Tag Archives: self appreciation

Improvement?

I was able to leave work a couple of hours early today. I knew I must take the opportunity to slide in an extra workout. I texted my husband and he decided to go with me.

I changed into my old workout outfit. It’s probably almost a decade old, and the shirt has had paint on it for longer than my 6 year old has been alive. The pants gained a bleached area after moving into our previous home about 2 years ago.

Nathan picked the treadmill, and I chose to do a combo of elliptical and rowing machine. We both did a full 45 min workout, and I did my best to maximize mine (HR, speed, resistance, etc.).

I started with the elliptical set on a big incline to maximize focus on quads and glutes. My quads have been weak and my glutes have been chronically tight; sometimes that’s a sign of weakness, but it’s also potentially just because of the nature of how I stand while working.

Either way, I wanted this workout to help in as many ways as possible. So, I picked my machines based on muscles I wanted to work, and the duration for helping my brain function.

10 min into the elliptical my clothes were bothersome. They are now so baggy that they catch on things. While still in motion I tied a knot in my shirt hem, and pulled my pants up higher and cinched in the drawstring more. I then had to pull my sleeves up as high as possible to get them to stay put.

When I got home I realized they were 18/20W or a 2XL. When I originally bought them I was not quite at my largest and they were comfortably loose. I do remember when I hit my largest they were no longer quite so comfortable and that was one of many signals to acknowledge I needed to fix things. That was over 7 years ago.

Now, I know I wore a fitted size Large scrub top last week that wasn’t quite so tight anymore. I wouldn’t call it spacious or comfy, but it’s not restrictive like it was when I bought it in the frame of mind of being hopeful.

So I’m down from an 18/20W plus size to a solid 14/16 regular, and still shrinking, not quite to a size 12 yet.

This is quite possibly the slowest process I’ve ever noticed, but it is progress. The bathroom scale is still useless registering 217-220 depending on the day, but I’m definitely slowly inching smaller.

I still get frustrated over my tummy because it shows bloating so readily, but I’m definitely smaller. When I stand with proper posture and I’m not bloated, my tummy is smaller than my breasts, the last times that happened was directly after giving birth to my children. It makes me feel good.

This all helps me feel better. The exercise itself, the results, being smaller, feeling better physically, it all helps my mood. This on top of all of my regimen is a big helper, but I’m still inching up.

It’s not taking me weeks or months anymore, but it’s still taking me multiple days to climb out of mental health pits. It is improvement, but I look forward to hours instead. Nay, I look forward to never falling to begin with.

I’m not sure I’m ready to contemplate what that puzzle looks like yet. I’ll get this one down better first.

Anyway, I wanted to share my efforts and the noticable measures of improvement. I will keep plugging away and eventually I will be back up again.

May you have moments of appreciation and validation of your efforts at improvement. May your brain always cooperate with you. May you have stable mental health and a healthy body inside and out. May you know you are doing better and find ways to love yourself for it. May you know you’re loved and supported.

Om Shanti

Reaching for God’s View of Me

Theme song for this post 😆: https://youtu.be/x-EVWQAsZNA

That’s me at a Crows coffee, and that’s my post-work decalf almond milk mocha. I took a sip before realizing the barista had made a heart in the foam, and then wanted to capture it despite the deformity… first world problems right.

A new friend told me I needed to work on myself without being too hard on myself. I asked him to define that, and he fed me some of my own past advice: meditate and do things I enjoy. That was inspiration for the coloring and whatnot this week. It was very needed and I’m very appreciative of the reminder.

It stirred in me today many thoughts. I have to say after a segue into fantasy world which I got an interesting energetic kick back, I realized I needed a moment of how do others see me. Nay, I needed a moment of how does God see me. (By the way “your own personal Jesus” just started playing on the loud speakers at Crows. Te he ☺️.)

To that end; a long time ago I read a post from another blogger that was a mirror writing exercise. I thought I had already done such an exercise, but can’t find my old post to link to, so I’m going to start over with the selfie above as my mirror.

