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Six.

13 Feb
Everything is changing. I swear, I can feel it. Don’t get me wrong, Yoga is huge. But, in a time frame of just five days, I have practiced Yoga six times. Yes, six. Do the math. Actually, looking back on my dailymile log, sometimes I had two sessions in one day. It’s pretty intense, but a good kind of intensity.

Today marked practice number six. Yes, I am practicing Yoga at home (to save money and the occasional embarrassment of farting mid Downward Dog), but today I ventured out to a local studio. A big thanks to my Lululemon Athletica Burlington Mall for the treat of a free Yoga class. It’s been a very long time since I attended a real class with other live bodies. The class was a nice treat, but I encountered one major problem.

Comparing myself to other Yogi’s. It’s tough. I know that I’m not that advanced and I can’t bend myself into pretzel like poses, but I compare. It’s not that I’m trying to “out do” the person next to me, but I do like the challenge of nailing an advanced pose. Whenever there’s an opportunity for a little twisting, etc… I always look around to see who’s doing what naturally. I look. To stop looking at others, I decided to wave my hand to the instructor and ask for guidance for one of the more challenging poses: Wheel. Of course, I explained that I never tried the pose before, but I wanted to try it anyhow. I did try and of course, everyone was looking at me which made me feel awkward. And then… I couldn’t even get myself off the ground. I felt like a failure.

But Yoga isn’t about failure. It’s about reconnecting yourself with your practice. Of course I’m going to struggle here and there. I get pretty impressed with myself when I was able to stretch more into Bow the second time around. It’s going to take time, but part of me thinks that because I’ve been practicing Yoga since college, I should “get” it by now.

What are your thoughts on self competition in a fitness class?

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Addicted Part 2.

29 Jan
I’m not negative. I’m actually quite positive, despite what others may believe when they look at my face. I always have the biggest smile on my face. But I admit, sometimes I smile to mask the pain. The feeling of being so incomplete, so unwhole that I wonder… am I really finished or is this just the beginning of something bigger to come?

I’ve been out of treatment (totally out, and some random therapy sessions here and there – and I think she thinks I fired her again) for about three and a half years. At the time of my last relationship, I was pursuing outpatient treatment at MEDA. It was a period of my life that I desperately needed to achieve permanent change. It wasn’t about living for tomorrow, it was about living for the minute. It may not sound good, but sometimes focusing on the minute, staying in the present, can help me forget the other things running in and out of my head.

If I could survive a minute without disordered thinking, I’ve succeeded. Whenever I reflect upon my treatment and recovery as a whole, I’m reminded of my own success. Sure, I couldn’t of done it without the help of my friends and family. I laughed, I cried, and I was able for the first time to say “I feel pretty” one morning during check in at treatment. Many months later, I still struggle to stay this sentence outloud. I said it last night to myself while watching a show on the Oprah network, and tears began to trickle down my face.

I’m all about acceptance. Or trying to get there as close as possible. Sometimes that smile is just the write off of “I’m happy, don’t ask questions”. I still become overly defensive when someone asks what I ate. When I think about acceptance, it’s also about realizing when I’ve messed up. On the same fence, only I am responsible for my actions. You need to have positive role models around you to support and pick you up when you’re feeling down.

It’s a one day at a time process. I must say, I’m a huge Operation Beautiful fan. I sometimes want to leave love notes for myself. I’ve never been a fan of affirmations because they’ve always felt so fake. But I find reading the notes of others has a bigger impact. I am pro-recovery. Recovery is possible. Sure, it’s not easy to abolish negative thinking, but sometimes you come across an upsetting upsetting thought about your size equals happiness.

The purpose of the blog is to grow, love and accept myself through adventures of healthy living as a whole. The process isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Sometimes I focus on living in the moment. To be more present. I abolish the use of fat talk. I don’t do it. It’s not healthy and I try and look deep into myself to identiy what I’m feeling vs the size I feel.

Instead of trying to change what we can’t, let’s focus on what we can.

Addicted.

28 Jan
I get it. I get that sometimes it’s really hard to stop the behavior. That sometimes, even though you know you shouldn’t do it, you still do. That sometimes, even though you’re doing so well, you can’t expect your recovery to perfect. Because thinking it will be perfect is a lie, and you’re only setting yourself up for failure. The best way to look at it, is to tell yourself “one step at a time, one foot in front of the other”. I always told myself, “there’s no going back” and it’s true, there’s no going back.

I am honestly offended. I am offended at a close minded thought that the size you are equals your beauty. I’m sorry, but skin and bones are never sexy. Yes, for a period of time… I was trying to reach someone else’s own ideals of what was beautiful. There are so many negative influences from the media, that I honestly try to stay away from. Every magazine photo of a model is Photoshopped. It’s not even real. Nothing about it is real, and everything is fake. All those clothes they’re wearing? They are pinned and tucked to show off their willowy shape. If not, I bet the clothing would look like a potato sack. I’d rather look at a potato sack than skin and bones on a model on any given day.

