I am part of a Facebook group called the #LiveALittle project. It is filled with people that are trying to experience life more fully and really grab happiness. It starts with being healthy and good to yourself. It is a really positive place that I have gotten a lot of support from. One of the members said something that really opened my mind this week: “No one knows the price you paid to get here.” That sentence is so layered. It really does sort of absolve a lot of things for me.
That comment was on a larger discussion about a typical jealousy. It is about seeing one of those beautiful fit women at the gym making it all look easy, the kind of woman who most likely hasn’t licked the chicken grease off her fingers purely because she liked the taste. You might find it understandable to say or think thoughts of jealousy; I do. I have wanted to kick said woman in the shins so that she also gimps around like me. I may have called this woman names and secretly hoped cellulite dotted her derriere. These are horrible thoughts that come up very quickly and dismissed out of shame just as quick, but I can’t deny the feeling sometimes that it is easier for some than others. So I envy. I have the feeling that I will never get to that point where someone is jealous of my fitness. So I get disappointed or hopeless.
Jealousy is deep and dark and doesn’t really ever show a full picture. Mom used to say, walk a mile in their moccasins. If I don’t at least try to empathize with the woman I am jealous of, it discounts not only what the beautiful lady at the gym did to get there and also what I did to even get to the gym at all. There are countless reasons why that woman works out harder than me, and some of them aren’t always what I think. I know women who use working out to get over things: miscarriages, divorces, and even abuse. So yes, maybe she is one of those people who just love working out and has done it every day of her life and has been skinny all her life and she is looking at me and saying, Suck it fat lady as she sidles up to the treadmill next to me. It is much more likely she doesn’t even notice I’m there because she is there fighting her own battles. If anything she probably looks over and thinks Hey if she can be this brave and determined so can I.
We women really need to get to the point where we pick each other up instead of wanting all of us to be the same or on the same level. No one knows the pain i.e. the price I paid to get here. Sometimes I don’t even realize the pain that is influencing my decision. It was only a few years ago, I realized why I hate sweat so much. I am almost forty. The Oklahoma humidity and the inability to find the right deodorant led to teasing in my youth. Even though I have found the perfect deodorant and haven’t stunk in quite a while that stayed with me. I really avoid sweat like the plague. I am working against that, but it affects me. Seeing me at the gym, you would not know what a triumph just sweating in public is for me. No one would. How could they?
No one knows the price I paid to get to where I am right now. If I thought that every time I was super hard on myself, I think I would feel better about my life. If I really went through all my actions to get to this place I might even be proud. Sometimes when I talk to my Grandma, she does that for me. Whenever I say things like “I will never” be or do certain things she will list my accomplishments in the adoring way she does. She gushes my milestones back to me in record time in a proud powerful tone. Words like caring, intelligent, and giving she uses to describe me. These things aren’t things I say to myself, which is a shame. Also, not everyone has someone like Grandma to talk to and remind them of their successes.
We need to be able to remind ourselves. We need to be able to pull up that confident voice in our minds that says you are able, because look what you have done so far.