Look Beautiful, Feel Beautiful

A Woman’s Daily Battle

Beauty has Become an Obsession

The insecurities of being a woman are many indeed. There is an unspoken and sometimes spoken expectation to be beautiful, sexy, thin, and have a perfect body. The standards are so high that no woman could possibly live up to them, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

I used to wake up and feel good about myself. I used to wake up and be happy with how I looked, happy with my body. There was a time when I didn’t even obsess about it, much less think about it. Now it is in every waking thought. What should I eat? What should I wear? How should I wear my hair? What should I buy? How is my make-up? It is exhausting. And every woman knows it. I want to wake up again and throw my hair up and it look good. I want to put on my clothes and know they are flattering. I want to feel sexy and beautiful, but most of the time it is a constant battle. Every woman I ever see I look at her and start the comparisons….fashion sense, hair style, body type, personality. It’s an awful thing to do but every woman does it…most of the time without even realizing it.

Your Own Worst Critic is Yourself
Women tear themselves down, judge themselves and we truly are our own worst critic. We need that “pick-me up” that compliment, we need someone to say “you are beautiful” and mean it. Because sometimes all the pressures and expectations in this world are enough to make us sit down and cry and just give up all together. A compliment for me is like a waking up to an amazing cup of coffee…it totally makes my day. I am a total sucker for a good old fashion genuine compliment.

Perfection Doesn’t Equal Happiness
Because the truth is, we will never measure up because that standard is an impossible one. It is a figment of our imagination that tells us if we get there, if we have a perfect body, great hair, fashion, and sex appeal then we will finally be happy, we will finally have the marriage we want, the relationships we want, and the peace that we are all so desperately after.

Give Yourself a Break
There are days when I feel like crap. Days when my hair doesn’t do what I want it to, days when my pants don’t fit right, my face is breaking out, and all I want to do is put on my sweatpants, eat chocolate, and watch chick flicks. And I can honestly say, women need to have those days. We need to have those days where we just don’t have to try because it is exhausting.

Getting Ready is Harder than you Think
I can’t roll out of bed and look beautiful. It takes time, effort, and skill to put together an appearance that is socially acceptable. I get up in the morning and just stand in front of my closet trying to decide what I can wear that will make me look sexy, feel good, but feel as comfortable as sweatpants…I have yet to find that outfit, but that doesn’t stop me from searching every single morning. I worry about things like what color will look good on me, what outfit will flatter my shape without making me look too pudgy, short, or frumpy. What outfit will transform me into Cinderella?

Feeling Guilty about Food
Then there is the pressure on what to eat? What to eat for breakfast? Oatmeal and a banana doesn’t sound good when it’s up against its ever so delicious rival the donut. But then I think, what is going to make me lose weight, the oatmeal or the donut? Then comes lunch, and instead of a burger and fries, which is what I really want, it’s a salad and water…yummmm…. So then about twenty minutes after lunch I am starving and by the time dinner rolls around I feel hungry and crabby and then all I really want is pizza and breadsticks. But that’s not the healthy choice either now is it? So I either give in and eat the pizza or I eat another tasteless substance-less meal and go to bed hungry and start all over again the next day. I ask myself what is going to make me feel better…eating the pizza or being thin? The whole woman-food relationship is incredibly unhealthy. I want to eat what I want when I want and not feel guilty about it.

I remember a couple months ago I had really been struggling with how I looked and it seemed like no matter how hard I worked at the gym I just couldn’t get anywhere. My husband and I had come home from the gym, it was about 9:00pm and I was hungry. I had been feeling so down on myself about my clothes being so tight and I put a cracker in my mouth and felt so guilty. I lost it. I started bawling my eyes out because I was hungry and all I wanted to do was eat something but eating something made me feel so horrible because I was already feeling like such a fat-ass.

Now let me pause for a second and explain the actual facts. I’m not fat, nor have I ever been. I am healthy and should be happy with how I look. But it was one of those days and I was in one of those moods and nothing was helping. But that is how we as women get and I bet every single one of you can relate. You know exactly what I am talking about and how those days feel.

It’s a Never Ending Battle
Those days happen, it’s a reality. But being obsessed over how we look, what we eat, and if we are living up to those ridiculous expectations doesn’t have to control our lives. My best days are when I decide I am not going to worry about what I eat or how I look. Usually that’s a Saturday… but that’s what it takes…to make a daily decision to tell yourself “today, I’m just not going to worry about it”. Give yourself a break day. And the next day do it again. If you make it a conscious decision enough times, eventually it will become an unconscious decision.

Amy Dardis


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