Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Last night I was reading an article about the model Crystal Renn. If you don't know about her she is gorgeous and when she was young she was anorexic and exercised compulsively to get her 5'10" body down to the sample sizes she needed to wear to be a standard model. One day she decided to get healthy and stopped starving herself and exercising entirely and ended up a size 12 or a "plus size" model. She is still gorgeous. Unfortunately she went to both extremes, too thin and then not exercising at all. Neither one of those is good for your body. When she decided to find balance and exercise a healthy amount she found her body is naturally around a size 8. For this she has received harsh criticism. She is "too fat" to be a regular model but too small to be "plus size". Her comment to the magazine was something to the effect of"why can't I just be what I am, why do people have to care what size I am?".
I thought about this article all night. I remember when Jennifer Hudson and Sara Rue both lost weight and I read some rather harsh blogs on SP about how they had "abandoned" their plus size sisters. Both of these women had faced harsh criticism in the past for being too big and once they inarguably got healthier they were criticized for that as well. Why is someone's size so important to other people? Why do we project our own body issues on friends, family and even celebrities?
What exactly is beautiful? For a long time I thought beautiful had to fit a mold. Petite, thin, perfect figure, shiny hair and if I wasn't those things than I was nothing and I didn't have a place. What I realized over the past year is nobody is perfect but we can be happy. We can love ourselves for whomever we choose to be. The perfect body is what we choose for it to be. If you are happy at a size 16 and lead a fulfilling life than why do we need to label it "plus size". Why does a size have to have any label at all? Nobody has to live in your body but you and you can decide what is healthy for you. No, I am not advocating any specific size. I am saying that if you are eating a normal, healthy diet in a reasonable calorie range and working out for your health and personal enjoyment and not obsessively to lose weight than wherever your body falls in that size range is fine.
When I started I wanted to be a specific size and a specific weight. Basically just smaller than I can remember being in my entire adult life. I am less worried about that now. I just want to be healthy. I want to be able to run a 5K and not feel like I am going to die. I want to be able to hike with my family and play at the beach. Whatever size I end up will be ok as long as I can live the active life I want to lead. Beauty is in everything and you get to decide what is beautiful. If we all work to change our shallow culture it can happen. It starts inside us and our own attitudes about our bodies. You are beautiful as you are, getting healthy. Healthy is beautiful.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
I am getting inspiration all over the place from my Sparkfriends and it is awesome. I just commented on a friends blog about how she felt inadequate so she looked to binge and even though she ate a healthy meal she still felt unsatisfied. The answer to feeling like this is something I discovered on my own. If we suppress our feelings and just keep swallowing them eventually we try to eat them away. People all cope differently. Some people yell, hit, break things, work out, most of us? We eat. When we feel marginalized, hurt, angry, scared we eat.
A big lesson I learned was standing up for myself. I was bullied my whole life. First by my father, then by kids at school, and as an adult by coworkers and friends. I hated making waves, hated confrontation. I realized that whenever I had negative feelings I sought sugar to comfort me. We all know how that turned out. Morbidly obese and looking 15 years older than I was.
When I finally began to draw boundaries and stop letting people treat me poorly I started to have less urges to binge. Don't get me wrong, I still have days where I have the desire but they are much fewer and farther between. I had written a blog back in December about how a friend blew off my birthday and how much it hard hurt me. Truthfully I wanted to yell at her and then I wanted to just avoid the confrontation all together. I waited until I was no longer angry and I told her how I felt it was thoughtless and hurtful. Her response was "well I was just trying to make everyone happy". I responded "that isn't true. You did what was good for you and you didn't consider anyone else's feelings. If you truly care about a friend and you already have plans you don't treat them the way you treated me." She was surprised and embarrassed and it made me feel so good that I had calmly stood up for myself. No tears, no anger. It is what it is and nobody is going to make me feel that way anymore and if they continue to do so I will be cutting ties with them.
This is a huge HUGE movement forward for me. I was the world's biggest people pleaser and I can tell you that chapter of my life is closed. I will still continue to be a good and loving person but with the people who deserve it. The stronger I get the less I need to binge. This all goes back to my blog about getting healthy being 100% mental. This whole journey is a mental one. Fighting our own demons. Our biggest obstacle is not the plate of cookies, but our own self destructive behavior. I am snuffing out my demons and so can you my friends. Make it happen.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Thanks to SCHENPOSSIBLE for giving me this blog idea. Her status was about not making any more excuses and it got me thinking. Excuses are nothing more than lies. Lies to ourselves, lies to our trainers, doctors, loved ones, and friends. There are no excuses for not living a healthy life. It is a do or do not and accepting responsibility for choosing the do not is one of the big lessons we all need to learn.
When I took a 2 month hiatus from the gym I had my reasons but I never blamed anyone else. I blamed me. Not in a harsh self defeating way but in a realistic way. I was stressed out and chose not to make time for it. Period. It wasn't my grandmother's fault she got sick. It wasn't the person who broke into my car at the gym. I kept telling myself it wasn't that important and it was okay but as the weeks passed I knew I was lying to myself. Working out is important. It keeps your heart healthy. It is the key to changing our bodies and to keep losing weight.
A friend texted me yesterday and asked me if I would "help her lose weight". This is an on going thing with her and honestly I don't believe her anymore because it is a lie. She has millions of excuses and it is all lies. Finally I responded to her and said "you don't really want to do this and until you do there is nothing I can say or do to help you. It has to come from inside you. When you reach that point I will help you any way I can but I am done with all of your excuses." Harsh, yes. Reality, yes. To get respect you need to give it and to continue to lie to me while at the same time asking for my time and support is not respect. I have very little time as it is and I am done giving it to people who take advantage.
Her response, "well my tailbone hurts so I can't go to the gym." Boom, another lie. It got me thinking about how easy it is to lie, to make excuses when you really don't want to get healthy. I did it for years. Excuse after excuse. The reality of the situation is nobody can do this for you. Your hubby not wanting to take a walk with you so you didn't is an excuse. Your kids want Mc D's so you got it too is an excuse. Nobody in your family likes "healthy food" or it is too expensive is an excuse. You can make this happen for you. If you CHOOSE to make it happen. Let go of the excuses and you will find solutions. Eating healthy does take more effort but what in life that is worth anything that doesn't take effort? Would you do a half a$$ job raising your kids because it was easier? Of course not. So why do you do that with your own health? YOU ARE WORTH IT. So let go of your excuses and this will get easier. Once I made that decision I immediately started to see changes again.
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