Body Image

I intentionally look at myself in the mirror, nude – or almost entirely – every single day.  I look and I see all that there is to my body.  I fill myself with the experience of all that my body is, standing before that mirror.  And I love myself.  Through and through, from the tiniest hair to the German skin to the inherited bowels that are all too sensitive – I love my body for all that it is and for all that it is not.  This is my vessel, my space, my temple, my power, my source in this life.  And I am ever grateful for and in love with it.

That does not mean that I do not want to improve upon it.  One can love something and still want better for it.  Indeed, I believe part of loving something means always wanting better for it.  Such is the case with my body.  Every day, as I see the improvements from only a week ago or days ago, I am grateful that I have blessed it with such love… such love as it takes to get out of bed when I want to snuggle in deeper to the cozy covers, to get myself ready for bed early enough to have enough sleep, to choose these foods over those, to deny the casual pressure of those who do not have the same intentions with their food and drink and schedule, not to take the easy route, and just to accept the current and temporary convenience of eating this standard meal that I find before me, possibly even for free.

They mean no harm to me, I am sure, but such a meal is not free for me.  It has its costs.  Yes, it is utterly convenient, and significantly less socially odd and, sometimes, less embarrassing.  But, it is not blessing my body when I consume it.  Often, it causes my body actual pain, in some small way or other.  And, occasionally, it causes pain in some not-so-small ways… things I never noticed until I began to pay close attention.  I always thought eating meant one would feel ever so slightly ill afterward.  But that is only with certain foods, with the ones that do not serve my body, that I feel that way.  I have learned.

My food is my medicine – I take no other – and it is my daily blessing that gives me the energy for tomorrow.  It gives me my strength to exercise at 5:15 most mornings, as though it were a normal hour of the day.  It gives me the nutrition I need for my deep slumbers at night to restore and improve my strength and energy.

And it is not always easy.  Indeed, it often is difficult to manage getting myself the food I need, whenever I am doing things away from home, with others or alone.  Even at home, it takes effort.  And yet, after all this time, the effort seems like almost nothing.  Why?  Because it is so incredibly worth it.  I don’t even have to think about giving myself the right foods to serve me best, let alone thinking twice about it.  All because I love and want to take loving care of my body.

My body is merely the starting place.  If I am comfortable in my body, and it is ready and able for anything, then my spirit, too, with my body’s support, can take on whatever comes my way, and with a ready heart.  So, as I gaze at myself in the mirror each day, easily noticing the room for improvement, I also marvel at the beauty of all that I am, of all that I have become, and of all that I see I can become… all because I love myself for exactly who and how I am. I once was afraid to see myself naked – I couldn’t stand it.  Now, I look forward to that time of intimacy and being attuned to and connected in all ways with my physical self.  It is one of the most beloved times of my day, and it fills me always with love, joy, and gratitude for this life and for this current step within it.

Post-a-day 2021

Achy Faith

My body has been sore the past several days, and I am extremely grateful for it.

I have finally begun to do exercises again, thanks to my having reached out to a friend for help with accountability and support, and her acceptance of the request… It seems only fitting, because we used to go to the gym together in the first place, before everything closed, and then she moved.

Now, for the time being, anyway, neither of us is in Houston.

But we work out st the same time together, she at 5:30pm after work, and I at 4:30pm, the time I used to attend in-person classes…, and it works, because she is on the East coast now, so we actually exercise at the exact same time.

It still sucks to be paying for a gym membership to a gym that medicine and society tell me not to attend, but I would rather be safe than yelled at or blamed or sorry (or, even, sick)…, so, I stay away from the one place I ever really feel called to be on a daily basis, the one place I miss most…

But I am, at last, doing workouts at home again, using the workouts the owner originally made for us back when the gym closed for a while, and everyone had to work out at home together.

So, I could technically just cancel my membership, and do these workouts on repeat for the rest of my life, if I wanted… but I don’t want to do that.

I am using this gym’s workouts, even if they are old, and so I will maintain my membership.

It feels absurd, but right – I have thought on it many times, and I feel incredibly uncomfortable at the idea of canceling my membership…, so, I have let it go – I’ll stay a member and just suck it up… something about this will balance out, and it all will be beautiful and perfect.

I have faith in this.

P.S. A family friend – he’s our personal car and motorcycle expert – wants me to buy this great quality vehicle off of him, since they never use it anymore… it’s a Porsche Cayenne… what on Earth???… So, I might be upgrading from an old, crank window, semi-falling-apart Hyundai Accent, that was ranked as being worth $245 two and a half years ago on Kelley Blue Book, and that is not very reliable beyond an easy ten- or fifteen-minute drive… to a Porsche… Woah

Post-a-day 2020

Skin patrol

Let’s talk about clothes for just a minute.

