Tonight

I’m not sure what to share tonight.  I’m sitting in bed, propped up poorly by a couple – actually, it’s three – pillows, my lower back aching something wicked for the third or fifth day in a row.  I mean, it’s loads better than it was a couple days ago, but it is still very uncomfortable, and I’m concerned I’ll have trouble sleeping again.  It’s kind of funny, the irony of physical aches and pains.  Oftentimes, what we need most in such situations, is rest.  Yet, the pain is such that we have a hard time resting or sleeping.  So, we don’t really end up recuperating very well or very quickly.

I started working on a song just a bit ago, because a friend asked  – well, not technically, but I know he intended to make the request – me to create something I found beautiful.  He said that there doesn’t seem to be enough of that in the world right now.  So, I’m working on a song of things I find beautiful in life.  I kind of hated it for a while, but I evaluated why I kind of hated it, saw that it was because I was trying to make it something that wasn’t true to who I really am and how I really feel about the matter, and switched into the proper gear for myself.  I think it is going to turn out spectacular now.  I’m even excited about it for myself, and not just for the friend to enjoy it.  😀

Anyway, I’m wiped, so I’m going to aim for intense, helpful, healing, deep, long sleep tonight, with a wake-up that is completely ready to take on the stormy day tomorrow.  😀

Post-a-day 2020

A different ouch

Well, my hamstrings started to grow sore last night… Today, they have been amazingly sore, but only when something comes into contact with them, or I have to go from sitting to standing. Otherwise, I guess I haven’t really noticed them much… But, boy… in those moments do they hurt(!!!)… whew…

I just hope testing will be helpful tonight instead of the opposite of what they actually need – action. Either way, I’ve got to exercise tomorrow, since it didn’t happen today – things ran too close to one another today for me to get in a workout. And that was totally okay for me, by the way. I have finally begun to embrace who and how I want to be around my own physical fitness and my food and such right now. I am exercising for myself, again, and eating for myself, and it has been feeling amazing – and so easy to do, too. And I didn’t get all stressed or angry with myself or my life when the workout didn’t happen today, or when I saw yesterday that it likely wouldn’t happen today. It genuinely has been okay. And I am grateful for that.

But I’d really like to relax these aching legs already. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Extra ouch

Well, today felt like much of an improvement after yesterday. I tutored in the morning, finished up mixing six CDs for a student to have some exposure to French-language music – these have been taking me weeks of on-and-off effort to organize them out and pick which songs to include, which genres go where and belong at all, and figure out what degree of effort it is worth as well as how many CDs would be acceptable – messaged with a good friend about her wedding planning and tres leches and not feeling like working out, and then I worked out and watched a very interesting film of Natalie Portman’s. I want to look further into the film to see what it was all about, and whether it was inspired by a specific story or many or what. She sang very well in it, by the way, and I was quite pleased with her performance on all levels, especially the concert portion, which was a surprising yet lovely part to me. As for the workout: man, it had a 3k run in it, as well as 80 jumping up-downs (burpee without the push-up)… talk about a sore calf feeling the heat! Both calves have been sore for a few days now – I genuinely could barely go up and down the stairs two days ago, and walked with a limp, all because of my calves. Finally, when they show signs today of recovery, I have to put them through so much work. Ridiculous, just a bit, I dare say.

But the greatest part of the workout, I think, aside from doing it, was the part where I hung out in the pool afterward to relax and stretch out. That was awesome. Though, the effort to swim breast stroke for a few lengths of the pool felt like it might paralyze my arms, my shoulders and all were so worn out from today’s workout. 😀 Haha

Anyway, I’m off to read and sleep, now. Today was a lot in a good way, but it was nonetheless a lot, and I am exhausted. Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2020

Admit the problem

Well, it is semi-official: My arms are fat. Meaning a noticeable chunk of them is fat, not that they are entirely made of fat or anything.

