Self Acceptance – Lessons From My Hair Affair
For our diet and, indeed, in every aspect of our lives, we must remember to relax from the demands of the unrealistic ideal. For those trying to lose weight, you cannot be the Barbie. For those lifting weights, you cannot be the Governor of California. Accepting this principle first, can give you the peace of mind to love what you do have, lower frustration, and actually make weight loss easier in the long run!
A few years ago while driving to the drugstore I watched a family walk across the street. There was a woman who appeared to be in her 70's with a thick mass of black hair flowing down her back. Next to her was another woman 40ish with a thick mass of black hair flowing down her back. And walking with them, a teen with a thick mass of black hair flowing down her back, and alongside her was a girl about six years old with a thick mass of black hair flowing down her back.
The teen was pushing a pram. I craned my neck and observed a tiny baby tucked inside – no there was no flowing mass of black hair. But I could see little black tufts starting up and I was willing to bet what that would look like in the future.
I drove on to the drugstore feeling a bit gloomy. When I got to the store, I saw rows of hair beautification products. Products to pump up the volume, smooth, curl, add bounce. I had tried many of them in the past with maybe some improvement but not much. What I really needed was more hair. If any of those ladies walking would give me just a little bit of their hair I would really benefit and I doubt if they would miss it. I have baby fine blond hair. The kind that wilts in the heat, hangs limply in the rain and loses its style quickly.
Later that week, I happened to catch the talk show Maury. Women were on the show complaining about their hair. One young African American lady caught my attention. About 14 years old, she had wiry black hair. It sprouted out from her head and went all over the place. She cried as she told Maury that she had not had a comb in her hair in years because it got all tangled. I was shocked as she told Maury that insects landed in her hair and stayed there. And I thought I had problem hair.
After watching the show, I started thinking about my hair and instead of viewing it as a problem I decided to focus on the assets. Ok my hair was very fine ... but that meant a couple minutes with the blow dryer was all it took to dry it. My hair grew very slowly ... but that meant I saved money when I got highlights because it took them forever to grow out. Also I would never have to pay for an "UPDO" because there was not enough hair to do up!
I thought about my struggle to have long hair. My dream hair was a long, shiny mane. I had given that idea up long ago and decided to settle for a chin length bob. But that wasn't working out either. My hair looked flat and drab.
It was the same with my fingernails. I wanted medium length nails but nail products and calcium weren't producing results. Right then and there I decided to ACCEPT what I had and work with it to make life SIMPLE and ENJOYABLE. Instead of fighting my genetic code I would work with it.
Next stop the hairdresser. I had my hair cut off to a very simple bob that hit just below the ear. On "good hair days" I could wear it over the ear. And on bad ones or when I got caught in the rain, I could slick it back behind the ear. Highlights to give it body and more shine were added and I purchased products that while they don't work miracles they were suitable for my hair.
Next I threw out all my nail hardeners. They might work for other people but they weren't working for me. I filed my nails down to a simple, blunt length. I purchased a very good file and a chamois buffer. If I paint them I will use clear or a pale pink. But usually they are just buffed to a healthy glow. No more struggle with the nails. Wow!
It's amazing how good it feels and how much simpler our lives become when we accept what we have and work it to our advantage. Think about what you have, that you struggle to change. Is it something you can change or is it something that you can't. Life is so much easier when you work with what you have.
Indeed, no one is going to mistake me for the Breck Girl or the lady in the Herbal Essence Shampoo commercial. But that's ok because I enjoy my hair and nails now and that's what matters!
Lee Mellott is the webhost for The PATH Weight Loss: www.fatfallacy.com. She holds a Masters degree in Education from Hood College. Born in England, she spent most of her childhood in France and Germany. Lee resides with her husband Rusty and their two daughters Katie and Jessica in Maryland.