Tag Archives: self-image

On beauty and self image.

While it is far beyond National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (March 1), I tucked away an idea for a post after reading a few beautiful posts (Lindsay and Christine both struck me in particular, and Tina too!) on letters to your body and what makes you beautiful *beyond* what’s on the outside.

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Well, I’d like to do a twist on this, because while I have never had an eating disorder (fortunate/blessed not to), I have had a long history struggling with body and self image. While the past two years in particular, have been a huge journey in counteracting that, physically and mentally, I find myself sliding into days or even chronic days of picking myself apart. And I am honestly ashamed of it, and even worse, of admitting it, to myself, and to you all here.

Because so much of it is baseless. Because so much of it is ‘in my head.’ Because so much of it is pointless.

It’s sort of like worrying…it’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere. 

What finally got me? This video. This video from Dove is absolutely stunning. It brought me to tears. And it made me realize that we certainly see ourselves vastly differently than anyone else does. The beautiful words people in this video chose to use to describe the person being drawn. And the expression on that person’s face, the more she heard those words being said about them. Happiness. Emotion. And finally? Realization that they had been describing themselves with negative words, not positive attributes.

 

It’s what I have caught myself doing more than I’d like. And I need to get back to seeing myself the way others do. And valuing myself for who I am – determined, strong, happy, funny.

I need to appreciate myself for who I am, and not who I am not, and love me for me, flaws and all. Because the flaws I see? I can guarantee only I see.

I am beautiful. And I won’t apologize to myself for saying that even though it makes me uncomfortable (and goes back to compliments and being my own best friend). And I will believe it. In every way, not every waybutwithcaveats (I am strong. *Not* I am strong…but she is ripped!)

Self – it is time to cut the sh*t. You. Are. Beautiful. Inside. Outside. Embrace you for all that you are…..for ALL that you ARE.

 

Progress…(somewhat) under wraps.

First of all, thank you so much for your kind words, well wishes, and support for us as we launch into our first home together! It truly means so much to have so many, near and far, care, send support, and pray for us. More than words can say.

(and reading, and rereading all of your comments just makes this feel so much more real, I can’t even stand it! wheeeeeee!!)

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I feel as though – again – I’m silently moving ahead with our plans, to live, to marry, to be and I am not quite sharing it all here. Yes, it is purposeful. Yes, it is with some sense of intent. And yes, it is worth doing this the way we want to do it, and moreso, for ME to do it this way. M knows about my blog, of course (though he used to not, as some of you know!), and supports whatever I decide, in terms of how disclosive I am here, and in ‘real life’ with regard to…well, us.

But at the same time, I *miss* sharing some of this excitement and progress here. And I plan to post more on these things, but probably more so after they have happened, similar to discussing our house plans. Partially out of fear of the proverbial ‘jinx’ and partially because privacy is often underrated, I think. And I need to respect that  – for me, and us – more now than I ever have before.

…just know that good things are in store. Big things. Fabulous things. Uniting things. Soon. Relatively soon. And it’s so damn awesome, I can hardly contain myself. Clearly.

Progress…under wraps.

*file under: being secretive* <–though it is so damn hard!!

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In other not-so-secretive progress ‘news’ – it’s amazing how each day, I feel more and more in tune with my body. More ‘in love’ with me, versus writhing against who I am, my body, my habits. I feel like I own them more, I am confident behind them, and don’t need as many crutches as I have in the past.

I own my eating habits. I know my body. I know what fuels it. I know what it likes. I know how to keep it balanced. And that has taken so long to get a handle on…but it’s been so worth it!

I continue to focus on balancing the ‘smarter, not harder’ mantra, especially when I want to tiptoe over that line because I love what I do so much. I love to teach, yet I love to take classes, yet I love to run. But I can’t do it all, every single day. I need to choose, be selective, yet still get my ‘me’ workouts in where I can and where makes the most sense. Some days are harder than others to realize this, but then I go back to two things: be smart. And embrace the ability.

And, I continue to focus on being my own best friend, loving myself for what it can do, not for what (I perceive it to) not be able to do or look like. Nobody is perfect, so why not strive for excellence, balance, and happiness, instead? Life is too short for perfection, IMHO ;-)

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So…life progresses. In so many good ways. And also in some upcoming challenging ways. But I feel ready. Far more ready than I ever have. And that is worth rejoicing, and embracing, isn’t it? 

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On foodie love and evolutions.

This week, I randomly declared it a week of ‘doing lunch differently’ as I am often inspired by instagram and some of my favorites (including the queen of random, yet delicious, flavor combinations, Lindsay, and Kabocha Queen Sarena!), and because I have been on a huuuuuge wrap kick over the last few months, I figured it was time to switch it up, especially since I am so fortunate to work from home and really can make whatever I want for lunch, not something more suited to an ‘office’ lunch (a can-be-made-ahead wrap, for example!).

And I gotta hand it to myself…I made some freaking delicious meals this week. Take a gander below, or on my instagram and you’ll see loads of variety, which included kabocha (and lots of it, anywhere I could get it! My latest obsession, it is just.so.good!), lentils, a kickass lemon parmesan yogurt sauce, hard boiled eggs, beets, avocado and grilled chicken, to name a few. Droooool.

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This week’s experiment made me realize two things: I crave good, fueling, fresh foods, and I love food. I’d so much rather devour a bowl of oatmeal than a bagel…though once in awhile, that bagel, freshly made from only a local bakery, of course, truly hits the spot, something I know that will fill me up and also taste so.damn.good. Not only do I crave good, fueling, fresh foods…I just love eating. I know that may be a funny thing to say, but I just do. I LOVE food.

