Thursday, March 13, 2014
They say that spring is around the corner.
It’d better come quick or I’ll need a coroner.
I’ve got snow drifts filling up my head.
Too much of this stuff and I’ll be dead.
Stuck in the heart with an icy splinter.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m tired of winter.
I can’t take more, not one iota.
I’ll fly my posterior to Sarasota.
Say ‘bye, bye’ to all the snow
As I lie beside the Gulf of Mexico.
But the fact is, I’m stuck right here.
With a car of life that I can hardly steer.
I’m weary and aged and fading away.
I love New England, but this price I pay
Is getting expensive, my body is broke.
I try to laugh but it ain’t no joke.
I’m battered and bruised, cankered and bonkered
My sad soul is meteorologically conquered.
What was once pretty and bright and clean
Has the effect of a snowball guillotine.
It’s killing me softly with the powdery stuff.
Hey Mother Nature – enough’s enough!
You’ve proved your point, you’ve got the power.
Isn’t it time for a warm spring shower?
Or maybe a slow and comfortable thaw?
You’re as relentless as an unkind mother-in-law.
Get your foot off the pedal, give us a break.
My head is soggy and my joints ache.
Why don’t you alter your sadistic plan
And drop all the snow in Sarah Palin-land.
Alaska’s where this stuff belongs.
Another foot right here? Well that’s just wrong!
Let’s stop right here and say ‘you win.’
And let the birth of spring begin.
**Carl Stevens is an award-winning general assignment reporter for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston.**
Sunday, March 09, 2014
How are you feeling about yourself today? I know that the range of my self esteem meter spans the great divide between fabulous to failure and everything in between. I read a blog today about body image, and I realized that I am writing this series “Loving Yourself” for many of those same reasons.
I began to write about loving myself and body image because I noticed that every day I was feeling worse about myself - whether it was how I looked in my clothes, my hair, that new pimple on my nose, the number on the scale, or not meeting my daily goals. I was sinking deeper and deeper into the quagmire of perceived failure. I felt like the “big L”. It was this very realization that drove me to write this series. I knew that feeling good about me is the key I need not only for achieving my monthly goals, but being happy with me, and with everything in my life. It is my nirvana, my Shangri-la.
We are goal driven from a very early age, and repeatedly told that we’re unworthy unless we weigh a certain amount, or look a certain way, or “make the grade”. Do you remember the peer pressure to fit in when you were in school? How about grades? Scores on physical fitness tests? Still to this day, no matter what our age, or where we are on this journey toward wholeness, health, and wellness, most of us feel that same pressure to focus on our physical appearance at all costs.
I was finding that I became overly focused on whether or not that taste of dessert last night would add back that pound I had just struggled so very hard to lose over the past couple of weeks, or whether I had done enough with my abbreviated workout because I simply didn’t have the energy to do it as usual today. Was I eating too many carbs, not enough carbs - how could I up my protein, am I drinking enough water – I seemed to always be focused and struggling to find just the right balance to see and be rewarded with that lower number on the scale so I could feel better about myself.
I know the main reason I write about loving yourself and your body is to remind and help us to refocus our attention away from the incessant barrage of misinformation we get from all forms of the media today that serve only to reinforce our all to familiar feelings of inadequacy. No matter how hard we try to absorb all the “right” messages, we can’t help but feel that what we see and hear is the norm, and is what we should desire, and is achievable by using this make-up, coloring our hair, erasing our wrinkles, buying these clothes, or working incessantly hard to re-shape our bodies, only to find ourselves still feeling demoralized and defeated when we stop and take another good look at ourselves. These messages aren’t gospel, in fact they’re highly concocted, and one size doesn’t fit all. We’re led to believe that it is.
I am discovering that I write about these things because I’m searching for, and need to consider, different perspectives than my own, often misguided, thoughts and feelings. We should not need to struggle to remember that no matter what our size, or how we look, we are indeed beautiful both inside and out despite the unrelenting onslaught to our visual senses to the contrary thorough every medium known to mankind.
We need to remember that our health is not solely dependent on size, or some numbers in a chart or table, or some mathematical equation that has been proven to be scientifically nonsensical. Are you aware of the fact that our BMI doesn’t always change even though we’ve been getting healthier? How perverse is that?!
