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Today Is Thanksgiving

John is watching the news and the dogs are curled up and sleeping close by. The cats are sleeping too. Soon they will all be begging like they haven’t been fed in weeks. The furnace is humming and pushing out the heat. I can hear the muffled voices from the TV. 

I sit here at my desk, looking outside at the cloudy, slightly foggy sky. It looks cold. It’s still. No wind. That’s nice. My coffee is warming my belly. The taste on my tongue is my familiar. Strong, yet smooth. Creamy, not sweet. Just right. 

I think about this year and the difficulties. I think about the hard things from this year. I think about so many things from this year. I could be bitter. I could be negative. I could dwell on it. But I don’t. This year taught me a lot. It taught me a lot about myself. It taught me a lot about people. Things were seen with clarity. Things were seen with a good eye, not a rose-colored glasses eye. 

This year I have remained positive. I have remained thankful. I have continued to roll the boulder up the hill. I show up. I take the steps. I grind. I hold back when needed. I speed up when needed. I learn. I love. I keep learning. I keep loving. 

We get one life. We don’t know when it will be snatched away. My outlook is positive. My life is positive. My life is not perfect. I wouldn’t want it to be. I am thankful for every breath I get to take. I am thankful for everything I get to do. I am thankful for the peace I have. I am thankful. 

Today is Thanksgiving.

The Sliding Scale

The dread. The anxiety. The dread. Yes, I said dread again. I hated going there. I didn’t care what it was for. I mean, seriously, why did I have to get weighed when I had a cold. I mean come on. Why is the scale such a mindfuck? Who made me hate it? Why did I hate it? Where does that come from? The fear, the shame, and the overall self-loathing, all because of the number on a piece of equipment.

The dreaded scale. But this time I am talking about the old-fashioned kind. The sliding bar scale. I bet you know which one am talking about. The one that instills even more dread and shame and anger.

It was tall. It was massive. It was intimidating as hell. The top slider covered the pounds 1 through 50. The bottom chunky thing that landed on an increment sounded like it weighed a ton. You damn well knew when you went to the next increment and so did everyone within a 50 foot radius of the waiting room. The scale itself was heavy. Oh, I almost forgot. I was daydreaming the dread. The bottom increments were 0-50-100-150-200 and maybe more. I don’t remember for sure because I was always concerned about that number that was 150. That number meant something. That number meant that the chunky thing dropped to the next increment. The 150 increment. The horror of that increment. 

The way the scale worked was a person stepped on the platform of the scale and waited. The nurse would watch as people stripped off nearly everything they owned. Because lighter. Okay then. I will use myself as the example here. I’m sweating bullets already because we all know the doctor scale and our home scales NEVER match. I mean never. The doctor scale always has to add a little zinger for us and be up by around five pounds. It twists the knife in, just for good measure. As if, we weren’t anxious enough. 

So, I looked at the scale. Okay, deep breaths, here we go. There is another factor I needed to take into account. The human factor. The nurse factor. Her job was to stand there and take a look. A judgey look. She decided what increment to start at. Now, just a little side note, if it was me and because I know so many people have that dreaded scale anxiety, I would definitely go lower than a stupid guesstimate I had for a person. Or maybe way high to make a person feel better. It’ a crap shoot. I bet her job was not fun being the judgey one. But alas, a girl can dream. And alas, hindsight is 20/20. 

Okay then. I stepped on the scale and waited. I waited for the increment. Increment 100. Because obvious. I wouldn’t start at the 50 increment, unless I was a child. I don’t know, I was probably acting like one. She moved the top slider over to the 140 area. Nothing. Another half inch, 145. Nothing. Shit. This sucks. Another half inch, 149. Nothing. The dread started to kick in. The anxiety for sure. The steps of scale grief. Dread – Anxiety – Shame and then Anger. Anger for the push to make a change. Anger because I let myself get this way. Anger because shame, anxiety and dread.  Circle jerk of emotions and feelings. So, she keeps moving the slider, just waiting for the balance to come. The clunk of the 150 increment. Watching my face and my eyes glued to the slider. Feeling the pain of the dreaded piece of equipment that has the power over me. The power of my self worth. The power over how the rest of my day and maybe even my week and month are going to go. That is a lot of power to give to a piece of equipment. 