I couldn’t quite figure it out at first, and I wondered if it was that I was getting bulky from the workouts lately, my arm muscles growing too large or disproportionately in some way (though I doubted that I was that strong, it seemed more likely than the alternative). But, after flexing everything I could in my arms, I have found that a whole layer up top will not flex but will wrinkle like cellulite when prompted (read “squeezed”).

I can’t tell if I’m utterly distraught or just disappointed or annoyed, or if I haven’t even begun to react to it yet, because it is so terrible to me.

I’m leaning towards the lattermost, actually.

It’s kind of funny to me how my arms would make me automatically happy, whenever I saw them or saw their reflection in a mirror or something… but now, one of my greatest tiny delights in my everyday has disappeared…

I suppose that the socially acceptable lesson here is to learn to love myself no matter what, to appreciate and love my body at any stage or state of life. And I value such a view. However, it is exactly the fact that I have not valued and loved my body lately that I am in this current situation. If I had respected my body for the beautiful thing that it is, I would not have been so terrible to it, filling it with minimally nutritious (if at all) foods, and hardly doing enough exercise as it deserves to be well kept. So, while I do love my body, I have zero intentions of keeping the arms as they currently are. The fat has got to go – it will be on the fast breath train out of here, beginning tonight, when I sleep. (In case you didn’t know, that’s technically how we release fat from our bodies, is through breathing, once all the breakdowns happen inside our cells.) Tomorrow begins my return to fully taking care of my body both in terms of food and in terms of physical activity.

I know myself. I have been doubting this whole food regime I first took on last summer for the past seven months. I wanted to get back on it, but I just couldn’t get myself to do so. I needed a solid reason, not just one in my head, one with no genuine foundation. Now I have a foundation: eat as I have been eating, and, despite the exercise, I will not have the body and arms I want to have. Theory tested and proven now. Goodbye, not super-healthy foods!

And phew! Thank goodness for that.

🙂

Post-a-day 2020

1%!!

I don’t remember what I was going to share about as of an hour ago, because it is now far too late for me to be thinking straight…, So I will share about one of the few things that I am recalling to mind right now about today:

At the chiropractor and nutritionist appointment today, I had my electrode body scan for the month, and we determined that my weight has gone down, my fat has gone down, my muscles have gone up, my cellular water level has increased in a good way, and my body fat percentage is down an entire point…, And that is all from only just over a month ago that we did the previous scan.

Basically, it is all super awesome news… So there is something beautiful happening in my life right now: I am doing awesome things for my body.

There is certainly still plenty of room for improvement, and we are both clear that it would not be bad for me to lose a little bit more of the fats (though, it is by no means necessary), but that in no way negates how awesome it is that my body is doing so well right now, and it has the numbers to support the claim.

He even told me, when I asked what would be best for me to do moving forward, that I needed to keep doing what I was already doing (which I am doing by my own design, not by any special plan from him or anything).

The dentist and dental hygienist always tell me that – they laud my oral care.

Now, the nutritionist is telling me the same thing about my physical body care… It is quite nice to be told by the professionals that I am doing everything beautifully.

Yup… a very nice feeling.

Keep up the good work, girl! ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Abs (olutely not?)

Okay, I think I need to get back on the “Hannah has a totally absurd and almost stupid diet” train again…

I’ve been kind of upset lately to varying degrees, ranging from slight annoyance to total disappointment, regarding my physical fitness.

I’ve found these gorgeously fit people, you see, and, while I love having them in my life, it has made me acutely aware of every thing I consume and of how far away I am from being anywhere near their level or the level at which I truly want to be with my own physical fitness.

Part of me just feels like it isn’t in the cards for me to be at the point I truly want… and more so in that it seems like it would take what I currently consider to be an unnatural and extreme degree of control and monitoring of every single food and beverage I consume, combined with intense and strict exercise plans at all times in my life…, than about that it isn’t physically possible.

I genuinely think it is possible to have the belly I want.