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This woman in front of me, young, but with slight sprinkling of white hair implies having really lived in few years. It also denotes an acceptance of her own tawny hair, which the sun seems to bring out slight rosy highlights within the strands. I see vibrant soft skin with round plump rosy cheeks, a warmth that comes from within. Rich earthy eyes glazed with a slight moisture is creating an appearance of fatigue being held at bay by that inner fire. I see the determination to keep going. The gentle smile on her lips seems to give off gentle happiness or perhaps some reserved emotions mixed with joy. Head held high, carrying an air of confidence. Though no makeup covers any portion of this face sprinkled with slight blemishes, there is still beauty, and despite being late in the day her appearance is still tidy. This is natural raw beauty, unadulterated, just as God created. Additionally, she wears colorful beads and a Halloween scrub top. Seemingly contrasting, yet fun and whimsical. I know they are outward expressions of elements of her personality. The willingness to show her rawest self, with care, is a quality of strength. Strength of independence, strength of acceptance of her own very unique self. That kind of strength comes from a sense of self, an inner knowing, likely from facing demons many times over.

It takes guts to be completely yourself in a society bent on conformity and homogenized blandness. A society aimed at convincing the masses that a very small fragment of slim, large breasted, tanned, makeup covered, body-hairless women are beautiful. This woman is anything but that, yet still secure and confident in what she really is.

…. [I ask God to help me word non-physical views of me]….

This womans’ strength and confidence have grown so much that she now carries an air of compassion for others still fighting their more plentiful demons. Everyday she fights battles to help people to relax back into their own God given bodies.

She has a kind and gentle heart and she does her best to share it with those that will let her, even often sharing it with those that refuse her. Despite many hurts over her lifetime, she continues to fight her demons to push anger, fear, and hatred as far out of her being as possible. Her fight is to reach the light of God, to feel God’s grace. Her goal to show others how possible it is. She wants to heal herself completely to be an example of how even the most difficult battles can be won.

Her body still shows the journey, as losing nearly 100 pounds doesn’t disappear instantly. Though fatigue sometimes rips at her convictions, she inherently knows she is proud of her saggy skin and stretch-marks, as they are proof of her victories. Besides, there is still more journey left to do, and surgery might make that shorter, but then the victor is somehow less noticeable from her perspective. The slower route leaves much more evidence of her “I did it my way” & “HA, I win”.

Her strong hands heal others daily, and despite wishing for all of those caresses to be on her own skin, she knows it’s her path.

She gives of herself constantly, striving to help God make this world better each day. Wanting to teach by example, that we can all change for the better. She gives time, she gives intellectually, she gives physically through labor, she gives emotionally and energetically, she gives monetarily when she can. Though she often feels like she has little to offer, she really offers far greater each and every day than anyone ever acknowledges, because no one person sees all of her gifts. She gives everything of herself, especially when she sees commitment in return. When those around her step up, she gives doubly, even at risk to her own well being. She hopes one day to experience some sort of validating ripple effect of her efforts, or even see the good results once across the rainbow bridge.

She remains committed to her husband and children, and wants nothing more than to have others join her family. She sacrifices in many ways great and small, just to keep her family well cared for.

She strives to be a great ally to anyone needing one, and does her level best to respect and honor those that helped her from the past.

All of this, and she still aims to care for herself. She still wants to have fun and play. She still enjoys letting her inner geek or musician or artist fly. She still dreams big and fends off becoming jaded. She still holds out hope for her home country and her world to reach for better, for equality and acceptance, and to protect people’s rights. She knows we can do it together if we just practice simple concepts and support each other.

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This strong, loving, emotional, supportive, healer is very appreciative that you read my moment of reaching for a broader view of myself and my efforts.

I wish for you to have a similar moment. It helps to step back and reword things from the perspective of what God might tell someone about you. Even if we’re not entirely accurate or forget things, it still helps to take a break from being too overly critical of yourself.

May you see your beauty. May you see your strengths. May you see your effect on this world. May you appreciate yourself a little more. May you always understand and appreciate that God loves you just the way you are.

We are all accumulated experiences of a human body, powered by God force, and sustained by God’s grace. Know you are doing your best and that is good enough.

