For our diet and indeed in all aspects of our life, we must remember to relax from the demands of the unreal ideal. For those trying to lose weight, you can’t be the Barbie. For those who lift weights, you can’t be the governor of California. Accepting this principle first can give you peace of mind to love what you have, reduce frustration, and actually make weight loss easier in the long run.
A few years ago, while driving to the pharmacy, I saw a family cross the street. There was a woman who appeared to be in her 70s with a thick mass of black hair that fell down her back. Next to her was another 40-year-old woman with a thick mass of black hair that fell down her back. And walking with them, a teenage girl with a thick mass of black hair that fell down her back, and next to her was a girl of about six years with a thick mass of black hair that fell down her back.
The teenager was pushing a stroller. I craned my neck and observed a small baby tucked inside, no, there was not a mass of flowing black hair. But I could see little black locks starting and I was willing to bet what that would look like in the future.
I drove to the pharmacy feeling a little sad. When I got to the store, I saw rows of hair-beautifying products. Products to increase volume, smooth, curl, add bounce. I had tried many of them in the past with maybe some improvement, but not much. What he really needed was more hair. If any of those walking women gave me a little bit of their hair, it would really benefit me and I doubt they would miss out. I have fine blonde baby hair. The kind that withers in the heat, hangs limply in the rain, and loses its style quickly.
Later that week, I happened to see the Maury talk show. Women were on the show complaining about their hair. A young African American caught my eye. Around the age of 14, he had coarse black hair. It sprouted from his head and was all over the place. She cried when she told Maury she hadn’t had a comb in her hair in years because it messed everything up. I was surprised when he told Maury that the bugs landed on his hair and stayed there. And I thought she had a hair problem.
After watching the show, I started to think about my hair and instead of seeing it as a problem, I decided to focus on the assets. Okay, my hair was really fine … but that meant a couple of 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 highlighted it because it took forever to grow. Also, you would never have to pay for an “UPDO” because there wasn’t enough hair to fix it!
I thought of my struggle to have long hair. The hair of my dreams was a long, shiny mane. I’d given up on that idea a long time ago and decided to settle for a chin-length bob. But that wasn’t working either. My hair looked straight and drab.
The same thing happened with my nails. I wanted medium length nails, but the nail products and calcium were not producing results. At that very moment 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.
Then stop the hairdresser. They cut my hair into a very simple mane that reached just below my ear. On “good hair days” she could wear it over the ear. And on bad times or when the rain caught me, I could slip it behind my ear. Highlights were added to give it body and more shine and I bought products that while not working miracles, were suitable for my hair.
Next, I threw out all my nail hardeners. They may work for other people, but not for me. I limited my nails to a simple, blunt length. I bought a very good file and a suede tampon. If I paint them I will use them transparent or pale pink. But they are usually only polished for a healthy shine. No more fighting with nails. Woof!
It’s amazing how good it feels and how simple our life becomes when we accept what we have and use it to our advantage. Think about what you have, that you struggle to change. Is it something you can change or is it something you can’t? Life is so much easier when you work with what you have.
In fact, no one is going to mistake me for the Breck Girl or the lady from the Herbal Essence Shampoo commercial. But that’s okay because now I enjoy my hair and nails, and that’s what matters!