It just seems like so much work, combined with a degree of impracticality for sustaining it… and I worry I would feel even worse having obtained it and let it go than by not ever having had it…

But then…, well, isn’t that just a way to avoid doing work under the guise of something else, and is it not just a way for me to avoid putting myself in an exposed and vulnerable situation?… and in a potential amazing situation…?

As Marianne Williamson suggested, am I really just afraid of how amazing I would be, if I truly went for it?

The fact that my eyes are tearing at this last thought suggests a powerful affirmative…

I am afraid of being so spectacular and still being unloved, rejected, not good enough… at least now, at my not best, being rejected and unloved can have an excuse of my not being at my best…

But who I truly am, underneath it all and at my source as a being on this planet and in this life, that being wants me to do it, to go for it, and to be my best…

Okay… let’s do this somehow… I love you, and I know you can do it…, and so do you. 🙂

::big sigh

LFG. ❤

Post-a-day 2020

When Hairy Met Sally…?

Happy Friday, Folks!  Get ready for an odd yet beautiful adventure of learning to be comfortable with one’s body.  😀

A dear friend of mine (check out her aMazing shop!, by the way) shared with me a few years ago a unique article she had found about female empowerment.  It was on coloring underarm hair, and argued that coloring one’s underarm hair was something every woman must do at least once in her life, and the author included her own adventure of growing out and dyeing her underarm hair.  I was a bit iffy on it, but I listened to my friend and eventually read the article myself.

The idea seemed funny, and ever so slightly scary to me at first.  I knew that society and culture would not approve of such behavior, and, therefore, by participating in such behavior, I might risk my experience of belonging to and being accepted by and being loved by many of those around me in life.  Certain people would be no big deal – like my mom and my best friend – but I know a lot of people would struggle with wanting to be around me, if I were to pursue such a thing.  Even my mom would accept me, I knew, but I also knew that she would dislike it and likely would complain to me about my hair on a regular basis.  People just don’t approve of women having underarm hair, so having it would be taboo.  Leg hair has been on the rise for women – think hipster generation – but the underarm hair situation is still too closely associated with dirtiness, uncleanliness.

Now, upon reading the article, these were the automatic thoughts I had, right?

Well, I had these thoughts, plus one other: I critiqued the way the author took on the task.  Somehow, I can’t seem to view almost anything in life without automatically looking for a way of improving upon it, whatever it is.  It is not that I disapprove of the person sharing or of the task or anything – I just have this inner aim always to do things in the best way possible… don’t do anything half-a****, you know?

So, anyway, my biggest qualm was that the author only suggested to grow out the underarm hair for a couple or few weeks, which isn’t very long for an area with such little hair.  And so, her hot-pink-dyed underarm hair, rather than looking crazy and cool, ended up looking just kind of patchy and not-so-vibrant – more like a child had drawn on her underarms spottily with a washable pink marker, than that she had hot pink hair under there.

If you’re going to do it, at least do it right, I thought.

Do it for real.

Now, I believe that I had read this article before I moved to Japan.  Fast-forward to my time in Japan.  While I was living in Japan, for various reasons, my already loose desire to bother with shaving decreased to a point of being almost non-existent.  It had all started in early, early Fall, after I’d had an accident at the beach, and gotten my legs all scratched up.  I had scabs on my shins, and so couldn’t really shave them anyway.  By the time I could shave them again, it was already winter weather out, and I wasn’t even seeing my legs very often (because it was so darn cold all the time), so I wasn’t exactly going to put forth the effort to shave, when I couldn’t even see the results more than in the shower…  After that, after winter, I was just so accustomed to not shaving that it was the new norm for me.  What’s more, my leg hair was light enough in the first place that most people couldn’t see it, except under certain circumstances (e.g. sitting with my leg within a foot or two of one’s face), and it was by propriety’s requirements that none of my work clothes exposed my underarms, no matter the time of year.  So it was easy not to bother with shaving, especially considering my lack of interest in it in the first place.  And so, in essence, I gave up shaving while living in Japan.  (A good friend of mine laughed at me one day when I commented casually, “I’ve kind of given up shaving,” as though it were a bad habit I had kicked.  But it was true, because I unintentionally had given up on bothering with it.)