But the influences will kill you. Eat less. Exercise more. Restrict your calories. Skinny is beautiful. The thinner, the better. Once you are addicted to negative thinking, it’s like a drug. You crave it the more you see it. Your impact of negative thinking, your impact on your body – you may not see it right then and there, but the affect is long term. I know that if I didn’t change the way I was thinking, the way I was fueling my own body, that I was going to die. Death is not pretty. I am honestly so bothered that the idea that a size zero is beautiful but a size six is considered fat.

I am not fat. I am a woman. I have curves. I like myself the way it is. You can not try and convince me for a second that if I want someone to love me, that I need to change the way I am. If I’m not blonde, change it. If I’m not thin enough, loose twenty pounds. If I’m still not thin enough, loose another ten. You can’t tell me for a second that this will make me happy. It won’t. It will only fuel the addiction of trying to fit into someone else’s ideals of what is considered beautiful.

I remember when I wrote The Girl, the dubbed “about me” page, which was more of a backstory of who I am and why this blog was created. It serves a purpose, a healthy purpose. There is something very important that I feel it’s utterly important to reflect upon. And as for the person who started this whole “weight = happiness” controversy, it’s about time you get your head checked honey, because the way you’re headed is only into an early grave.

Instead of trying to cover up our imperfections and flaws, why not let your inner sexy shine? Everyone has their imperfections. It’s about time we celebrate our own differences instead of trying to copycat ourselves to what is considered beautiful and trendy by someone else’s standards. What makes you unique is yourself, and don’t ever let someone else’s standards determine your own inner happiness.

Love on the Rocks.

2 Jan
He lied. He cheated. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to believe that he was telling me the truth. I wish I knew sooner. I wish I was able to figure it out, instead of believing he really did love me. Yes, his lavish gifts hid the fact that he wasn’t really as interested in me as I thought. I couldn’t afford those gifts for myself. I couldn’t afford buying myself a new digital camera or a suprise 30th birthday dinner at The Capital Grille. Everything seemed so perfect that evening, minus the fact there was yet to be an engagement ring placed on my finger.

I often wonder what went wrong. I often wonder if there was something that I did to make him stray. His countless excuses of how he had to work all the time. His countless excuses that he couldn’t spend time with me, only made me feel empty and wortheless in the side. I tried to get him to pay attention to me. I tried to get him to even look at me in a different way. So he mentioned he wanted me to wear something different. Wear my hair different, or change my makeup “look”. I did those things. Not only did I do those things, but even when I did – he didn’t even notice the change, even though it was his request. How could you not notice? I felt like an idiot trying to “point out” the changes. He said to me that he didn’t see it because it was so subtle. I bet you would of noticed something bigger, let’s say if I got a boob job. I’m sure you’d notice that, but the littlest things… what I needed from you, you continued to neglect me, until I finally decided to end our relationship.

I’ve been starting over now for six months. I admit it, I hate the holidays. Thank goodness it’s over. In fact, I also hate Valentine’s Day. I liked the idea about it. But I was forced to believe that it was a waste. He wasn’t about the lovey-doveyness of a special day. He felt that anyday could be Valentine’s Day, which only gave him more time to figure himself out, and figure out if he really wanted to be with me. It really bothered me. How some years on Valentine’s Day, I’d get a crappy card from him and I’d go all out. I hate that feeling of putting myself, my whole self into something, only to wonder “why did I do that?”.

I did things. I felt so unappreciated. That now, I’m single… and I almost want to do these special things for someone else. Those random text message in the day to tell him that I’m thinking of him. But at times, it feels so innapropriate. As if I’m not ready to let myself become vulnerable again, to let myself be open – with my skeletons in the closet, only to fear that I will be rejected again because I’m not perfect enough, and don’t fit the items on his checklist.

I’m a package deal. I offer laughter, support, a high level of open communication and sometimes treats. You can’t pick and choose. Either you love me for me, or you can’t. Just because you’re thinking I need to work on myself, honey – did you forget about the countless months I spent working on myself? Have you not looked at yourself recently? Seriously, you need to get a mirror and look at yourself. Because you’re not perfect, but somehow you’re expecting me that if I work on this and that, that somehow everything will be magically “perfect”.

It was never love. Love isn’t always happy, but I should smile with you.

Winners vs Losers.

2 Jan
Over the past few days, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. It’s beyond me to think that just last year, I was focusing on running one mile. It sounded beyond challenging. It was so hard that when I finally ran that one mile, I felt on top of the world. Sure, to other runners that one mile my not be as awesome as their half marathon, but the fact that I went out there and continiously worked on it, does count for something.

