One day I just stopped caring

As a little girl I was sassy and confident. I was happy being me and didn’t have a care in the world especially how other people saw me. Then I began to grow up and it was during my teenage years in junior high that I began to let other people’s opinions start to impact me. I went through a period of one eyebrowed awkwardness and was insecure in my looks and in myself in general. I hid my insecurities fairly well, with my wit and sarcasm. But then one summer vacation, I learned how to use a tweezer and I evolved from caterpillar to butterfly and I didn’t care what anyone thought anymore. I felt confident in my own skin. I carried my head high and proud.

Then it happened again, as an adult.. babies come, you get tired, weight sneaks up on you, you focus on them more than yourself, you let yourself go. One day I just stopped caring about myself. My babies grew into little boys, who grew into teens, who now are adults and I found myself looking at someone in the mirror I no longer recognized. Like many women I am sure, the sway and swagger only showed up on “special occasions” if and when reassured a hundred times and you actually believed that you looked great and that dress does not make you look fat.

So I suffered through a period of: How do I look? Nothing fits right. I hate my hair, I wish my legs were longer and thinner. Yikes, look at my gut. I don’t want to run to the store.. what if I run into someone I know looking like this. I’m a hot mess. Oh this picture is horrible. Cut it up, throw it away. Ugh, don’t post that picture I look ugly. You can see my wrinkles, oh those bags under my eyes.. the list goes on and on.. Looking good meant “put together”, make up on, clothes effectively hiding any problem areas.

And then one day I just stopped caring about my appearance and focused on how I felt. It doesn’t matter how you look if you do not feel great. So I started to eat better and found activities that I loved to get fit. The weight came off, I began to get tone and the clothes got smaller and fit better. Better eating habits improved my complexion, the wrinkles seemed less intense, better sleeping patterns formed and with proper rest the circles got lighter. But I still was stuck in my feeling of what looking good meant and was particular in the photos I shared. And I cringed if someone shared a picture that I didn’t deem worthy. I’d be embarrassed if I run a race and the finish line photo made my look “ugly”, like that photo somehow lessened the accomplishment of the feat at hand.

Recently, very recently in fact, I completely stopped caring and changed my opinion on what “looking good” meant. It could very well have been when my grandson arrived. Because a good picture of him needs to be shared no matter how Nonna looks..

Maya Angelou says it best in Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

Looking good to me still encompasses being all prettied up in a dress with my hair just right and my makeup on point, or in cute jeans and a top and awesome boots and a cowboy hat, but it also is me after a kickass workout dripping with sweat and face red and hair a mess. It is me with a bikini on with a slight belly bulge in a pony tail, it is me with a big goofy smile and crazy eyes, it is me from the back sweaty and stinky facing away from the mountain I just climbed. It is me enjoying and living life to the fullest, from any angle good or bad, it is how I feel that comes through in the picture, alive, joyful, determined, fierce and if you can’t see that in me, I no longer care. I think I look good!

9 thoughts on “One day I just stopped caring

  1. You are beautiful in each one of those pictures! Each one shows a different facet of your beauty! Thank you for sharing. OF COURSE, Ryder is always handsome!

    I am @ that age and sage of life where how *I* feel is most important.

    HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We do tend to waste a lot of time/energy caring what other people think… Like they have the right/obligation to judge others. But really aren’t we judging ourselves with a harsher yardstick that we use to judge others?
    Maybe we need to remember who actually has the right to judge, our Lord God, and Jesus who delivered LOVE not condemnation. We all need to learn to love ourselves and others unconditionally.. We will never reach perfection in that endeavor.. but we can each give it our best effort.
    I have always seen a beautiful woman in any picture of you, you have posted.. some are quite fearsome but still beautiful. I think I see your heart shining through, not just the outside. You do have a beautiful soul,,, and a heart of gold, too match.
    Have a great weekend…
    Audra (sp 75HealthyMe)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said :), I relate to your blog, I found out so much about myself on the weight loss journey and liking then loving myself was a huge part.
    You do look wonderful and happy 🙂
    Congrats
    Chris
    SP doveseyes

    Like

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