That Woman in the Mirror

I first thought about this blog over a week ago but it took time to build up the courage to write it. What I see when I look in the mirror may not be what you see, but it’s really not what you see that matters. When I’m deep inside my head I do not see the fat; I do not see the weight. I do not see the apron belly. I see my intelligence. I see all that I’m capable of and know that I’m capable of so much more.

When I look in the mirror I see an alternate reality. I see the fat, I see the rolls. I see it all. And it’s not me. It’s not what’s in my head. I am not that fat, until I see the fat. Then that’s all I see, and it takes away so much.

I’ve heard all the modern day “pyscho babble” that clearly states if I change my thoughts I will change my life, and I do believe that but I have a hard time changing my thoughts. There’s a whole psychology to the process of changing thoughts that I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

I’m conditioned to see myself as something other than pretty because of the images of thin and gorgeous people presented in the media. Images that, btw, have no basis in reality. Let’s face it, if there was a size extra extra small that person would be dead.

But I don’t mean for this blog piece to be about the media. This is about my relationship with myself, and what happens when I look in the mirror. I wear colorful clothes. I always have. I’ve never hidden in that sense, but I’ve also never let the world see my inside thoughts or when I have people have shrunk away because it makes them feel uncomfortable. They’ll say “you’re beautiful.” A nice affirmation, but I have to change the tenor of my inner thoughts, and that has to come from me.

I’m sharing this now because I know I’m not alone in these types of thoughts and I want people to know they are not alone too. I hate being fat. It’s not fun. Not fun at all. I also don’t want my whole life to be about losing weight and waiting until I’m thin to live.

In my head I do not feel the weight of my stomach on my thighs, but when I sit I feel it. The other day when I was doing a floor pose in yoga I looked in the mirror and saw it. I saw the fat. I saw the balls of fat that hanging from my abdomen. I saw that, and I saw me but that’s not the me that lives in my head.

When I see my fat, I don’t see ugly but I don’t like what I see. I see myself in the mirror and I think that’s not me, but it is me. It’s the me that sometimes people look at and judge. It’s the me that judges my self. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I wish that part of me would just shut up.

Getting that voice to go away means I really have to face my demons. I really have to sit with just what is. To really sit with myself. My fat protects me from the world. I eat to keep the world at bay. I don’t know how else to explain it. I also eat to keep myself at bay. (Minor editorial comment: I’ve come a long way these past few years in how I interact with food, but still have a ways to go.)

Sitting here I can feel my stomach resting on my thighs. That feeling just reminds me I’m fat. It reminds me of what I see when I look in the mirror. It reminds me of just how much work I NEED to do on myself. It reminds me of just how much internal work I need to do, I have to do.

While it might seem that way, the work I need to do isn’t about losing weight. If I was the perfect weight today I’d still have the negative self-talk, and eliminating that is the real work that I need to do.

Healing is from the inside out, and it’s my responsibility. It’s my responsibility to lift the  myself out of the darkness and into the light.

So the question then remains how. How do I do this? How do I create the light that I know is within me right now?

How do I create a life where I don’t shy away from what I see in the mirror? How do I make these things happen? In the here and now. In THIS moment.

I actually have the answer. It’s simple really. DO ONE thing each day that makes me happy to feel alive. In this moment I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this blog. THAT makes me happy. The other day I went to a HOT PILATES class. THAT made me happy. Wednesday, I’m got my hair done. That’s how to do it. Day by day. That’s also what I need to keep doing. That’s how I will make this life about living. That’s how I make peace with my relationship with food, with my body, with my inner voice.

That’s how I will make peace with that woman in the mirror—who is and who is not me.


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#selflove #positivetalk #bodyimage

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How Do YOU Yoga? 

I’ve been seeking new ways of learning how others view yoga, so that I can better understand my relationship to yoga and to myself. To that end I decided to enroll in a edx course, The Science and Practice of Yoga. I’ve often found that I’m the biggest person in the yoga room, so I’m interested in seeing what I can learn from a mainstream yoga course. Will my assumptions about the focus of the class come true? Will there be allowances for different body types? Will body type even come into play? Will I learn how to meld the body and the mind? Maybe I’ll even come out of it finally realizing I am not this body which others use to define me and which I use to define myself.

