I have spent most of my female life obsessing over my body mass. I am too fat, too out of shape, too flat, too hippy, too, too.....fill in the blank______. My friends get together for fun times and it never fails, all of us , or at least one of us, lament our bodily flaws. Here we are....supposedly getting together to celebrate our friendship....share our lives....and off we go, on some mindless tangent about our potential obesity and loss of value to literally everyone in the universe. I will be honest...I wish I had a dime for every negative comment I have shared about my body parts....my butt, my boobs, my arms, and on and on. I would be well on my way to a luxurious retirement! The larger issue (even larger than my flabby arms) is Why? And even larger (than my bodacious bottom) is, What can I do to transform my whining into some form of disciplined action?
I will now confess to you, I am much better at discussing the issue of my weight than I am of finding and implementing a structured plan. I really DO think, after my girlfriends and I have gone on and on about our glaring flaws, I FEEL better (Misery loves company!)! We encourage each other profusely..."No way, you are NOT fat!" "You look amazing! I'm the one who needs to lose!" "I know, It is just so-o-o Hard to get on the diet wagon!" "Let's order another bowl of queso, a margarita, and make a plan.."
I have a funny feeling, my friends and I are not the Lone Rangerettes on the Lonesome Trail. I have talked to enough women everywhere to know this issue is of epic proportions. Since most of us are sailing in this Queen Size Cruise Ship, what are we going to do? I could go on and on about how we arrived at this level of weight obsession, but it would take too long, I would have to credit too many journals, quote too many doctors, psychologists, etc. Can you say, (yawn) Boring? Anyway...the more important question is.. Where do we go from here? What can we do to bring balance and
harmony to our lives and live in peace with who we are and the bodily frame in which we reside? Whew! Not too much to ask....Ha!
Actually, this is not an, "I Have Arrived.." article, but more of a journal entry of where I am and and the path I have decided to take in order to love myself and the physical "home" I was given. My mission is to bring love and joy to those around me and in order to have the synergy and motivation, I must take care of Me..Tenderly. Rolls of fat and miles of cellulite are not really the issue. What I THINK of myself and my body is of much more value. From that starting point, the plan becomes then an essential instruction manual to help reach this level of acceptance.
Really nothing new here to those of you who have already arrived and love your body like your own mother does. But to someone like me, who has had to really work to embrace the body God gave her, this is a difficult First Step. A few weeks ago, I was undressing for the evening....the bath water was running....it had been a long day...and I happened to glance at myself nude. My first thought was self loathing and disgust....then I took a moment to see what it was that was so terrible about Me. A painful few minutes passed by and I began to laugh uncontrollably.
I will not shock you with the gory details, but my laughter turned to tears, and I ended up soaking in my tub and with an ironclad resolve, formulated my Game Change plan. A lot of my friends and family have joined Weight Watchers. It is in my gene code to be suspicious of any organized group that takes your $$ while you do the work of taking off the pounds, but there IS something healthy and different about Weight Watchers. First of all, I think they get the whole dilemma women and really, men too, face as to what our society dictates and what is actually healthy about our ideal weight. I think it is wonderful how the group meetings address the whole person while providing the tools to help us put the good stuff into our bodies. The concepts and principles of WW are real and doable.
Now enough about WW that I promise, was unsolicited! Back to making my plan and working that plan. As a Vintage (aka Old) Goddess, I realized it was time I not only began putting healthy but tasty morsels into my body, but it was past time I began moving this mass I lived in as well. So, the following Monday, (Mondays are all the best for starting anything new), I went to a local fitness place and tried out their Body Pump class.Yes, I did find a place near the back and probably was a couple (couple?) steps behind the class, but I DID it! Now I'm not going to lie, I was ever so grateful I could make it to my car afterwards. It was the first fitness class I had attended in years. While I was praying I would survive it about halfway through, I was also exhilarated. It wasn't a glamorous blast off, but it was MY beginning. I was on my way. I joined the gym the next week and just taking that action gave me energy!
Since the middle of July when I actually began this journal entry, I have lost 12 lbs. I have lost inches, feel better, sleep better, and overall am on the path to embracing the best me I can be. I refused to listen to the message that I was too old to look good, and have truly fallen in love with the adrenaline rush of working out and loving it. I now attend Body Pump and Yoga Flow classes 5xs a week. Woo Hoo! And in sticking to my eating and working out plan, I think I have also learned a few things about embracing the body God gave me, cause I Was Born This Way! (I couldn't resist..:)
1.) First of all, I was created in the image of my Creator and that is Enough. While this is not a profound statement, it goes against what I see in fashion magazines and ads targeting women. I am not slamming them at all. I love reading about fashion and seeing what amazingly creative designers have done with colors and trends. I will always love fashion and enjoy following it in many ways. To me, it is a part of being the best I can be. But, sometimes, if we feel "less than", those glamorous images can do more damage than good. However, the next time you flip through your favorite fashion mag, look closely at the models and ads, I think you will find that none of them are perfect either. Thank goodness!! I think what those images do to my self image depends on how I feel about Me, instead of how they look. So embrace yourself and celebrate You, wherever you may be and whatever chapter you may be on your journey.
2.) I had to take a brutally honest look at where I was in my head about change and commit commit commit to taking Baby Steps to a better Me....Whatever that looks like....You do not have to do what I did. If you walk every day, then commit yourself to walking. If you like a cheat day in the middle of the week, then embrace the cheat day and get back in the saddle the next. Just Know You! Be You! Commit to You! It is empowering and even unselfish.....When you feel empowered and healthy, you have much more energy to serve others--your family, your community, your passions.
3.) Practice Grace every day...This to me, is the hardest challenge. To look at myself in the mirror and actually like what I see takes Grace. To forgive myself when I buy a package of potato chips and eat half the bag on the way home, is difficult to practice. To remind myself that Every Day is a New Day is both challenging and redeeming. So, while I don't always practice forgiveness to myself, it is always in the back of my mind. If you have ever experienced undeserved forgiveness, you know the humbling and freeing feeling of pure joy that can lift you higher than you ever imagined. So practice Grace on yourself, give yourself a big hug, and rise up to greet the day. Surprisingly, when you exhibit this kind of Grace, it spills over into your relationships with those around you. And Grace, my friends, is the ultimate gift.
So while I don't profess to be an expert on healthy living, I am on my way. I challenge you to join me to becoming all You were created to be, all You dream of being, and to embrace the journey as we embrace each other.
Let's Do This!