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Some hard realizations...

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 :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You make good points, and I'm starting to see more and more that other people have similiar insecurities. I've learned from talking to my closest female friends and sisters that their insecurities don't run quite as deep as mine, but I think a lot of that has stemmed from some very humiliating things that happened to me as a teenager and young adult, so I find that many of my fellow Sparkers understand this level of insecurity better than most, however just because a girl (or a boy) doesn't worry so much about appearance doesn't mean there's no insecurities present. I've realized other people are extremely insecure about their level of intelligence, income, wit, or ability to make relationships work...any thing, really. We all have our baggage, and even if it may come in different colors, shapes, and styles, the only way any of us are going to be able to let go out it is to realize we're still carrying it :)
    1744 days ago
    Your post is very honest and it hit home. I've felt this same way before too. It is true though that skinny does not equal beauty. Looks don't even necessarily equal beauty...not for the long haul at least. Someone can be "beautiful" on the outside but their inside is dark, evil and not beautiful and then are they really beautiful? You might skate by on looking beautiful but the other stuff eventually catches up to you. The grass always seems greener on the other side. But, as your bf told you, this "beautiful" girl you are thinking she is...she obviously wasn't "beautiful" enough a person for your bf to keep seeing her. She has faults. Don't discount yourself either. You ARE beautiful and I bet she was probably looking at you and thinking "geez, she's really pretty" and might have been feeling the same way you were feeling toward her. Being healthy is indeed more important so keep workin' your thing and know that you are doing all the right things to make yourself feel good and that is all that counts.
    1745 days ago
    Thank you, it is definitely comforting (although sad, in a sense) to know that so many other people have the same struggle with their confidence and esteem. Hopefully together we can all move forward :)
    1756 days ago
    I happened upon your profile today, and I'm so glad that I chose to read this blog - I KNOW how you felt, I KNOW what you mean! I felt every word you wrote...Mostly, I am so glad that you figured yourself out in this sense. It's a truly awesome thing ...and one that you should give yourself big ups for - I've been there - I so understand!

    Good on you!!
    1756 days ago
    What I've been trying to do is give other people more credit. When I look at my partner, I don't judge whether he is more or less attractive than people in my past or people in the room. I just see him as who he is, the person I am in love with. And I certainly don't compare my female friends against the other girls in the room to discern who is "better", so why do I assume that everyone else is doing that to me? I know some people are shallow and catty, but certainly many are also like me, equally insecure about *some* perceived flaw and hoping to just mask it with confidence. It's amusing in a sad way, the social games we play.
    1759 days ago
    Amazing blog, so inspirational and true.
    It is hard having physical insecurities and being in a relationship.
    It is a quick association to think, because she's prettier she deserves him more than I do.
    But it really has little to do with reality and you've put your finger on it quite well.
    There will always be girls you will think are prettier than you, but your partner is with you for a reason that goes beyond physical beauty and when he looks at you probably thinks you are the prettiest girl in the world no matter your flaws, since you're the one he's with.
    Congratulations on putting forward such deep and sincere emotions and keep up the great work :)
    1760 days ago
  • SLEE103
    I think most girls have felt this one at one time or another...I honestly do. But believe your bf, he sounds genuine and it is inspiring to hear about an open, honest and healthy relationship. The sooner us women realize what you did, that losing weight and body size doesn't designate beauty, the better off we will be!! But why is it so hard!??
    1760 days ago
    Thanks to both of you!

    And Gregg, feel free to message me anytime, I enjoy dialogue but I can't make guarantees as to how amazing my conversations are...sometimes I just talk about puppies forever. :P
    1761 days ago
    You're a seriously insightful girl! Your cliffhanger question at the end of your comment is every bit as amazing as your post. The weight loss is almost formulaic... X+Y=weight loss... but the mental and emotional weight that we've carried as a symptom of our body-image requires it's own special set of tools to deconstruct. You're probably amazing to have conversations with - which by the way, is exactly one of those things that is attractive beyond looks! :-D
    1761 days ago
    Never compare skinny with beauty, none of them had the same resemblance. You can be skinny and No beautiful, or you can be beautiful and not be skinny, keep that in mind.

    Well said......."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"

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder......

    And one last never know what was in her mind.....
    1761 days ago
    Thank you! It was so difficult coming to such conclusions when my entire adult life has been centered on this notion that I need to either be the most beautiful girl in the room, or I need to have a lot of other astonishing traits to make up for the fact that I'm not the most beautiful girl in the room...It's both refreshing and scary to give up that idea, and walk into a room without worrying about such things and let my soul be what people judge me on. Who knew weight loss would be the easy part of this journey? :P
    1763 days ago
    This post is great for so many reasons. One is your total honesty of emotions, and another is for your revelation of how our appearance factors into real love. There are millions of drop dead gorgeous girls out there (of which you are 100% one of them - so insanely beautiful) but that only goes so far, and really what's in your heart and head and soul is what a man will bind with and want to be intimate with, and share all of life's amazing moments with. You're awesome, and I like that. :-D
    1763 days ago
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