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Fearless...stripped down to just be

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I spent year in the church trusting in God, finding my way, trying to obey all the rules of the faith while seeking an authentic relationship with my maker. When I initiated my divorce, my conflicting world became more apparent. I wanted to have this unbelievable unwavering and perfect faith that others could commend and follow, but that’s not what it looked like. It looked real and ugly.

Following a set of rules has never brought me closer to God, in fact, it often took me further from him. The rules kept me from what the church kept telling me to do which was “let go and let God.” I never understood how to follow the rules and let go. I still don’t. I do however understand better than I ever have what it feels like to be stripped down of all the things I most covet.

In the last year I have lost my husband, significantly reduced the engagement I have with my son (almost as if he went off to college), lost a relationship with a close personal friend, my “framily” in San Diego have almost all moved away, lost some of my health, stopped sleeping, and my business has managed to just sustain but not thrive through the difficulties.

I used to see myself as superwoman, like my mom (my words not hers). I have a business, I am a part time single mom because my husband deploys, I am a loving and patient wife, I’m a fierce philanthropist, I plan gatherings with friends and framily, take my nieces on dates, I work out daily and eat well, and I still manage to get to church every Sunday with my son a part of the worship band. I defined myself by what I thought I was supposed to be.

Over the last few weeks, I have had the harshest of change, the most difficult of which is my declining health. The second is the impending inevitable departure of my Bestie. As I sat thinking about it and how to make this into a positive, I struggled. To remain present and not always be angry, and shutting everyone out is a struggle. Feeling like a victim is a deep hatred of mine only surpassed by acting like one. As I struggled with my beliefs about my character and personality in contrast to how I was handling it, I just let go. I thought, “I can’t eat this or drink this away. It’s too much, I could literally kill myself trying. I can’t pretend like it’s not happening because it is.” So I decided I was too tired to come up with anything, so surrender to it for now.

When I awoke the next morning, I was reeling through all the pain and fear. I couldn’t stay in my own head and didn’t have the capacity to meditate and stay in the moment so I tried to numb it or make sense of it by reading. I was reading Fearless by Arrianna Huffington and the chapter happened to be on fearlessness in God and death. I almost skipped it to be honest.

As I read in the quiet of the early morning, I was recounting my spiritual journey. I don’t have a fear of death and I think that’s partially because I lost people very close to me at very young ages well before I felt it should be their time. Everyone dies and we never know when, so I don’t spend time in fear of that, but I also don’t embrace that it has not yet happened and I still get to enjoy (or not) life.

Reading and recounting and evaluating my situation, my perspective of my current state changed. I have a choice to make:

1-  I live in mourning of what is lost and fear of the VERY unknown future.
2- I look at this moment as the ultimate strip down I have been wanting and just BE.

Since my weight loss in 2011, I have been struggling to figure out who I am and what I want. When I realized how little weight loss does for confidence and self-image, I was at a loss and kept seeking outside sources to make that happen.

But the truth is in any given moment, we are who we were in our past. The series of actions and thoughts created us and if we want a future with new, we have to start here and now with new.

Although I would NEVER choose for my Bestie to leave my close proximity, maybe it’s what we need to grow and be better for each other. I won’t define myself by our relationship the way I do with her here, I can’t. Maybe if I can’t define myself by my “just work hard and it will be OK” body, then who am I? Not “what am I?”

These thoughts are a work in progress, but I know I long to be the person who doesn’t place my self worth in my body or my friends and family saying I’m enough (which by the way the always do and I still don’t believe it). I’m not there, people, but I long for it. Like a deep calling to be connected to something just waiting inside me. I’m guessing I need to just BE, but I can tell you this, that is a new skill I am going to have to work on.

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I believe...

I’ve been working a lot on creating clear succinct marketing messages at Infinitely Fit as we get ready to roll into the new year.  My best thinking happens when I listen to music or podcasts and I am nowhere near my desk….Just like what happened this morning. I was sitting in a coffee shop with a paper and pen, no computer and my phone on “do not disturb”. My ADHD behaviors run strong, so I need to find a way to remain focused. 

