Many people struggle with body issues at some point in their lives, and it’s taken me about 15 years to understand mine.
Sure we can blame our aesthetic obsession on the media for overly exploiting genetically slim and slender bodies, or fresh-faced 20-somethings promoting skin care products to an audience of 50-somethings hoping to diminish the signs of aging. The smoke-and-mirrors tactic doesn’t adequately portray real life, and thankfully the media doesn’t supply us with our spoon and fork in hand. The power is within ourselves to see through the flawless advertisements, and to maintain a healthy mind and body that will last us our entire lives. It’s important to attain our happiness, and sense of satisfaction in ways that don’t require us to stay away from food.
What may look good to many, does’t necessarily feel good for most. Many of us aren’t genetically lean, so the struggle and deprivation to attain a slender physique can be defeating. The insecurity of aging is real life, and the wheel keeps turning no matter what, so we might as well celebrate making it this far to witness it.
Achieving or maintaining health shouldn’t come with negative feelings, or consist of setting nearly impossible goals. In fact, feeling good isn’t impossible at all. You know the saying when you look good, you feel good? Well, I’m an advocate for using the statement conversely, when you feel good, you look good. Think about it, have you ever encountered someone that didn’t necessarily exemplify societies stereotype of “true beauty” or physique, yet you couldn’t ignore their charismatic aura so rich with confidence you wanted it–whatever it was that made you see this person in such a way?
We’ve all done it: over-eat, over-drink, over-spend, over-sleep etc. While these things make us feel good temporarily, the lasting effects can be detrimental to our sense of wellbeing. Keyword: moderation–I know, I hate it too, but it’s no secret, if you eat like crap you’ll feel like crap.
Overeating isn’t a foreign concept to me. You know the familiar scenario, don’t you? In our fervor of trying to loose a few extra pounds (ahem..or more) we skip a meal–most likely breakfast. Once noon rolls around we’re starving, every ticking minute tha passes is excruciating. As the clock strikes 12:15 we can’t take it anymore, so we prepare half of a bagel with cream cheese to eat. Oh, but we don’t just eat it–we devour it. Skipping breakfast made us hungry! We finally get home, and it’s dinner time–yay! We deserve some kind of positive reinforcement after such an agonizing day.
Why not make the biggest pasta dinner we’ve ever seen? We also decide to add an entire loaf of garlic bread, pour some wine (more than half the bottle), and throw in some ice cream for dessert. Sounds like an amazing affair if you ask me, so what’s the problem? Well, how do you feel after racing through three bowls of pasta, or four slices of pizza? If you’re me, you feel like crap for two reasons: 1) your body can’t handle overeating and 2) you just ruined your impossible efforts to basically starve yourself earlier in the day. Basically we’re left with a stomach full of regrets.We strive to jump over various hurdles of hell just to be more pleasing to the eyes, but whose eyes are we trying to please exactly? We make sch harsh sacrifices to look good, while the biggest sacrifice being made is that we compromise actually feeling good.
My nutrition professor explained the three body types (also known as Body Somatypes) using dog breeds and it made perfect sense to me. Ectomorphs are generally tall and lean, and resemble the build of a greyhound with little fat and little muscle. Endomorphs are the exact opposite having a lot of body fat and a lot of muscle, and are known to be heavier and rounder. Mesomorphs are athletic and strong, and their solid structure can resemble a pit bull. While it’s genetically difficult for Ectomorphs to gain fat and muscle, Endomorphs gain both very easily, and Mesomorphs can gain and lose both quite easily.
Just as no two dogs are the same, no two humans are the same. Does a greyhound even remotely resemble a pit bull in any way? No! Honestly, imagine a stalky pit bull skipping meals in hopes of looking like the tall and slender greyhound… We aren’t dogs–obviously, but we are animals. The idea of anyone going through such great lengths to try and look like someone else should shock some sense into us.
Take my Cross Country experience for example. I already loved running, but I initially started competing with the notion that I’d get super skinny from all the running. I was faced with one problem: running 30+ miles a week made me so hungry. Have you ever tried running on an empty stomach? I don’t recommend it. I had to eat a lot in order to maintain the proper fuel that my body required in order to run long distances. I didn’t become as thin as the other girls, but I can tell you that I was in the best shape of my life and I felt amazing inside. It was almost as if all the gears inside my body were operating exquisitely. I was exercising and eating properly, which meant no skipping meals and no overeating!
