Are your expectations whales or mermaids – or neither?

Posted on October 8, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

During the week I saw a great post on facebook – yes there can be some positive comments and posts! – and I think it’s relevant to my blog. Thanks to Delphine Fieberg I am going to re-post it here.

A while back at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way
Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.
Mermaids do not exist.
But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side
Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.
At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I orefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.
We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself “How amazing am I?”

The girl in the picture is a French model by the name of Tara Lynn.

This post is neither putting down thin women nor encouraging unhelathy weight levels- either too big or too thin.
This post was prompted by two things:
1) the wisdom of the wording
2) a friend’s response to a tweet/facebook update of mine from a couple of weeks ago about calm leadership and setting of expectations. Her observation was that this is workable as long as the expectations are realistic.
You see I assumed that expectations would be – and we all know what assumptions do! Thanks to my friend for picking that up. And the facebook post above reminded me – many times we have an “ideal outcome” in mind – yet is it really ideal?
Who wants to be a mermaid…….in that queue at the psychologist office?
A better question is who wants to be in good shape for their body, feeling fit and healthy, with the energy to do the things you love (including have fun, eat and drink with family and friends).
Sure there might be some extra words needed in those expectations for them to become clear and positive and encouraging. And I believe those extra words are worth it. Striving for and achieving a realistic expectation is far more satisfying than striving for one that has a whole host of unintended and unhelpful connotations and side effects.

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