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Body Buddy

When my son was little, if I saw he was doing something that would hurt himself intentionally, I’d say, “Don’t hurt my friend”. I say this to my daughter as well.The idea being that I care about them as much as I would a friend seems to be not as obligatory but a choice to care about them. I love each as a buddy and friend and as children.

The more I learn about self-care and self-trust, the more I know I need to teach my daughter how to self-soothe and be there for herself instead of looking for the comfort and acceptance outside herself through drugs, food, or sex perhaps. Seems such a simple concept yet no one ever pointed out my duty to take care of myself in this way.

And then the other day, I was explaining the bracelet on m wrist was my friendship bracelet to myself. That before I could be a good friend to anyone else, I needed to be my own friend first. And Fiona thought about this and agreed and side, “We can have our own Body Buddy.” I gasped at the simple brilliance of this concept and asked if I could use the phrase. She agreed to let me.Body Buddy on Shalavee.com

Imagine if we were all allowed and encouraged to be our own friends from when we were small. That this friendship would allow more self-compassion and thus less self-hatred. What if we didn’t hate our bodies and accepted our differences as beautiful? That we could then have more love and compassion for our fellow humans and less judgement because we knew ourselves well enough. Imagine the rooting of self-trust that would allow us to take bigger and better better risks because we knew we always had our own backs in the end even if we failed. 

The opposites of anxiety and depression is love and trust and connection. It makes complete sense that in giving our next generation solid selse of self and tolerance for our humanity, we are raising people who can make better decisions on behalf of humanity. If this is my only contribution, let it be the best I can give. Let my children know themselves and have faith in their own body buddy. Let my daughter be visible to herself and need no one to give her what she can give herself.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

We All Feel This Way

On two occasions recently, I was gifted these words :”We all feel this way.” And it struck me so profoundly that I thought I should share this in case you too were feeling a little like “no one will understand” and “I’m the only one”.

I know we all think that we’re the only ones. In fact, some say that addicts feel they are “terminally unique”. The entitlement to our “unique” pain fuels our self-hatred and our loneliness. It both defines us and outcasts us. And gives us cause to assuage our pain with our many pain reducing choices of addiction.

I told my friends that I didn’t always feel so certain about what I knew and wanted and that everyone should believe me when I often have doubts about where I’m standing and what I’m really doing. And my friend said,”We all feel that way.” And I believed her. My doubts are not a deficit but a human commonality and do not detract from the legitimacy of anything I say or believe. I know what I know and yet I don’t know it all. That’s OK.We All Feel This Way on Shalavee.com

So I was killing some time cruising through a thrift store. I put my hands on a very soft nice pair of pants that were in my size and a size I no longer wished I was in. I commented to the lady who took my money that I felt aggravated at buying this size (and that perhaps the only way to move forward is to accept where we are now). And the woman said, “We all feel that way.” Sadly, we women often bemoan our aging and plumping, our metabolic slowdown making us cushions for our grandchildren. Our humanity is our commonality.We All Feel This Way on Shalavee.com

I do believe that many of us feel the same about our bodies changing and there’s always a comfort in knowing we are not alone. I would never wish suffering on others but we might as well find comfort in knowing each other’s grief is similar And if we want to change where we are, we need to find the support or an account-a-bili-buddy for our new plan so that we can feel we have the power to hedge our own bets against mother nature slowly. And know we’re not alone in doing so.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Body Image at 50, Being Me Now

I am the same weight as I was but I feel completely different about it. Used to be, if I hadn’t reached my ultimate skinny goal, a number that for a long time was probably unrealistic for my age anyway, then I was a failure. So everyday I defined my success by the number I saw on the scale. I’m not the only one who does this mental dance of Okness with their body image.

