We ARE all Beautiful!

I just read on Twitter (thanks to @FitBottomedGirl) about OperationBeautiful.com and am in tears.  Now the tears may be caused by the prednisone I'm taking, but I think not!  I think I'm emotional about this because don't we ALL need to hear this?  Aren't we ALL beautiful?  We are!  We are all unique and quirky and beautiful - inside and out and it is time that we realize it.

I fall into the "I don't think I'm beautiful" trap all the time.  I have people in my life who think I *am* beautiful but my mind has conditioned me to 'poo poo' any such nonsense!  Me? Beautiful? Pfft! 

And as I lose weight I want to embrace the beauty within me as much as the beauty others see on the surface... the beauty on the surface is what I struggle with.  And I know that soooo many of my weighloss buddies struggle with this, too.

I was (well, I still am...) the younger sister of a beautiful girl... who turned into a beautiful woman.  I was always compared to her and never appreciated it, honestly.  She was the cheerleader and skinny as a rail - I purposefully never tried out for cheerleading to avoid comparisons.  I was the tomboy - she was the one who rolled her hair and wore makeup from the moment our parents would allow it.

But you know what?  I *was* beautiful growing up.  I didn't have many people commenting on it because I was in the shadow of my sister- but I was.  Blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean, with a big smile and a curiousity for life that was unending. 

She was reserved - I was bubbly and funny, entering talent shows and starring in musicals and plays.  I look at pictures of myself from my childhood and try to understand how I got such a complex and when did I begin to believe I wasn't beautiful?  And I thank God for my Dad who always loved me - tomboy playing baseball with the boys in my neighborhood - or dressed up for the prom and wearing high heels for the first time! : )     

Some of us struggle with our weight because our excess weight is a 'buffer' to having to deal with deeper, underlying problems... feelings of inadequacy, feelings of neglect, feelings that we aren't 'pretty'. 

We need to stop all of that negative thinking about ourselves.  We ARE pretty.  We ARE beautiful.  We are unique and wonderful and one of a kind and how awesome is that?  I'm really going to try to not wave-off the next compliment I get.  I saw my ex-fiancee last night and he was saying how beautiful I looked (I was in a dress, hose and heels) and I said "You really don't need to say that, it's okay." and he repeated it- looking at me as if to say "do you hear me?".  I heard him but I didn't want to accept the compliment.  Friends on Facebook that look me up will comment on recent pictures and say "You look just as beautiful now as you did when you were in school...".  I actually wrote back to one guy - "Oh, you must have me confused with my sister."  to which he replied, "No... YOU were the pretty one."  I remember sitting there, staring at the computer screen and thinking, "I was?!". 

We both were.  My sister was and is pretty.  I was pretty and am still. More importantly, we're both beautiful inside. 

Say it aloud if you're home.  "I'm beautiful."  Then say it again - louder- and mean it.  Look at yourself in the mirror in the morning with your hair tossled from sleep and your face not yet ready for the world to see and say it... "I'm beautiful."  Then smile and say it again and mean it. 

We are.  We're beautiful.

Please take a minute to read Operation Beautiful - it is an inspiring site:
End fat talk one anonymous post it note at a time!
The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough... just the way you are!
And I - for one - plan to have sticky notes and a flair pen in my purse or backpack with me whenever I'm out and about now.  I will be the Zorro of Ladies Rooms... leaving little "You are beautiful and unique!" post-it notes wherever I may be! 
Here's one for you! ; )