We have to remember that while someone is desperately trying to lose weight, someone is trying just as hard to gain it. Although numbers on a scale can control our lives, they shouldn’t. We need to start allowing health and happiness to take center stage, we need to change our approach.
Let’s face it, lifestyle changes don’t happen over night–but that’s just it. Our bodies are unique works of art that require maintenance and special care every day, forever. We need to get to know our bodies. We should acknowledge what it likes and doesn’t like. If you listen, your body will communicate with you. I like to put health at the forefront of my life now, and realize that it doesn’t matter if my beauty or physique measure up to what others think of me–what matters most is what I think of me.
I take care of my body, and I listen to my body with the hopes that it will last for the next 40-50 years. My body and I are great friends, and when my body disagrees with something I listen because my body is the boss.
“Ate The Kitchen” via Pop Sugar
“Expecting Results” via Someecards
“Healthy Habits” via Pinterest
Body Somatypes: Fink, Heather Hedrick., Lisa A. Burgoon, and Alan E. Mikesky. Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2009. Print.
It’s 3:30 a.m. and what else would a writer be doing besides sleeping at this hour? Writing, duh!
I had a thought…
Going back to school at the age of 25 isn’t the worst decision I’ve made. In fact, I’ve made worse decisions in my life. Strangely enough, I’ve gone all my life without any regrets–until now.
I figured every time someone would tell me, ‘It’s never too late to get started on your career’–they were being honest, when the only honesty is that those people were just being polite.
What was it that changed, why 25 and not 19? Well, let’s see: 25 is prime time for humans–we’re the fittest, brightest, and sharpest tool in the shed. At 25 we’re likely to be stronger than we’ll ever be. As soon as 25 is over and done, those qualities start to decline. While it was the best idea in the world to start living life for me and doing what makes me happy–you know, doing what I felt I was put on this planet to do–it would’ve been in my best interest if I had decided to do so a few years prior to 25.
I can say that my thought process is definitely more fine-tuned than it was at 25. My focus is finally leaning towards the more important, goal-oriented things in life–my mind at 29 has the end-result into focus, something which was non-existent when I was 18 years old.
They say we must live for our own happiness, and I stand with this idea 100%. However, when you share a life with someone else, their happiness must also be taken into consideration. Let’s not forget the idea of partnership.
Yes, I was late for the bus, but I’m so thankful it waited for me. Four years later and I’m still looking at about 2-3 more years of higher education…This is a gloomy thought because H-E-L-L-O, I want children!
Good news! The wonderful modern times of today’s technology allow women to give birth at an older age–which is absolutely splendid, and I can’t wait! …But first things first, right? I need to finish what I came here to do, which is to complete my education. I want to be absolutely sure I will be locking myself into a career that I know I’ll be satisfied with 10-20 years down the road.
My only regret is that I didn’t go straight to college right after high school–in fact my entire regret is that I didn’t finish high school on time, then gone off to college with the rest of my class at the age of 18. I wish I would’ve learned at a younger age, developed my sense of Self, travelled, and seen what the world had to offer. I’m limited at my old age, and while I’m still doing 3 out of the 4 things just mentioned–I realize now that life isn’t so bad after all.
The things I wanted in my life at the ripe age of 18 had nothing to do with any type of future goal. I couldn’t even comprehend the difference between buying or renting a home, and perhaps this is due to my upbringing, but most 18 year olds only have a few things on their mind, and running a big corporation, or having their first book title picked out–isn’t one of them. I think I would’ve wasted a ton of money trying to figure things out back then. I wasn’t focused, and wasn’t interested in anything besides the now back then.
Fast forward eleven years, and there is definitely an end-result within focus. I know what I want, and I can actually catch glimpses of it when I fantasize about my future. My future comes with some limitations given that I’m cureently at the seasoned age of 29.
Recognizing what the future might hold for me is important because I don’t want any more surprises than I can handle.
For starters, I’m aware that when I do decide to start adding to my family, it may not even be in the cards for me. I may be too old based on my biological makeup. That’s okay, I have plenty of nieces and nephews–I’m sure my brother and sister-in-law won’t mind sharing. 🙂 In the situation of not having children, I won’t leave it to some higher power to take control of my life–while this notion helps alleviate worry and angst–I will take control and steer my life to the next platform. Children may not be in my future, but I still have one–a future. A road block puts a damper on life, but that doesn’t mean life has to stop. I’m very thankful for this understanding: You have one life, make the best of it no matter what lemons get thrown your way.
