Tag Archives: self love

Self Love and Acceptance

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I have always felt that people cross our paths for a reason. Good or bad, I have learned that every person I have come in contact with has touched my life in some way. But, even with this outlook, every once in a while I am surprised by who is teaching me some of these valuable lessons.

Meet Emily:

Emily at the Color Run- Posted with permission

Emily came into my life about 9 years or so ago. She was a friend of my daughter and, to me, she was just another preteen girl who found her way to my house once in a while and locked herself in the bedroom with my daughter. I always thought she was a nice girl, but didn’t really get to know her too well.

Let’s fast forward several years. Emily is now a grown woman. Have I mentioned that time seems to be passing by way too quickly? I don’t really want to stray from this story, but I have a hard time believing that all these kids aren’t kids anymore.

Where was I? Oh, yes! Emily is now a beautiful young woman in her early 20’s. This picture was taken not too long ago when she participated in the color run. As you can see, she just radiates!

As long as I have known Emily, she has never been the “skinny” kid on the block. She has never, ever let that get in the way of her life and happiness. Or, if she has, you would never know it. To tell you the truth I didn’t really notice until the last year or so just how much she embraced life.

Maybe you all have heard of a little social networking site out there called Facebook. One day a couple of years ago I received a friend request from Emily and I happily accepted and didn’t think much about it until I started seeing some of her posts. All of them seemed to be full of confidence and happiness. Not fake happiness, but true self acceptance. How did she do it?

Emily posted this picture with the caption "Honor your Curves"

Emily posted this picture with the caption “Honor your Curves”

After seeing these posts time and time again, I reached out to her to let her know just how proud I am of the young lady she has become. I also told her just how much I admired her and wanted to know her secret. Here is some of what she wrote to me:

“My mom was a single mom who never failed to remind me that I was beautiful and that it was ok to be myself. She always let me express myself through many outlets. From dressing up in dresses and make up and holding a photo shoot, to smiling at the seriously ridiculous outfits I would throw together. Lol! I think there is nothing more crucial for a mom to do than this. I’ve been heavy, overweight, chunky, fat, whatever you call it, all my life. There were times when I was thinner and now I am by far at my heaviest and hoping to turn that around. Rather than dwelling on that I choose to be happy and grateful for who I am. I am a firm believer that who you are as a person is much more telling than how you look. I try to be the best person I can be spiritually and the rest just falls into place.”

Can you tell why I am drawing inspiration from this girl? How amazing is that? Here is a girl who absolutely accepts and loves who she is regardless of what society says. As far as I know she has no blog or any aspirations to be a public figure. She is just herself and she lights up the lives of the grown ups she encounters and the children she teaches. I have written a few times about fat being a state of mind or giving myself pep talks for a positive outlook, but I still struggle with this every day and I think it shows.

So, I am publicly saying to Emily, thank you so much for taking the time to teach your friend’s “Mom” a few lessons about living life to its fullest. You inspire me.

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Fat is a State of Mind

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I have taken a bit of a hiatus from writing so I could gather my thoughts and re-set my state of mind.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am constantly in awe of how the river of life sometimes takes us in a completely different direction than what we expected. It seems as though no amount of planning can compete with what the Universe has in store for us. There have been plenty of occasions that I have come across a bridge which has been washed out and have had to find a way around it.

In my many hours of searching for the happiness that I felt would fall at my feet when if I had the perfect body I discovered that the only way to get where I want to be, I need to truly appreciate and love where I am. And in order to love where I am, I needed to understand how I got here.

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

If there is anything I have learned in the past few years, it is that having fat and being fat are two different things. There are so many of us who go through life with the acceptance that they are fat. What is truly disturbing about that thought is that many are not carrying any extra weight at all. The extra weight is carried in the mind rather than on the body.

The human brain has amazing powers. Not only can thoughts convince someone that they are sick when they are not, but it can just as easily convince them that they are completely healthy when the opposite is true. I don’t need any studies or science to tell me this because I experience it myself on almost a daily basis.

There have been times when just the thought of something unpleasant has flipped my stomach upside down and I was convinced I was coming down with the flu just as the anticipation of something I am excited about has helped me forget that I am in the middle of an Asthma attack. While, admittedly, that might be a little drastic, it has happened to me.

What does this tell me? Being fat is nothing more than a state of mind. Do I have fat? Yes. Am I fat? I used to be, but not any more. There are many who would ask themselves how I can say that when I have almost 200 pounds of excess weight on my 5’2″ frame.

The way I see it is that I was fat for the first 40+ years of my life because in my mind I was defined only by the extra weight. Every day I would wake up focusing on just how fat I was and how perfect my life would be if I was not cursed to have the body I have. This became my obsession. No matter how hard I tried, I just had the hardest time losing weight. In fact, it seemed that I was actually fulfilling those thoughts because I gained weight. I was destined to be fat. At least that was until I learned the difference between being fat and having fat.

Why am I no longer fat? In stark contrast to the way I felt about myself before, I am also choosing to live my life even with the extra weight. How silly is it to think that I don’t deserve to experience all that life has to offer just because I am heavier than the average person? How unfair is it to my family that until recently I have not participated as much as I wanted to in family activities out of fear of judgement? Well, in the past year I have discovered that I have fat, but that does not mean I need to be fat.

I kicked the scale to the curb so I could stop putting so much importance on the fat. I don’t weight myself more than maybe once a month. When I do choose to weigh myself it is more of a benchmark than validation for me. I just don’t see the importance in how my body is in relation to gravity on any given day.  What is important is that I am finally living to the fullest of my capabilities and I am getting better daily. Oh, and about those extra pounds: They are slowly but surely leaving. I guess they don’t like the fact that they aren’t getting all my attention any more.

What Would Mom Think?

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I will spare everyone the long sordid story, but there has been some extra doses of stress dealt to my family these past couple of weeks and as a result I have not been the best that I can be. I have kept the positivity up on the outside, but the internal struggle is overwhelming at times.

This is one of those times that I really, really miss my Mom. You know what I mean; I miss her all the time, but I can just imagine what she would say to me given my current state of mind and physical condition. These are her words which are ringing in my ears today:

Diana,

I really don’t know why you are killing yourself this way. You have spent your entire life trying to live up to the expectations of others and totally disregarding your own needs, hopes, dreams, and ultimately your health. I know it has been real hard for you since I was called home, but I am still with you and I can see all the positive changes you have made in your life.

Lately, some of those changes have not been so visible. You will never, ever make everyone happy. Ultimately you will destroy any chance you have at a healthy life if you continue to kill yourself over what you feel some of the family members and/or strangers think about you and your choices. Oh, and as long as we are on the subject, since when do you let people who don’t even know you dictate how you feel about yourself?

Do you not remember watching me try to live up to my sisters’ image and expectations? It drove me crazy and I spent many nights crying over things out of my control. Please, oh please learn from my mistakes and take care of yourself. I want your grandchildren to have you around. One of my greatest regrets is that my grandchildren have grown without being able to really know me.

So, Diana, this is my advice to you. Stop giving other people so much control over your life. Just be yourself and take care of yourself the way you know you need to. Reach deep down into that place where you still know that you can and will succeed in anything and everything you want to do. If you don’t you will follow in my footsteps and leave this earth long before your time and you have much more to give the world.

Love,

Mom