This morning, I sat with my music playing in my ears and jotting down all thoughts that came to my head. I had some specifics I was trying to get out, but free writing is the best way to start making sense of the chaos in my brain. As my free writing continued, I got so excited! I literally jumped out of my seat, grabbed my stuff and quickly exited the coffee shop. There were a few funny looks as I did it, but who cares?! 

I am so excited to share with you what I came up with because it is the heart of Infinitely Fit, it is my heart. It is not succinct and it is not a nice neat little marketing slogan, tagline or USP, but it is the truth and the life blood of Infinitely Fit. 

I believe whole-heartedly in shifting the cultural norms surround health and wellness, and most importantly body image from the inside out of everyone in America. 

I believe we are all hiding ourselves under many layers of what we think we “should be” rather than walking in the glory of who we uniquely are. 

I believe in future generations filled with a sense of worth that isn’t tied to actions, aesthetics or talent, rather it’s tied to an intrinsic value that allows withstand the worst of bullying and hatred regardless of deed.

I believe our world will be a place of love and acceptance for everyone once we all practice self-acceptance. 

I believe the path to self-worth is paved by self-acceptance.

I believe we don’t just deserve to but we are obligated to treat ourselves better than we ever have so we can then treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve. 

I believe the only way for our world to begin thriving is by taking responsibility and ownership of who we are and our actions. 

I believe if we keep hiding under the layers of who we believe we should be, we will never unlock the power within us. And the world needs each of us to fulfill our unique purpose with power. 

This is what burns inside me every day! Helping people helps me grow, the more I grow, the more I want to help. I am not perfect and I don’t have all the answers, but I know this much, we have gone too long hiding under the layers. Shying back from whom we were created to be and fulfilling our purposes.

Infinitely Fit was created as a solution for a healthy lifestyle, and that has held true since 2012- how we go about a healthy lifestyle continues to evolve as we learn about life…not about science. The science is of course a part of what we do and we learn from it, but there are many abstracts science cannot capture that we feel and live every day at Infinitely Fit.  

If you believe in what we stand for, join us in any capacity that makes sense. Follow us and share our content on social media, email us or call us with your thoughts and ideas of how we can help, join us for special events, join our community by taking classes with us, volunteer with us when we are out in the San Diego community. 

It’s time for change, folks! Do you accept who you are? 

 

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Replacing My Mask

As I stood in my bathroom, looking into the mirror applying my make up for the third day in a row (one time a month is about my average), I was struck by a thought. Since my recent weight gain has settled in and I cannot seem to get the weight to drop for a multitude of reasons (some I can control, some I cannot), I feel an overpowering need to replace my “mask”.

Finishing the make-up application, I was so aware of my attempt to replace my “hot body” mask for a “great hair and mediocre make-up” mask. Since I can’t seem to wrap my head around consistently eating well, I decided I would fix something else. I’m not accepting anything- I’m just moving on.

Don’t get me wrong, moving on can be a healthy means of leaving old habits behind. And right now when I actually do something with my hair and put on make-up, I feel more beautiful and attractive. But let’s be honest, that’s not all that’s happening here.

I am unbelievably insecure about my looks. And not just my body but my face as well. My husband teases me because I always have my mouth open to make a silly face in every picture. I do it as a mask. I do it because I can laugh with people and never have to be laughed at. In my head, people will ridicule and laugh at me when I am not making a “pretty face”. Even worse, I feel like I look good but find out that someone else doesn’t think so. I’m an adult and logically know that most people don’t care what I look like in pictures, but my sensitive and previously damaged ego is more of a feeler than a thinker.

The worst part is that no one else can fix this issue for me. My husband, friends and family cannot tell me enough times how beautiful I am so that I will actually start believing it. Even if they could fix it for me, they would have to follow me around all day and night, every day and night saying, “You’re beautiful” every two minutes in order to thwart the bitch in my head. Even then, I am not sure she would stop because she can attack me when I least expect it and no one is looking.

