It’s all relative

Published 9:59am Sunday, August 10, 2014

I am a habitual snoozer. I’m not the kind of person who will wake up the first time the alarm goes off.

I know once the buzzer sounds I am no longer getting quality sleep. I know that all I’m accomplishing is prolonging the inevitable. Eventually I will have to wake up. I will not get out of bed until the last possible minute.

I miss the days when I’d get out of bed 30 minutes before class, just enough time to brush my teeth, attempt to tame my hair, get dressed and drive to campus. I miss when only minimal hygiene was required at the start of my day. More than that I miss only having to face a few hours in the classroom before I could go home and take a nap. I miss being upset if I didn’t have time for a nap.

And you know what, back then I thought I was busy. When I started here, I knew I had shifted into a whole nother level of busy. When anyone has asked me how I like my new job, I’ve always responded, “It keeps me busy.” Not because I don’t like it, but because most days that’s the only emotion I have.

But after this week, “busy” has taken on a whole new meaning. With Rachel on vacation, I have temporarily assumed her responsibilities along with mine. It’s funny how easily perceptions can change. One week comes along and suddenly my entire definition of busy is different.

Emotions tend to be relative. Children are filled with wonder every day because they have had so few experiences. When I was little, I was tender-headed, but after years of brushing through my curly hair, that pain has passed.

The sad thing is that body image also tends to be relative. We think of ourselves as fat or thin in comparison to Tyra Banks or Katherine Heigl. I remember being in high school and sometimes thinking how I needed to lose weight. It would only be a passing thought, and I never actually did any sort of dieting other than cutting back soft drinks or sweet tea for a little bit.

My sore spot were my thighs. I know they were mostly muscle after years of dance and cheer, but I still always wished they were smaller.

A few years ago, my mom gave each of us a photo album with pictures of us growing up. As I flipped through it, there was one picture from seventh grade, where I just looked anorexic thin. That was about the same time period I was going back for seconds almost every night. At the time, I didn’t think I was thin (the thigh problem kept me from ever thinking that).

At that moment, I realized that I could never be the judge of whether or not I was thin. Whether conditioned or programmed, most women will always look in the mirror and immediately see that problem are that will distort the rest of the image.

While for the most part, I am confident in my appearance. My weight will always be something that will slightly bother. But while it may slightly bother me, it’s a full-blown problem for others. There will always be a weight lower than what you weigh in at, but that doesn’t mean everyone should reach for it.

The health trend that is continually exploding with new and exciting ways to get in shape and lose weight can sometimes ignore the real reason to exercise or eat better. Diets and fitness programs are supposed to make us be healthier, feel better. Losing too much weight, or losing weight quickly is never healthy.

Denying yourself carbs or sugar, usually on leads to you bingeing on them after a few months. Being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a short-term project with a finish line.

Julia V. Pendley is the lifestyles editor of The Daily Leader. You may email her at or mail a letter to her at Julia V. Pendley, Lifestyles Editor, P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602-0551.