I had an interesting experience last Saturday after my author photoshoot. As I was looking through the photos on my computer, I became increasingly depressed, as I normally do when I see a photo of myself. I have never been comfortable with my appearance. I don’t like my face. I wish it was shaped differently, and I wish my skin was perfectly smooth and silky like the skin you see in magazines and ads. My anxiety mounted as the day dragged on; my heart was pounding, I was sad, and I couldn’t function. All I wanted to do was sit and stare at a wall. My motivation had crumbled, and I hated myself.
My mom was near me the whole time and noticed my mood plummeting. She talked to me for a minute and mentioned how this condition that I have (akin to body dysmorphic disorder) runs in the family. I told her that I do not have body dysmorphic disorder. On normal days, I actually feel okay about how I look. I told her that I look 10x better in the mirror (and in my imagination) than I do in photographs, so when I see a picture of myself, my brain doesn’t appreciate it. It’s like viewing a distorted version of my face, one that barely resembles me at all.
We eventually arrived at the crux of the issue, which is my desire to attract an attractive man. You see, I have unfairly high standards when it comes to men. They don’t have to be models or even physically fit to be attractive; all they need is an aesthetically pleasing face, pair of hands, and shoulders. But I have feared for a long time that I could never be good enough for the man that I want. My skin isn’t perfect; it’s dry and splotchy and breaks out now and then. I haven’t been able to achieve my ideal physique yet. The list goes on.
Then my mom said what I have needed to hear repeatedly throughout my life, and I wasn’t even aware of that need. The man I am going to marry will be attracted to me because of my appearance, not in spite of it. Baffling, right?? We also talked about the spiritual aspect: we are attracted to certain kinds of people for a reason, and that the right guy will think I’m the most beautiful woman in the world.
Ridiculously cheesy, I know. But in that moment, it meant everything to me to hear that, and it reversed my mood almost instantly. My motivation has been restored, and this week I have made more progress in my book than I have in the past month. I feel like I’m finally back on track. I even devised the perfect ending for Gray Haze yesterday while on the treadmill. I haven’t felt this excited about anything in a long time!
I’ve made several other changes in February (and in the last few days). Some are too personal to share, but others include updating my blog theme and design, creating an Instagram account, altering my perspective in life, and eating when I am hungry. The last one is still a work-in-progress, since I ignore my hunger late in the evening and early in the morning, but because my doctor recommended I eat 1,800 calories a day, I have been eating more. I’ve gained a few pounds, but I feel much better. I’ve upped my workout routine because I have a little more energy, so I don’t feel as guilty about eating more. I didn’t think I was starving myself, but now I know that I wasn’t getting enough food with the exercise I was doing every day. I am tired of being hungry all the time, and I’m sure my body will balance out anyway. I’m trying to focus more on long-term health goals rather than stressing about the short-term. Sure, it would be nice to lose ten pounds in two weeks, but I’d be okay with losing ten pounds in ten months as well.
I have established a new goal, which is to upgrade my cooking skills so every meal I prepare is the best it could be. I have this funny dream of being a reputable cook in my neighborhood when I grow up. We’ll see if that goes anywhere. I will document my progress on Instagram.
My little sister turned eighteen last week, and my older sister turned twenty-six yesterday. My parents’ health conditions are worsening, so I’ve had to step up my game lately to assist them. I am excited for March, though. Spring is coming. The snow is finally melting. We’ll be in the forties all weekend! Who could have predicted this day would come?
And on March 20th, I am going to Avi Kaplan’s show in SLC. He has been my favorite singer since Pentatonix popped into existence, so this will be a monumental occasion for me. My dad and I will stay in a hotel WITHOUT bed bugs (we hope) for one epic night. I am counting down the days.
Gray Haze stands at 247,607 words, which is about 7,500 more words since January. Most of that progress was made after I rewrote three chapters, so I technically wrote a little more than that. No matter. 😉 It is about as long as three regular novels now. All I have left is one more average novel to write before it is complete (~70,000 words). Hooray!
**Fingers crossed I will be able to finish by the end of May**
How did February treat you? Did it even happen? What are your goals for March? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