I’ll share some of my adventures here. So let’s yoga on and see where it all leads.

#YogaMOOC

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Food & Love

I’ve thought so much about writing this blog entry but haven’t sat down to do it, until now. I love food. I love to eat, or, rather, I’ve always been an eater. Because if I loved food so much then I’d pay more attention to it. Oftentimes when I eat I’m doing other things: playing with my phone. I play with my phone far too much. Far too much. I’m not sure what I think I’ll find with it. I really have no idea at all. Actually, that’s not true.

Sometimes when I eat I play on the computer. Or obsessively check sites I looked at just a couple of minutes ago. What is it I think I’ll find? I think I’m looking for connection, but I won’t find what I’m looking in a little mechanical box.

If I loved food and eating so much I really do think I’d spend more time with it. My behaviors have more to do with addiction and conditioning. I am used to eating certain kinds of food as comforting tools. It’s easier to stay the same than to move into the unknown.

Healthy foods like vegetables and fruits just don’t cut it when I need to feel loved. I eat more fruits and veggies than I used to but still not enough. It’s easier to feel the comfort a cupcake with buttercream frosting provides.

Ever since I started thinking about food and how much I “love” it, I’ve come to think I don’t really spend time with it.

What does spending time with food look like? It means paying attention to each bite. It means stopping before my body is full and paying attention to when my body has had enough. To spend time with food to really pay attention to it means to slow down when I’m eating and when I’m chewing and to take time between bites so I can feel and hear the silence. To breathe the silence. My body tells me when it’s had enough food. I just have to listen, but I just don’t always listen. What is it I’m afraid that I will hear? What will my my body tell me? What will my soul tell me?

Sometimes when I’m full at night I still want to eat, but no food will ever fill the hole inside, and I know it. That’s the truth. It’s a hard truth for people to hear because it makes them feel uncomfortable, but it’s also my truth, and I’m not looking for the approval of others, except that maybe I am. I am quite cognizant of my need for others’ approval. When I feel I have disappointed someone or not met their expectations I can feel my heart go racing, setting my nervous system out of whack. And then, of course I’ll eat.

The effect of eating makes me feel better, but it’s also what I’ll want to eat. In those moments of nervous insanity it’s not celery that I crave, and it’s certainly not celery that I reach for. Although I do like celery and find it quite tasty.

I have the awareness. And now it’s up to me to figure out what to do with this knowledge and take me where I want to go. Believe it or not, this isn’t about losing weight. It’s about feeling good physically and having the energy to move about freely. When I’m besotted with an overabundance of food, I don’t feel like running a marathon. Let’s be real though, I’m not going to be running a marathon, but I want to feel energy and happiness and a willingness to move about freely with ease.

That means more to me than food. Knowing how good moving freely makes me feel, I have the choice to choose behaviors that facilitate movement, but that’s easier said than done. In the meantime, I take one step at a time. One small victory at a time. When I stumble I can reflect upon it, and then move on.

Writing helps me move forward. Writing really does heal. Sometimes I’ll write and then throw it away. Give it to the universe and then let go. Sometimes, I’ll share it here. I know I’m not alone in this battle and neither are you.

foodpic

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On Bullies and Jerks

The other day I looked at my phone and I saw I had notification on my YouTube channel. I clicked on the button and saw yet another demeaning and bullying comment on my most watched video: “How to do sit-ups for people who can’t do regular sit-ups”. You can watch it by clicking on the link below.

Sit-ups for People Who Can’t Do Sit-Ups

I saw the comment, and, in “the blink of an eye” I deleted the comment. I made it go away. Sure I could have reported it to YouTube, but I’m not sure it violated their terms of decency, and I didn’t want to spend the time researching the issue. I decided to delete the comment because I also didn’t want to spend time researching the profile of the person who wrote it. Bullies and Jerks have taken up enough of my time, energy, and effort.

I do not understand why people feel they have a right to judge others based on their appearance. Because I am fat or because I have fat (whichever term you prefer) people believe they have the right to demean my existence with their comments. I choose to write a blog, and I chose to do some YouTube videos because I strongly believe that life is not meant to be hidden, but I have slowed down with the blog and the videos because I’m no longer sure which direction I’m headed. I don’t know how much of my life I want public.