That was the old me. The new me knows the scale is nothing more than a tool for data. That took a while, not gonna lie. I never weigh the same on any given day, because my body changes all the time. When I track my weight, I look for patterns. As long as the scale is moving in a trend pattern that I want, or staying in a holding pattern, I know it is working. I have taken that power away from a piece of equipment. It no longer decides my worth. It no longer shames me. It no longer makes me angry. Sure, there are days when I can still feel a little bit of dread, because I am human, but I don’t let it define me. The scale path is never linear. There are ups and downs and downs and ups. It’s just the way it is. 

People are told to throw away their scales. I used to be one of those people. Not anymore. I use the scale for data. And, more importantly, I faced the scale fear. I was afraid to know what the scale said. But now, I have faced that fear. How else will you get over a fear unless you face it? I get on the scale every single morning and I track the data it gives me. That’s it. It has taken time to get to that point. The scale is powerless over me. I am the power. I had the power all along. The power to change. The power to love myself. The power to change myself. 

If I go to the doctor now, I just leave everything on. Who cares. The scale will not tell me my self-worth. Period. 

Memories

The things we remember. The things we miss. When our kids were kids. Little boys. Little girls. The moments that hit us in the now. It feels like a slap in the face and a stop you in your tracks. The moments that bring instant tears to the eyes. Those moments. The ones you never get back. The ones that even now you remember plain as day. The ones that really provoke the big emotions and the big feelings.

Life is precious and life can be taken at any time. Time’s up. And there he goes. A friend of mine lost his son a few years back. It was a tragic accident. It was life altering. It was life forever changed. Forever memories are the only thing left. The ones. The kid memories. The ones that keep trying to fade but you won’t let them. Those kinds of memories. 

I was talking to this friend a few weeks ago. We were just sitting and talking about things, life, jobs, people and kids. He said the thing he missed the most about his son, was when he was a little boy and would run through the house with his blanket cape. Running and looking behind, watching the flow of the cape. Watching the waves roll. The cape. The fun. The wonder of a small little boy. Watching him. Wondering what he would become. The life He had in store. 

Those kinds of memories. 

I have my own memories of my kids when they were little. There is one in particular that I think about and the emotions bubble right up to the surface. The tears just flow and I can’t help it and I don’t even know why. But, every single time I think of it, it happens. No rhyme. No reason. Just because. Maybe their innocence. Maybe the big cruel world to come. Maybe a big bright world to come. Maybe nothing. 

John and I dropped off the boys to a movie and then came back later to pick them up. They both came running out of the theater and looked like they were getting along and having fun. They had big cheesy smiles and bright eyes. Then time slowed down. Way down. They had candy in their hands and were running towards us. They were close to each other. The little boy competition. Who will get to the pickup first. Then it happened. Their feet got tangled and one of them fell. The other looked up at me. I could see the fear in his eyes. The explanation in his eyes. His eyes telling me it was an accident. The eyes thinking he was going to get in trouble. It was an accident. We knew it was an accident. We knew he didn’t trip him on purpose. We knew. 

The whole thing was less than 20 seconds, yet those memories have lasted the rest of my life. I don’t know what it is about it that just gets me. The scraped knees, the scraped hands, candy running like ants across the sidewalk or the eyes. All of it. Every detail. I remember that part like it was yesterday. I don’t remember what happened when they got in the vehicle. They didn’t get in trouble. They didn’t fight. That part of the memory is gone. So strange. 

Powerful memories. I often wonder why or how we remember what we do. What is it about a certain memory that stands out. It makes me curious. It’s not like I told myself to remember this 20 years down the road. Sometimes I tell myself to remember a dream and one hour later I can’t remember it. 

Life is funny. Memories are interesting. Some memories make it to the compartment in the brain that will never forget. Some get put in another compartment that may be accessible at a later date…or not. Some strike at random times. Some never strike. 

The emotions and feelings tied to the memories may be why we can so easily remember those really, really important ones. Maybe that person is no longer here or maybe it was just a special day. Whatever the circumstance, the kid memories hit me the hardest. 

Are you there yet?

I find inspiration in many places. I hear a phrase or a word or two and my mind goes. It starts dropping the letters and then words into place. When I am in a good place writing, meaning when I feel a good blog post is coming together, I get emotional. I have to stand up and walk around. That’s my process. It feels. That’s just the way I do it. So today, there were a lot of letters and words that were falling and dropping into place, so here I am.

