Friday, December 31, 2010

My Resolution: Simply Be Me

I've been mentally dwelling on this upcoming year and resolutions that I could make for this New Year's Eve. I could write down all my hopes and dreams, rewrite them into clever goals, and then proceed to never look at them again until the end of the year. This is what I do each year. I'm not ashamed to admit it, because this has been the case in the past. I always make the same goals too... The main one being something about losing weight and upping my personal "hot-o-meter." Haha!

Each year I fail. Yes, I fluctuate weight and it goes up and down, but I never really seem to keep off a lot of weight. This past year, however, I did lose 17 pounds and I kept off 13 of those pounds. That's good on me! More important, I had a realization this past year.

I realized that the reason I always made the same goal was because I was concerned about what boys thought. It's true. I am 25 years old, and I am just now realizing that there is so much more to me than physical appearance and what someone thinks about the size of my waist or thighs. I've had virtually NO trouble grasping this concept in regards to other individuals, but considering myself, I have always fallen short of this comprehension.

I can recall thinking on this a lot after New Year's Eve of my senior year in HS. I spent the night at my friend Laura's house with a bunch of the girls from marching band. All the boys stayed at a house just across the street and we probably separated at about four in the morning. Before we dozed off to catch a few hours of sleep, we started talking about the boys - of course. One of the girls was so concerned that some of the boys were giving her attention because of her larger assets.

Hey, I'm trying to keep this G-Rated people.

As this girl continued to complain, I told her how beautiful she was and not to worry about it. I said, if she was really concerned not to wear things that drew so much attention to them. She didn't have to do that to get attention, but she didn't feel that way. She stated, "Linze, you're so lucky. You're never going to have to worry about a boy liking you or marrying you for your looks. You'll know they really love YOU."

Um... ouch.

I look back now (as in, the last year and half) and can laugh. I know that she didn't really mean it in a cruel way, but it was probably not the best way to get across her point. I am lucky. I'm not a Barbie or a beauty queen, and I believe that I really will know that someone loves me for me before I get married. However, I'm not un-beautiful. I'm not some homely, hideous woman who should never attempt at going after the boy that she wants. In fact, I don't believe there are many women like this - just women who need more self-confidence and a little make-over. However, at the time of this comment, I felt a little bit pierced - a little bit like the confidence bubble I had grown had been popped. I felt like I was that homely, hideous woman, and have thus failed to go after many boys that I have been interested in.

This is about to get bold.

I was talking with my best friend yesterday about some of my personal revelations from the last year, and she said that I tended to put myself into the best friend role with boys - I give myself that label because it's safer. I was a bit stung, but knew instantly she was spot on. Man, I have the best friends... I love that they know when to be honest with me in order to help me grow, improve, and be happier.

After this thought, we talked about it, and I realized that I do this not because I am afraid of rejection, but because I'm afraid of rejection for not being pretty enough. That may appear lame, and lamer still that I am blogging about it, but I hope that is will help other girls (and boys) realize that fear is irrational. MY fear is irrational. Fear is a lack of faith, and therefore, a lack of faith in that which God has created.

I have dated a few boys in my life, and I can think of three that have told me they were choosing someone else because they were prettier. They're schmucks. Excuse the terminology if it offends you, but that's all they are - schmucks. They were blind to something great before them - something flawed, but great. They were focused on one aspect of a relationship and not the things that really matter. Yes, physical attraction matters - I know. However, I know that I have been deeply attracted to guys with different appearances (shorter, WAY tall, chubby, super skinny, average all the way around, ones with beautiful eyes...) because they make me laugh and they show me they care about me. Or, we have a lot in common and we share the same values and standards. So, why couldn't a boy look past a thick waist to see how I make them laugh or feel appreciated? The good ones can. This goes for all girls and body types - really skinny, super chunky, a bit more to love, average or normal, killer curves... We all feel this way from time to time, no matter what we look like - we want to be more than that to a man.