(**Note: In high school, I asked my boyfriend if it bothered him that I didn’t shave my legs, and if he would prefer that I shave my legs – I did shave regularly my underarms back then, just fyi – and he told me that it didn’t bother him.  I think I gave him an appraising look at the time, but I let it go.  Eventually, of course, I uncovered this untruth when he said near summertime that he would shave his legs – something he had done usually for swim team every summer with his buddies, anyway – if I shaved mine…  Not a good feeling.  And not the only time he wasn’t open about seemingly small things that actually really bothered me… hmm… Anyway, that isn’t the point here.  The point is that I would be fine shaving my legs if someone important to me wanted me to shave, but I haven’t cared to do it for myself for years now…. and almost ever, actually, since that first time or two of doing it, once at around age 12, just out of interest, and then again for a second first time near the end of high school…  Anyway, moving onward…)

Before going to Japan, I had challenged my own fear of having underarm hair – I had wanted to be comfortable with my own body, and I knew that underarm hair was a point of extreme discomfort for me.  My best friend shared with me how she would be present with her own body every morning in the mirror, just experiencing and accepting what her raw, unclothed self was.  The idea stressed me, to say the least – I could barely consider how it might be to be so vulnerable, even to my own eyes.  And so, I knew I needed to do some work on my level of comfort with my own body, with my own nudity.

Slowly, but surely, I did this work… I learned to accept and to see my body, undressed, and even to embrace what my physical composition and presence were in this world.  And, one aspect of this work was allowing my underarm hair to grow – I absolutely did not want to have long underarm hair.  But it was almost from fear that I avoided having the hair, and so I knew it wasn’t a positive situation as it stood, and it needed to change, to transform.

At first, I did a few weeks at a time, and then shaved everything off, typically to wear some outfit with short or no sleeves, and to revel in my finally-smooth-again skin.  I always felt relieved when I had shaved my underarms, but it was less and less stressful every time the hair grew out again.  I wasn’t showing the hair off in any way, but I had to be with the hair.  I had to feel the hair and to see it and to know that it was there… all the time.  And that stressed me out less and less every week that passed.

Eventually, after several months of no shaving, I shared my project with a few friends.  After warnings that they might not be able to see me the same way, I showed them my underarm hair – a seemingly silly situation, but they genuinely cared about the mental, emotional, and psychological project I was doing for myself, and so I was comfortable being open with them about it, despite my still not particularly enjoying having all the hair.  They received it easily and well, and even found the humorous side of it all with me. 😛  They were enthralled at my project and empowered by my drive to pursue such an uncomfortable situation for myself.

After that, it was even easier for me.

By the time I moved to Japan, I already was past the project of testing, and instead just went through phases of shaving versus not, simply out of laziness.  I was comfortable going most places in a tank top, even when I had some hair that would be visible if I raised my arms.  I mostly didn’t wear tank tops, though – men could wear them and show their underarm hair, and so I felt it could be the same for me, but I also didn’t want to be dancing with a guy in a tank top who keeps lifting his arms in my face…, so I didn’t do that either, when circumstances would involve lots of arms being raised.  Basically, if I knew my arms would be in the air a lot, I didn’t go the tank top route.  Otherwise, on an average day, I was mostly okay with the tank top.  Plus, in Japan, anyway, I knew I wasn’t fitting in in the first place, and I likely wasn’t going to cross most any of these people again, so it was extra no big deal. All-in-all it was an easy happening in Japan for me to give up shaving, without even thinking much about it.

(My mother hated it, of course, and never stopped complaining about it, but she clearly still loved me, so I was okay with it.  She even teased me about it and made very funny jokes from time to time.)

