From beach chair to the ocean.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
I wanted to touch upon some of the lessons I've learned on my vacation. First off I want to talk about an issue that I and countless others have. The issue is having a poor self/body image. It's something that I have struggled through out my life. Even during my skinny days where you could see my ribs I often found something wrong with my body. I think most of my feelings towards my body came from family. I was never thought to accept and love my body. I was faulted for being too skinny and then too fat. I had people tell me i was fat when in fact I wasn't. Looking back i now know they were wrong. I have been working on changing the way I feel about my body. When you start from a place of self loathing and hate it makes reaching your goal weight much more difficult. I have tried for years to reach my ideal weight and for years I have gotten no where. I have avoided doing things because I often felt I was too fat and didn't want people judging me and i didn't want to feel embarrassed. I finally decided to take a beach vacation for my 40th. Last time I took one of these vacation I was 25 and was only 30 lbs overweight. After gaining more weight I just stopped going to the beach. I stopped doing something I enjoyed because I felt ashamed of my body. As much as I wanted to lose weight for my vacation it didn't work out that way and I had no other choice than to accept that.
1. Don't wait for that special event (wedding, reunion, vacation etc) to come around to decide "Hey I really need to buckle down and lose this weight" Start now.
2. Don't hold off doing things until you have reached your Ideal weight/size. Life is a gift and if you spend it not enjoying it because you're not a certain weight you'll have many regrets. After gaining an additional 30/40 lbs on top of my already 30 lbs I had to lose I stopped doing certain things such as going to the beach. Last relaxing beach vacation was the one when I was 25. that's 15 years that I have avoided having this type of vacation. I didn't lose weight like I had wanted to and do you want to know something. I still had a good time. That's right I missed 15 years of doing something enjoyable because instead of enjoying life I decided to punish myself for not being a smaller size.
3. Stop dieting/eliminating foods and just listen to your body and move your body. On vacation I put aside counting calories and eliminating certain foods. I just ate when I was actually hungry and I ate what I wanted. If I wanted dessert then I had dessert. I even enjoyed fruity cocktails. Just so happened that by doing that I ended up eating less and I didn't feel overwhelmed about what foods to eat. I also made it a point to move my body every day even if it was just for 10 minutes. I ended up losing almost 3 lbs without trying.
4. Do things out of your comfort zone. For years I have avoided wearing certain clothes. Shorts, dresses, and bathing suits. Before vacation I dug out my shorts (yay for still fitting me) bought a couple of dresses and a bathing suit. Told myself that no matter how uncomfortable these would make me I just had to wear them during my vacation. Yes this was hard for me. Hardest part was being at the beach. I purposely made it a point not to wear an over sized shirt over my bathing suit like I had always done. That walk in the sand from the beach chair to the ocean was brutal. I felt extremely overwhelmed and judged. Truth is once I hit the water and relaxed and enjoyed myself. I realized. NO ONE CARED about how I looked. The only person judging me was me. Another thing I noticed. The beach wasn't adorned with super models prancing around. No there were people there with all shapes and sizes.
5. Work from the inside out. I have for years only focused on shaping my body and not shaping my mind. If you can't like/love/accept the person you are on the inside you will never accept the person you are on the outside. Wont matter how much weight or how many sizes you lose. When you look upon yourself in that mirror you will still find something wrong with your body.
After years of having a negative body image having a positive one isn't going to happen overnight. I am committed to work on that every day. Even if it's doing just one small thing at a time. Like continuing to wear shorts out in public. Most importantly I am committing to talking to myself in a loving way. Think of this way. You are a blank canvas. The way you talk to yourself adds art to that blank canvas. What do you want your canvas to look like?