Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This One Compliment Changed How I Saw My Body

We all have those areas on our body that we're a bit frustrated with. 
For some its their hips, lips, bum, or coconuts. 
For others its their middle. Their thighs. Their eyes. 
I use to hate my hair...I use to despise it. Its baby fine thin, no body, and its plain brown. I use to color it, curl it, cut it, anything I could to make it something it wasn't meant to be. One pregnancy resulted in fabulous hair and the next two caused hair tragedy. My hair literally stopped growing. (Bonus points: I didn't have to shave for 9 months.) Overall, the last two pregnancies caused my hair to get so thin I was really nervous it wouldn't grow back. 
Once it did grow back I contemplated the color and curl thing again.....but the very next morning after thinking about curling it, when my hair had dried, it was curly. And the next day. And the next day. Its a super fine curl and only on the bottom 1/3 but its beautiful. There are threads of shiny silver in there and I love silver. Even at 36, I'm ready for it to be silver.  
My most recent nemesis:
 My calves. 
Don't laugh....I'm serious. 
I have the calves of a grown man! A grown man who must workout on machines everyday to have these fleshy fiends....
Is it practical to be concerned about this body part? No...but its one area I am self-conscience about...until this one compliment changed how I saw a flaw. 
A sister at the Refresh Summit looked at my calves and said, "Nice calves! I'd love to have calves like that."  
My mind raced to name all the negatives and all the reasons I hated that particular body part. But, my brain quieted and I looked at those calves with pride for the first time in my life.

I went from seeing them as a flaw to seeing these mounds of flesh as an asset. Less than a week later they pushed me through my first half marathon. 

Yes, there is a downside to having fleshy calves...I'm limited in certain dress/skirt styles and I, often, have extremely tight muscles that need constant rubbing. I have to baby these things! More flesh= more opportunity for strains and pulls.
But in the end, I left the Refresh Summit with a new outlook of myself and my body.
The moral of the story is not how to quit shaving for 9 months (although that was a nice bonus considering how hard it is to bend over when pregnant). The true moral of the story is to compliment folks liberally, with heart and intent. It just might change how they see themselves and what they believe are flaws!