Category Archives: Random Thoughts

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.

 

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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.

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.

Week One’s Progress and I feel great!

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I made three positive changes this week and I’m already noticing a difference in how I feel.

The biggest change has been exercise.  I had a great time at aerobics class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Aerobics gives me more of a workout than walking.  The movements work all parts of my body and I really work up a sweat.  Yoga on Thursday was a challenge.  I didn’t enjoy yoga class as much as aerobics.  It’s hard work!  But my body felt great afterwards.  I noticed that I even carried myself differently as I walked.   The physical feeling at the end of a yoga session is worth pushing through even though I’m not enthusiastic.  On Saturday, I felt so good that I had the strength and stamina to shovel lots of snow from my driveway and walkways around my house.  I worked up a sweat and it was a great workout.  

I made some changes to my eating during this last week.  I cut down substantially on eating any foods with grains, including wheat, rye, and oats.   Although I don’t want it to be so, I’ve got to admit that I feel better with minimum carbohydrates in my diet.   According to some articles that I’ve read that even whole grains can cause inflammation in the digestive tract and interfere with the absorbtion of nutrients.  I decided to move toward eating a more basic diet that focuses on proteins and vegetables with a limited amount of glucose from starches such as rice and potatoes.  The diet that I’m moving into is the Perfect Health Diet.  I’ve ordered the book and reading as much as I can find on the web to learn about the eating plan and its benefits.  I’ve got to say that I feel great with the changes that I’ve made so far with reducing the grains that I consume.  I haven’t felt the nagging hunger that I usually feel 3-4 hours after a meal.  My energy level is also very even. 

Vitamins and supplements!  I made sure to take my multi-vitamins daily.  I also took a cod liver oil supplement with 4000 mg of vitamin D3 to help restore my deficiency.  I took 100 mg. of  Ubiquinol which is “essential for cellular function and antioxidant protection” :  translation, it gives you energy and helps your cardiovascular system including healthy blood pressure.   Finally, I took 400 mg of chromium picolinate which is supposed to increase the efficiency of insulin and help boost metabolism.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s just part of my breakfast or lunch.  A big part of the Perfect Health diet is optimizing nutrition and supplementing diet with important minerals.  I plan to add vitamin K2 and maganese based on what I’ve been reading.

So I’m moving forward.  I can tell that I’m making progress because I feel great!  My challenge is to keep everything going – exercise, healthy diet, and vitamins – for another week!  Only two more weeks, and it will be a habit!

Am I Ready?

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Last week, I had a physical.  I was very resistant to going to my appointment.  I feared that the doctor would tell me that I needed to lose weight which would trigger my feelings of shame.  Really, I already felt (and feel) shame.  I feared that my blood pressure would be up, and my doctor had already advised that I consider taking medication which I’ve resisted.  I’ve been worried that perhaps I might be diagnosed with diabetes.   I consider myself to be healthy, in spite of being overweight.  I was afraid that maybe that was no longer true. 

The great news is that I continue to be healthy!  My blood pressure is down and within the normal range, probably because I’m no longer teaching.  My blood test results show that my blood sugar is within normal range, and my cholesterol and triglycerides are also normal.  My doctor didn’t given me a big lecture about my weight as I’d feared.  It was a good report.

So now what?  I do want to maintain my good health.  I want to love my body unconditionally.  I  know that weightloss would be good for me physically.  I want to feel good in my body.  I want to feel good about how my body looks. 

Something shifted in my this week.  I think I’m ready to take a harder look at what I eat and make some changes.  I’ve been resisting a healthier food plan, like the Fat Smash diet because I haven’t wanted to give up sweets and carbs.  I like carbs.  But I also know that I need to focus on eating more non-carby foods to stay healthy. 

Last year,  I asked to have my blood tested for insulin and my results showed a high level indicating insulin resistance.  Insulin is a fat storing hormone, which makes it harder for me to lose weight and easier for me to gain it.  Carbs and sweets trigger insulin production to keep my blood sugar regulated.  My body just doesn’t process carbs and sugar the way most people do.  It’s healthier for me to avoid carbs and sugar.  I believe this to be true, given the information that I’ve read, my personal experience, and the data from my blood work. 