This is a very American thing. Girls are hyper aware of what the media is telling them they should look like from the beginning of puberty. And the magazine industry is making greedy fistfuls of dollars selling unrealistic body images to them to make even more revenue in make-up and diet paraphernalia. It’s a hideous business and is selling our young women down a river of self-hatred.Oh My Collage by Shalagh on Shalavee.com

So when I recently lost a little weight, I was proud that I could fit into some of my clothing again. But then I slowly gained a little back. And then I had to sit with what this meant. What I discovered is that if you are not happy with where you are, it’s hard to move. When you accept where you are and that it’s up to you to move on in a fashion that’s honest that you can trust, you will move. Only acceptance, and a realistic plan, will deliver you from your circumstances.

I can be a kind and compassionate adult and if I don’t have to worry about my reliability, I can pick a time to make a change. I’m in charge of my body. And it’s OK just the way it is until I choose to change it and the time and fashion to do so. Having faith in my accountability has really been the cause for change.Perfection, collage by Shalagh on Shalavee.com

So when I went clothes shopping today, I did a wonderful job of picking the exact clothes that will look good on me. Because I’m highly aware of what I am shaped like and how I want to look to feel good about myself. It’s not about the number, it’s about the body image. And about being me right where I am now.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Happier Now That I Like Myself Daily

Not too long ago, say right after Christmas, I woke up and I would dread getting dressed because the following would occur. I would be unhappy about how I looked in the mirror and how tightly my clothing was. My closet of clothing contained fewer options I felt I could fit into, liked myself in, or hid me from view correctly. The top shelf jeans were piled high. I dreaded being myself in my body every day. I longed to jut be happier with myself.

If you’ve never felt this way, that is amazing and I’m so glad because feeling bad about your body just sucks. And if you once felt this and are now in a better mental and physical place, high-five and I’d love to hear your story. And if you are there now, we need to talk. Ten pounds lighter and much happier on Shalavee.com

Let me say up front, if you are one of two ladies I know who are currently pregnant and feel large, I feel for you too and here’s the trick ; the weight doesn’t matter. You’ll get as large as you get, the weight isn’t any reflection of you but of your body’s amazing capacity to keep you species healthy and alive. The weight is its way of prepping for the snowstorm. Please do what I did and turn you back to the scale when they weigh you and let the nurse know you’d rather not know. You’ll get as big as you’ll get, and much like the dollars spent for your wedding, it’ll take what it takes to make it perfect. Your baby will be perfect and you’ll recover eventually, physically and emotionally.

For the rest of you who are disgusted with your bodies and feel like you are in a perpetual ring of sabotage and stuck with your eating and health, you are. You are stuck. And this will only change if you realize/admit you are stuck. Owning where you are is your ticket out of anywhere. It got me out of my first marriage and eventually, it took me to Weight Watchers where in a mere two months, I’ve managed to lose a pants size. All this time I could have done this but instead I was bemoaning the never-changing circumstances of my body. Sigh.Me losing weight on Shalavee.comsing weight

Change nothing and nothing changes” is one of those phrases that always comes up for me around my body. But for all the exercises I would do, I never was willing to actually track and calculate what I put in my face if it meant I couldn’t eat butter, oil, mayo, bread, or pasta when I wanted to.

Choices Vs. Fear

I finally realized that I was clinging to these carbs for fear. For fear that I may starve to death. For fear that when I got upset of nervous, I wouldn’t have something to make me feel better. When I want it, I want it. So I just had it all the time. And my fear never had to worry about stuff, even thought that’s fear’s specialty no matter what. But the body is a machine with a precise equation of calories that it runs on and then the excess gets stored. If you put too much in, it stores those calories. And if you give it less than is required, it takes it away from the fat cells. So I could choose to continue to live ignorantly of this exact point of loss or gain for me and find out by looking in the mirror. Or find the courage and the reason to choose to change my lifestyle up just enough to prove it was not an impossibility after all for me to lose weight. I chose the latter.

I was surprised after I joined Weight Watchers to know that all sorts of people I knew personally had successfully used it at some point in their lives. They would immediately and exuberantly say it worked and then they might wistfully admit they needed to return. We remember when we felt great about ourselves. And I haven’t been this skinny in nearly a decade.

