When it comes to bad habits, I've got my share -- maybe more than my share, if you ask my husband. But lately, I've been thinking about my bad body habits...you know, the things I keep saying or doing that affect the way I feel about my body.
During my intense year with Shape, the focus was not only on losing weight, but on creating and building new habits that would support a healthy lifestyle forever. I also worked with my life coach on dropping some of the bad habits I'd been carrying, like feeling guilty about taking time away from work or my family to go work out, judging myself and telling myself that success was essentially all or nothing. We've all got those little things we do that affect not only us, but those around us.
I'm notorious for not being able to take a compliment and I've started to see how negative a habit that can be. When someone tells me I look great and I say, "No, I don't" or some other self-deprecating remark, it diminishes not only me, but the person giving the compliment. Just this past weekend, I went to a birthday party and heard one woman say to another, "You look fantastic! Have you lost weight?" (I won't get started on the whole topic of the "weight loss greeting" -- that's a post for another time). Instead of saying thanks, she replied dismissively, "Are you kidding? I've gained five pounds. I'm so bloated." My eyes went immediately to the face of the woman who'd given the compliment. She looked kind of like she'd been slapped.
That got me thinking: When someone (a husband, a child, a friend, etc.) tells us we're beautiful and we shrug it off, aren't we basically telling them that they don't know what beauty is? Didn't our mothers always tell us that beauty was in the eye of the beholder?
This is one habit I'm trying really hard to break.
Just yesterday, even though my hair is horribly overgrown and in need of color at the moment, my daughter said, "Your hair looks really nice, Mom." The urge to say, "No, it doesn't" welled up immediately, but I stopped myself and simply said, "Thanks, hone."
And you know what? The smile on her face was worth the effort of biting my tongue.
After all, she thinks I'm beautiful. Who am I to tell her she's wrong?