Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thoughts #25 - Voice

Charles M. Schulz
In the crazy world of time differences, Thursday mornings in Australia mean it is Wednesday afternoons in America.  On top of my dresser, I had a stack of old photos that I've been meaning to share with some family members.  The one on top was of my brother,  my cousins (who are also siblings), and me.  Of this mighty foursome, my brother was the oldest, then my cousin Brad is a year younger.  Then, I came along, and Brad's sister Janna is a year younger than me.  Before the age of 10, the four of us would regularly get together at family events, play hide & seek or tag, run through the sprinklers (which is probably what Janna and I were doing in this picture), or the boys would just pick on and aggravate us girls.  Initial response when seeing this picture?  Oh, I need to post that for the others to see and walk down memory lane like I just did.  So, I posted it for a #TBT (Throwback Thursday for you kids that aren't 'in the know') while most of my friends and family were still enjoying their Wednesday.
Me, Cousin Janna, Cousin Brad, Brother Brian

After I posted it, that inner-critic voice crept into my head.  That voice that starts analyzing and criticizing and breaking myself apart.  I thought to myself things like:
 Well, there's evidence right there that I've never had, nor will I ever have a 'thigh gap'.
My gut was big.
Is one thigh trying to overlap the other thigh?
Look how skinny my arms were compared to my legs.
And more.......
My brother had a thigh gap, but I couldn't even have a thigh gap.
Why did my brother luck out and get the skinny genes?
Yes, these were my thoughts.  Yes, they were upsetting me.  The other side of my brain was telling that voice to "Stop!", but it wasn't listening.  The other part of my brain asked these questions:
How old were you here?  8 or 9?  
Why in the world are you criticizing the body of an 8 or 9 year old?  
Why in the world are you picking yourself apart in a picture that should be a cute family photo?  
And that ugly voice retaliated with:
Why in the world did your mother buy that bathing suit for you?  Those colors and stripes only exaggerate your chubbiness.

Seriously, people.  There is a constant battle in my brain with beating myself up over dumb things and trying to talk some sense into myself.  I am not sharing this for you to tell me I was a cute kid.  I know this.  I really do.  It is just that damn voice that I still carry to this day (when I'm at the biggest/heaviest I've ever been) criticizing and tearing myself apart.

I feel strongly about body image and girl power and loving yourself as you are.  And, I was reminded of this message when I needed to hear it.  You know that "a picture says a thousand words" saying?  Well, a friend of mine posted a picture of her daughter a few hours after I posted my picture (above).  It spoke a thousand words that I needed to hear at that time.  The caption read:
"(Daughter's name) in her new gamer girl t-shirt.
I love her spirit."

I saw the picture, and my inner voice was saying:
There's a girl with spunk!
There's a girl with spirit!
There's a girl who is happy and comfortable and confident.
She exudes self-assuredness (which is the comment I made on the picture as well as admitting that I maybe made up a word).
She looks bright and healthy; She looks sassy and fun.
This is one cool kid.

Isn't that what we want an 8 or 9 year old to feel like?  Isn't that the voice that she should be hearing?  I hope she believes every word about herself that her picture portrays...and that her inner critic doesn't live in her head the way mine does. 


  1. Your last paragraph sums it up. I think we all go through periods of self doubt, especially women about their appearance. We need to say the right things to little girls, and give them good examples to look up to!

  2. some perspective for you: when you were eight, you were wishing you had a thigh gap. when i was eight i was wishing i had thighs.

  3. I love that swimsuit you were sportin'. Totally fabulous. I think that it's an adorable picture of your & your cousins. So, you need to quiet down that inner critic you got going on up in your dome. :)

    Mandie ~


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