Don't Judge a Book by It's Cover


A woman’s weight is often times at the forefront of her mind. If she tries on pants, if it’s bathing suit season, if she is gong to have a heavy make out with a new boyfriend, her body image comes into play. I am not saying it’s a good thing or bad thing, but it is how we are conditioned. I go up and down 10 pounds with my weight.  My feeling super strong and sexy weight is 125. My comfortable, things are pretty good weight is 130. I am currently 135 which usually means I am stressed about something or going through a funk.  Although it is not huge weight fluctuation, I don’t like how I feel at 135. Everything is just a little too tight and my stomach rolls over a bit.

I took my family to a party a few weeks ago.  I was wearing my “fat skirt”.  It is the skirt I wear when I want to hide and can’t fit into my jeans so much.  I looked frumpy and felt frumpy.  I mingled for a bit, then passed my baby girl, Eve, to a friend so I could head to the food table.  I got a big pile of food.  Lots of dips n chips, crackers n cheese and a hot dog on a bun.  I looked around for a place to sit.  I saw one chair and started making my way towards it.  As I got close I noticed the woman sitting next to the chair.  She was beautiful.  She had piercing blue eyes, long brown hair, a skinny skinny earth suit sporting the latest in trendy jewelry and clothing.  I thought,”Ugh!  I feel like crap and sitting next to that perfect polished trended out woman seems like the last thing I want to do."  I sat down anyway.  As I got situated in the chair with my napkin and food on my lap I took notice of my feet.  I had just broken both of my big toenails.  One from jumping off a boat and smashing it against the dock and the other from my toe banging on my tennis shoes in exercise class.  I don’t know if you have done that before, but when you don’t have a big toenail or part of it is gone, it looks like something is wrong with the whole foot.  On top of it, I was wearing my flip flops that I sewn a flower on trying to be crafty, but it didn’t quite look as cute as I imagined.  

I took a bite of my hot dog and glanced at the stunning lady’s feet.  Her feet were perfectly manicured with darling shoes.

I get my groove on with fashion quite often, but I am rarely polished from head to toe.  This girl was not messing around.  I wondered how shallow our conversation would be if I had to talk to her.  Would she talk about the last sale she went to and what great deal she got on her name brand items (that I probably haven’t even heard of before) or will she see my toes and stop taking to me while she’s eating?

As I polished my hotdog and finished off  the chips, my friend brought my baby back to me.  I set down my plate and opened my arms.  I was chatting with Eve as I felt trendy lady looking at me. Just then my other 2 daughters came over to touch base.  When they walked away Trendy turned and said, “Are those your daughters?”  “Yes,” I replied.   “They are beautiful,” she said.  I thanked her. I heard that a lot. I am always a little shocked with all of the genetic traits they could have pulled out of the grab bag, they each got all of the good ones.  “Thanks,” I said while I was bouncing Eve on my lap.  Trendy started telling me she has all boys, 3 of them. She continued how she always wanted a girl.  We kept talking.  She was so normal, interesting and engaging.  As we went on, she shared how 16 years ago she gave birth to a baby girl that died 7 days after birth.  She told me how her husband kept it from her that something was seriously wrong with the baby, he thought he was protecting her.  When her daughter died on the 7th day, she was in shock, devastated and numb.  It was the worst thing that could have happened, handled in the worst way.  It took her years to heal from that heartache.  Her marriage couldn’t survive the ordeal.  She lost her baby and eventually, her husband.

I was dumbfounded.  The story broke my heart.  I couldn’t even imagine the pain she went through- unbearable.  I had so much love and compassion for her in that moment. I was so happy I sat down next to her and she felt comfortable enough to share with me.  All of the silly thoughts I had about this lady just because she was pretty and put together.  I created a story of how I thought she would be and didn’t want to engage with her. It’s so so silly.  Why do we do that?  Why when we feel judgement about ourselves we project that judgement onto other people?  

We are all connected. When we forget that we suffer.  It does not matter what your earthsuit looks like, it matters what’s inside.  And what is inside is a human being who wants to be loved, to be seen, to be heard, and to know she matters.  That’s what we all want.  We all have struggles.  We are all going through the same things just with different words.  I let my insecurity put the judgement goggles over my eyes.  I was unable to see her for who she was just because she is here, just because she is breathing, my sister.  She was a woman doing the best she can. We all are doing the best we can where we are.

It is so easy to let our mind drive our thoughts and spin stories. It’s so destructive. I am working on moving from my head to my heart more often.  That’s where the good stuff is. It’s also the space where I allow myself to experience the beauty of life and not the crazy of my mind.

Trendy was beautiful on the outside and even more so on the inside. I don’t think she even noticed my damaged toenails. Don’t judge a hot trendy lady by her cover. See everyone you interact with through the eyes of your heart.  Let’s spread love like butter.  Let’s splatter that sh*t everywhere. ❤️




Leigh KoechnerComment