Loving Yourself Is Not Acceptance, Improvement Is

Columnist Gordon Keith of the Dallas Morning News wrote a wonderful piece that appeared in yesterday’s paper about self-acceptance and body image.
In his article, he discusses the increasing trend of body shaming in men, and his own personal experience growing up in the shadows of a fit and sculpted father and brother.  Because he didn’t feel he could ever achieve having bodies like theirs, he leaned on words and wit to stand out.  And if you’ve ever read his columns, heard him on the radio or seen him on television, then you know that he’s funny and insightful.

One of the things Keith says really stuck with me:

Loving yourself is not the complete acceptance of the way you are. It’s about trying to improve.

And I agree wholeheartedly.  I also agree with his closing paragraph, in which he says:

The world will never obey the rule of loving me just as I am, and I shouldn’t either.  If I don’t love myself enough to change those things I can, why should anyone else?  I know I will never look like a guy from 300, but I do know when I should aim higher.

The world is not going to love you as you are, because let’s face it, the world is a harsh judge that only sees what it wants to see:  your exterior.  Your exterior is not who you are.  Your career is not who you are.  You are so much more than what the world sees.  But you can change those things if you are willing and committed to doing so in an attempt to improve yourself.  I decided 15 months ago I would gift myself with bariatric surgery to improve my health.  It was the best decision I have ever made in my life–better than going to college, better than marrying my husband.  While both of those things are great, there is nothing better than loving yourself enough to decide that you are worth improvement.

I am worth improving.

And the best part?  That I decided to change.  No one drove me to it but me.

To say that you should love yourself as you are is to decide you cannot be more, that you cannot be a better version of yourself.  I refuse to accept these things about myself.  I can always be better.  I can always be more.  I can love myself enough to know that I deserve both better and more for myself than I already am.

And you should too.

Friday’s eating was okay.  I ate too many calories, with 1130.  I got in 111 grams of protein, 47 carbs and 49 fat (most from the salmon I ate).  I’m toying with the idea of adjusting my daily calorie intake to between 1000-1200 daily.  So far my body seems okay with this, as most of the weight I put on thanks to water weight gain has come off, and my calorie totals each day this week have nudged closer to 1000 than to 900.  One of my students baked a quiche for Pi Day, and she offered me a slice.  I asked for a tiny piece, and she obliged.  It was ham, eggs, and cheese, and it was fabulous!

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