Today I glanced upon my very out-of-date blogging avatar. When looking at pictures from my past, I often feel surprised at just how much I have changed, as well as how much I should have loved myself in the moment. The truth is, I am often waiting for something big (or small) in order to feel good enough. Waiting for the next paycheck so I don’t feel worthless and broke. Waiting to be smaller so I can fit into old clothes and not hate myself when I look in the mirror. Waiting to graduate so that I can finally have some stability and success. Waiting for my next visit home so that I can see my family again and re-fill the parts of me that are hollow. Educating myself about my infertility and waiting to get pregnant so that I don’t feel the empty and devastating feeling that I will never know what it feels like to be a mother and as society would say, “never experience real love”.
I am aware that so many of these thoughts are bullshit, but when you are immersed in expectations, images, others lives, and comparisons 24/7, it can really begin to weigh on your own personal thought patterns and perceptions of the path your own life is taking. A huge reason why I removed myself from Facebook.
So yeah, I can remind myself a million times a day to live in the moment, to stop comparing, to appreciate what I have now. The reality though is that it is and will continue to be a constant process and one that I truly do battle with. I’m not afraid to say that I do live with chemical imbalances and mental illness. This isn’t a reason to feel ashamed or any less of a person. It just means I have to work to push myself forward most of the time.
I am working (it’s always going to be a work in progress) to see myself as I am today and stop waiting until I make some huge miraculous break-through. Here I am in the moment, and I don’t need permission to believe in the power that I have today.
A few projects that I am currently working on:
- Writing more and as often as possible as it always heals me. Always has.
- Breathing deep. Seriously, it helps.
- Walking more. The weather and my neighborhood are gorgeous and I want to enjoy it as often as possible.
Thank you for being here,
It’s okay to be whatever the fuck you want to be. Without makeup, without covering up or being ashamed, without being cruel to yourself for not being perfect. It is okay to look in the mirror and be happy. I finally feel that.
It turns out, life is full of so much good.
There is so much potential waiting out there.
Even if you are a “plus size” women living in an overly critical world.
Even if you happen to have thick thighs, a pudgy tummy, a little jiggle in your step, a slight double-chin.
So many imperfections and million reasons to love me just the way I am.
I feel so comfortable being me lately. I have accepted all the flaws. Although I am always striving to better myself in countless ways, I will not forget to honor the sanctity of my current self. This warrior woman made of fire. Full of the wildest, unrestrained, unconfined passion.
Something wonderful happens when you have the strength to accept yourself and love every blemish.
The world replies, loving you back.
You attract whatever you give. Simple, and absolutely true.
I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I am perfectly imperfect.
Things need to change in order for me to move forward, and ensure that I am the healthiest that I can be. I have been neglecting certain aspects of my well-being for quite some time now.
I have really been somewhere dark these past few months. But I am starting over. Again.
I cannot go back, but I can work harder this time.
I’ve learned and it’s time to make things better than they are now. I’m determined.
I started a new job at a yoga studio/juice bar/cafe. I feel this is going to change so many things for the better. My previous job was draining me of every bit of life. I was almost miserable there.
I am starting a 30 day juice cleanse tomorrow. My new job is also right next to the park, which will motivate me to begin a running routine before and after work shifts. I also will be returning to the world of yoga. When I was practicing yoga regularly, I felt the happiest I’ve ever been. Oh how I miss it.
I am also focusing on confidence, now that it is warmer weather and I will be showing off more skin. I am determined to feel comfortable in anything I chose to wear. I’ve had enough of the feeling that I am not good enough, and I know that mindset is no one else’s fault but my own. I’m making a change. Right now.
So this is me now and I plan to document
I never used to change in the gym locker rooms, at least not the communal area. I would go in to that side room. You know, the one with the door that locks. Hiding away from everyone who I was absolutely certain was judging my body and all its imperfections…
There was one exception to this. Last year when I did a 30-day hot yoga challenge, I was actually starting to feel that I was toning up my body and felt slightly more self-confidence. So for the last couple weeks of my challenge, I changed my clothes with everyone else. Guess what? It wasn’t that bad. I miss having the time to practice yoga in a class setting. It was powerful, seeing women (and men) of all different body types completing amazing healing poses, supporting each other by breathing together. It was undoubtedly the most positive space I’ve been in for as long as I can remember. I felt genuinely happy and a definite sense of belonging.
Since I’ve returned to the world of the gym several weeks ago, I haven’t hidden once. Although I’m more uncomfortable with my body than I have been in so long, I am working hard not to punish myself for that. There are so many unhealthy thoughts that scream at me when I look in the mirror, but all I can do is work at improving myself and of course changing my harsh perception.
Physical confidence comes and goes for me. Most of my self-assurance comes from knowing that I am really smart and kicking major ass in college. My education is what pushes me forward, always. I’m hopeful that someday I’ll look in the mirror and the positive thoughts will outweigh the negative ones.
It’s only been a few days since I re-introduced exercise back into my life and already the difference I feel is so significant. Two strong days at the gym and some yoga today at home. While it’s important to get in a gym routine, I believe it’s just as important to be able to work out in some way in your home. For me, it’s especially essential for when classes start again and my free time completely disappears.
On top of daily exercise, I am doing everything I can to feel good about myself every day. I have started taking vitamins again (extra important for vegetarians), drinking 3L of water a day, cooking healthy whole food meals/eating less crap, documenting the days in my journal, recording my calories again, 10-minute meditations every morning, blasting music and dancing around the apartment when the roommates aren’t here (although I’m sure they wouldn’t mind), and making sure I focus on all the things that make me happy. I even made a list so I can make sure I do these things!!!
The point of all of this? Exercise is important! Everything I’ve learned in school so far has verified that exercise fights disease, improves blood flow, reduces stress, etc etc etc. Plus, endorphins are MAGICAL! I already knew this, of course. Sometimes though, I just need an extra kick in the ass. Seriously.
I’m really looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey here. I hope there are people out there reading! If you are, please comment so I can share in your adventures as well.
***The list is as follows:
- Exercise: yoga, running, hiking, dancing
- Site seeing
- Traveling/exploring new places
- Eating Healthy
- Watching the sunrise/sunset
- Capturing moments through photography
- Getting A’s on my tests/papers/classes
- The Ocean
As soon as I walked in the door, I felt at home. It was in that moment, I realized what my life has been missing. The sweat, the burn, the weight, the pain, the struggle, the challenge, making the impossible possible. Goals. Hard work. Progress.
I ran on and off for thirty minutes on the treadmill. In intervals, of course, because I am so far from where I used to be. I felt it though. The power in that moment transported me right back to the day I ran 8 miles for the first time, an unbelievable milestone in my life. Those endorphins brought me back to life. Things have been dark, but there are always better things coming. It’s up to me to make them happen.
I was glowing when I walked back out into the cold New York City air.
I’m back and I’m better. There will be great things.