Next, I completely understand that if/when I do have children, I know what I want their values to be–because I’ve lived long enough to develop my own. I don’t have to force the traditional childhood values I was raised with on to them. The values I’ve developed over the years are values that have strengthened over time, values in which I chose, values that have shaped who I am becoming–I like who I’m becoming by the way. I left the fairytales and fables behind, because it’s my life and I’m in charge. While I’m not wise enough to know how to raise perfect children (who actually is?) I am wise enough to know that raising children takes more effort than one could ever fathom. Another understanding in which I am grateful for acquiring.
Finally, out of the hundreds of gained insights throughout my 29 years of life on earth–happiness is my favorite. Not the material aspect of happiness, the mere understanding of living a life that truly brings you happiness. The untouchable form of happiness in which can be attained through making others happy for example, or even the happiness where YOU are the sole focus.
When I was 18 I wasn’t trying to figure the world out, because I didn’t know anything. I was merely living life each day–day by day. At age 25, I decided that the day-to-day life wasn’t enough for me, and at that time I decided that I wanted more. I changed our lives forever, and at 29 I’m still on the long road to attain happiness. But what I’ve realized along the way is that life, and all the roads within it are happiness. The failures, the successes, the meltdowns, the overjoys, the quiet nights at home, and the crazy nights on the town–they all shape you, and they all bring happiness.
Happiness makes you look back and smile because of all the wonderfully good and bad experiences–those experiences created memories, lessons, and either way they led us to the present. Happiness is not a material thing you buy or a final destination you reach. Happiness is the journey–all the little stops along the way. Happiness is past, present, and future. Our lives are traveling at full speed, so it’s important to pause and notice where or when happiness pays a visit. I’ve learned so much since I was 18, and even since I was 25. I’m looking forward to more learning because I know it doesn’t stop here.
I’ve been writing a lot of papers about “Identity” lately, and it has me thinking… Since our environment–past and present–shapes our identity for the future… What do you allow into your world, that you don’t want to shape who you are?
Over time, I’ve adapted so well to the new advances within society, that in doing so–I’ve also allowed these advances to become a part of who I am. Yes, I’m able to control who I become, but what about the regular everyday habits that slowly bleed into my existence?
With this question in mind, I’ve decided to make a change.
It’s been four whole days since I deactivated my facebook account, and in that moment–I felt lighter. Within the passing days I’ve received communication from concerned individuals asking why I deleted them from my friends list–or blocked them! This is the next entity I’m working on eliminating from my life–guilt. I don’t want to feel responsible or worried that some might be confused about my specific reasons for ‘falling off the face of the earth’ as some have put it.
The relationships I have are dear to me, and I don’t want social media to dictate whether or not my friendship is valid. Instead, our actual relationship should dictate our relationship. You know–The time we spend together making memories, the shared laughter, the moments when can randomly pop up and say “hi” for no reason at all. Those are some of the moments I want to live for, and those are the entities that I want to dictate my relationships, not likes, or generic comments–while I appreciated all of the “likes” and heartfelt comments–I can’t live for them anymore. I’d much rather tell you that your hair looks pretty when I see you over coffee, or explain how much you make me laugh while on our way to a movie. It’s a lot more heartfelt, and has so much more meaning tied to it.
Social media in an excellent way to stay in touch with old friends and loved ones all over the world, but its meaning has lost value in my life. There is no doubt that I love my friends and family, but I have a cell phone–and for me that’s enough.
There are sunsets to watch, mountains to climb, and memories to be shared in the flesh. There is a life waiting to be lived, and I’m afraid it won’t wait any longer.
Until next time,
November is coming to a close, and 2016 is hot on our tail! We’re left with only one month before it’s time to set those exaggerated goals in hopes of creating a better identity for ourselves.
From a personal standpoint, New Year’s resolutions can do me some good: I could learn to manage my willpower when it comes to carbs and chocolate, and I could also work on enhancing my vocabulary so I can speak a full sentence without using “like” to fill in the blanks.
It’s true–we need to grow, change, and should always reach for the stars, but when are the stars too high for our grasp?
We’re lead to believe that our lives can always be better–our dreams can be bigger, wallets fatter, and our looks prettier. In reality, the goals we often set for ourselves may not ever be reached–whatever the reason–this is what usually sets us back. Perhaps the bar is raised too high, or maybe the goal isn’t even ours to begin with?