I realize that we are often very attached to our excuses and our stories of failure. Like rosary beads of misery, we go over them and over them exclaiming and retelling our sorrowful excuses why we can’t. So I offer that you have to find a new story that’s so good and noble that you’ll want to see yourself succeed like any friend you’d support through this. My personal is that this year I’m turning 50 years old a tan and there’s no way in Heck that I want to do that feeling daily disdain for my body. My theory is that the only way to fight looking older is to grow your hair longer, whiten your teeth, get a tan, and lose weight. Plus dress nicer and wear make-up. me and Fiona on Shalavee.com

The number one “tool” for weight loss? Community. And that’s what you have with a program where other people show up and share the same worries and thoughts and set backs as you when you attend a group oriented program like weight watchers. You finding out that you are not the only one feeling these feelings of fear and frustration are exactly what others are feeling. And that somehow makes feeling those feelings a little better. And feeling better about yourself is the point here.

So what has your experience been with losing weight? Or what projects have you taken on where you realized you needed an accountabili-buddy to complete ?

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Hey 19 : My Younger Body

I wrote a piece a little while back about my First Time. Yes, that first time ergo the capitals. The resulting response, especially from former boyfriends, was fascinating. As a young woman, I raged against the objectification of my body while simultaneously basing my self-esteem and power on the way I looked. Yet I can tell you, I have never thought that my body was anything to be that proud of. And I honestly can’t ever remember saying “I’m beautiful” or the word “enough” when it came to my body image.Hey 19 August 1985 Nags Head on Shalavee.com

Here I am perusing these images of my younger body thinking, what a daggone shame I couldn’t see how very lovely I was. Always adoring other bodies as “better”. Always in need of some improvement from tanner skin to less to pinch to whiter straighter teeth.

My fellow blogger and friend Heather Serody wrote in this post on her blog Big Girl Life, after a steady daily ritual of losing weight with exercise and eating right, she said she needed to go ahead and kill her weight ghost. She said she had arrived at a new norm for her expectations of her daily life style as being healthy, yes…BUT she goes on to say, “Until very recently (try last month) I always believed that despite any other efforts I was making towards being healthy, … I should ALSO be the weight I was in high school.” She concludes that she was imprisoned by a “success or failure mentality for decades”. She went and wrote that “ideal” weight down on a piece of paper and burned it ceremoniously. The ghost was killed.Hey 19 August 1985 Nags Head on Shalavee.com

Her takeaway was this. “Allowing the past to dictate my relative success or failure in the present time is nothing more than chasing a part of yourself that no longer exists…The culture of staying active and strong, when it gets implanted deep into who you are, frees you from all or nothing thinking. The big goal is to live an active life, eat healthy, and try to squeeze every drop of joy from living that truth.” Amen sister.Hey 19 August 1985 Nags Head on Shalavee.com

I will never be the weight I was when I was here at 19 or 25 or even possibly 30 again. I am resolved that the spastic little gal I was who smoked and was the energizer bunny waitress for all those years won’t be resurrected. And that’s fine by me. I’m making progress using the My Fitness Pal app and have already hit my pre-baby size 12. I can fit into my clothing again and that’s amazing. And I can proudly say that my heart, the one muscle that needs to be in shape with weekly exercise, is healthy and strong.  Hey 19 August 1985 Nags Head on Shalavee.com

Now is the time to make sure my head is also in the most beautiful shape it can be after so many years of low self-esteem. Seeing these lovely pictures of my teenage self has brought a new compassion for myself and all the young women of America who have fallen prey to the media’s self-image cruelty. And I killed my weight ghost as soon as I read Heather’s piece last November. Living in the now and being grateful for it is the gift I want to continue to give myself for the rest of my life.

How do you hold yourself hostage? If only I’d… If I could just… When I get to this point, I’ll …

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