Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Love and Strength

WARNING...I'm going to talk about some body parts....

Back in August I saw a horrible picture of myself that made me cringe.....okay I'm totally lying, it made me cry. And cry hard for a couple of hours and again when I looked at it the next day. In addition to a haircut gone wrong (blame that on a Pinterest picture of a skinny model with an insanely cute haircut), I was unable to slip on my son's football jersey for the annual Parent Night. Because I was too curvy which is my soul saving way of saying, I am overweight.  I had spent a great deal of time convincing myself that it was okay and I was accepting of all the curviness and it didn't change who I was.  I'm here to say, it does change who I am. I don't shop for clothes (the dreaded dressing room mirror situation) I don't like to go out because I can't seem to find anything I love to wear to dress up in. And I couldn't bend over to tie my shoes..There I said it..I couldn't tie my own damned shoes and that wasn't okay...I could tell you all the stories I told myself about how I was indeed healthy and it was a metabolism thing, a menopause thing, a having 2 babies after 40 thing. I could tell you stories about half hearted efforts and failed plans of mine but really who wants to talk about all of that.

But I do want to talk about making peace and making plans...With where I am starting from, with the process and yes. with my body...My fat body....I didn't know how to do that except the way I am tackling all hard things these days...with honesty. So.....another warning...I'm going to talk about body parts a little bit, I'll be gentle but here goes.

I got naked...and I looked in the all of that curviness.  And I cried, a lot...but I didn't leave the mirror or cover up. I cried until I couldn't cry any longer and then I made myself tell myself some loving things. Not easy to do when all I felt was shame and embarrassment and confusion. Like how did my body and I get here. So all I could come up with that was loving is..."you have great hair", "your eyes still sparkle" and "the best part about being this big is you have good boobs"....(I warned you, body parts).  And I'd love to say there was instant acceptance and the shame disappeared, but that isn't the truth. I didn't feel much better, in fact I felt a little worse having spent all that time with a body I couldn't love.  So I did it again the next day, and the next and the next...Every day after my shower I gave my body some love.  But I didn't leave it there because nothing changes unless you change something. You want something, you have to do something to get it. End of story.

I wanted to be strong. So I started doing squats, 5 the first day, 10 the next, 15 the next and so on. I added in jumping jacks, push ups and other floor exercises twice a day. Then I added in some weight stuff for my arms. All done in 15-20 minute sessions at home before I went out for the day and before bed at night. I moved more, stretched more and my body responded.

I changed my eating. I'll write a post about that sometime soon but I started with the Whole30 challenge on January 2 (  No grain, No Dairy, No sugar.  Just like that. I read some blogs, gathered information and jumped in.  I ate better. And my body responded.

And this is me now. 14 pounds lighter, sleeping better, more energy. I feel better but more importantly I feel stronger and I am working towards something I want. And isn't that really the deal. Don't complain, do something. Don't cry, do something. Be patient, stay the course, don't give up, believe in the change.

And now after my shower, I talk to my naked body with less shame and more admiration. I also give my body some love with a handful of warm oil that I rub on my damp skin every morning. I can feel the shrinking and tightening of my thighs, my butt, my hips, my arms and yes my boobs (they are always the first to go, am I right?) I can see my body responding to the way I am treating it, the way I am treating myself. We have a long way to go my body and I . Patience has never been a strong trait of mine but I'm making friends with patience. I know health is coming because I am doing what I need to in order to be healthy and oh how I love it. I love how it feels, I celebrate each new day because I can see and feel progress and results. And I'm learning that as I get a little stronger and more healthy in one  part of my life, I am stronger in other parts of my life.  I love how I feel even when I look at my curves, I am able to love them too and be gentle with them.  I am friends with my heart, I am friends with my soul and I am friends with my body. We will negotiate this adventure with strength and love, not shame . Just love and strength.....

<3 Barbara


  1. Oh lord, the quote at the bottom made me burst into tears. As you said yesterday, we're all just walking each other home, and every woman needs a few others to walk the Body Image path with her. One way or another, none of us get out of it. I adore your courage ... and don't ever apologize for boobs -- wanting them, hating them, talking about them, most of all having them. No need to apologize for YOU ... in any way, ever.

  2. Judy, I adore you..I tend to be a say it like it is kind of girl but putting Boobs in print was a new topic for me! <3

  3. And this is why I adore you so. Open, honest and to the point with no shame. You are certainly on the right path. Keep going!!!!!! <3

  4. This is so great! Congrats to you, strong one!

  5. What beautifully written post, B. But that quote? Yeah, it got me. Deep. I am so proud of you for so many reasons. You are a true, true inspiration. <3