Honestly though, are we really so terrible that we need fixing?
This December, we should look at all of our accomplishments, review how far we’ve actually come within the year–you know, recognize ourselves for our actual capabilities. Perhaps instead of setting new goals, our focus should rest in actually ‘maintaining’ the ambitions we previously set and have already reached. If a previous goal wasn’t met–let’s continue trying to ring that bell of achievement instead of looking for something else that needs fixing.
Acknowledging transformation and progress is the main key to growth. In fact, bypassing our diligent effort dims the light within us to keep striving for more.
Keep driving, keep reaching, and most of all–keep recognizing!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Rain has been falling from the sky, cold air is rushing through the trees, and burnt leaves cover the ground. No complaints on my end…
This is the time to catch up on that much needed R & R. Thanksgiving is sort of like a buffer–you know like the thing that softens before the blow? We rest, we eat, we relax, and we eat some more. But with this super-short week comes anxiety because come Monday, the scramble begins. ‘Christmas cheer’ filled with hasty festivities, not to mention the avid shoppers on an obsessed mission to buy the perfect present.
Regardless if you choose to honor the celebrations or not, let’s take it slow this year. After all, we only have one more month until we’re expected to carry out those exaggerated goals in hopes of creating a better identity for ourselves–no pressure!
It’s completely natural to get caught up in the holiday rush. Think about it, we fret over what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, or if you’re hosting–the concern lies in what to cook in accordance with what your guests actually like. There’s Aunt Emma’s newfound vegetarian-thing, and don’t forget cousin Liam’s gluten intolerance–at this point you’re probably better off resorting to lettuce for everyone!
Next comes the shopping, oh my–the shopping! If you’re one of those prompt individuals who already has the holiday list checked off before the end of Summer, bless your little heart. Now that November is coming to a close, what about the December soirees? Surely December is of a completely different nature–with a calendar full of things-to-do and places-to-be–I’m still stuck on deciding whether I need to buy a new outfit or not?
Since this time of year can be somewhat of a headache for all, what do you say we pop a Motrin and ride the wave of love–with love–for everyone? It’s so easy to breeze through the holidays, so easy to fly pass these moments that should be stopped in time. Let’s be patient, let’s be kind, and let’s give the gift of appreciation to those who are so deserving of it.
I’ve always had this fantasy that one day I’ll have a Thanksgiving dinner party just like the families do in the movies. You know–the huge clan gathered around an enormous table about to give thanks, when suddenly everything goes perfectly wrong? What I love most about the cliché is when they somehow all unite with love. Regardless of how this holiday turns out for me, I can’t wait to walk around the house with a new glass of wine on-the-hour, to stuff my tummy with food like there’s no tomorrow, and most of all I can’t wait to be surrounded by my loved ones.
I’m not in a hurry to finish November, in fact, I want to swim in the moments of tomorrow for as long as I can. Keeping this idea in mind–let’s remember why we love our tribe, and let’s thank them for loving us in return.
Thanksgiving eCard via Pinterest
Alternative Thanksgiving via Huffington Post
Blog Post shared from previous Black-Haired Blondie blog site 9/25/2015
Stagnant thoughts wallowing in white,
a blank page before me,
on this dark November night.
At a crossroad
which direction to go?
Which idea to chase,
or which one to throw?
Well look at that, it isn’t much up there, but it’s something. My first stanza typed from my laptop! I didn’t write it, I typed it, and it felt pretty nice.
The best part about brain-storming is the actual process of brain-storming. While working on a paper for one of my classes, I found myself at a roadblock and couldn’t convey my thoughts into words, so I shot out a few rhymes to get my mind going. I always resort to poetry or short stories when I find myself in this situation, which reminds me of a situation I’d run into about technology and writing in the past…
When I used to write I was very anti-technology, I say this in reference to my beloved fascination with the act of “writing” itself. I had even asked my creative writing professor, “Why call it writing anymore if you’re typing?” I was the girl obsessed with the smell of books–the old fashioned kind. You know, doing research in the library from an actual rolodex? There’s nothing quite like floating through the library isles in search of the perfect book, or especially gliding a pen onto a piece of paper.
While I am so very thankful for technology propelling us forward in our endless search on the internet–among many other things, I never thought I’d get used to typing my work. Let me clarify, I could type up an A paper within minute’s notice, but when it came to pouring my thoughts–it had to be done on paper. I’m still the “old-fashioned book girl,” but I’ve come to the realization that typing doesn’t cause the hated “writer’s cramp.”
