I weigh 203 pounds.
I have kinky hair.
I have curves that fill clothes out in all the right places.
And for the first time in my life, I am appreciative of it all.
I've spent far too many years looking forward to where I wanted to be, ignoring where I actually was.
We all want to be older when we are kids. We can't wait to be 10. We can't wait to be 13. We can't wait to get our licenses. Or be old enough to not have to hope the homeless guy hanging out in front of the closest liquor store to campus will actually return with our hard earned cash and our cheap vodka.
I suppose it's normal enough. As is the eventual wish to be granted the power to slow down when our own little ones are growing before our very eyes; their hopes to be bigger and older reminding us of how fast it really goes by.
Then there are the Untils...You know, the ones that are supposed to come prepackaged with happiness and a pretty little bow?
I can't wait until I lose (five, 10, 20, 50) pounds. I'll celebrate with a cruise.
I can't wait until I can do downward facing dog without looking like a hospital patient in traction. That's when I'll know yoga is working for me.
Or: I can't wait until I get that (tummy tuck, boob lift, nose job). I'll feel so good about myself then.
But what about now? Why put our happiness and self-worth on hold for a future we can't predict, no matter how hard we workout, how many calories we count, or how much we plan to take out of our retirement funds to pay for that plastic surgery? Why not just open our eyes, look in a mirror, and be happy with what is?
I've spent so much energy planning for a better/skinnier/prettier me when I should have been saving some of that Until for the Here and Now. I'm not telling you to forget about your health goals or to give up on your dreams of a six-pack, but I am asking you to take a moment to honor the you in the mirror. The one looking back at you this very minute. The one who deserves to be applauded for getting out of bed another day and just fucking trying.
There's a photo of me on my dresser that The Husband took on our first vacation together. I was 21 and looking happy, care-free, and thin...
There are times I look at my former self and wish I could look like that again. That my thighs would be as toned. My waist as trim. But that's the hindsight talking. If you had asked the me in the photo how I felt, I would have told you I couldn't wait until...
Until what? I lost 10 more pounds? So I could look exactly like I did in high school?
But the high school me wasn't happy, either. She was miserable and lost in sea of self-loathing, only coming up for air to binge again in preparation for the next purge. But both the 33-year-old me and the 21-year-old me wish that we could go back in time and explain to the 15-year-old with the eating disorder that she is beautiful. That she is not meant to look like the cheerleaders she admires.
That her curves are something to be admired, not cursed. That her body is exactly what it should be.
Maybe the 15-year-old would have listened. Maybe she would have realized that the reflection she sees in the mirror needs acceptance and love. Maybe it would have made all the difference in the world.
I am 33.
I weight 203 pounds.
I have kinky hair.
I have curves that fill out clothes in all the right places.
And I am beautiful.
Now it's your turn. What will you tell the woman looking at your from the other side of the mirror?
This post originally appeared on Bookieboo.