Which brings me to Lindsay’s post this week, one of my absolute favorites from her, on what’s important when it comes to eating. Is it the bottom line: how many calories are in it? Or, is it, will this satisfy me physically but yes, also mentally. There is nothing wrong with food bringing you joy (it’s just when it *only* brings you joy, I suppose, where it becomes more of a slippery slope, with fixations, mindlessness etc.). And I think for me, for awhile, I was trying to break the tie of food = joy SO much as I sought mindfulness and intuitive eating, that I would see food more as the black and white: food is a calorie, how many are in it, and then I’ll decide to eat it or not.

…stealing the joy out of it, and the experience, and surroundings entirely.

Of course, there is a balance to eating joyously and healthfully, and everyone needs to find what works for them (because what works for me won’t work for you and vice versa!), but ultimately, eating and sharing and making food should be a happy experience, not stressful, or something that causes anxiety.

And this is my evolution. Coming up on almost two years into my own personal ‘food journey’ if you will, and I realize that while I still believe food is fuel, I also think you can, and should enjoy eating, too.

Because life is far too short to scrimp and pinch and overanalyze every last drop of food you eat. It just is. Don’t you think?

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Cheers friends!

Affirmations.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are…Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”

…even when you have doubts.
…even during moments of self image weakness.
….even when it scares you.
believe in yourself. always.

“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others…let others get inspired by how you handle your imperfections

…perfection isn’t realistic.
…perfection isn’t happy.
…inspiration comes from happiness, overcoming, and perseverance.
…quietly inspire someone today, or BE inspired today.

“If it scares you..it might be a good thing to try.”

…unseat comfort zones (this means me, too!).
…stick your neck out, you’ll never be dissapointed that you did.
…do LIFE differently.

“You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to BE around.”

…CHOOSE your friends.
…step away from those don’t meet you halfway.
…draw a line in the sand, because there’s no sense spreading yourself so thin you don’t enjoy living.

“Someone is thankful for less than YOU have”

…hi, humbleness.
…house? it’ll come.
…able bodied? check.
…imperfections? We all have ‘em.
…live blessed, happy, gracious lives.

“I have no time for your negative bullshit.”

…no words needed. universal.truth.

Just some thoughts swirling today…these happen to be my universal truths walking around as affirmations I need to hear more often than I sometimes want to admit. But at the core of it? This life is meant to be a challenge, so choose it, it is meant to be lived, so shrug off the negativity, it is meant to be learned from, so stare straight at it and grasp what it’s telling you. 

Cheers friends!

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Perception – the real me.

This past weekend, beyond being of epic proportions, was a real eye-opener to me in terms of perception. On the ‘real’ me vs. the ‘blog’ me. It was the very first time I had met ‘blog friends’ that thought I was different in person than on my blog. Not by a massive amount, but just in terms of my demeanor. More reserved, ‘not as woohoo!’ (T’s words! Hehe), than perhaps I come across here.

And that got me thinking…who *is* the real me?

In true stream-of-conscious form, this is me…in real life and on my blog.

I’m happy, by nature. I strive for it, sure, but naturally? I am just a happy person. And I strive to be around happy, positive people. Debbie Downers need not apply.

I’m a giver and a ‘feeder’…the older I get, the more I do as my Nonna did, and ‘feed with love’ and give, with love too.

I’m a worrier. I worry if everyone is having fun if I am hosting a party. I worry about my job, about where I am going with it. I worry about my runs (clearly). I worry about teaching barre n9ne (and bringing it, every single time). But I temper that with de-emphasizing overthinking. I call it worrying checks and balances. I worry ‘just enough’ to keep things in check.

I’m a lover. But I find it hard to show sometimes. I cocoon. I’m not as outward with it as much as I’d like to, or as much as I write about here.

I’m a laugher. I love to laugh till my face hurts. At bad jokes. And good ones. And when I’m nervous. And at random times when I realize after, that may not have been that funny, or appropriate timing (meh, oh well).

I’m way too stuck in my routine for my own good. I seriously stress about it far too often. I can’t settle until the house is clean. Laundry is put away. If I’m traveling, clothes are unpacked. Or if I am caught up on all of my emails. Or work. And to’do’s. (there is something to be said for throwing routine out the window…though I think it would scare the shit out of me to do far too  much…I talk a good game about doing it, but deep down, routine makes me happy.)

I’m a doer and a goal-maker. I don’t feel quite ‘right’ unless I am doing something and working towards a goal. But sometimes it gets the best of me and I just feel burnt. (kind of feeling that way now, actually.)

I’m an overachiever. See above. ;-)

I can see the good in just about any bad situation. It’s my puppies and rainbows side coming out like whoa.

I can be shy. I don’t like to be the center of attention. In fact, I usually hate it.

I can also be loud and funny. It’s weird how I can be shy but also loud, isn’t it?

I’m honest. I’m real. I’m me. Sometimes quiet, sometimes reserved, sometimes ‘in my own head.’ But sometimes willing to step out of my comfort zone and tap a toe on the edgier side. It may not be the edgy side that others define edgy as, but for me? If it makes me uncomfortable, it’s probably edgy (for me!).

And at the core of it? Nothing makes me much happier than being surrounded by happy, loving people all having a good time together. And in those instances? I just sit back, laugh, and breathe it all in.

If someone asked you who you are, who are you? The real you? In all of your strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between?