I was on a Peloton ride this morning. An endurance ride with Christine or CDE as she is known in the Peloton fandom. She definitely has a way with words. She strikes you in the throat with them. They just work. They make a person think and more importantly, feel. 

Most days I am fine with riding or walking on the tread and just want to “go through the motions.” I don’t want the life advice. I mean, I’m there. Leave me alone and just tell me what to do. Some days are different for me. Some days the emotions bubble to the surface. 

Lately, the last few weeks. Years ago. Now. Today. I don’t know. Who knows what is going to pull that trigger. It just does. A word, a phrase, something. The way it settles. The way it is said. 

My nutrition group is an integral part of my life and I do whatever I can to push them to get rid of the diet mentality and the all or nothing mindset. We try to kick that damn can down the street and look at lifestyle. There is no end to eating. There is no end to taking care of yourself.  Diets end. We don’t. 

For so many of my clients it’s hard to flip that switch. They have been turning that light on forever. It’s definitely a battleground. We look in the mirror and what do we see? My eyes. My body. My mirror. That is the battleground we walk on every single day. The between. Battling and loving. Battling and hating. It’s hard sometimes to love ourselves. Our worth is not tied to a number on the scale. Our worth is not tied to our size. It’s okay to want to change, but I want to be able to love myself through the battle. It takes a lot of time to get to I love me. So, so many people know this, but they aren’t there yet. They are still battling. It’s not about the pick ups. It’s about the get ups. We battle every single day to get through life. When we aren’t happy with ourselves, it makes it a helluva lot harder. So we work on ourselves. We show up everyday for the battle. 

Today’s ride was about loving ourselves. Respecting ourselves. Being there for ourselves. Are you there yet? 

I stopped looking and I started seeing

I used to believe in miracles. The fast track to fat loss kind of miracles. The ones that promise you will lose weight and feel amazing fast. The ones that tell you detox is the way to go. Before I learned about nutrition and diet, I used to believe in miracles. I got swept up in the hype just like millions of other people. The trash can fire I huddled around—that kind of hope and warmth and comfort. I didn’t want to kick that can down the street, because I wanted that can to be THE can. The one that was going to work this time. No matter how over priced and over sold and over promised, I didn’t care. I wanted desperately to lose weight or to detox something. I now know that isn’t healthy. All those things do is not work. They keep you coming back for a new can. I learned to do the work. I found sustainable fat loss. I found what works and it’s not any of those miracles. 

Here’s how that whole miracle was found in my bathroom last weekend. 

I was going through the drawers in my bathroom and I came upon one of those miracles. This particular miracle expired in 2011. I started laughing when I found it because I have seen the light. I know better now. It was a Maximum Strength Fat Burner. You know, because minimum strength does nothing. The label cracks me up. Here is what it says it is formulated to do: 

Promote Preferential loss of fat mass – what?

Encourage Lipolysis (release of fat from mature cells) – what?

Inhibit production of phosphodiesterase – what? 

And I believed. 

Exactly what it told me. 

I wanted so badly to believe. I wanted this to be the last time I needed to. As much as I wanted to believe in the magic pills, the magic potions, the detoxes and the magic ab exercises, they don’t work. The label even gave me the answer.  The label told me use in conjunction with any sensible diet and exercise program. Right there, that sentence is the answer. That was the answer I had it all along and just refused to see. It’s the answer we all refuse to see at one time or another. I didn’t want it to be that simple. I didn’t want it to be me! How could I be the one who controlled what happened to my body. 

So many of us want to believe so badly that we will try anything. We waste our money. We waste our time. When the answer is right there in front of us for us to see. The answer is to live an overall healthy lifestyle. The answer is strength training. For me it’s 3 x per week and walking every day. The answer for me is eating lots of fruits and vegetables. The answer for me is to drink lots of water and to stay hydrated. The answer for me is adequate sleep. For me it’s at least 7 hours every night. The answer for me is work on my overall health and well being, including mental health. The whole me. That is my answer. My answer works very well. 

Health is way more simple than what these products try to sell you. They sound so good. They sound so enticing. They sound too good to be true and right there, that little voice in your head,  tells us every single time. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. 