It makes me think. Why doubt myself when it comes to running? Over the past few days, I’ve really doubted my “skills” when it comes to running. I am not a professional. I’m not a beginner, but I’ve gained enough experience to get an idea of when to push myself and when to stop. That knowing doesn’t come overnight. But, what really gets me… is that longer distances can be so challenging that I really do question myself. Am I really ready for the next step? Yes, yes… dubbed “Pink Warrior” was spontaenous. I am still so impressed with myself that I finished. I finished. There was only one runner (it was me) and I definitely was the true winner.

But when it comes to winners vs losers, if you finish… you’re a winner. I don’t run these races to come in first. Gee, I am no where near coming in first. But I do get midly excited when I place before a 91-year old man, or place before an 8-year old boy. I like to think I can beat the boys. I’d like to think I can beat the girls. I’d like to think that I can beat myself. On the flip side, running isn’t a win-loose. I love seeing people active in the neighborhood. Just out there, doing something. If you can get your sneakers on and get out there, you’re a winner. I hate feeling like the only person out there, doing what I love. Except, on occasion in bad weather (ie: snowstorms) I am out there, running. Yes, in the snow. Flurries all around me, as if I’m running in a snowglobe. It’s fun.

Whatever it is you love to do, do it. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Who cares if you’re a slow runner? Who cares. Do you care? If that’s what you want to work on, work on it. I certainly did not have a training plan or a workout buddy when I started. The only person who I had to compete with, was myself. If I can’t get myself out there to run/train, nobody will do it for me.

I’m all about self-empowerment. If you try, you’ve already won.

The Barbie Complex.

27 Nov
She has everything. Friends, handsome boyfriends (was Ken the only one?), a few luxurious homes, a large family, and multiple careers. Blonde hair, yet sometimes I could of swore she tried being a brunette to prove that “blondes have more fun”. Yes, she’s just plastic. But something about her being just plastic, created a new set of ideals for young girls and women all over the world to try and live up to. I idolized her. Because Barbie has everything in her life, and was close to perfection.

Realistically, Barbie does not have the perfect body. There’s something still about “thinner is better” that I can’t seem to shake from my head, because it’s so rare that I see an average sized woman, someone who isn’t a size zero, in a magazine wearing awesome everyday clothes. Clothes that don’t hang off her petite frame. Clothes that actually look good, without clipping this and that to accentuate her frame, trying to make it appear thinner than what it actually is, because in the end of our materalistic word – does thin really sell better than being just average?

Yes, I am thin. Thinner than what I should be, but I’m working on yes – gaining more weight. Do I think I fit into a world of Barbie-type ideals? No. I sometimes wonder the influence of Barbie, what that has on the wants and desires of men when it comes to their perfect girlfriend. I certainly am not a supermodel. Yes, I am blonde… but I highlight my hair. I’m athletic, yes.. I run my heart out, and I keep in shape. Physically, I won’t go into details – but I have curves. Either you love it, or hate it. Do I have many careers? No. I have one that I enjoy. Working in Education with Special Needs children is definitely an admirable career, one that I enjoy, but sometimes question my “worth” compared to other, fancier jobs – lawyers, doctors, etc. The whole, I want to call it “The Barbie Complex” makes me wonder. What type of ideals and standards do women feel forced to fit into? Ones that Barbie imposed on us as little girls, ones created by the media, or a combination of the two to fit into every man’s desire?

What Barbie lacked was a personality and character. I am almost always smiling and enjoy sharing my optimistic viewpoint with everyone I know. I appreciate a good attitude in others almost as much as I appreciate a good sense of humor. Throughout the many times I’ve played with Barbie, dressing her up in her fashionable clothes (can I just have a big income to buy awesome clothes, please?), I never got the feeling she was happy with herself.

Instead of trying to cover up our imperfections and flaws, why not let your inner sexy shine? Everyone has their imperfections. It’s about time we celebrate our own differences instead of trying to copycat ourselves to what is considered beautiful and trendy by someone else’s standards.

Love Candy.

31 Oct
I have this idea. But let me say, that I purposely put a pad of sticky notes in my handbag to spread self-reflective love. The idea itself is so back to nature, back to basics style, that I wonder why I didn’t think or start it sooner.

I’ve decided to leave love notes for myself in random places. Yes, I’m fully aware that it’s very Operation Beautiful style, but I think it provides some merit. Sometimes I really struggle to accept. I find myself trying to fit into someone else’s ideals of beauty without ever establishing my own self identity.

Being single again has been a self freeing experience. I felt so worthless and struggled to accept myself because someone else, put these insane expectations of me that were beyond ridiculous. Of course, I felt so much pressure to abide by them in fear that he’d leave me.

To keep myself healthy, I left him. It was the scariest and best decision I ever made, except he left me feeling wounded with battle scars. I’m hoping my own self reflective love notes can patch up some wounds left by his harsh words, and in truth shine.

Shine on girlfriend, shine on.