If Only….


Alum Lisa Ann Citarella shares such a powerful message in today’s blog. Read it and celebrate!

If Only….

“If only I hadn’t said that…”

“If only I were smarter…”

“If only I had taken that chance…”

Sound familiar?

Self Acceptance, Compassion & Care

Self CompassionIf you’re like most of us, you’re painfully aware of the way we hold ourselves back–waiting for the magical moment when we will become “enough” and can start living our lives.  If you are reading this blog, your most frequent “if only” may be, “If only I would lose weight.”

So often we cling to this idea that weight loss is the solution, not only for our physical ills, but for our emotional, social, and financial difficulties as well.

Yes, it is true that losing weight can make physical tasks easier for some of us and reduce the likelihood of being ridiculed for our size.  I am not dismissing the importance of those changes.

But expecting weight loss alone to transform your self-image and worldview is like taking Tylenol for a brain tumor–you’re only treating the visible symptoms.  True transformation is much deeper, and comes from a place of acceptance  and self-compassion.

It’s Time To Befriend Yourself

The time has come for all of us to make a choice–to lay down our weapons of self-hatred and inner bullying and don the mantle of self-compassion. It may be uncomfortable–that’s to be expected with a new outfit.

The good news is, it doesn’t have a size label.  Self-compassion is ready for you to wear, in this moment, just as you are.

Try it on now: place your hands on your heart and say “I love you.”  If that feels too far from your current state of mind, try “I choose to be kind to myself.”  The words are less important than the gesture and the intention.

“But wait,” you protest, “I need to push myself!  If I accept where I’m at, I’ll never lose the weight!”

Steeped in a culture of “not good enough,” it is no surprise that you feel that way.  If people were content with themselves, there would be no reason for them to spend millions of dollars on products designed to make them feel better and look younger.

The trouble is, the only people who end up feeling better are the advertisement executives.  We are left feeling less than, waiting for permission to have a life.

Don’t Live On The Sidelines

What are you holding back from doing because you think you’re too heavy?  Swimming in public?  Playing with your kids?  Asking for a raise?  Flirting with someone?  For me, it is going rock climbing.

My best friend’s brothers worked in a rock climbing gym when we were younger, and I spent many hours watching her snake her way to the top of the wall, ringing the bell when she reached her destination.  Despite her encouragement and patience, I always had an excuse why I couldn’t climb.  A headache.  Too much homework.  Not having the right sneakers.  The real reason?  I was convinced I would be too heavy and the person belaying would drop me on the floor.  I spent almost as much time envisioning that scenario as I did watching her triumphant assents.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of living on the sidelines.  I am sick of letting my weight dictate how I engage with life.

How about you?  What step can you take today to embrace an activity you have been avoiding?  Maybe it’s a walk around the block, or updating your resume, or making a phone call.

As for me?  I have a date with a rock-climbing wall.

What activities have you been avoiding because of weight?  Let us know.

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