In my life, I have often wondered with fascination at the girls and women who show skin other than arms and lower legs when in public (or even in private, but with others present!)… how could they do that?… how could they be comfortable with that, with people seeing so much of them, their bodies, their skin?… how could they even consider wearing such an outfit?…

And then, there was also, without fail, this tiny voice, afraid to speak, even in a whisper from the shadows, that cautiously murmured, ‘Could I ever do that?’

After going through a whole series of this and thats regarding negative experiences with my own body image, and with men as a whole, I was eventually certain that such clothing options were only for the harlots and hoes… at least, that’s what I would be, if I wore such things….

But then, fast-forward another few or couple years to today: I have really sorted through that stuff – intense stuff – and I am in no way in the same space as I was before… I am seemingly not even the same person l (though, who I am deep down is, of course, the same).

As I mentioned, the other day, I wore an outfit that I had dreamed of wearing in the past, but could not fathom its being truly possible that I could wear it…

(And yet, I had the dress… something within me wanted it badly enough, dreamt of it strongly enough, for me to own the dress… I just never really expected to wear it, I think… it was always just a dream…)

Yesterday, when dressing, I found myself wanting to wear this shirt I have had for years – it was in the same scenario with that lovely dress from last weekend – but have never worn… Without thinking much of it or about it, I pulled on the shorts I had planned, added the appropriate bra and the shirt, and continued on in my morning activities… and I knew that I would be seen by people throughout the day… I was fully aware…. including people I know.

It wasn’t until that night that it occurred to me what had happened… including the significance of it.

Today, I had to do the grocery store.

To dress for it, I dropped my PJs, grabbed clothes that had not yet been folded and that would be warm enough for this rainy day and the grocery store, but not hot or uncomfortable…

And this is what I went out wearing:

My lower belly – the skin all the way around – was visible to varying degrees, depending on how the sweater hung… the sweater is holy by design, and, though my skin tone blends with the brown of the sweater, it was totally showing all throughout the sweater, because I had only a light gray sports bra under it, no shirt… the leggings jeans pants things show every angle of my legs and butt… and my hair was pulled up and it of the way, allowing even more skin to show all around my neck, upper back, and the v-neck cut of the sweater on my chest…

And I didn’t… even… worry about it…

Not one bit.

Sure, I pulled my pants up a couple times after squatting or whatever, and they had been pulled down somewhat… but otherwise…, I was genuinely unconcerned about how much skin was visible on my body, how much my body was noticeable.

It all just felt so normal…

When I realized this all, I couldn’t help but smile with genuine delight.

I think I am free… of whatever this mind game was that held me so tightly and for so long… Finally…, I am myself, and I can breathe…

I don’t want to dress like this every day…., but I want to dress like this when I want to dress like this… and the free is finally released from me, and I can act comfortably and confidently in my dressing… at long last, and after so much hard work, I am free…

How lovely… 🙂 ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Fatness

I entitled this “Fitness”, but the phone decided to change it to “Fatness”, when I went to click on the writing section, and the phone offered/suggested alternatives to what I’d written… it still somewhat applies, so I’m leaving it… it’s like a Freudian slip for the technology age. 😂

So, after class today, I was talking with one of the coaches about when I might expect to see visual results with my body from these workouts.

We talked briefly about my diet, and then he requested to speak honestly.

“Of course(!).”

“When you first came in here…[…], you looked kind of sedentary…[…] Now, you already have definition in your body… in your legs… in your – you look like an athlete…[…] before, …” (makes faces) “… Now, you look like an athlete.”

It’s been a month of these classes, and I’ve attended 23 of them so far.

I checked my activity log for running, walking, and biking – and I only log my bike ride to and from the workouts, as well as any runs of a mile or more in the workout, not the actual workouts themselves – and I already have almost half the number of activities and half the distance covered that I had in all of last year… and I’ve gotten almost all of that this past month.

I had one activity, a 3-mile hike/run through the hills in Redlands, California, when I went with a friend who was moving there, logged this year otherwise… nothing else.

So, in one month, I’m already almost halfway to all of my official exercise activities last year.

Pretty cool, huh?

I mean, totally bummer that I had so few last year, but we can’t change that, nor can we change the mental struggle that kind of ran the show regarding all of that…, we can, however, embrace the freedom that is the new state of affairs, where I am now governing my fitness and my fitness activities (not some mental freak-out), and I am actively pursuing genuine and somewhat intense physical fitness.

So, woohoo!

Yay!

And, though I’ve felt that my progress visually is slow – aka my belly and haunches and inner thighs still seem so ugh – it is nice to have the positive encouragement from the coach today, as well as my sneaky shoulder muscle for when I brush my teeth. 🙂

Yay, for mental and physical fitness! 🙂

Post-a-day 2019