little more air-time. =) I know I'm beautiful as a person and have a great personality, I just want to feel beautiful on the outside as well.

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