I moved away from the miracles and took my health into my own hands instead of the hands of the diet industry. I am much happier and much healthier. I know how hard it is to break free from wanting those miracles to be THE miracle to be THE can you don’t have to kick down the street. But I stayed vigilant. I stayed consistent. I stayed present and I stayed patient. I saw results and I am still seeing results every day. 

I am not tempted by those miracles anymore. I don’t need those kinds of miracles. I stopped looking and I started seeing.

Normal and Abnormal – The Standards of Society

Normal or Abnormal

Normal 

conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern : characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine normal working hours under normal circumstances It was just a normal, average day. He had a normal childhood. Their reaction to the news was normal and expected.

Abnormal 

deviating from the normal or average a person with abnormal [=exceptional] strength, abnormal powers of concentration

often : unusual in an unwelcome or problematic way abnormal behavior abnormal test results

I wanted to put a nutrition spin on this when I heard the normal/abnormal phrase in a book I am listening to The Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg. She was not talking about nutrition. She was talking about people and behavior and sensory issues and many other important things and distinctions with behavior. So I don’t want to minimize the importance of that work. 

But rather, normal and abnormal when it comes to our bodies and our food and our behaviors and our perceptions. And, just as an aside, I don’t believe there really is a normal. There is a societal normal or a social media normal. For this post, though, we will go with what is normal through diet and mindset and what is abnormal according to social media and then I will put my spin on them. My brain just happened to be pinged when I heard the phrase and this is what came out of that ping. 

And, it is also more than normal and abnormal. It’s more like good or bad. I hate that. The tunnel of the thoughts. 

Normal thinking when it comes to diet and fitness: 

It’s normal to be on a diet all the damn time. It’s normal to hate our bodies. It’s normal to think we need to change for someone. It’s normal to yo-yo diet. It’s normal to binge eat. It’s normal to think in terms or all or nothing. It’s normal to think you messed it all up when you eat a donut. It’s normal to think you have to have all the self-control and motivation in order to succeed. It’s normal to think it has to be hard to change. It’s normal to have perfect skin. It’s normal there is not a speck of cellulite on your body. It’s normal to have a completely flat stomach. It’s normal. 

Abnormal thinking when it come to diet and fitness:

It’s abnormal to be at an ideal weight. It’s abnormal not to be on a diet. It’s abnormal to love our bodies. It’s abnormal if we don’t think we need to change something about ourselves. It’s abnormal if we aren’t losing and gaining and losing and gaining weight as in the yo-yo dieting. It’s abnormal if we don’t have some type of disordered eating. It’s abnormal to be okay with eating donuts or ice cream or candy. It’s abnormal to think we can change. It’s abnormal to think it’s okay to not be motivated and halve willpower all the time. It’s abnormal if you have cellulite and a stomach folds. It’s abnormal. 

The above is a sampler of the normal and abnormal. There are so many others. 

When did our thinking become so messed up? Think back. Think way back to when you were learning about your body and learning about eating. When was that? Fourth grade? Fifth? Do you remember. 

Do you remember the first time you thought you were fat? What made you think that? Was it something you saw in a magazine or something someone said to you? Let’s not kid ourselves though, we all know what overweight looks like, because we have constantly been shown. 

But what I want to know is when it became “normal” to constantly be on a diet. I want to know when it became “normal” to hate ourselves so much and to bad mouth ourselves so much and shame ourselves so much. When did that happen? More importantly, why did that happen? And why was it okay and normal? Just wow on these ones. 

Those are my thoughts on the whole diet and fitness industry, the whole normal and abnormal, the whole good and bad. I want normal to be the abnormal. I want that channel to change. I want the education to start with young kids. I don’t want them to be shamed by adults or coaches or other kids (who have been influenced by adults) who constantly bully them for how they look. I want them to be healthy. I want them to know what healthy is. I want them to learn how to be healthy and happy. 

It takes work to change the norm. I think the work is happening though and it is working. I think the turnaround has begun. There are many social media influences who are starting to change this. They are making a new normal. It’s refreshing. It’s heading in the right direction. I applaud them. 

It’s okay to be different. Embrace your different. Get confident in how you feel and look. If you want to change how you look, that’s cool, but do it because you want to change for you, not anyone else. Change for you, not because you are being forced to through the eyes of society and because you are feeling less than. Make up your own damn rules. Do it the way you want and the way that works for you. Let’s work to change that perceived normal.  – 

Goldilocks And The Three Diets

Goldilocks and the three diets.

