Some days life throws you a curve ball.
Once upon a time, I was having one of “those” days. I was running around like crazy. My kids were on a mission to make me lose my mind. I was on my tenth attempt that year at actually sticking to Weight Watchers. When it came time for dinner, I decided to listen to my three year old’s cry for “TOAST BREAD!” Raising Cane’s for dinner it would be. Sure, I only had a handful of Weight Watchers points a left for the day, but Raising Cane’s is so easy and delicious, so (like countless times before) I figured I would make up for it the next day.
I ordered food for my family. When I drove to the check out window there was a very thin, very cute, young lady at the register. I was immediately ashamed to be seen ordering the fried food. I imagined she looked at me, frenzied and 60 lbs overweight, and thought, “Lady, you really should be ordering City Greens or steaming some fish for dinner.” Instead, she caught me completely off guard. She looked at me and as she handed me my change, she said, “Wow, you’re really pretty.” I thanked her for the compliment and, after I collected my food, I started to cry.
I cry just typing this. The girl at Raising Cane’s has no idea how that simple remark affected me that day (and today). It reminded me that I am my own worse critic. A lot of us are, especially after we become moms. Most of the time, I am so uncomfortable in my skin and embarrassed of the way I look in my uniform of baggy, black clothing that I only see the stuff I wish I could (better yet would) change. I completely overlook the good stuff. While my family tells me I’m pretty, to hear it from someone who I had assumed would judge me negatively for my appearance was touching. It was also disappointing. It was disappointing that I automatically assign negative opinions about myself to people. I am going to try to stop doing that.
I am also going to try to start giving unexpected compliments. You never know what kind of day someone is having, and a compliment from a stranger could impact them in a positive way. The girl at Raising Cane’s made me feel really happy on a stressful day. I want to do that for someone else. And I encourage you to do the same.
Last summer, I was heading to a yoga class that a friend of mine invited me to. I had never taken a yoga class before and I was 40 lbs overweight in athletic wear. I stopped to grab some iced coffee as a thank you to my friend for using one of her class passes on me, when out walks this guy who was fit, wearing khakis, a tucked in Polo shirt, Oakley sunglasses and a baseball cap – you know the kind of guy you see with a slender, pretty debutante in tow. He looked right at me, stopped and sincerely said “You’re beautiful!” I learned a lot about judgment that day. Thank you, mystery man for putting a little wind in my sails and helping love the skin I’m in!
I’ve always hated my skin, I always saw it as blotchy, uneven, and blemished. Many years ago, I went to Las Vegas for my Aunt’s 40th birthday. We were window shopping at Caesars Palace. We began to browse around a really high end art gallery. When my aunt began to chat wuth the drop-dead gorgeous sales associate. The sales associate looked at me and said, “You have beautiful skin.” I looked over my shoulder, looking around for the person she must have been talking to, and said, “Who? Me?” She said, “Yes, your skin is like porcelain.” It was so genuine and she’ll never know how much it meant to me.