Are you your worst critic? It is a toss up in today’s world whether society or our own personal opinions are the worst critics. As for me, the idea of judging another person is out of my thought process. However, I constantly hear people giving their evaluations of others as if they have been given the power of evaluating others and to them their opinion matters. Those that judge the harshest, typically have the most faults to hide. It is no wonder there is such a problem with body image—-personal image—-and self esteem. How does one have any of those things in a society more critical than ever?

As a teenage girl, I was plump. If I were a boy I would have been called “husky”. ¬†High school is where the perceptions of our bodies begin to develop in profound ways. In college, I found working out to be a fun source of entertainment and stress release. I slimmed down and met my first long term boyfriend. He used to tell me, “if you ever get fat I’m gone!” I spent most of my time stressing about every morsel entering my mouth so as to stay slim and keep him happy. Why? Looking back —-it was the person judging me based on aesthetic traits that had the problem—-not my weight. Why can’t people look at important qualities such as loyalty—-honesty—-integrity—-and moral turpitude?

I asked numerous beautiful women to give me one word to describe their bodies. Their answers were shocking. Gross—-fat—-jiggly—-disgusting—-were the more common descriptions given. Why? These women were some of the most incredible, loyal, good hearted people. Why do they not see themselves that way?

A few years ago, a guy I was dating and his family decided it would be funny to call me “big”. When I confronted him with the question of why, to make himself feel better he came up with a response of “well….you’re tall.” Since when are tall and big the same thing? So I asked numerous people to define in one word “big” for me—-just in case I was evaluating this wrong. The responses were—-large—-heavy—-plus —-not one response came back as “tall”. How did it affect me to be described to my face as “big”? I had difficulty eating. Even the healthiest of foods I looked at and worried about gaining weight. When looking in a mirror, I saw a “big” body that needed to lose weight. At that point in my life I was 16% body fat. Hardly what any medical professional would term as “big”. Words do more damage than any fist.

So why are people so cruel? Typically it is their own insecurities that cause them to critically judge others. I have known 3 anorexic women in my life. All three are the first to criticize others and yet they are offended when criticized. Why as a society do we allow insecure, miserable people to get in our minds and alter our opinions of ourselves?

Recently, a beautiful young lady made the cover of People magazine. She created a huge stir. Why? Not because she is beautiful—-which she most definitely is. Not because of her famous family—-as she isn’t part of anything famous. But because she is a size 22. In watching an interview with this delightful young woman, I noticed her very positive self image. How wonderfully refreshing it was to watch a young woman with a positive self image. Why can’t we all have the same positive image of ourself?

I was speaking with a friend recently. They are wonderful in so many ways. Yet the one constant in every conversation was how fat —-disgusting —-unable to lose weight—-my friend thought they are. Yet what I see is a beautiful person with a good heart—-who is not overweight. Yet their stimuli and morphed thought process of what “normal” is has created a poor body image. In fact, their thought of what their normal weight should be would make them too thin and unhealthy. How do you turn poor thinking into positive? Why does a number on a scale determine self worth? Some of the ugliest people I have ever met —-internally—-are the lowest numbers on a scale. They are miserable and toxic.

My challenge is to strike that thinking from your mind. See the beautiful person you are. Take pride in defining yourself in a positive way and become deeper than a puddle. Life is too short to dance with ugly people. Ugly is defined as self absorbed—-critical—-judgmental—-why be around anyone who does not see you for the beautiful person you are both inside and out. Eliminate these critical, toxic people from your world. If anyone in your world makes you feel insecure or critical of yourself—-they do not deserve to be a part of your world.

You are beautiful—-You are special —-and you deserve to be around people of the same caliber.