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

Wanna see my ant bite?

“Man, check out my ant bite.”

‘Yeah, I think I have another one over here, too.’

A few further similar comments occur, as we all smile and chuckle and giggle in response to the very first comment, which had come from the coach to me, “Did you just check out your bicep?”

I had looked up, grinning, delighted, because it was totally true.

I was examining my ant bite – which stung and was swelling badly, by the way – when I suddenly noticed how defined my bicep was, which was just near the ant bite, within direct view, and currently flexed, due to the position in which I was holding my arm, so that I could see the ant bite best.

I then opted to poke the bicep a few times, just to see how it held up, since lots has happened since I’d last checked it out.

It was at this point that the coach, B——-, asked me if I was checking out my bicep, and the merriment began amongst those of us who were on our two-minute break in the workout rounds. 😀

It was delightful.

Now, however, the center of the ant bite is green… those were beastly ants this morning.

I’ll have to check with B—— as to whether his bites have turned green, too… eew.

And we weren’t even lying on the ground or anything, either.

Ugh… ants, please leave me be.

P.S. It is 19:50 here right now, and I am getting ready to go to bed and to sleep – I am exhausted from my 4:20am rising today to get to the gym from house sitting north of town, before going hoke to shower and dress, and then going to work… the sun is still out, and there is even normal light coloring outside for daytime lighting right now, but I’m going to bed anyway.

As I walked into the bedroom just now, and noticed the lighting outside (and commented aloud about it), I had a feeling of being in that episode of The Simpsons, where the kids are being taken care of by Flanders, because CPA or someone declared Homer and Marge unfit parents… Flanders is putting them all to bed, and the shades are down in the room, but the kids say they aren’t tired, and then release the window shade to show full sunlight and children running around, playing outside…. that’s the scene in which I find myself at the moment… I loved it then, and I find it hilarious all over again now. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Bodyache

I think I need to take another day off of exercising this week… my shoulders are so tight, despite stretching, they actually hurt and feel a bit uncomfortable as a whole… and yet they’ve been awesome recently, thanks to the chiropractor’s amazing adjustments.

Yeah…

Nonetheless, I attended my 61st class as a member today at the gym… which is since we signed up in early April…. not too shabby, eh? ;P

Post-a-day 2019

Tomorrow

I am driving to another city early tomorrow morning, so that I can view and examine and, possibly, test drive a scooter…

My hope is that the scooter be perfect for me, and that I, therefore, purchase it and bring it back to Houston with me.

I will have to take my motorcycle safety course, and purchase a cover and lock before I get to have it at my house, but that’s okay – it will sit in the garage of the family friend who is meeting me in a truck to go pick up the scooter in the first place, and he is extremely trustworthy with anything motorcycle related (and scooters are related, like cousins from Europe).

I am nervous to go to bed, because tomorrow will be here sooner, so far as my conscious kind is concerned, and the excitement of today will have ended…, but tomorrow will be perfect, for whatever reason, in whatever way it happens… of course, I am biased in the direction of this beautiful scooter becoming my friend and coming home to Houston with us… yep…

Anyway, I have my alarm to wake me at 5:35am, I think, so I really need to giddy up and go to sleep now, seeing as how it is almost midnight already.

And then, after we get back home, I have to do muscle testing at the gym, to see what maximum weight I can lift doing a certain motion, now that we’ve completed an eight-week cycle focused on building strength…, so I have to make sure I have proper energy and food for that tomorrow evening.

On that note, I bid you a wonderful night. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

an Ouch of fitness

It all seems to hurt now… I’ve only taken a day off from the exercise, but all the muscles seem to hurt now.

My aunt adjusted one of my shoulders – deltoid was kind of up in the shoulder, thus some really odd feelings from time to time – today, and it feels loads better already.

However, it kind of just brought attention to how messy everything else is right now… no, they aren’t as bad as that shoulder was, but they all kind of suck right now, nonetheless.

I did an upper body chair yoga stretch class video just now, and I am acutely aware of what feels like a hundred plus tiny spots of tightness and soreness throughout my upper body… my neck feels absurdly tight on each side, all the muscles that connect along the sides of my spine seem to have knots in them, somewhere, and my left shoulder is just far too high (now that my right one is in its proper place)…

I feel like I need to be tossed like a rag doll into a trampoline, and then bounces around a while, so everything can be shaken up just enough to relax and, eventually, fall back into its proper place.

If only that were a viable option… as it is, it’s probably a good thing I have no trampoline access, because it wouldn’t work out as I’d like, anyway… 😛

Ugh!

God, please, heal my body tonight and tomorrow…. take full advantage of my two days off of exercise, and heal my body to a comfortable beauty, that I might better share your love in and with the world.

Amen

Post-a-day 2019