We all know Goldilocks, right? The girl in the story with the three bears. Papa, Mama and Baby. Well, this Goldilocks is hanging out with the three diets. Moderation (Papa), Restriction (Mama) and Just Right (baby). 

Goldilocks woke up one day and noticed that her clothes didn’t fit anymore and she looked fat. She didn’t like at all how she looked and she thought it was high time she did something about it. She had heard of so many different diets, so she decided to try to lose weight with moderation. Papa Bear’s diet. Moderation should be easy. She could still eat whatever she wanted and she could eat all the foods she loved whenever she wanted. She just needed to eat moderately. Whatever that meant.  

How could it go wrong? She ate all the foods. She tried to moderate. Goldilocks found out that she really couldn’t moderate her food very well. The potato chips she loved turned into eating the whole bag. The cookies turned into dozens. She couldn’t stop herself from eating them. She didn’t know what was wrong. She just wasn’t sure how moderation was really supposed to work. She didn’t feel hungry a lot of the time and she ate until she thought she was going to burst. She wasn’t sure what portion sizes were and how big they should be. She had never kept track of her food before, so she wasn’t sure how much she was actually eating. This went on for several months and she started gaining more weight and her clothes were even tighter. She decided the Papa Bear diet (moderation) was “too big.” 

Next up, Goldilocks come to Mama Bear’s diet (restriction). This diet was 1200 calories a day. Goldilocks set up a food tracking app. She was going to track everything she ate and keep her calories at 1200. She could do this. She was ready. But Goldilocks had to go to the store and stock up on “diet” food because because this diet started on Monday and she needed different foods to eat. She needed good food, not bad food. She also stocked up on cookies and cake and licorice and candy and pre-made cold brew latte drinks, because this diet started on Monday and she didn’t want to feel deprived or miss her favorite foods. She ate so much she felt sick. She had to eat all the food and drink all the drinks because this diet was limiting her food and also the kinds of foods she could eat. She needed to prepare. She had to get it out of her system. Monday was the day. The first few days were great. But then Goldilocks started thinking about food constantly. She started thinking about what she was missing. Her sleep was crappy and her workouts made her so tired. She was always hungry. She was afraid to go over her calories and macros because then she felt like a failure. Saturday came around and Goldilocks said screw it. She went to Taco John’s. Then she went and bought two bottles of wine. Then she went to Dairy Queen and got a Blizzard. She told herself Monday was it. Monday was Day 1, again. After about six months of Day 1s, Goldilocks was sick and tired of it and knew she needed to do something else. Mama Bear’s diet (restriction) was “too small.” 

Goldilocks did her research and now knew what portion sizes looked like and she started tracking her macros, concentrating on protein because she wanted to preserve her muscle, because muscle is longevity. She made sure she was eating enough food, but still able to lose weight. Goldilocks did this for a few months and started to feel really good. She was glad she did the Papa Bear diet and the Mama Bear diet because that helped her to figure out what to do now. Once she felt like she had a good grasp of her food, she started to feel less pressure. She knew that if she overate one day, or one meal, if she got right back to tracking the next meal, she would be fine. She finally realized that she couldn’t mess it up. She was happy and she was feeling strong and energetic. She felt alive and she felt like she could do anything. She developed patience and knew this wasn’t an end. It was a beginning for her. Goldilocks knew the Baby Bear diet was just right for her. She knew that because she was tracking her food and learning about food, this was becoming a way of life for her. Goldilocks knew her ultimate goal would be to eat without tracking, but for now this way of eating was just right for her. Goldilocks stuck with the Baby Bear (just right) diet and continued to see progress with her weight, strength and overall health. Baby Bear’s (just right) diet was just right. 

Dreams are weird

The days fly by, I count them with the plop of the retainer cleaner. One blue glass at a time. One blue glass a day. One day. One day. One week. One month. It’s crazy. The time. It flies. 

A whirl of colors. A whirl of experiences. A whirl of thoughts. A whirl of words. I never get them back. The colors. The experiences. The thoughts. The words. See them. Feel them. Remember them. Hear them. 

Always waiting. Every night. Every evening. Hurry up time. Pass quicker. Pass faster. Wishing it away. The one thing I never get back. Telling it (time) it’s okay to go. I need you to go. Hurry up and go. 

