In the pursuit of lifelong happiness; not every day has to be perfect. I’ve been thinking along these lines for the last couple of days as I try to figure out how to put into words the idea that even the best self-size-accepting person still has bad days. Especially in a world where no matter how proud you can feel about yourself and the abilities of your own body; someone is always there willing to tear you down a peg for daring to exist outside of socially acceptable sizes. There will always be someone out there ready to hate your body FOR you; trying to pull you back into despair and self-loathing. And it will not always be easy to deflect those comments or glances with sheer wit and confidence. Not every day is perfect.
And it doesn’t HAVE to be. My point today is that getting to “lifelong happiness” and, dare I say “Healthiness” doesn’t mean that every day is better than the last, with no horrible little breaks in between. Somedays you might just feel like crap. You didn’t sleep well. You have a sore back from over-lifting or bending to garden the day before. You just can’t get COMFORTABLE in your own skin (you know, those days when you lay on the couch wishing your arm detached at the shoulder so you could snuggle down just right?). You have a day when your hair just won’t lay flat/poof up right/get frizzy enough. You just had to overhear some shitty little comment about your body from some total stranger. Whatever the underlying cause, there are days when you just can’t feel happy. The goal on such days though, is to realize them for the small road bumps that they are in your path to overall wellness.
Always remember that one of the keys to being at ease with your body, whatever its size or shape, is to love it. Pure and simple. Love yourself and your body. Accept who you are and how you look. But part of that acceptance is also learning to love and accept those days when you DON’T want to love the shape of your hips or the texture of your hair or the size of your nose. Those non-perfect days will come along; hopefully less and less frequently; as you try to teach yourself that all those years of non-stop self-hating were unnecessary. Just don’t think of those “off” days as nails in the coffin of your self-love battle. Consider them more as another test of your willingness to continue to take such things in stride as often as you can; not let them affect your overall happiness/mental health except as more indications of just how good those “good days” can feel in comparison. After all, in purely a philosophical tangent, one might never truly appreciate happiness if we had never known otherwise.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” (Mother Teresa)
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“One begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness.” (Dahli Lama)
Self-acceptance; as part of Health at Every Size or just in its own right, is not as simple as flicking a switch in your brain. It is a process; it is a journey. There will be stops and starts along the way. Not every day, will be perfect. And that is okay.