After giving in to the modern movement of typing our every thought onto a keyboard, I’ve learned that change comes in all different shapes and sizes. We can choose to look at these modifications as obstacles (even roadblocks) that hinder us from living our comfortable lives, or we can look at them as ways in which the universe is testing us to push ourselves, to evolve with the conventions of today.
Why change? Well, humans adapt–it’s what we do–and the true mark of intelligence is based on how well we can adjust to our environment. I’m not referring to actually conforming to every societal norm in the book, I am simply referring to letting go of what was, and looking forward to fresh air–something new. We learn and grow when we open our eyes to change. Once we open our eyes we are able to see everything in its natural light. Adopting this idea of adjustment and development allows room for further invention.
Change is definitely easier said than done–we all know this–but the mere act of overcoming this obstacle in itself brings growth.
Don’t live in your own stagnant thoughts, let them out, and dance with the colorful world of today.
Blog Post shared from previous Black-Haired Blondie blog site 9/2/2015
The season of falling leaves, Pumpkin Spice lattes, and–oh let’s face it– pumpkin everything graces us with their yummy presence. No matter where we go or what we do, we can be sure that a pumpkin will not go unnoticed. This very thing is what makes me happy. There is something that makes us all feel very warm and fuzzy inside when we see pumpkins or coffee, especially when the two are combined.
Living in San Diego means a few things: our leaves never fall, the weather doesn’t cool down, and the sun never disappears. Forgive my negative tone on the particular matter, but our seasons rarely change–extra emphasis on rarely. Us San Diegans can only get excited about the material aspect of seasonal change. Well after all, we don’t live in the Desert where there are only two seasons: Hellish heat and colder than ice temperature. I guess we are pretty blessed in the lower region of Southern California, but lately the weather hasn’t changed from its current temperature setting for weeks! Warm air and sun-kissed skin, what’s to complain about?
Well, for one, we want tawny leaves to fall from the trees, we want glittery wet streets, and we want cool brisk air to brush against our skin once in a while. Obviously this desire is subjective, but am I the only one who craves a change in the weather?
Despite the fact that us SoCal inhabitants don’t get to experience the joy of seasonal transition, we do get to experience the transition of holidays, and make use of most seasonal trinkets available on the market–except for beanies. Beanies are off limits over here because it’s just too hot all year long to try and look that cool, even in Fall.
Don’t get me wrong, Southern California is amazing, and I can already think of a few reasons why without giving much thought:
For starters, we don’t have to worry a great deal about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The sun is always shining, and the birds are always chirping. I don’t even think the birds migrate from our region anymore. Seasonal Affective Disorder effects people who live in cold gloomy weather conditions. Usually the onset of SAD can be noticed once fall approaches, when the weather cools down, and the time changes. The sun sets earlier in southern Cali, but the weather doesn’t really change anymore, so the risk of experiencing SAD is pretty much minimal.
Another reason for joy is that the Beach is never off-limits. Our beaches are always occupied with surfers and sun-bathers, and this is a great thing. We aren’t restricted to stay home due to snow storms, blizzards, or even tornados. We don’t even have to stay inside when we get a small glimpse of Mother Nature’s Cold Fronts. We do get drizzle, and rare bursts of rain from time to time, but these events are rare. The flip flops are still in full effect, and perhaps a hoodie stored inside our trunk in case of an emergency.
Finally, Christmas in Southern California. I highly suggest paying a visit especially during that cheery time of year. When can you ever go ice skating on the beach? Okay, well not on the beach per se, but a few streets over from the shore. This is a truly remarkable experience for many. The sun is out, the seagulls are yelling, and christmas glee is everywhere! Palm trees are decorated with twinkling christmas lights, and snow without the unbearable chill–because it’s fake!
I will admit, it’s pretty awesome in this part of the continent. The thought of experiencing something different and new is just that–a thought, so make something of it. We all get bored, and if you can’t step outside and instantly experience the changing seasons, I suggest you get out there and go seek them. Go someplace new and experience Thanksgiving surrounded by Mother Nature’s naturally changing color palate, where the yards are filled with bushels of fallen leaves. Never let a minute of your life pass by making you wish that you could have experienced something different and new. Go experience it, and don’t forget that latte.
Blog Post shared from previous Black-Haired Blondie blog site 9/20/2015