There’s a weird paradox between the “love your body” way of thinking and the “get in shape and be healthy” mindset. I kind of feel pulled in different directions, and I’m sure I’m not alone. So, in my own bloggy tradition, I’m going to try to sort it out right here.
I’ve been following the tumblr blog Stop Hating Your Body and reading the stories of people who have been through hell — eating disorders, self harm, general body loathing, etc. — and it made me realize just how much we’ve been brainwashed to think that our bodies are something we should be ashamed of. I’m not just talking about cellulite, stretchmarks and scars, but how we might feel ashamed because our boobs are too small/too large, our feet are too big or “ugly” or some other little quirk that we think we need to hate, hide or beautify in some way. It’s crazy how we think we’ve been led to believe we have to fit inside a tiny beautiful box to be considered beautiful and sexy. Most of the time, we don’t even realize that we don’t need to feel this way about ourselves.
I read somewhere (I didn’t bookmark it, dammit!) that there was a survey conducted and most women would rather get hit by a bus than be overweight. So… being overweight is worse than death? Come again?
Just another scary example of how much we’re effected every day by the media and pretty much everything else. It’s time to start thinking another way, don’t you think?
I started asking myself some questions:
Do I dislike ____ (something about my physical appearance) because I don’t like it, or because I think other people won’t like it?
Does this physical trait cause me harm (is it making me unhealthy?) (Most of the time, the answer was no.)
What will it take to change ____? Is it even possible and is it worth it?
In general, my body is pretty healthy. I have good blood pressure, my blood iron level is always high, strong muscles and a strong heart. The only thing I would need to work on purely health wise is my lung capacity — my asthma gives me a little road block right there, but it’s possible for me to work on that and make my lungs stronger, as long as I have my inhaler and the OK from my Dr. I’m 5’2″ at 125 lbs — in the “normal” weight range on the BMI, but as you know, people at any weight can have cellulite, including me. I have stretch marks on my thighs, calves and boobs. I have a “pooch” of fat protecting my abs and my hips and butt are pretty ~out there~. If I really wanted to, I could tone up, but I don’t really care to.
Am I telling you these things because I want to join in the “I don’t like ______ about mysellfff.” pity party?
Nope! I’ve adopted the notion that these things don’t effect my health in any way shape or form.
Also, there’s actually nothing wrong with them. Who says I need to wear boy shorts instead of regular bikini bottoms to the beach to hide my cellulite? Probably someone somewhere, but their opinion doesn’t matter to me anymore.
“What people think of you is none of your business. ~ Deepak Chopra”
It really doesn’t matter! What a concept!
My opinion of the way I look is the only one that matters.
After some nudging from my cousin, I’m starting to use My Fitness Pal to make sure I get my regular physical activity and the amount of water I should be drinking. Regular exercise bores me, so I just go walking, hiking or swimming to keep my lungs and heart healthy, and I’m sure you already know what’s good about water. I’m letting go of the “I have to be skinny and smooth” state of mind. It was only making me feel bad and I realized I should just focus on staying healthy.filed under: Diary, Thoughts on Stuff ||| leave a comment?
Last summer I started making these wrap bracelet/friendship bracelets because they’re easy — much easier than the other types of friendship bracelets that are a series of knots. I don’t have the patience for that. *shrugs* I do like making hemp macrame, though when I have the time. I made some anklets and bracelets like that for my friends and family last summer and for some reason, probably because it’s now summer again, I started making them again. I tried something new with the crisscross design and I didn’t think people would like them so much.
After I made one for myself, everybody wanted one! Friends of friends also want them and said they would pay for them. They said that people sell anklets/bracelets like this with beads and charms like I was making them, for $5 a piece. I might not sell them for that much, but I starting to consider making them to sell on Etsy or just in person. I can get the string for pretty cheap at wal-mart and hobby stores. I used glitter pony beads on my cousin’s anklet and a peace sign charm on my mom’s. I really wish now that I had taken pictures of them, but I’ll be making more very soon. I already have plenty of cute beads and charms that I’ve collected over the years, but I really want some colorful clay beads, though, since they would look great with the colorful string I used to make the bracelets. I’ve always loved the “hippie” style of jewelry, with the wooden or natural clay beads, or the colorful Fimo beads with the designs in them. I’m going to make one to match my bathing suit, next.filed under: Diary, Fun Stuff ||| leave a comment?
I’m still kind of amazed at how much fun this is. It feels good to know that you made something living grow from a tiny seed into a plant that you can enjoy. It’s more work of course and it’s not for everyone, so it’s nice to be able to go to a greenhouse, buy some plants and get your garden started. That still takes plenty of work, weeding, watering/fertilizing etc. I guess I’m looking at my seedlings with a spiritual/philosophical eye, too. You have to be patient and tend to them every day, start small and you’ll be rewarded later. It’s a nice little lesson, no?
Below-left is my new jade plant. My old jade plant died, so I took the healthy leaf that fell off and stuck it in some water. That’s how my mom started my old jade plant — you stick a piece of it in water and it grows roots! There’s another metaphor: Even when something dies you can still salvage something from it to start over.
I’ve always loved nature but I was never into gardening until just recently. My mom always had a jungle of plants in our house and I think I felt like I needed that again.
I was worried that me talking about plants was boring but I think “being boring” can also be loosely translated to “appreciating the little things”. I have to appreciate the little things right now because a few of the big things have gone bad, but I won’t go into on here because I think it would be inappropriate. It’s not too bad though, I’m keeping my head up and feeling stronger than before. You just have to keep in mind that things will be okay if you keep your mind open for options and focus on what makes you happy.
Oh, and a funny/painful story about my cactus. A dead branch fell off onto the balcony Saturday night. It was dark. I was barefoot. Guess what happened next.
Those barbs work a little too well, let me tell you. I have a high threshold for pain and it wasn’t a big deal until we pulled the branch out of my foot (with a pair of pliers) and they tore skin on the way out. Ok nature, you win. ♐filed under: Diary, Thoughts on Stuff ||| leave a comment?