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26.6.10

How To Have It All


“I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan,” the old television commercial told us. The ad was for a perfume, and, as I recall, featured a beautiful woman in a stunning gown. The commercial went on to say, “And never let him forget that he’s a man. Because I’m a woman…”

The idea was that women were empowered and able to do anything. Forget Superman. As women, we can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Oh yeah, and make dinner, take the kids to school, mop the kitchen, toss in a load of laundry on the way out the door, soothe a friend on the phone as we’re driving to work…

Oh, and we’re still being sold the idea that we have to look like a movie star while we’re doing it.

The nasty truth is, we have to take care of ourselves first, the rest is impossible.

My former sister-in-law is an amazing woman. Three girls, a full-time job, a lovely home to maintain, expectations of a full dinner on the table, oh, yeah, and the expectation (probably self-imposed) that she should look like a goddess.

This glossy picture took a nasty turn a few days ago. This amazing woman collapsed while making dinner. An ambulance was called. Paramedics and doctors at first thought she’d maybe had a stroke. Tests followed, along with a lot of angst.

The result? Dehydration, compounded, possibly by starvation.

What?

In the Western world? In the 21st century? Get outta here!

Nope.

In addition to all her responsibilities, she was dieting severely, trying to look her best.

By depriving herself of what she needed and doing all these things for others, she compromised her health. Instead of being the caretaker, others had to care for her. (Too bad that it took that big of a wake up call.)

Ladies, we should wake up, too!

We have to make certain our needs are as high on our lists as everyone else’s.

The first thing we have to do is to realize that being healthy is a priority, a bigger priority than fitting into a certain size dress.

Start the day with a good breakfast, not a just a cup of coffee. Make healthier choices at the grocery store. Squeeze in a walk. Maybe practice yoga. At the very least, sleep for eight hours!

Focus on health, rather than an image.

Only by making a commitment to ourselves can we be all that we want to be. Maybe we can bring home the bacon. Maybe we can make that bacon into a fabulous meal. But maybe, just maybe, we have to take care of ourselves first in order to do it all.

2 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Oh, Sierra,

What a wake-up call!

As a former anorexic, I can sympathize. There's that passion for perfection, which in our society means thinness. It's not just unhealthy physically, it's mentally and spiritually sick, too.

Thank you for a wise post.

Warmly,
Lisabet

Sierra said...

I always appreciate your honesty, your integrity, and your candor. Thanks, Lisabet.