Why is the answer to almost every condition or self-concern to lose weight? Why is there not more attention and credence given to our emotional and spiritual self – to the person as a whole? Why is it always just physical? I’ve started to turn my focus to non-scale victories, and focus on the mental and emotional side of things rather than the number on the scale, and less on things I see or read in magazines or the media, to help find, foster, and maintain my emotional balance. I no longer look at magazines that show pencil thin models with seemingly disdainful pouty mouths conveying the message that my less than perfect persona needs a serious overhaul.
I know that each of us deserves respect, happiness, and love no matter what our shape or size. How many times have you felt shame for how you look, or about your body? Just put on your bathing suit right now to fully illustrate that. I know that I am so much more than all of these numbers – clothing size, scale, BMI, health assessments, my measurements, my age - put together. This truth alone is empowering.
I write about loving ourselves and accepting our body image because I want to encourage each of us to worry less about what we’re wearing, whether we have checked all of our boxes for today, or do these jeans make me look fatter, so we can focus our attention on other aspects of ourselves that also need our attention. I want to remember, and remind myself and others that we need to shift our focus to what truly nourishes us not only physically - but more importantly - emotionally, and spiritually.
We should engage our family and friends in conversation about things that make us feel happy, and connected. Why do we only focus and talk about gratitude on Thanksgiving? What about the other 364 days a year, or even half of them? Is your phone or tablet with you or your loved ones when you are together? When was the last time you read or did something that made you feel better about yourself, or “just plain happy” – just for you – not because you had to or felt you needed to? Wouldn’t this go a long way in helping each of us to love ourselves more and feel more connected with who we really are?
I write about loving myself and learning to accept my body as it is because I have spent most of my younger years, and now my adult years, chasing a number on a scale, or a clothing size, and thinking it would help me feel better, or make me whole. I learned that no matter what my size things happen and problems come and go. The best antidote for whatever you’re facing is to be self-compassionate, forgiving, and learning to appreciate and love yourself just as you are – right here and right now.
I noticed that I have a hard time accepting a compliment, and often feel embarrassed, because I don’t feel it’s true. I’m sure many of you do too. If we learn to stop berating ourselves for all those little perceived flaws and failures, we would be more open and able to gracefully accept the “truth” that others see within us rather than immediately rejecting it.
Through this process of learning to love ourselves and our bodies we can overcome the damage the media and we are consciously, or unconsciously, doing to our bodies each and every day, and to break the cycle of emotional eating that devastates us - not just physically - as we learn to process our emotions healthfully and respectfully. Only then can we develop a healthy relationship with or bodies and food that don’t include restriction, deprivation, and feeling bad about how we look, what we did or didn’t do, or that less than healthy food we just put into our body.
I research and write these blogs for all of these reasons and more. It’s not that I am trying to “focus” on the fact that I am less than to make myself feel worse. I am in search of empowering thoughts and ideas. In the process, I am discovering these are things I have not been aware of until recently, but most certainly wish I’d known and learned sooner, because maybe I could have avoided being where I am today. Maybe you’ll find something in there, too.
In doing so, we can develop and expand our minds to better embrace new thoughts and ideas. We can learn how to love ourselves, our appearance, and our physical body, at any size, at any age, and writing about it helps me to learn it, absorb it, accept it, change it, and, most importantly, to believe it.
Thanks for stopping by!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
"YOU are one of a kind. You are lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everyone else. Embrace your individuality. Self-worth comes from one thing: thinking that you are worthy. So appreciate what it feels like underneath your own skin. You are amazing just the way you are." ~ Melchor Lim
You deserve to wear a smile in your heart.
Not because of what you have or what you do,
But because of who you are.
Yes, you are changing every day,
But you are always amazing
Just As You Are.
"Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself. Be your own best friend. Trust your inner spirit and follow your instincts. Accept who you are completely, the good and the bad, and make changes in your life as YOU see fit not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know its the right thing to do, for YOU." ~ Melchor Lim
Never mistake having great physical characteristics for being a truly attractive person. It is only those who are willing to be real with their selves and real with others at all times that are actually wildly attractive.
As. you. are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.
Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011
Your Life YOUR Way
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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Do you ever feel like it's a vicious cycle of trying to control what you eat, feeling like a failure because the scale doesn't move, punishing yourself for not being "more in control,", thereby manifesting even more bodily stress that causes further havoc in your body? The next step is usually to binge or take our diet to a more extreme, and maybe less healthy step, and the cycle continues …
How many diets have you tried in your lifetime? How many times have you felt the embarrassment and disappointment of having “fallen off the wagon”? Have you ever felt that this weight loss journey is too hard to stick to? If you’re like me, you have tried almost every suggestion you’ve read or heard about to end your food hell, from various food programs – diets – obsessively exercising - fasting- body cleanses - to who-knows-what.
In Marianne Willamson’s recent book, A Course in Weight Loss, she suggests that we try something we may or may not have tried before. She says, “I suggest that you plant a mustard seed and let God’s strength grow within you. I suggest you accept this fact: that you cannot beat this problem otherwise. You cannot stop. You have no control over it. It is bigger than you are. If you could have done this by yourself, you would have done so by now.”
In her new book she provides 21 spiritual lessons to help you surrender your weight forever. Here are a few of her suggestions:
Surrender To Your Food Struggle
“Your freedom lies in accepting that which frightens you most: that you are powerless to stop this problem, to fight it or to fix it . . . your compulsion to eat is stronger than you are . . . you are so tired of this war you have fought against yourself that part of you would rather die than go on. It’s time to surrender the struggle.”
This is something that I have read many times before – face your fear. Until we do this we are constantly turning our back on it, running away from it, or simply in deep denial. The strength will come in the letting go – in the surrender to a power that has held us prisoner long enough. Aren’t you tired of the constant struggle? To me it seems like a never ending battle against my food desires and cravings, and in the end, I find myself eating just to comfort all of that.
How does that paragraph make you feel? Do you feel like it would be a relief? Does it make you anxious? If you’re like me your initial reaction would be are you nuts?! What do you mean give up? If I give up I’ll just continue to pack on the pounds, and become even fatter than I am! Some of you might believe that you would be completely out of control. Yet she goes on to ask, “Aren’t you out of control now? Exactly what part of you would guide you to keep up the fight? This voice that seems to be speaking to you with such concern and wisdom—is that a power that has proven effective at solving the problem? And if in fact it hasn’t, then isn’t it time to fire it as your guide?”
She goes on to note, “Perhaps you feel cornered now, as though you’ve tried everything and all your efforts are spent. Having depended on your own strength to heal yourself, you have ended up smack-dab back in the center of the wound. You feel checkmated by yourself and beaten by your own ego. All your efforts have been for nothing when confronted by the demonic power of your compulsion to eat.” BINGO! Ain’t that the truth?! You feel totally defeated, and that all of your recent and successful efforts have been for naught because you gave into that food that has called your name for the past week, or when you’ve over-indulged on the weekend? Total guilt and defenseless. . .
Here is one statement that hit me square between the eyes. “Your salvation in this area lies not in resisting the truth of your powerlessness before food, but in accepting it and even embracing it. You realize, once you accept that your problem is bigger than you are, that perhaps something else is bigger than it. And then the miracle unfolds in realizing that the power of your mortal self is small when compared to the power of God.”
“You will no longer need to ‘puff yourself up’ in an effort to make yourself ‘big enough’ to handle your problems. In fact, you will discover the power of true humility, deferring to a power that is greater than your own. The Divine is big enough to handle your problems—so you need not be.”
This was the second thing that struck a nerve with me as a friend had said this very thing, almost verbatim, to me about six months ago. She said I ate to make myself feel more powerful because my self esteem was so very small. If you think about this in the context of the Loving Yourself series, along with many of the blogs you read here on Spark People, you will find this to be true, as it is a constant theme. We don’t feel confident or good about ourselves when we are overweight. How can we? But those who have lost the weight and been on maintenance will tell you they finally feel good about themselves – and if we can do this, so will we. I believe that confidence breeds more confidence which naturally increases your self esteem. It’s getting there, and even more so staying there, that is the real difficulty and challenge.
In closing she states, “It is when you allow God to be bigger that you will allow yourself to become physically smaller. You will begin to give up your burdens when you remember there is someone to give them to. Simply remember, ‘I cannot, but God can!’, and that the Divine is big enough to handle your problems – so you need not be.” Now isn’t that a relief?
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