No video today y’all. Why? Because I am away in Las Vegas, Nevada. I wish I was away for fun, but I am here to learn. I am attending the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Symposium. I am going to complete the courses for Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and attend a lot of trainings and discussions on Eating Disorders.
Ok enough about me, let’s talk about you. You feel a lot of pressure to look and act a certain way. Now in most areas of the country this pressure can look and feel a bit different, but we are special (in a good way) here in Texoma. Us Southern Texas woman are strong and fabulous. We like our hair big, our eyelashes long, and our lipstick powerful. Isn’t being a girl fun!?!
But it is also difficult too. It is a challenge to keep up with this expectation. I mean, let’s be real honest here…there are days when you just want to pull your hair into a messy bun, throw on your sweat pants, run to the grocery store, and not give a shit. But yet you don’t. You fear leaving the house not fully dressed from H2T (head to toe for the non-Top Model watchers) because you worry someone will see you.
You don’t want to be judged as not having it all together. You want to be the mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and volunteer that looks like she has it all together. You want to meet everyone else’s needs and look amazing while doing it. But that is exhausting.
The other day I sat in a meeting of my peers to discuss how we can support each other. These women were all successful in their own field and way. They have good jobs, are advocates, volunteers, wives, moms, and friends. You know what each one said they struggled with? Making time for self! Each one wanted to take better care of herself but she didn’t know how. She was too worried about taking care of everyone else.
Why do we always put ourselves last?
Maybe your expectations for yourself are too high? Can you really do it all? I believe you can have it all, but you can do it all. Not in a day. Sometimes not even in a week. Hell sometimes it make take you years to have it all. You have a lifetime to do it all. You don’t have to do it all today.
So why do we feel the need to try to be perfect each day?
Comparison: you compare yourself to the other women in your circle and your community. You hear and see all she is doing and want to also be doing what she is doing.
You fear being judged: if you are not doing all that your neighbor is doing you worry you will be criticized for lacking.
Your mentality: you believe “If I don’t do it, no one else will” – and perhaps this may be a bit true but maybe this also has to do a little bit with control. You like things being done your way because your way works. Your way is right. However it is hard for you let other people help you or do things because you worry something will not go right.
Society says so: Watch TV for an evening and count how many ads discuss weight loss, beauty products, fashion, or dieting. There. Are. So. Many. Personally I am over it. These ads, whether you want to truly admit it or not, send the message you are not fit enough, pretty enough, or good enough. So you want to buy more product to comply with the standard.
The strong Texoman woman in you is probably wanting to avoid admitting you are bothered by these things. I am. My colleagues are. My peers are. My friends are. My clients are. Take a deep breath. You are not alone. It is OK. You still kick ass every day and doing a great job as mom, daughter, wife, employee, friend, and volunteer. I want you to continue doing those things but to really enjoy it, rather than resent it. Consider these things as you get dressed to go out into your day tomorrow:
You are doing a good job. Look at the evidence of this success today. Are the kids laughing and on to school on time? Did you complete some tasks at work today? Rather than focus on what your neighbor is doing look at what you are doing instead.
If you worry you will be judged for not doing something right, remember this…your neighbor screwed up today. She failed in one way or another. We still love her and respect her, but she messed up. See you are not the only one that isn’t perfect.
Let it go. I hate when people say that to me (I also hate the song), but in order to be concise those were the easiest words. Your way is right, but so is the next person’s way. You are only one person and you have only 24 hours today. Do what you can, the rest will be there tomorrow.
You are beautiful. What you are wear, how you look, and your weight has nothing to do with your beauty. Your beauty is your soul, your personality, and your values. What you do is important and is making the world a better place. That’s what makes you beautiful and that is what people will remember.
Girl you are awesome. Don’t believe me, ask someone you love what they love about you. Listen and accept what they have to say. Now say it with me, “I am awesome” and remember that as you go about your day.
Stephanie Waitt, LPC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Sherman, Texas. Stephanie works with young and successful women to help restore balance and peace. She specializes in working with individuals with eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, and depression.