I really like carbs and sugar.  But I can’t have my cake and eat it too.  Literally.  At least not most of the time if I want to be healthy.

But I don’t want to be crazy about eating a low-carb diet like I’ve been in the past.  I don’t want to become obsessed with food or fearful of carbs.  I don’t want to eat only Macademia nuts for three days, or starve myself into losing weight.  I want to have choices about what I eat without limiting myself to eggs for breakfast every morning and shrimp for lunch everyday.  I do want to eat vegetables, salads, fruit, and maybe some low-glycemic carbs like oatmeal and brown rice.   I’d like to end up somewhere between the Fat Smash diet (phase 1) and the Atkins diet. 

So I’m planning my tranisiton.  I am going to be  conscious about the carbs that I eat during the next week.  I’m going to avoid sweets and make some low-carb dishes to enjoy for Thanksgiving.  I am making a plan to start eating foods on the Fat Smash diet on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  I’m making a plan about how to handle food at social events that I have coming up in the next few weeks. 

I know that I would be healthier if I lost some weight.  Loving my body as I am today and losing weight don’t have to be opposing goals.  I can eat more healthfully for my body without becoming obsessed or focusing on a number on the scale. 

In May, I have another check-up scheduled with my doctor.  My goal is to weigh at least twenty pounds less than I do now.  I think that’s reasonable.   I’ll get to my goal by avoiding carbs and sweets, eating lots of healthy veggies and protein, and exercising on most days.

I think I’m ready.

 

 

Refocus

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Last night, someone asked me how I was doing with the blog.  Translate (in my mind):  “How are you doing with weightloss?  You don’t look like you’ve lost any weight.”  I immediately felt shameful and defensive. 

I responded by confessing that I hadn’t really been focused lately on the blog and my efforts to be healthier.  The blog really isn’t about weightloss specifically, but about feeling better about our bodies and living healthfully with good food and enough exercise.  I still felt wrong somehow,  like I should have lost ten pounds by now.

It’s easy for me to get distracted from my mission.  Even though I’m retired, I find that visiting with friends, a home project, or whatever is on my daily agenda becomes the focus rather than taking care of myself with healthy food and daily exercise.  Eating healthfully and daily exercise isn’t a habit yet, and until it is, I need to keep it at the forefront of my day.

I haven’t checked in on the blog in several (or more) days.  I’ve been walking, but not regularly (3 days a week instead of 4-6).  Although I intend to eat more vegetables, it’s easier to grab something with carbs.  I’ve been out to eat more in the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t made the healthiest choices from the menu.  And then there’s the matter of the bag of Halloween candy that’s been waiting for the trick-or-treaters.

I do better when I read some of my healthy lifestyle materials or post something on this blog.  It helps me refocus on my mission to eat healthfully and exercise each day.

Exercise in the morning is critical for me.  If I’ve got plans or an appointment in the morning, then I need to walk before then. 

Eating more vegetables doesn’t mean that I can’t have other foods.  But I do need to put some limits on my unhealthy food choices.  I’ve used food journals in the past, and I know that it’s a good strategy to help me be more aware of what I’m eating.  It also makes me think twice before I eat something unhealthy since I’ll have to write it down.  I’m going to put a journal in the kitchen and write down what I eat.  I’m going to look up more recipes with vegetables and consciously make better choices with my meals. 

I want to find a healthy way to eat without feeling punished.  I don’t want to diet, but making healthy eating my way of life.  I’ve failed in the past, when I’ve made my eating restrictive and made weightloss all about willpower, shame, and fear.  I really want to find a way to get beyond that. 

I do want to lose weight too.  I probably will never reach the ideal picture that I have in my mind, or the ideal number on the scale.  But I can do better with eating and exercise which will definitely result in better health and probably weightloss too.