Don’t Waste Your Life

Today I wasted an hour of my life.  I wasted this hour of my life doing my hair and make-up, which is something that I never ever do, except for maybe a wedding.

Sometimes I wonder if I am missing something. You see all of these pins on pinterest about diets, beauty, makeup, hair and fashion. And of course I suppose there are endless television celebrities and advertisements still out there brainwashing women into believing a certain image of beauty. There are the billboards and the magazines and the female idols in the music industry too. If you take part in all of these types of media, you can see that there is a certain image of beauty that is always being portrayed. Thin waist, tiny body, big breasts, long hair, big eyes, full lips, flawless skin, etc. This image of beauty which many women are forever trying to attain in the world (or at least in North America anyway) is, however, not real and is deceptive.

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I think it is all to easy to fall prey to believing that this image is real and is attainable if it is constantly being put into your mind. And there are so very many of these messages out there that it is downright scary!

Here are some more images I found on pinterest under the “Health & Fitness” category.

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There are so many messages and quotes scaring women into fearing weight gain or staying at the same weight/being content with where they may be at and there are many pictures of models (who are being paid to look that way and whose photos have been airbrushed) that people believe are just what a normal “fit” and “healthy” woman is supposed to look like and is what they too can look like if they just exercise a little everyday and watch what they eat.

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The saddest thing to me is when I see pictures of young women (women who are already beautiful and at a healthy body weight) posting pictures of their before and after weight loss statuses and their weight loss goals, basically hating their bodies as they are (or were) and forever trying to get to another, lower, weight. Many people pin these pictures as inspiration for their weight loss goals too.

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If you click on the images they lead to a blog where all the person posts about is their weight loss statuses, what they ate, how long they worked out that day, and endless self-taken photos of themselves in their underwear.

The reason why I felt fired up to write about this today is because I remember when I had real body image issues a few years back when we still had T.V. and I was buying fitness and fashion magazines, always trying to achieve that image. Every time I would look into the mirror, I could never be satisfied with my appearance, even after I had lost 100 lbs! I still always hated what I saw and wanted to weigh less and less. I still never looked like that image that I had in my mind of “beautiful”, “healthy” or “fit.”I spent all of my thoughts on food and exercise and all of my money on clothes and make-up. I took a million pictures of myself, just like the girl in the picture above and weighed myself daily or sometimes multiple times a day. At my darkest point, I had got really into calorie counting/restricting and bulimia because I was afraid to ever eat anything or keep any food in my body. I would either throw up after eating, or would have to do another hour long workout even if I had already done one or two that same day. I was never happy and never satisfied because I was completely selfish and obsessed with myself and my physical appearance.

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This is one of the only pictures of me that I kept from those dark days of eating disorder misery. I may look happy, but I wasn’t at all.

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A body shot with clothes on. I hated myself then (even though I look like a healthy weight) and got much thinner over the next few months, but I deleted all of those pictures so I never have to be reminded of that scary time of my life.

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I also wore a lot of make-up all the time, bleached my naturally red hair and put on false eyelashes to be prettier.

Now, you might say that that is just a sad case and that I just had issues with self-esteem or whatever else, but I believe that this is a reality for many women. Women who are striving to attain this image of beauty most likely have an eating disorder and are obsessed with their physical appearance. They are afraid to gain weight, they are afraid to eat and they hate what they see staring back at them. I believe that this image of beauty is one that is of a demonic nature and can actually latch onto you and destroy your life if you aren’t careful to protect yourself from these deceptive portrayals, stay conscious enough of what it is you are allowing in your thoughts and stay grounded in reality.

I took a picture of myself today after having straightened half of my hair and doing half of my make-up to compare the real from the artificial.

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The real me has naturally curly hair, lots of freckles and light (almost unnoticeable) eyebrows and eyelashes. I also have problems with my lips being dry and cracked often and an occasional few breakouts on my skin.

The made up side shows my curls straightened out, my freckles and any redness covered up, my eyes and eyebrows are defined with the make-up and I put a bit of pink lipstick on.

When I began to make my appearance up today, my daughters were wondering what the heck I was doing. They were asking all sorts of questions about what was in my make-up bag and what certain items were for. As they watched me straighten my hair, I talked to them about covering up real beauty and trying to fit an image and how this is what many women spend an hour or more on everyday before they can go anywhere. They thought that was really strange because I never bother doing my hair or make-up to go anywhere as a normal part of my morning.

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Autumn also timed me to see how long it took and it was just over an hour. An hour wasted. An hour that I could have instead spent cooking, cleaning, playing with them, writing a blog or nourishing my soul and spirit instead of only focusing my attention on my physical self.

I guess that my message today is this, don’t waste your life! Don’t waste your precious time on something that is so insignificant and fleeting. Yes, it is good to exercise, eat healthy and stay fit. Yes, it is fun to put on a bit of make-up or do your hair (and I suppose that it is necessary for some jobs), but watch yourself and watch your thoughts about beauty and reality. Be mindful of what the media is feeding you and be mindful also of the messages that you too are sending to your own sons or daughters by spending hours a day on your physical appearance, obsessing over your weight, or what types of media you allow in your home (music, T.V. magazines, etc) that your kids are also hearing, seeing and interpreting as reality.

Let’s teach our kids (and ourselves) what real beauty is and instead make it more of a priority to spend our time focusing on and nourishing our spiritual development while we are here, rather than something that is only going to fade and doesn’t actually make any difference in our lives, the lives of others or the bigger picture. Let’s get past ourselves and our selfishness and see more through the eyes of love and compassion for others, focusing more on how our lives can make a difference in the life of another and planting good messages and seeds in our consciences and in our world.

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That’s at least how I would rather spend my life. How about you?

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