Sunday, May 12, 2013
There's too much pressure to be perfect.
Women in particular are inundated with constant messages from TV, movies, books, sometimes friends, family, etc. that unless we look picture perfect, we don't count for much.
What we do with these messages, what we allow ourselves to become in response to them is, of course, and always will be, our choice.
But why is it so hard to resist the temptation to feel bad about ourselves?
This morning I read a thread on the Sparkpeople Cafe. The topic was "how do you honestly feel about yourself?"
It made me sad to see how many responses indicated a tendency of so many people to berate and browbeat themselves for their appearance, how "weak" they are, sometimes to the point of what sounds like out-and-out self hatred.
One girl summed it up by saying: "like I'm never good enough".
I'm guilty of this thinking too, and I want it to stop. When I apply myself to really accepting who and what I am, flaws and all, I find that I begin to feel really, really good. So much of the weight loss battle is managing hormones and brain chemicals. A happy being is so much more capable of change. One that's in a constant state of red-alert has its hands full dealing with fluctuations in hormones and brain chemicals. It's the same reason why a lot of sugar and other refined carbs are a no-no: they send our chemicals on a roller coaster ride. So does a constant barrage of critical self talk.
I'll bet those of us who talk to ourselves like this would never talk to another person like this. We deserve better from ourselves.
We're NOT just an image in a mirror. We're the sum total of our strengths, our heart, our values, what we do for others, our talents, our accomplishments, etc. AND, even when we DO choose to focus on the image in the mirror, we are often guilty of not seeing it accurately. Too often our eyes turn to those things we wish were different, grossly exxaggerating their importance, and pitifully downplaying our good points.
Let's make it a point to change our focus. Love what's good in yourself, vow to work towards changing what's not with the understanding that no one is perfect. We'll slip. But heck - baseball hall-of-famers are only "perfect" 80 per cent of the time. Why do we expect perfection from ourselves?
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I love my fiance. The chemistry I feel for him is the same as when we first met.
I wish I could say I thought it was the same for him.
I wish that I could quit thinking that if I were a Size 4 or something, maybe he'd look at me the same way I look at him.
He's trim and perfect. I constantly feel a sense of embarrassment and guilt that I'm not at my best for him.
He says he doesn't care about my weight. But I can feel that he is different toward me than he was initially.
My better judgement tells me it's not the weight. But since I don't know WHAT it is, and he's not a talker, my imagination likes to fill in the blanks.
Guess I think if his friends thought I was gorgeous, maybe he'd see me as gorgeous.
I really just want to see myself in his eyes again, the way it was in the beginning.
All things must pass, I suppose, but that?
I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far, and if I whine and cajole enough, I can get him to say he's proud of me.. but somehow, when you get it that way -- it doesn't mean as much.
So I'm focusing on me and how I feel about me. Maybe someday.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Today, I'm .... struggling.
That's what I'd say in one of those "Game Room" board posts, if it said, today, I'm...
The fiance and I are not seeing eye to eye on some things, all of a sudden.. I had a couple of blows to my confidence yesterday, and I'm starting to feel some sadness creeping in.
For me, when sadness shows up, usually most things begin to fall apart, so this is - yep, one of those "Panic Button" board post moments...
I'm scared. Last night I cheated on my eating plan for the first time in a month.
Now my mission, should I choose to accept it, is to perform triage: not let a one-day rocky road become a week long or year long one.
Can I do it?
I hope so.
Right now I'm tired, disillusioned, and have my doubts.
The one bright spot on the horizon: this morning I buttoned and zipped my Size 10 jeans for the first time in 9 months.
Now, I'm gonna get back on that rocky road, and try to focus on what's working, and not what's not...
happy Sparking, friends.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
About a month ago I moved to Kentucky to live with my fiance in a brand new house he'd just bought. We'd lived two years together in Mississippi in a 125-year old house that we struggled to renovate with almost zero funds and juggled myriad health problems and stress-triggers out the wazoo. His dad passed away in April,I hit menopause, we lost two of our beloved dogs, and I had a 6 month long falling out with my mother. Suffice it to say, it was tough, and our relationship suffered.
