Thanksgiving Day, I had a bit of a personal experience. After I had gotten to my parents’ home and was seated in the dining room chatting with them, I began to look around the room. On the one stand next to the interior wall, I spotted an old picture of me. If my mother is right (I mentioned it to her later), it was the casual picture I had taken when I had my senior pictures taken in high school.
When I first saw the picture, I did a double take. “That was me?! Damn, I was cute back then!” In fact, I was so taken by the picture that I almost had trouble believing it really was me. I looked rather different back then. It was before my hairline had really started to recede and before I put on an extra 70+ pounds. This realization was somewhat depressing, and for a moment, I even mourned the fact that I was no longer that young man in the picture.
What’s more, I mourned that I never realized how good looking I really was back then. I never considered myself ugly (and never have), but I did consider myself pretty plain. Part of that was because the school nurse kept harping on the fact that I was “slightly overweight” every year. Add that to the fact that none of the girls in school really seemed all that interested in me (nor the boys, but I wouldn’t have been ready to pursue that possibility anyway), and it just never occurred to me how great I looked. Of course, that made the realization rather sweet now, even if I did wish I would’ve taken better advantage of my looks back then.
But then Miss Thing (Have I mentioned that I love having a patron goddess who let’s me get away with calling her names like “Miss Thing”?) began pointing out to me that I’m still very good looking. Despite the decrease in hair and the increase in weight. And besides, I’m slowly, very slowly, doing something about that latter part. It is entirely likely that in three or four years, I could be that “slightly overweight” (in which case I will party) guy in the picture again, just at twice the age. But it’s going to take time, patience, and a lot of self love. After all, if I try to rush things, I’ll only get frustrated and sabotage my own efforts. And besides, I need to accept I already look great so that it becomes a matter of improving on an already great thing rather than some struggle against myself.
So I will continue to do my exercising (which I admit I’ve been bad about for the past couple weeks). I’ll get back to eating healthier. And I’ll continue to do so because I enjoy it (I’m already pining for longer days and warmer weather again so I can return to my walking). But at least now, I do it with a glimmer of hope that despite not being my primary goal, there’s proof that I could really enjoy the fringe benefits in the long run, too.