I try to save half. I really try. But just a tad bit more. A topper offer. But then, then there’s not enough for tomorrow night’s buzz. So it starts again. The cycle. The cycle of trying to not do it. The strong in the morning, weak in the afternoon cycle. Why can’t I? Why can’t I just be? 

Have you been there? I was there and I was there a lot. I got to that point around 4 pm or after and started thinking about it. After all, it’s normal, isn’t it? Everyone does it. We are told we can’t make it through our day without it. We are told we are so much happier with it. We are told we need it to cope with our fucking miserable lives. It makes us happy, right? 

I stopped believing that bullshit. I stopped believing that it can be healthy. I stopped believing that I needed it to survive, to cope, to make it through my day. See, I finally quit following the sheep. I became aware that alcohol was no longer serving me. It was no longer serving my body or my health. I got tired of burning off that morning fog with caffeine. I bet you know what I mean. The foggy brain. The foggy mind. Having to get up and get moving. Not wanting to . Wanting to just get back into bad and snuggle up with the beautiful warm sheets and blankets, wrapping around your body. Getting that coffee going. Kicking in. Hurry up. Time again. Time. Passing. Wishing it away. 

A dream prompted this post. I had a dream that I drank margaritas with friends. It was so strange. It felt so real. But this isn’t who I am anymore. I was worried. I thought I blew it. I thought long and hard when I woke up. I wondered why, why now? It’s been almost two years since I have had a drop of alcohol. Was this a final farewell thing, or was this a this isn’t a forever thing? I wondered. 

I don’t miss drinking. It’s one of the best decisions I have made for my health and my life. I will tell anybody who asks me about it. It slowed me down. It slowed down my getting to enjoy this life. It set me back. My health was suffering. It does make a difference. It will catch up with you and then it will be there, tapping you on the shoulder, whispering in your ear. Baiting you. Convincing you. Bringing all its friends to sit with you. Telling you it’s okay. Telling you no one will know. Telling you it’s just one damn night, what’s the big deal? Telling. Taunting. Convincing. 

You want to be strong. It wants you to be weak. You want to stand up. It wants you to sit down. You want to break free. It wants to tie you down. Hands. Feet. Control. Ears hearing. Eyes seeing. The silent voice, not silent. Pushing you. Goading you. Urging you. Telling you. All those voices. Getting louder. Incessant with their chatter. Trying. Trying to get you. Wanting to destruct you.

No more. I fought back. I am strong. I am not weak. I stood up. I broke free. I silenced the voices. I pushed back against them. 

I do not feel the need to drink. I do not feel the need to numb myself. I do not feel the need to escape. I feel. And that’s enough. 

Don’t Put Me In The Age Cage

Act your age. Dress your age. Expectations? Because it’s always been that way? Who decided? What does that even mean? 

Act your age – what age? How am I supposed to act. What does 56 acting look like?

Dress your age – what age? How am I supposed to dress and what does 56 dressing look like?

I’m 56. I have a crap ton of tattoos. I have a nose ring. I’m married. I have children. I have grandchildren. I wear Converse and have since high school. I wear jeans. I wear sleeveless shirts that I cut off and made holes in myself. I wear Doc Martens and have for years. I have long hair. It’s white. I own my own business and I swear – A LOT. 

I wear shorts. I wear sports bras. I wear clothes that maybe high schoolers wear. So what? Does that make me a bad person or does that make me something I shouldn’t be? Am I not acting my age or dressing my age? Does it fucking matter? Because, I’m  still not sure what that looks like. 

Who is society or social media to tell me how I should act or dress. And I still am trying to figure out what age of dress or what age of acting I should be. How do you know that or how do you feel that? Because someone told us? Because that’s the way it’s always been? 

Don’t put me in an age cage. I refuse to go there. I am living my life full speed. I am living my life and living in the now. Not whatever 56 is or is supposed to be. I just feel the way I feel and I just act the way I act. I’m not trying to be younger or act younger. I’m just me. This is me. Like me or don’t. The door to my age cage is always open. 

Flaws, scars and imperfections

Flaws, scars and imperfections

We are told we aren’t skinny enough. We are told we aren’t pretty enough. We’ve heard the -she would be so pretty if she just lost weight -comment. It’s been with us forever. It’s blasted on social media. It’s ingrained in us and has been forever. 