In November, he packed his stuff and moved out, returning to Kentucky where he'd been living before. He said he wasn't "leaving" me, but I knew that if we were going to remain together, i'd probably have to move 460 miles and join him. This was a complicated proposition as i tour with a blues band that is based out of Mississippi, and I knew this would involve a long and difficult commute for me, the girl who has NO experience with long distance driving.
Well, I told you all that to say this: everything worked out, and for the past month we've grown closer and stronger together. And I've had an absolute blast decorating this place.
A month ago is, coincidentally, also about the time I rejoined Sparkpeople.
I did well on Spark in 2009, losing around 60 lbs but quit before I reached my goal, which was to lose about 40 more.
Between 2009 and 2012 I gained back about half of that weight. When I passed the 200 mark, I rejoined Spark. I didn't want to end up back at 233.
I've noticed a lot of similarities between decorating a home and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Here are several of the important things I've observed:
You can't make all the changes at once. It's a process. Every piece of furniture, window treatment, chosen color scheme etc. moves you closer to the home you're dreaming of. Likewise every workout, healthy food choice, glass of water, or login to Spark brings you a step closer to the you you dream of seeing in the mirror.
While it's helpful to have a general idea of your long term goal, it may change along the way. Every time I found a new item, be it from an antique mall, flea market, Goodwill or Dollar store, it seemed to influence every other decision from there on out. And as we exercise, eat right and improve, our image for ourselves and who we are may be influenced as well. We may, for instance, discover that we're doing this not as much for how we look as how we feel.
The most important thing to do is just keep moving forward. You may have no idea how you will get there, but every move in a positive direction will bring you closer.
It's important to enjoy every step. I get as excited picking out placemats as I do finding a great deal on the antique dresser I've dreamed of since I was a little girl. If I can stay that excited about my great breakfast choice, how I said no to the fat-laden treat at the party or how I ordered "healthy" off a restaurant menu despite having to tweak some things, the excitement of the journey is as important as the finished product.
If you're like me, I've had certain home acquisitions I've literally dreamed of finding for decades. In some cases, since I was a little girl. This makes me kind of child like in my approach to decorating, and a child like enthusiasm is VERY motivating, and feels great. If we think of re-inventing ourselves with a little of that child-like exuberance, the process will be much more fun, and I'm pretty sure we'll be way more successful, too.
After all, there is very little difference between creating your dream "space" and creating your dream "life".
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I'm lying in bed this morning, one eye peeling itself open excruciatingly slow, that one eye clearly abhorring the process with the intensity of a cat in a clothes dryer.
That one eye happens to settle its blurry pre-coffee stare onto ........my wrist.
Now, mind you, my eye is actually less than impressed, but is able nonetheless to send word to my brain, which begins to bark repeatedly, like a Labrador in a Lamborghini:
"I can see my wrist bone. Wrist bone..... (pant pant-- slobber slobber---) WRIST bone..... I CAN SEE MY WRIST BONE!"
My brain won. Sending my body to a bolt upright position in 0-7 seconds, I was now fully awake, beaming and bouncing like a toddler at Christmas.
You seasoned people remember the first two weeks, right? The obvious signs are few. Yes, the scale registers 7.4 lbs less than 14 days ago, and yes, I feel whomptillion times better.. but who'd have known it would be that coy little wrist bone that would be the first to make me say: I SEE A DIFFERENCE.
Hold on to that feeling, I tell myself. That's the one. Small wins, gigantic milestones, and every step on the journey in between, that feeling is what we do this for.
It's not the weight lost, although that is what it comes down to. But it's that fabulous feeling about ourselves that tells us: I did this for me and I am proud. Of me.
So today I thank myself for being willing to help me for a change. To make an effort to improve my experience of this life. To tend to ME for a change.
And I thank Spark for providing the perfect fertile environment to foster the love of self in us all.
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