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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'

Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Journey's Don't Stop Believin' is one of my favorite songs. The beauty of the first verse is either or both people are trying to escape something, on a train to somewhere fast and far. I am not running from anything, but I am running for something. I am done with "living in the background of my own life". I am ready to take on life and see what's in store for me. This song was the theme to undergrad. Every time I hear it, I can't help but remember all the good times. So, I believe it's time to make this the theme song of my life. Only remembering good times, never giving up.

 What is  your theme song for life?

I know that this is something I've mentioned before, but it is something worth mentioning again [and again and again]. BODY IMAGE. Many of us struggle with it and if you don't, consider yourself blessed and never stray from that.

I think back on all the conversations I've had with people and how they see themselves. Two girls bringing me to tears telling me all the "diets" they have tried because they thought they were fat (and they aren't). One diet even scared me, the 2-4-6-8. I can only imagine that it's hard to restrict yourself to 200, 300, even 400 calories a day. Drastic weight loss, but only with high health risks.

I have a friend who is a beautiful 155 lbs (a size 6/8 down from a 10/12 in high school). She changed her diet and transformed. I look at her body and it is so strong and she is such a beautiful person, inside and out. Yet, she has a wish list of things she wishes she could change about herself.

I even know somebody who hasn't worn shorts in YEARS, ashamed of how her legs look.

I am horrible at this. I am constantly comparing myself. I wish I were smarter, he goes to such a great school and does so much. I wish I were prettier, she doesn't even wear make-up! I wish I were thinner, she's so toned. I wish I were faster and so on... Of course, I keep this all inside, never telling anyone or giving anyone the chance to "counsel" me on this. Well, I'm done with that.

Can I just say that I love Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Osbourne, really I am a fan! I love that they inspire women with their weight loss journey's and look SO great. But, they're also celebrities with endorsements, personal trainers, chefs and money to burn.  I am broke, between my bills and student loans, I don’t really have that kind of cash to dish. So what does an average person do??

Well, I have taken up a hobby of blogging, not just writing, but reading as well. Many of the blogs I have read deal with lap bands and such, which if that's what you need, go for it! However, I want this to be natural and am looking for something so much more than weight loss. I am looking for a lifestyle.

So this blog in particular really speaks to me.  Her starting weight was 208 and now weighs 134 lbs. She is adventurous, real and a bad ass. She runs half marathons and is awesome.

Her latest blog "Body Image and a Reality Check", is one I think everyone should read.

"Yes! A thousand times yes, she is photoshopped! She is photoshopped to within an inch of her life! No one looks like that! Even THAT MODEL doesn't look like that! Do not compare yourself to these images because you will never attain that look! You will only be disappointed when you can never live up to an impossible beauty standard! None of these women look like what you see in magazines and on the internet! It's a false reality used to make you feel bad about yourself and buy their products!"

Learning to appreciate your body for what it can do, compared to what it looks like is SO important. I will never be a super model. But man, I am a bad ass. I get through these workouts giving it my all. I will only get better and stronger. You don't start out the best, but you always get better, if you work at it.

We are such complicated things. The intricacies of how we were created and work amaze me. We must continuously love our selves. LOVE YOUR BODY. Losing weight is for your health and life extension. Don't think "if I lose weight I will get a boyfriend or I just really want a nose job" because this, my friends, will hold you back.

It takes gumption and my aunt always says "it takes one step at a time to get to the top of the stairs". As a part of boot camp, Kri, my trainer only wants to see POSITIVE facebook statuses.  I challenge you to do the same.

Make a list of all the things your body does and read this list often.

My body can:
Dance
Paint
Draw
Read (a lot)
Appreciate music
Jog
Hug my mom and dad
Walk
Pray
Praise God
Play and swim with my younger siblings
Watch Movies
Tell jokes
Make people laugh
Give a speech
Type
Bike
Ride a camel (lol)
Cook
Argue
Breathe
Do push ups!
And so much more…

I think about all the people I admire and respect. My parents, family, friends and historical heroes, and I realize that the way they look really has little affect of how I see them. So why should my appearance diminish the way I see myself??

Count your blessings, not your blemishes. I hardly ever used the fitness center at school (for free), because I was ashamed of how I looked. But now, I workout in front of some pretty fit people and the only one I am worried about is ME. This is about ME. This is about YOU. Not them. You NEED to understand that.

Think of all the time you have wasted thinking badly about yourself. All the energy you have put into criticizing yourself. What could you have done in that time? I could have run miiiles. I could have painted a few master pieces or even read a few books. A healthy lifestyle includes a positive attitude, which means a healthy and happy body image. Start with setting realistic goals. I had a friend (who has over 150 lbs to lose) say she wanted to be 120 lbs. While, that may be doable, we need to focus on our now goals. Right now I'm on the road to 180. After 180, we'll see.

So instead of being disappointed that you don't look a certain way, I want you to reframe it: The next time you find yourself saying negative things about your body because of what it looks like, I want you to see all the ways your body is amazing - think of all the things it does for you in a single day: it keeps your heart beating and keeps you alive, it gets you around from place to place, it walks, it drives, it bends, reaches, grabs, writes, sews, paints, draws, plays instruments, runs, bikes, swims, jumps -  it picks up and holds your kids & your loved ones. Your body is a truly amazing thing - a functional work of art.

The reality is, I will never look like a model. Setting a goal to look like one will only leave me disappointed. It will diminish all the work that I am doing. So, I am reframing my thought. Remember, you can't weigh your self-esteem.

Workout song: Journey, Don't Stop Believin'
 119 BPM, best for a 13:06 mile run

2 comments:

  1. Hey gorgeous,

    I really admire you for being so honest and having the guts to post about body image. It's definitely something that a lot of girls struggle with and it can definitely get out of hand. You seem to have a really healthy attitude towards your body and losing weight. Good luck with everything, you are beautiful :)

    Jordan x

    http://turnonthebrightlightss.blogspot.com/

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  2. Thanks! That means a lot. It's been a struggle, but I am trying to be healthy about it all, physically and emotionally!

    I love your blog, btw! One of my favorites for sure. I read every new post! Thanks for checking mine out :)

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