The other night,some colleagues and I were sitting around enjoying a post-rehearsal glass of wine. This is a pretty fit bunch, over all. Several of the guys do P90X, and I'm constantly running into the tenor at the gym.
The soprano is a tall, willowy sort with a very athletic figure (despite three kids!); the type of body many women strive for and envy. She has a figure that can still handle the type of jeans teenage girls wear. I forget how we got on the subject, but we were talking about eating healthy and our various struggles with weight. I once again found myself surprised that slender, athletic people struggle with food and weight, too! Intellectually I know this, of course, but it always manages to surprise me anyway.
I continue to struggle with my feelings about my own body, weight, and what is truly healthy for me at this particular point in my life. Where is the balance between physical health and emotional health? If I work out regularly and watch what I eat, is that good enough even if I don't like the number on the scale or the tag on my clothes? Is relaxing my regimen from time to time cheating, or is it doing what I have to do to keep from stressing and obsessing?
These types of thoughts run like a ticker tape in the back of my mind whenever health and fitness talk comes up, and this time was no exception. And then something happened that, for the moment at least, completely stopped it.
My colleague leaned across the table and said, "You know, you have the cutest figure!"
I was, needless to say, very pleasantly startled and flattered; no one has ever accused me of such a thing before. I thanked her and told her a bit about my weight loss and ongoing struggles. She very kindly said, "You look great now. When you were singing that Dalila aria the other night at the aria auction, you were so sensual! And you just looked great."
Well, this was just balm to my soul. Why is it that we are so susceptible to the compliments and criticisms of others? Nevertheless, these kind words did give me encouragement. I feel encouraged to keep up with my workouts (been going to the gym, hiking, or jogging on the greenbelt trail nearly every day). It gives me encouragement to continue to eat healthy most of the time, and not to worry too much if I slack off or take a WHOLE DAY OFF like I did earlier this week. It gives me encouragement to allow myself to be more comfortable in my own skin.
That's a powerful gift, from a few little words.
Let me leave you with this. Today, and every day, let's just be gorgeous and not worry about it. Deal?