Thus, months later, back in the US, these casual shots of me embracing my body and its natural occurrences (read hair):

SONY DSC

**Note the lack of brassiere here.  It was also a huge part of my learning to embrace my body and to be comfortable with it as it is naturally.

SONY DSC

And so, thinking about this article from my friend post-Japan, and how the author just hadn’t done it right, I considered how I might go about doing it, if I were to do it.

Several months later, when my hair had definitely hit its longest point and had, for the most part, plateaued, I pulled out my long-since selected color, and got to work.

The color I had selected was going to be bland on its own, I expected, because my underarm hair isn’t quite as light as my head hair, and so ends up looking more brown-ish than blonde, when it is so compacted together.  Seeing as how I was going for brightness by adding the color in the first place, I lightened the hair first, and then added the color, thereby allowing for a much brighter color than otherwise would have happened.  I wanted a bit of pop, not a bit of washable marker.

SONY DSC

And so, we have the results of a three-ish-year self-project gone silly:

SONY DSC

And that was already almost a year ago, now.  I did not stop working on myself and my body, and so have reached an even more beautiful point with things than I ever had imagined to be possible back then.

Where do things stand for me now?

I strongly encourage everyone to give it a go, men and women and + alike, both growing out the underarm hair past the point of comfort and then also coloring it.

I shave my underarms semi-regularly, because I end up going shirtless at the gym a lot, and, though I had toyed with the idea of laser hair removal for them for quite a while and didn’t actually expect ever to do it, when a super sale popped up a couple months ago at the laser hair removal place (bikini line and lower legs, you see), I accepted.  I don’t shave my legs, except for the night before my laser hair removal appointment every so many weeks.  It was the same with bikini line, but I’ve finished the treatments there, so I don’t even have that shaving to do anymore.

I am not afraid of my hair.  I have found, however, that I genuinely prefer the skin being smooth and soft, and wiry-hair-free… and I hold the same feeling for men.  I love admiring a man’s muscled yet shaved legs.  Same with his underarms – the underarm hair is a distraction, not a benefit.

I do not require shaving, and I am not afraid of the hair – I just prefer life without the hair.  Even on my own legs, I love running my hands on them when they are hair-free, be it for rubbing in lotion, rubbing sore muscles, or just for fun, and I love seeing the color of my skin clearly.  When I began the laser hair removal, I verified that only the darker, thicker hairs would go away – I was informed that the baby blonde hairs would stay always and forever, and that was the point that sold me on the treatments.

And so, here I stand today, covered in invisible hairs, and unafraid of the darker underarm hair that I grow out entirely out of laziness.  I am glad I won’t even have to consider it anymore, after the next year-ish, and I do not mind letting it go, now that it isn’t out of avoidance or fear, but out of preference.

I am comfortable in my body’s natural state, hair and fat and all.  Though I have preferences of how I want my body to be, I am at ease with what happens naturally in my body.  This does not mean that I don’t care for my body, because I very much do care for it and take care of it with exercise and wonderful eating.  I finally am starting to treat my body like the goddess and temple that it is.

And I am so grateful for the experiences that have led me to this point, and that remind me that I am perfect as I am, hair and all.

So, thanks for the hair, God, and thank you for the growth* that came with it directly, as well as the transformation that has sprouted out of my desire to pursue that specific area of discomfort.

SONY DSC

Yippee!  And Happy Growing!  ;D

*(pun and all) 😉

P.S.  Special thanks to my lovely cousins A—- and J—- for helping me with the photos, as well as my wonderful friend N—-!  Love you ladies!

Post-a-day 2019

Head bangs

It feels like something is banging against the insides of my head.

I wonder if it is my brain… so swollen, that the pumping of my blood through it is causing it to thump outward against the insides of my skull…

Ouch.

