How many times have I looked at people from a distance and thought (and judged) them to be one of the "pretty ones," the "lucky ones," the "beautiful people."
I have sometimes been a little angry or even jealous. Why were these people just given the keys to the kingdom since birth? You know...the "beautiful" people - they get doors opened for them (literally and figuratively.) They are given more opportunities. They are more easily believed and people are more likely to strike up conversations with a pleasant face and confident demeanor.
In fact, I spent a good bit of my life, since high school, thinking that there was a kind of "chosen" group of the beautiful people who had it all (the money, the good marriage, the great jobs and opportunities, the good house, everything coming pretty easily to them) while the rest of us struggle and fight for everything we have.
My outlook has matured (or is maturing) and I am gaining a deeper, more balanced world view these days.
In the most recent years, in part because I have worked to lose weight and become more fit, and in part because I have embraced who I am and am a lot less apologetic for being me, I have had a few people refer to me as "beautiful." Some referred to the insides, some referred to the outsides, and in any case, my first instinct was to reject the notion. I am not one of the "chosen" ones, right?
It got me wondering about what they see. It got me wondering about how someone who is struggling right now with weight, who didn't know my story, would perceive me the first time they met me. Would they think I had an easy (or easier) life than they did? That I wouldn't get it? That I had a great job, great home, great family, because I looked "put together" and confident?
We see things on the surface and make a whole lot of assumptions. Or at least I do.
No one who meets me when I go out my door today will see the issues I had with my teeth, the way I didn't bother with makeup for years (and didn't really know how to apply it very well.) They won't see the 320 pound girl with no self esteem who wore sweat pants every day because nothing else fit right and anyway, why bother? I didn't do my nails, I didn't care about my appearance, I didn't know what foods were healthy (I really didn't); I didn't know about baby steps. I had two wretched marriages which ended very dramatically and badly, and I suffered major clinical depression. I didn't leave my house unless I absolutely had to for months at a time. My teeth were a wreck and I chain smoked while eating to numb myself from the pain of living.
But if we meet today, I will smile brightly through the lip gloss, and radiate my new-found happiness despite all that has happened. I will toss my hair (that is neatly combed and styled) and flash my whitened teeth. I will be carrying my Coach bag and have an energetic zip in my step.
And I will blog to tell people they can be anything they decide to be in this life....their choice....one next right choice at a time they can turn it all around. And not knowing anything about me, but stumbling onto the site, they may think, yeah, easy for you to say....you're one of the "chosen" or the "beautiful" people.
They may not want to know all the steps it took to get to this place, how much hard work, self examination, shedding of beliefs, and false starts. Instead they may want to think success is easy for a chosen few, while they sit on the butts and do nothing to improve their situation.
I think it will be part of my mission to explain...we are ALL the beautiful people and the chosen ones. We just need to get up and walk into it.
"I am fit, active, healthy, and enjoying life."