Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On jealousy.

There is a trap that we all fall into. It isn't a hole in the ground or a monetary scam. It isn't an open candy jar or a "gotcha" type of joke. This trap I speak of is a way of thinking. Specifically, a way of thinking about our very own body in relationship to someone else's. Let's call it body image with a heavy emphasis on jealousy, which leads to a surplus of self-judgement. And if you work out at a gym, wear a bathing suit at a public beach or pay attention to advertisements that feature "perfectly" beautiful people—you know exactly what I'm talking about.

I work out every day of the week and that means I have muscles. Those muscles give me the power to lift heavy objects (think dumbbells and boxes full of magazines), and they support my cardiovascular system which helps me run multiple miles without passing out—or stay on the dance floor for hours on end. Essentially speaking, I am strong. On the inside and out. But when I see the girl at my gym with the six-pack abs and the tightly toned tush, I get jealous. I'm instantly reminded that only two of my six show through, and that my lower half sports a bit of cellulite. The image of her sticks with me and, in other words, jealousy gets the best of me. It sucks, but I am human. And I'm far from perfect—but I am strong, which is what I need to be focusing on.

For the longest time, I hated the picture at right. It was taken almost a year ago on a beach in Hawaii. I couldn't focus on the beauty literally surrounding me because I was too distracted by the imperfections I was seeing in my body. It's stupid really, and I've since taken off the bad body image goggles.

Once again, I'm far from perfect—but I am strong. And I am me, totally and originally.

To repeat that mantra is to believe it, which brings me to your daily dose: don't be jealous. Be proud of yourself. Your body is yours and yours alone. Love it with all of your heart and it will love you back ferociously. Life is way too short for everyday comparisons to perfect people. They're really not perfect, and even they succumb to jealousy. Maybe even of you.

Love yourself. Treat yourself right. Eat well and exercise. Smile continuously, and don't leave any room for jealousy. But leave a little bit of room for apple butter. Well, at least that's what I'm telling myself right now. I currently have an entire Crockpot of it cooking in my kitchen. I'm sure you can imagine what that smells like. And if you're wondering, I already ate one apple today.

Just a small guy before lunch, complete with some fresh peanut butter from Whole Foods. It was the perfect appetizer to my peach/pepper jack panini lunch. I will be sad when the peach supply at my local grocery store runs dry, but at least I've got apples. Oh, lawdy do I have me some apples to eat!

Question: What makes you proud of your body? Leave a comment so we can share in each others' accomplishments.

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