When You Look Good, You Feel Good.
This has always been my motto – I actually have even put it into some advertising campaigns over the years. Recently it has taken on an entirely new meaning for me.
In August I was hospitalized for a week – out of the blue (ok from Wednesday to Sunday), my body went numb from the ribcage down to my toes. I waited so long to go to the doctor because I really didn’t think there was anything wrong – maybe a pinched nerve. Well after extensive testing (and then some more testing) it was deemed that I have a clinically isolated syndrome of Multiple Sclerosis, this exacerbation is called transverse myelitis with demyelination. What does that mean? It means that I have several benchmarks of Multiple Sclerosis but not all of them so I am being treated as if this will be my only exacerbation. So I am choosing to live my life that once I heal from this blip on my radar of life, I will be fabulous forevermore and back into my heels!
This blip (it sounds cuter than exacerbation so it’s my word) has made it so walking is incredibly challenging – so I have reluctantly shelved my heels and even more reluctantly purchased two pairs of flats! I have also needed to use a walker to assist me – initially all the time and now just when needed. These necessities have made me really sit and think about what the phrase when you look good you feel good means especially when my physical appearance has changed so significantly. I mean I loved my dresses and heels – they were my goto for every occasion. I very rarely wore pants and virtually never wore flats – low heels but never flats. When I am at events from school functions to work to dinner I am visually different. So for me, this phrase has become powerful and I see it in a new light.
I used to say this phrase and place a lighthearted meaning to it like put on some lipgloss and style your hair – you will look amazing therefore feel amazing! Now, I realize there is so much more to this. One of the other blip factors to this illness is I am EXHAUSTED – pure physical and mental exhaustion that transcends that which I felt when my two babies were under 2. This exhaustion has made it challenging to work all day, to go to my children’s sports, school events and dinners but I do it as often as I can. Although, now when I go out in public, I am super conscious of the way I look, so I do my makeup and my hair and put on the snazziest outfit I can find to coordinate with my flats so that people do not notice my exhaustion and my wobbly walk. I am very aware of my physical limitations so to feel good I make sure I look as good as I can in public.
I had a setback last week and I had to get back on the walker and it was parent-teacher night at Arlington High school – this school is HUGE – I was so nervous to walk my daughter’s schedule (my husband was walking my son’s schedule and I want to still be a mom and do my regular life as much as possible so I went) because I knew I was going to be exhausted at night and I also knew I was going to get a lot of looks by people who have been in my circle of life since my children were little but aren’t in the circle enough to know what has been ailing me. So I knew I had to break out the big guns! I styled my hair and made it as big as possible – which isn’t too hard – put on my mascara – dark lipstick – my best pants outfit and my flats. I looked in the mirror and assured myself nobody would even notice my walker because I looked good!
That evening I walked with my head held high and rollated (that’s the fancy name for my walker because it has four wheels) myself around that school like a champion (okay I skipped gym but it was downstairs and I couldn’t figure out how to get my walker down the stairs by myself). Now people are stopping me and asking what happened to me – miraculously they saw past my big hair and dark lipstick and noticed my walker. Now you would think I had my answer all planned out but I didn’t, for some reason, I didn’t think anyone would ask. Silly as that sounds I had nothing rehearsed so my first answer was abrupt and weird since there are only 5 minutes in between classes (and my walker and I needed every second of that time) I replied, “oh I have a neurological challenge going on, it is an MS issue – okay nice to see you I have got to get to Chemistry!” Then as the night went on and the questions kept coming, I just said, “ahhh it’s nothing – long story – I’ll be fine.” I give them a huge smile and decided to let their imagination create my story.
Each person that stopped me though responded, “well you look good!” “Thank you” I’d say because even though I was beyond tired, a little wary of my walker and weak legs, I felt good – I really felt confident because I looked the best I could look to tackle that evening.
I will still use that phrase when you look good you feel good because it really is true. It is a deep pure truth that can change the way you feel about your day. It made me stand taller (it could have been the help of my walker too but I’ll go with the lipstick color I chose) smile more and feel more confident that evening. Go ahead and get a blowout and makeup application for your next evening out – or evening in – I really believe it is important to put yourself on the top of the to-do list. Not tomorrow or next week, today because today is all yours to make it the best day yet and tomorrow is unknown. Make yourself feel good not for the next wedding or special event do it “just because”. You deserve it. We all do.