Monday, November 23, 2009


When driving to work the other day, I found myself behind a car with a license plate that read "B AZ U R." (I took this to mean "Be As You Are" and not "Be Azure," as the car wasn't blue.)

Over the last several days I've started to view that as a pretty clear directive.

The other night at my cousin's wedding someone told me I looked "so much better" than before.

Now, over the last 18+ months I've become pretty fanatical about what I eat and I exercise quite a bit. And I'm pleased with the progress I've made.

Could I be buffer? Sure.

I took the "so much better" comment in stride because it was meant as a compliment, but the remark certainly instigated a bit of soul-searching. I know that I was unhappy with how I looked prior to starting my fitness and diet program, but when someone tells you that you look "so much better," you can only imagine how others saw you previously.

I was depressed and happy simultaneously for a while. I knew I should be pleased that someone recognized all the effort I've put in. And I feel better as well as look better, so how can I lose?

But it's like when someone takes you in confidence by badmouthing another person—you think to yourself, gee, if that's what they say about this person, what must they say about me?

And then I remembered the license plate. As bizarre as it may sound, the more I thought about that unconscious message, the more I realized that I'm the only person that needs to be happy with me. And while that chore is sometimes a bit harder than it should be, the path toward self-esteem is a little less rocky than it used to be. So "being as I am" isn't bad at all; in fact, it's so much better than before. That's a pretty good place to be.

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