There’s more to this change than just stopping the loud bitch in my head. I have been quieting her down increasingly more and more over the last year; the next step is to replace her. She doesn’t serve me any longer. She doesn’t protect me from others and their potential attacks. She hurts me, holds me back and reminds me of all of my fears and failures. But she’s not just wrong- something else is right!

There is beauty in me that’s skin deep, but there is also a beauty in me that radiates from the inside out and deserves the best I have to give. She deserves the best from the people around her, and shouldn’t put up with anything else. She selflessly and generously gives to the community of people around her because she cares. She is a precious diamond. Gosh that sounds cheesy and silly! (If you just read that diamond line, I worked hard to keep that in here. My less than romantic side is grossed out by it!)

As cheesy and silly as it sounds, it’s truth. It’s the most beautiful and freeing truth I have heard from myself in a long time. I am an extremely flawed and imperfect person, but I am a beautiful person. A beautiful person who wants heads to turn when others see me, and hearts to open when they spend time with me.

Why do so many of us believe they aren’t enough? That regardless of what we do, achieve, experience, and share we are inadequate? Adequate is different than perfect, and none of us are perfect, but we are certainly adequate in just about anything and better than adequate in many areas.

I don’t know what your bitch says to you, but here is the daily list of failures my loud bitch likes to lie to me about:

·         You’re a terrible mom- you are going to drive your kid to be an unproductive member of society who is a (fill in your choice of addiction)

·         Your husband is not being fulfilled because you’re not good enough, attractive enough, fun enough, etc.

·         You are not savvy enough to run a business

·         You will never achieve the business you envision

·         You failed at this before why wouldn’t you fail this time?

·         Your clients can’t lose weight if you can’t even maintain your own weight

·         You don’t have anything important to say, why do you talk so much?

·         You want to be a professional speaker? Have you heard yourself?

·         You’re so ugly! How did you ever think you were attractive?

·         You look so old, are you sure your birth certificate is right? (OK, that second part is my sense of humor right in this moment)

And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on…

Most likely if you’re still reading this blog, you have a list too. Maybe the same, maybe different. Either way, you probably can feel every insult as if it was the familiar voice you hear.

Honestly, as I take a look at this list and absorb it- Stockholm’s Syndrome makes sense. Just like a kidnapper holds someone captive and the victim starts to identify with and defend the poor choices of the perpetrator, I listen to and defend the bitch in my head.  I have the freedom of choice every single day to listen to the loud bitch or not, yet often times, I choose to not only listen to but to defend her! That sounds crazy, but I do it. I believe she’s justified by memories; moments I recall when she says those things. They are snap shots in time, but I take them to be the entirety of my story.

Our rational brains can’t make sense of it, but we don’t operate from a logical place all that often. There’s a theory that says we make decisions only with our emotions. We think through things and make our pros and cons lists taking 3 days to make some big decisions, but the truth of the matter is the decision was still emotionally instilled. Maybe the greater emotion that took over while you waited 3 days was greater than the impulsive emotion, but often, our first emotional decision is our final decision.

I don’t know about you, but I want to change my emotional reactions. I want to say things out loud that are true. I want to not just drink my own kool-aid that I spout out to anyone who listens. I want to live it out as an example to others, make an impact on my community, and change the way we think and act as a culture.  

As always, thanks for reading our blogs. We welcome any feedback, comments and suggestions. We want to share material that you want to learn about or hear. Please comment on the blog or email fitness@infinitely-fit.com for any ideas or thoughts.

 

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How to Build a Better Body (Image)

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How to Build a Better Body (Image)

In a society obsessed with thinness and beauty, it can be difficult not to be hyper aware of your weight and beat yourself up over how you look. Whether you’re not skinny enough, pretty enough, tall enough or strong enough, there are a million reasons you can find to feel negatively about yourself. 

Negative body image is a real issue with real consequences. It is associated with feelings of shame, self-consciousness and anxiety about one’s body and oneself. Those with negative body image are at a greater risk for developing eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem. Possessing a negative body image is also linked to things like smoking, alcohol abuse, early onset of sexual activity and obesity.

While it is tempting to believe that fixing your body will fix your body image blues, a negative body image is a product of disordered thinking, not a disordered body.  

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