Is Living in a Crazy Food Prison Worth It?

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Do I dare whisper “no?”

I just came across this article that was posted on another blog.

I’m Finally Thin — But Is Living In A Crazymaking Food Prison Really Worth It?

I quickly skimmed though it and found it thought-provoking.  I want to come back to the article later to dig into it more deeply.  I decided to park the link here, just in case anyone else is interested.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

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Here’s another insightful video from Dove.  Rather than describe it, just watch:

This really drives home the point that women are so critical of their appearance.  We carry the negative messages that are given to us as children and replay them.  I was struck by how inaccurate the women’s comments were when asked to describe themselves, but how positive the comments were about other people.  The drawings made from the descriptions of others were so much more accurate than the drawings made from the self descriptions.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.    Today I’m going to look for beauty when I look in the mirror.

 

Struggling to Get Back on Track

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I’ve been struggling with my eating since I got back from a vacation last week.  During my time away from home, I slipped back into eating some foods that I hadn’t been eating because it was easier to eat them than to refuse.   I didn’t speak up to my relatives when they served foods that I don’t regularly eat anymore.  I wanted to taste that pizza crust and homemade sauce on the pasta.  Those jelly beans really did help me cope while sitting in the backseat of the car while being driven around on a “three-hour tour” of sites that really didn’t interest me.  To be a good guest, I needed to keep quiet.  Somehow, allowing myself foods that I don’t normally eat made it all tolerable.  It seemed okay, since I was on vacation.  This isn’t my normal routine.

Some of my elder relatives treated me like a child, so I coped with my discomfort and anger in the same way that I did when I was a child.  I rewarded myself with food.  Aha!

Now that I’m home, I’m struggling to get back on track.  I know what is good for me.  I cooked some healthy meals and have been eating more healthfully.  But I continue to choose to eat some foods that aren’t good for me.

I read a really great post on Medicinal Marzipan today, one of my very favorite bloggers:  On Ice Cream Sundaes, “Treating Yourself  Well” + Self-care

The article really spoke to me.  Just last week, I was feeling some anxiety about my cat’s surgery.  I actually ate an ice cream sundae – a peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen.  My rationalization was as follows:
1)  it was on sale that day for $2.49
2)  one peanut buster parfait a year is reasonable
3)  I deserve it today
4)  it will make me feel better

I could really relate when the author of the article talks about how eating an ice cream sundae is about rebelling against the rules and relaxing at the same time.  For me, it was about comfort too.  It was my way of handling my anxiety and stress.

But that sweet treat wasn’t really a healthy way to handle my feelings, just like eating during my vacation to cope with family situations wasn’t good for me.

Life is hard.  Food tastes good.  And certain comfort foods really do help me feel better sometimes.  But habitually eating unhealthy foods isn’t good for me.

I’m not going to beat myself up here.  I’m simply reflecting on my eating behavior, learning from it, and moving forward.

I’m looking for progress, not perfection.  I think my awareness will help me have a better week with healthy eating an get me back on track.

We are the way we are

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I just read this great blog post titled “What If Your Body Is Not to Blame” .  

I’ve been changing my eating and exercise habits with the goal of becoming healthier.  But I’ve got to admit that I’m looking for a positive change in my appearance too.  I do want to lose weight, wear a smaller size, and take up less space – and it’s not only for health reasons.

Loving my body as it is today really is an important part of my goal to become healthier.  How can I truly take good care of my body if I don’t love all of me as I am today?

My favorite quote from the above blog post is this: 

“We are not born with flaws, and we do not die with flaws. Our bodies are exactly how they are meant to be at each moment in time. There is nothing inherently wrong with our bodies. And do you know how I know that? Because they are the way they are, and that is reality.”

That sounds like unconditional love to me.  And that’s really what I want for my body, at any size.

So instead of believing what someone else says about how my body should look, I’m reminded that I need to appreciate the perfection of my body, just as it is today.

Levi Strauss – American Icon or Another Media Insult?

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The Levi Strauss Company has been making jeans since the 1870s. As a longstanding American icon, you think they would have clued in to their customer by now. I was looking around online because I am in the market for some new jeans (tired of what Kohl’s stocks at this point).  Well I came across this ad and corresponding pushback articles about it.

http://jezebel.com/5887244/for-levis-hotness-comes-in-small-small-and-small

There is virtually no difference between the three model sizes depicted.  Apparently you have to wear high heels and your hair in a ponytail to fit into the jeans also ??? And it’s curious to me that diversity isn’t even represented here.

C’mon Levi Strauss, I know you make ‘em in all sizes – it’s time to advertise them in all sizes.

 

I love Adele even more now!

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I’ve been a fan of Adele ever since I first heard her songs.   Much has been said about the fact that her plus-sized body doesn’t fit the norm of today’s young pop singers.   But she seems to be very self-aware and is grounded in the belief that her value is not based on her size.  She explained her thoughts on her body image in this excerpt from an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that was aired just before the Grammy Awards:

 

The bottom line is that Adele is a very talented singer and song writer.  She is also a beautiful, plus-sized young woman.  I hope that she is helping to set a new standard for women in our society.  In my hopes and dreams, thirty years from now when Adele performs at the Super Bowl half-time show, the post-show comments will focus on her magnificent voice and great performance.  Whether she is fat or thin, fit or not, it won’t matter anymore.

Loving my Body is a Process

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I was searching the internet for positive images and sayings to pin on one of my boards in Pinterest. I came across this great blog post: 20 Things People with a Positive Body Image Know  It’s really worth a click and a few minutes to read.  I wanted to post the link here so that I could come back to it often.  I know that each time I read it, it will be meaningful to me in a different way.

What struck me the most on this list today is #19:  “That having a positive body image is a process. Day by day. It might seem oh-so impossible at first but if you start small, it’ll improve.”

Loving my body is a process, especially after feeling like I had to battle my body for so many years. I’m not fighting my body any more.   My negative self-talk about my body has significantly decreased, and I catch myself when I think negative thoughts.  I’m not defining the worth of my body by a number on the scale.  I’m appreciative of the things that my body does for me.    I’m making progress. 

I’m growing into the belief stated in #20:  “That you deserve to love your body at any size, shape or weight!”

My body does deserve lots of love.  I’m giving myself as much love as I can today and I’ll continue to grow in loving my body unconditionally.