Maybe it is all my sore muscles causing it to ache from their swelling and pain, pulling oddly on thins in my neck…

Maybe it is my teeth, adjusting to this final pair of aligners, hurting on their own, and spreading the pain upward into my skull…

Perhaps it is all of them… :/

Whatever the case, I must sleep, I believe, though I know I will drink loads of water, too, which will wake me constantly throughout the night… :/

Oh, well.,,

Sweet dreams, all.

Post-a-day 2019

Stretchy

Yesterday, sitting on the floor, legs together straight out in front of me, I stretched forward with both arms, grabbed the bottoms of my shoes, dropped my head, and stretched a bit deeper…

… and my head touched my knees.

!!!!!

This was the first time in my adult life that I was able to touch my head to my knees.

And, you know what?

I just tested it again, just now, and it happened again(!).

Wow.

I started this ’30 Days to a Standing Split’ stretch plan a couple months back, and, though it totally failed on the standing split part, I felt the basic stretch routine was a good habit worth keeping in my daily life.

So, to this day, I stretch the same set of stretches every day, usually just before bed.

I’d been noticing general and overall improved flexibility and movability in myself already, like my arms going ‘farther back and up’ when I stretched them behind my back, hands clasped, but I hadn’t had anything clearly and distinctly different until this week.

At last, with this head to knees thing, I have a specific, measurable result from this stretching(!).

So, extra yay!

My teeth are straightening out their kinks, my muscles are rearranging and growing, and my flexibility is improving drastically… I feel like moving around a lot of the time, and I jump up rather easily from any resting period in my day or night… getting out of bed is, somehow, no big deal – I almost bounce on the balls of my feet every morning, as though preparing to do some jumps or something similar…

My body is finally showing up how I want it to be showing up in my life, and I can see quite clearly how it is the result of my taking genuine care of my body, and having true concern for its well-being… it still is not quite like a temple, but it is darn close, and is improving every week… (still working on the whole exfoliation and skin hydration side of things) 😛

Now, if I can just get my clothes and owned items organized and handled (i.e. Marie Kondo the rest of my living space) I think I’ll be set to meet the man of my dreams – I will be being exactly the person I want to be and to whom I want him to be attracted, you know?

And, somehow, that idea is kind of terrifying… like I never actually expected to become that person, that woman… she was always just a dream, and not one even to consider trying to achieve, let alone actually achieving…. but anything is possible.

Message to self:

So, let’s stick with it, Banana, and make things happen.

It is okay to be afraid… it is not okay to settle, even if it is due to fear… stand for your best life and your best self, Banana, in all ways, always.

I love you.

Have a wonderful and blessed and beloved night, World. 😉

P.S. I just realized that the stretching was actually Monday evening, not yesterday… anyway… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

So much for fair…

Can I just say that it sometimes feels totally unfair that certain boys end up having the bodies of men (and girls, the bodies of women) when they are still in the slightly awkward phase of semi-idiocy that is high school?

There they are, prime adult physique, the epitome of evolution doing its darndest to make sure the species continues onward in the world, surrounded by various stages of true boyhood and immaturity, that being physical, psychological, and mental immaturity….. and yet, they look to all onlookers to be men…., ready to stand for a modern Michelangelo or Botticelli…

And, usually, they have no idea the effect they can have on other people.

Sure, some, unfortunately, are harassed by the worst of breeding, and therefore have a sense of something being askew… but, for the most part, they tend only to think of themselves as doing well, as being blessed with good genes and a good bodily development.

The fact that their minds are so far behind makes it hard on the adults around them, and the fact that their bodies are so far ahead makes it hard on the youth around them.

They also, somehow, serve as not so much a reminder, but as a calling out of the fact that so many men these days are not maintaining and hosting such healthy bodies as these man-boys (and the same with women and the woman-girls)… the prime of the physical body is arriving so soon, and lost before they are even fully developed in the brain, it sometimes feels… (for the average, anyway)…

In a way, it is a blessing.

And, in a way, it kind of totally sucks to have to be around…

Anyway…, just some thoughts for tonight.

Sweet dreams, World! 😉

Post-a-day 2019