Sunday, July 28, 2013
So as I mentioned in my last entry, I went to visit/meet my boyfriend's family last week. And as I had feared, we ended up encountering his ex girlfriend. This encounter made me realize some pretty important things.
I'm secure in my relationship, I trust my partner completely. And yet, for every moment that 'the ex' was in sight, I was filled with gut-wrenching anxiety and insecurity. Why? Because she was skinnier than me.
My BMI is in a healthy category, I wear a size 8-10 depending on the brand, and generally people have stopped making fat jokes about me. I also knew (from my partner, from hearing his friends talk about her) that she was so crazy thin because of years of drug abuse, but none of these things mattered to me in that moment. All I had registered was that she was thinner than me, and therefore was prettier. And by 'being prettier', she was therefore the obvious better choice for my partner, and I was sick with insecurity that he would realize this now, seeing his past and present partners in the same room.
It's not the first time I've felt these things, in fact quite the opposite, but it was the first time I saw it juxtaposed so completely. There I was, in my partner's hometown because he wants me to meet his family, see his past, be part of his future. And all of that good sentiment was completely washed away in my mind because this girl happened to wear a smaller dress size than me.
Thankfully, my relationship is one in which hard conversations are easy to have, so I told my partner how I felt. He looked at me strangely, and told me that while he felt she couldn't compare to me, whatever I saw when I looked at her was not what he saw...he saw her soul, and it wasn't pretty. Mine is.
This trip made me realize so many things. Body type doesn't designate beauty, it is only one subjective factor of many. Someone can be thinner than me and be pretty, someone can be heavier than me and be pretty. It all really depends on what someone considers beauty to be. I need to stop using "weight" as my only indicate of beauty AND my only indicator of health. I eat very well, I exercise multiple times of week, I'm sure my bloodwork is pristine, and yet I feel like a complete failure at health just because of the number printed on my jeans.
I also realized that beauty isn't everything, or even the most important thing. Even if his ex girlfriend is prettier than me, that doesn't mean she is better for him than me, or a better person than me. It just means she happens to have some different traits than I do, perhaps some for better or for worse.
Moving forward, I'm going to continue to do my best to love me for my soul, and appreciate the journey I've already been on, but I also want to work hard to realize that my end goal is NOT to be "prettier" or "prettiest", just to be healthy and to feel good. Outer beauty only goes so far and gets you so much, I want to be a more complete person than that.
And on that note, I'm going to go make dinner- garlic shrimp tossed with couscous, peas, and green onions.... it's not so bad, being healthy :)