Siva Hir Su

Awe and amazement…

Nathan and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We’ve been together over 16 years. Anya was born over 14 years ago, and her mom left us over 13 years ago. I very much enjoyed her early childhood, but often felt like I wasn’t as much of an influence as I would have liked to be. Nathan has always sworn otherwise.

Tonight I really truly saw myself in my children and it was wonderful.

I really saw Ian and his thought processes. It was an “I discovered mini me” moment. He was getting frustrated because I said “I love you” followed by “I want to set my seat-mat”. I walked him through in painstaking detail how those are 2 separate concepts, the pause shows that, and they were not any bearing on his intelligence. I explained I know he knows how to push buttons and turn things on and off and even to change settings. I then explained how I know he’s learning to read, but he just doesn’t know the words for those settings yet and it would be faster for me to set it, than teach him how.

Essentially, he had thought that my 2 sentences meant I thought he couldn’t set my seat, like he was unable. As soon as I explained it the long way, he understood it was just he hadn’t gotten that far yet. My son, detail oriented just like me. Super intelligent just like me. Eager to learn, just like me. Impatient with himself, just like me. Super sensitive, just like me.

I told him that learning is like telling your brain I love you. The more he learns things the happier his brain will be. It’s a start… that will eventually be breaking curves, just like me.

Then Katherine decided to join the fun. I watched my 17-month-old run and sidestep an object without breaking stride. I watched her then do a pratfall in a perfectly clear area and laugh at herself. Then minutes later she demonstrated being able to climb the baby gate. She even demonstrated fine motor skills of putting a spoon part way through the slots of the baby gate and pulling it back. She tried to feed one of the kitties with the same spoon.

She made me sound out words by intently watching my mouth and then jabbing my lip for emphasis. I could see how intently she was focused on learning everything as fast as she possibly could, just like me.

As I sat eating my evening treat: almond butter and cashew butter mixed with a bit of honey, she climbed up on my lap and pointed at it and then her mouth, just like “Simon’s Cat“. I proceeded to give her as much as she wanted. I explained to her: “Uh oh, and I break all the rules: you’re not supposed to have any of these until you’re 5”. I thought that’s so silly, they have no idea how healthy these are for people.

I told her the nuts had nutrients that helped her use other nutrients, and healthy fats that help fix broken cells and build a great brain, and the sweet honey gave energy to do everything.

I then marveled at how on Earth could anyone actually believe that those are unhealthy foods.

Those are essentially first foods, the human race has been eating since the beginning of mankind on this planet. We have been conditioned over millennia that those foods sustain life. It’s only with modern problems that people’s bodies have been trained to think those items contain negative triggers.

Peanuts alone: a major anaflactic allergy was 1 in 100,000+ only a couple/few of decades ago. Now it’s 1 in 140, and a major portion of that escallation has happened in the last 10 years. Answer yourself how are our bodies being told that peanuts are so bad?

Nuts, fruits, and meats were first foods, and honey was the first sweetener. It amazes me that people have been trained that honey for babies will kill them. It is true that honey can have minute traces of botulism toxin, yet that toxin is what we inject in large quantities in adults for everything from puffy lips to migraines. There have been a rare few cases of babies that have died where honey was introduced just before their death, but no smoking gun to prove that’s what killed them. I’m going to point out here that either those babies were exposed to higher levels of botulism than normal (which can happen a number of ways), or they had very weak systems that would have struggled against nearly everything in their environment. The cases are sad but no reason to rule out honey as life sustaining food.

I have always fed my children Earths first foods and will always continue to do so. Yet I strive to keep as many man-made chemicals out of their bloodstream as possible. None of my children have suffered, and by my awe and wonder this evening- I know that they are flourishing.

I am ever so grateful that I have the knowledge and intelligence to have this experience. I am extremly grateful for my guiding connection to the divine that helps me see both the path to, and the results from, a moment like this. I am grateful that my children are just like me, regardless of money in the equation, it will get them far.

May you see the blessings in all your qualities. May you see the best of your children and be able to help them learn and grow on a path of least resistance. May you feel the love of the divine, and the guidance to give your children the best chances in this world. May you find full understanding of yourself and how wonderful it can be to help another little being discover this world.

Be well and be loved.

Siva Hir Su