There have been some pretty fantastic, cute, good men that HAVE liked me and dated me... So, my fear is irrational, and needs to find it's permanent end in the new year.

Plus, it just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what that cute guy at the gym thinks when you can't seem to run as many miles on the treadmill as Miss Thang to the left. It doesn't matter what that girl at the supermarket said about you last week as you passed by in your sweats, buying ice cream and salad (or, just ice cream - haha!). It doesn't matter what your mom said about you looking a little too skinny or fat after a long, hard semester at University(I've been lucky to never experience this... but I know many not as lucky). It matters that YOU feel good when you wake-up in the morning. It matters that you feel healthier and happier with each day. It matters that you feel confident in the clothes you wear, or don't wear.

Bathing suits, people. Again, this is G-Rated.

This past year, I have grown in so many ways. I feel good about myself. I feel better about my body and the way I present myself, and although I am still a "bigger girl," I feel healthier and more athletic. I have more muscle and greater endurance. I would wake up and be content with what I saw in the mirror. This wasn't the case everyday (we all have our "fat days" - even boys), but it was most days. I feel happy with who I am, and who I am becoming - mentally, spiritually, AND physically.

I love me... and, I love my body.

I am sure there will be days that I will wake-up and not feel that way, but that's not vindication for beating myself up about it, or not eating for the day. It means I should evaluate why I feel that way, and address the situation accordingly. Sometimes, those feelings are a wake-up call to get more in shape (physically or emotionally), but sometimes, they are simply there to bring you down. Do NOT let self-doubt, fear, or what anyone else says be the rationale for negative feelings or self-loathing.

There's a quote from C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Aslan says to Lucy, "You doubt you're value. Don't run from who you are."

We are children of God. Our value is high above anything else. We are divine creations, and we are Gods and Goddesses in-waiting. If in doubt, or if you are filled with fear (even irrational ones about fearing you are not beautiful enough), turn to the atonement. I'm still learning the full access we are given to the atonement, but I know it is real. I know that it not only covers our sins or trials, but our fears or doubts. The volume of all it encompasses surpasses more than most can imagine. Find the beauty in yourself through your Savior, and then... Go out there and rock the world! :)

What is this year's New Year's Resolution, you ask?

Simply to be me, and to feel beautiful in all-aspects while doing it - because I am.

Song of the Day: My favorite lyrics in this song are, "We can be the kings and queens of anything if we believe," because we are... we just have to figure out how to remember that. I also like, "Exactly who we are is just enough!" Here is Carrie Underwood's song, There's a Place For Us - from Voyage of the Dawn Treader soundtrack. Enjoy!


Brooke said...

Linze, that was beautifully written. I love you tons! I know how you feel. :) Thanks for writing.

Brooke said...

Linze, thanks for writing about that. I feel ya. You're a beautiful and inspiring woman! I love you!

Kate said...

Well said my friend! It's so true. Heavenly Father sees each of us as beautiful!Thanks for sharing! PS: When do I get to see you?

Mindy said...

Linz, you are gogerous! You just RADIATE LIGHT! Seriously, look at every picture on this blog alone and you just shine!

Anya May said...

That is often exactly how I feel! But I guess you knew other people might feel the same... or else you wouldn't have written it. BOLD. I LOVE IT! And just for the record, I think you're awesome. When seeing everyone settles down a little... we should get together:)

Steffi said...

Perfectly written for me as well. Thank you!! Gave me much to think about! Love ya!

Bob said...

Awesome post! It's helping frame my "New Years" resolutions.....

Danielle said...

how did you get so smart? um and for the are a hot mama and some guy is going to love you for you and for your face/body/booty...and well i will refrain from saying my comment about the girl who said that to you...bc some guy will really love her to love that tactless personality. ok that's me getting defensive of you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! I feel like when people finally love and accept themselves that's when change can and will finally happen. I love you Linze.