I distinctly remember in 5th or 6th grade thinking I was fat. The school district started a lunch program where the kids could get the weight watchers lunch. Not the company WW, they just called it weight watchers as in watching your weight. Thanks. So not only then were we being fed the lie that we weren’t good enough and that we should be ashamed of our bodies, they decided to make us lunches to tell us. I can remember styrofoam cups of tuna and vegetables. And of course if you got that lunch you were weird and you must be fat. I have always been athletic and I have always had muscles. That was my body type. There was nothing wrong with it. 

It’s shoved down our throats and in our faces how imperfect and flawed we are. Well guess what, everyone is imperfect and everyone is flawed. Perfection is a fucking myth. So many women and I would bet men as well struggle with this. It’s sad to watch. I see it every single day in my coaching business. It’s hard to break through these perceptions. We have so many scars. 

I have struggled with binge eating, eating disorders, and body image issues all my life. It wasn’t until about the past year and half or so when I really got a good grasp on my self worth and decided it was time to let that shit go. It was time to see where I could go. It was time to work on me. And my working on me, I don’t mean just my body. I mean the whole me. The mental part of my perceptions about my body and my eating and my self. 

Our bodies are amazing. We only get one. That’s the beautiful part. We are all different. Why would we ever want to be the same as anyone else? What is wrong with ourselves that we are constantly comparing and doing something different, wanting something more, or just constantly wanting something else? We are constantly looking and searching. Turn inward and you will find all the answers you need. You always hold the key to that lock. You just need to turn it. 

So, I set out to turn my key. 

In the fitness and nutrition industry there is pressure to look a certain way. As a trainer I felt that pressure. I was overweight by a lot. I was still strong, but I just did not feel comfortable. It was time for a change. It was time for me to change. Not because of the pressures of the industry, but because I wanted to feel better. I wanted to be more healthy. I wanted to see what I could do.  My health was starting to suffer. My blood pressure was rising and I even went to the doctor because I thought for sure there was something wrong. 

Side note — This is another thing that can happen to us that maybe these professionals don’t realize they do. I got cholesterol shamed by a nurse (even though my doc said I was okay) and I got fat shamed by a doctor. By fat shamed I don’t mean I was told I was fat, but I got that look. You know the one where you say something and they look at you like you’re full of shit. That’s the look. No denying that. They really should check their facial expressions. 

I changed my channel. I started looking at things differently. I started being more positive. I started looking at what I could do. I started looking at how far I had come, not how much further I had to go – because in reality that never ends. This thing called life is here and now and as long as we get the privilege to be in it, we should take full advantage and live it. 

When you see the Instagram accounts of the perfect bodies and the perfect skin and hair, it’s smoke and mirrors. There is cellulite hiding behind the perfect light. There are pimples hiding behind the perfect makeup. Nobody is perfect. We all have flaws. We all have imperfections. That is okay and that is completely normal. We need to stop. We need to be real. We need to be okay with being real. We need to start to feel comfortable with being real. 

This pic of me shows stretch marks. It shows some loose skin from losing weight. The angle emphasizes that. I could have changed the angle. I could have air brushed the stretch marks out. But why? This is my body. I have worked hard for this body and this body has worked hard for me and together, we continue to work hard. It’s okay to want to look good. Make sure you are doing it for you and make sure you are working on the whole you, not just the body you. 

I had a big transformation, but it didn’t happen over night. I was in a calorie deficit for a long time. Then I went into a building phase where I gained back 10 pounds in hopes of adding more muscle to my frame. Then I lost again and am hanging out in this in between phase. I like the in between. It’s a good place to be right now. 

Start talking to your kids about body image. Help them understand that what they are seeing on social media and what is having a HUGE influence on them is not reality. You need to be their influence. Explain the importance of a healthy relationship with themselves and their body image. Start eating supper as a family. Start talking to them about food choices and how food affects their bodies. Sit down at the dinner table and talk about life. Talk about realities. Make sure your actions and words to yourself are positive.

Be positive. Your words are powerful and your brain listens to what you tell yourself. It’s okay to love yourself. That is a powerful thing. When trying to change, get in the journey and be present in that journey. You can do amazing things. 

Flaws and imperfections are good. To me they are not negative at all. We are all flawed. We are all imperfect. There is nothing wrong with us. I love my flaws and imperfections. I embrace them. I like being different.