Why "Taking Care of Me?"

April 16, 2011 marked a new starting point for me. My sweet husband surprised me with a trip to a health spa, Fitness Ridge to be exact. It was literally life-changing, but didn't have the immediate results I, and I presume everyone else, expected to see. We watch The Biggest Loser and are amazed by their quick transformations and think- finally a difficult yet good way to finally lose the weight. Don't get me wrong I did start losing weight, but more importantly I started the journey to taking better care of me. That gift, when I remember to apply it, has been so vital in changing so many aspects of my life. Taking care of ourselves doesn't always look like spas, facials and massages. Rather it looks more like taking the time to cut those vegetables; getting a little less sleep to make it to the early morning spin class; taking the 5-10 minutes to pray and meditate at the end of the day. All because these things are really what taking care of ourselves look like.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seeing the Beauty.

When I first saw this picture on a public forum- I. ABOUT. DIED.  It was taken on July 25, 2012 by a good friend and EXCELLENT motivator, Kristie Nation.  When I came to, I realized that this is what I really look like, and have since tried to see it more positively.

Speed ahead to this past Sunday and I put on a knee length dress.  Saw those same huge calves, but decided to look at them differently.  They are the same strong legs that power me through difficult rides and rarely tire or get injured.  They are strong.  They are good legs.  I can decide to like them at any size.  And I am deciding to do just that.  What I have learned lately is that changing a paradigm, or way of thinking, is a process.  I first decide I want to change it, but then old ways of thinking continually crop back in.  So I have to fight back.  Maybe I will add something about my strong legs to my daily affirmation.  Currently its, "I AM a beautiful, happy, healthy, fit, faithful, kind, loving, strong, sensitive daughter of God."  I could add, "I AM a beautiful, happy, healthy, fit, faithful, kind, loving, strong, sensitive daughter of God, with nice legs."  I'll work on it a little.  This affirmation has helped me TREMENDOUSLY- thank you Jen, Carolyn and Alisha (three of my past and current therapists).

Back to the dress- instead of staying in my head and beating myself up I decided to rock the knee length dress and throw on some nude heels.   It was hard to walk out the door, but I kept telling myself how grateful I was for my strong legs, legs that not even 24 hours before this had helped me to ride 61 miles of somewhat tough terrain, a total ascent of 1,151.57 feet and that was over several hills.  Not a lot to some but it was a first for me, and firsts are kind of big things!  And you know what happened at church?  Did anyone look at me like the fat cow I have often told myself that I am. NO!  Or if they did I have chosen not to notice or dwell on those looks and actually realize those that judge me have some big issues themselves that they need to work on.  BUT what I did get was some really positive, "You are looking great and I know you are working hard for it!" kind of comments.  I felt great and I didn't look in the mirror again and say anything negative about my legs.  It was a victory- a big one for me.

Next victory- I have committed to taking a full body cycling picture once a month.  That means August 25 is my next one and I will use this as a tracking device, too.  I don't expect big changes- back to my reasonable expectations, but it will be a nice tool down the road as I stay on this journey.  And I good reminder of something I love and feel successful doing at any size.  And I feel beautiful on my bike.  And I'm choosing to see my beauty off the bike as well.  And changing the way I view beauty.

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