I certainly don’t wish to be bullied anymore. I’m not slowing down because of the bullies. I’m taking time to think for other reasons. But I am tired of bullies and jerks and people thinking they have a right to be self-serving pompous jerks because they might not be fat or have fat. I’m really not sure what people think they will accomplish by insulting others. It’s not going to stop me from living. But I do know it has stopped others and made them hide.

Once upon a time I would have seen such a nasty comment on my YouTube page and I would have been paralyzed with tears and over emotion, and I would have run to the store to buy double-stuff oreos, but not this time. This time I hit the delete button and have gone on with my life.

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Tonight I am Tired

This particular entry will be short. I almost ALWAYS tend to feel better when I do for others. I don’t feel as fulfilled when I take care of myself. Yes, it’s better to give, but one has to put the oxygen mask on first or what one gives will empty one’s own gas tank.

My gas tank has been empty too long. I realized this today when someone asked me to do something and I thought I have no more left to give. I knew that in order to give I had to take care of myself first.

So, I cleaned out my car, which didn’t have much in it, but I cleaned it out anyways and took it to the car wash. It hadn’t been to the car wash in AGES!

I need to do more of that before I do for others. If I keep working at that task I just might find balance. And now I’m going to go to bed and read a book. Something I like to do but don’t do enough of it.

May we all do more for ourselves so we can give to others.

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Today I Woke Up

Today I woke up and thought to myself “today will be different.” Today I will make choices that will bring me happiness and health. Today when I woke up I made pimento cheese (with vegan mayo), kalamata olive hummus, and smashed Brussels sprouts. That way I’d have the makings for homemade healthy snacks for at least a week. I’m more inclined to eat at home when I have foods at home that I enjoy. 
I can’t say I really care for the smashed sprouts though. They need some help. Maybe a bit of potato mixed in. Not sure yet, but I’ll experiment a bit more before I call it a bust. But I created. I tried. I did. 

Then I started staring at my computer. Never a good idea. It has a way of sucking one in….A click here. A click there. It doesn’t end. Does it ever? But I had a plan. 

And today I made it happen. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. Today. Today I kept my promise to myself. I went to the complex gym and got on the bike for a bit–a few minutes longer than before. Then I lifted some weights. I didn’t spend forever there. I’ve gotten into traps before, thinking I had to spend an hour or two or three at the gym. But that’s an illusion like so many things. 

Meditate for a minute and have peace for a lifetime. 

But wait!!! I still had more to do for me. I needed to write. When I write I connect with a piece of my soul. I can’t really explain that with words. But writing brings me peace. So I took myself out of my environment and drove to a small coffee shop and started composing my thoughts. And allowing them to flow. 

This is the way to wake up. This is the way to live in the now. This is the way to live. One creative second at a time. 

The best part about waking up? I’ve accomplished so much and will accomplish so much more before the day is done. Car wash. Ordering new glasses. Then home to just be. Because just being means more than anything. 

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It’s NEVER Enough

It’s never enough. It never will be. The cookie. The ice cream. The hot fudge sauce. It’s never enough. It never will be. I’ve written about this before, and I’ll write about it again. I’m not sure anyone gets it, and I’m also quite sure it’s not their job to get it.

Walking around the grocery store tonight I picked up a small container of ice cream. Then I thought to myself “I should get some hot fudge sauce”. I walked down to the end of the aisle and picked up a jar of the hot fudge sauce. I glanced at the label and calculated the nutrition. I knew then I couldn’t buy it, because I wouldn’t stop at just one serving. I never can.

Somehow I start with the first bite and keep going and going and going and going. And it never ends. I know that sugar is addictive and that’s a HUGE part of the situation. There’s a reason why they say sugar is more addictive than cocaine. A HUGE reason.

But it’s not about that for me. I want to know and I need to know that I’m okay with the world and that I’m okay with myself. I can’t get that from others, but I seek that. That’s the crazy paradox of life. Seek that which we cannot have.

It’s Friday night, and I’m sitting her writing because writing makes me happy. I feel a spark of creative joy when I write. I need to do that more. Whether I do anything with it is almost secondary. I just need to light that match of creativity. That spark of joy can fulfill me the way a jar of hot fudge cannot.

Find those things that make you happy and that’s the way out of addiction. That’s also the only way to live.

To be continued……

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