Tag Archives : body image

Thoughts Thursday: Goodbye rigid expectations 2

Yesterday I posted about trusting or adjusting my body for what it is in this moment, baby fat and all. As I was looking back at the post today, this post was listed as something “you might also like” accompanied by this lovely picture of my 39 week belly.
Well, you’re right blogger gods. I would like to see that post again…as a little reminder that holy sh** my stomach really was HUGE!
Not only did I create a miracle, but it’s an absolute miracle that my stomach is even remotely back to normal after that major transformation.
In accordance with changing expectations I saw this quote on a blogger friend’s recent post and it really struck a chord. From Buddhism for Mothers by Sara Napthali:
The Buddha taught that attachment is the cause of our suffering and unhappiness. This is especially true for our relationships. Attachment makes any good intentions towards others conditional: when someone fails to conform to our rigid expectations, our feelings of friendliness dry up. We hold unspoken demands, expect people to somehow sense these, and then feel bitterly disappointed when they let us down… Relying too much on others for our happiness leads to unhappiness. We need to live with others in a non-demanding, self-sufficient way. If we could stop clinging to our relationships our minds would become more peaceful, freeing us from much anxiety and fear. 
When my body fails to conform to my rigid expectations, my feelings of love for it dry up.
I hold unspoken demands for my body, expect it to somehow sense these, and then feel bitterly disappointed when it lets me down. 
Relying too much on my body and physical appearance for my happiness will only lead to unhappiness. 

Not only do I need to live with others in a non-demanding, self-sufficient way, but I need to live with myself, my body, my appearance in the same way. 
If I can stop clinging to my appearance, my mind would become more peaceful, freeing me from anxiety and fear. 
Thank you blogger Gods and friends for helping me to see this connection.

My body is a miracle. My rigid expectations must go. 

Worthy Wednesday: Trust it or Adjust It 2

A few Wednesdays ago in “No More Apologies” I wrote “I can keep being critical with myself, or I can change my criticisms. I can spend hours trying to change myself, or I can change the way I view myself.” 
It’s been two weeks and I’m still struggling with this. As I battle with losing the last pounds of baby weight and fitting into my pre-pregnancy pants I can’t help but over analyze every bit of fat left on my belly. It’s the first thing I see when I look in the mirror, it’s all I notice when I sit down, when I bend over, when I  breathe in and out. It’s always there…physically and mentally.
And I can’t do it anymore. I’ve already said it once, and now I have to start believing it. 
I need to either do something to change myself, or change the way I’m viewing myself. 
I can’t keep living in this limbo, this love-hate relationship with my body. 
It reminds me of a notepad I bought years ago and just recently found, empty and ready to be filled, with the words 
“Trust it or adjust it” written on the front.
I’ve always loved the simplicity of the saying but have yet to practice it. I need to either trust that my body is the way it is supposed to be, or I need to adjust it. 
So I’m on a twofold venture to find a healthy balance between trusting and adjusting. I know it was all worth it–the stretching of my stomach, the gaining weight, the arduous labor–it was never about that for me and I never worried about it at the time. I would go back and do it all again in a heartbeat. I felt more natural, comfortable, and healthy while pregnant than any other time. So why is it so much harder to embrace the very same body that I loved for nine months now that she’s approaching one year old and I’m “supposed” to be back to my pre-baby body?
Maybe my old body is gone forever and I must come to terms with it—trust it
Or maybe this new body can become more healthy and fit–adjust it
Maybe it’s a little bit of both. 
But for now I’m going to try not to worry about either. I’m going to do yoga because it’s good for me, mentally and physically. I’m going to love my body for the miracle that it created and birthed. 
I’m going to trust it and adjust it.

Worthy Wednesday: No more apologies 1

I’m glad I decided to do this once a week, because for now, it’s still very necessary. Just last night I was walking around beating myself up with a case of the “I needs….”
It started with telling the acupuncturist “I need a pedicure” as he stuck needles into my toes. Deep down I know he could care less with what my feet looked like, but for some reason I felt it necessary to give him a “prerequisite” on why my feet were so disgusting. 
It sparked an interesting conversation. He said that was the first pedicure comment he’d heard, but he has gotten a lot of “Sorry, I forgot to shave” and even an “Excuse me, I didn’t get to do my hair today”  from other women.
“Uh oh,” I stammered. “I haven’t done either one of those things…in a while….but I guess you don’t care, right?”
Of course he laughed and said it was much easier to be a man. 
“Not only do we not have to deal with those annoyances, but we don’t feel the need to apologize for them.” 
“We don’t feel the need to apologize for them.”
(I knew there was a reason I was going there).
This reminds me of something I heard Linda Evans say a few weeks ago on Oprah in an episode about the beauty of aging.
“We can change what we are critical of about ourselves OR we can change our criticisms.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about those words when I catch a case of the “I needs.”
I need a pedicure.
I need a tan.
I need to get rid of these dark circles.
I need to wake up earlier.
I need to exercise more. 
I need to lose the last five pounds. 
The list is never ending. So, on this “Worthy Wednesday” I’d like to shift my thinking. 
I can keep being critical with myself, or I can change my criticisms.  
I can spend hours trying to change myself, or I can change the way I view myself. 
Instead of criticizing myself for not being tan/skinny/whatever enough,I can compliment myself for being nice, happy, and friendly. 
Linda Evans also says in her interview, “What you look like has nothing to do with what you think about yourself, and that’s where we get confused. The outside has nothing to do with the inside. And the thing that’s so mysterious to me is everything we’re basing our value on is outside of us.”

She continues with (as you age) “…you’re forced to give up the game. Anything that is outside of you, you can’t control. But you can control inside of you.”

I don’t want to wait any longer to stop the game. No more controlling the outside to feel good about myself. I don’t want to continue feeling like I am only as good as my skin, or hair, or body.

As Evans concludes, “there has to be more to life than all that.”