Slim*FAST

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A can of Slim-Fast. The image is like a cow brand on my brand and memory. From my earliest memories I can vividly see the logo, smell the contents and feel the smooth label. No, I wasn’t drinking it but I was observing the one I admired most consuming the product of promises.

My grandma LOVED Slim-Fast. Cans of powder filled the pantry. Cold chilled cans sparkled as they lined the refrigerator door like tiny weight-loss soldiers. Bars wrapped in crinkly bold colored wrappers stuck in purse and coat pockets. Trendy, that was my grandma! She knew all the latest fashions, makeup and diet crazes. I truly believe that if blogs were a thing back in the day that she’d be storming the internet and blowing up Facebook and Instagram. When she jumped on the Slim-Fast train, it wasn’t a surprise. I wanted to be just like her ( I now see my own daughter with that same glimmer in her eye for my mom). I stole those sips of Slim-Fast like a 12 year-old boy flipping the pages of a Playboy. How good it tasted. That admiration, candy like taste along with fun-promising advertisements I was HOOKED.

As soon as I was old enough, I fell in “adult love” with Slim-Fast too. Loving it so much that during my senior year of high school it became my food of choice. The thick vanilla shake replaced my breakfast and lunch. The crunchy nougat bar goodness became the go to snack. How clever! How brilliant! I could eat shakes and candy bars that promised to make me look like a model, thin with big boobs a tight butt and bouncy hair. Bring the fake chocolate and vanilla goodness on!  Why waste my time eating real food and possibly looking like a troll? At 17, it didn’t matter the grades and the accomplishments that I achieved. What did matter is that I got noticed for my appearance. >>> If only I could go back in my time machine and yank that can out of my hand while slapping some sense into my brainwashed teen mind.

My friend, Slim-Fast followed me to college. What a loyal companion. Always there when I needed her, full of only good fortunes and promises of delight. Sometimes we would fight, sometimes we would break up, but every winter, spring and summer break I ran back with open arms. Completely enthralled with the idea that Slim-Fast would make me perfect. Slim-Fast would make all my dreams come true. Slim-Fast did make me lose weight, but it was also tearing my insides a part with it’s list of foreign ingredients, not to mention causing a perfect canvas for the start of a really bad relationship with food.

During my love affair with Slim-Fast I cheated, falling into lust with calorie counting. I found it thrilling to track and control those little numbers that filled the pages of notebook after notebook. I felt on top of the world when I was able to consume less calories than the day before. I got a high when I was able to see that number dip lower and lower. But with my new found lover, my infatuation with Slim-Fast was ended. My long time companion was standing in my way. My old flame had the same amount of calories each time I picked up that can. Slim-Fast was failing me. Slim-Fast had to get out, we had to break-up. Why even drink a form of liquid calories when there were so many other things that had little to no calories???  Why not just drink coffee or suck on Life-Savers or Gobstoppers at 5 calories a pop?  Why eat at all?

And so it began, a windy twisty road of self destruction and negative self-talk. All started from a brightly colored red and white can full of broken promises marketed in the perfect way.

I hate you Slim-Fast. Thanks for nothin’.

Suburban Findings: 6 Who Are You Steps.

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The follow up to  Who Arrrreee Y-O-U?? 6 Steps to Finding Out

The suburban scientific findings to what happens when the six “who are you” steps are applied to the common crazy lady.

First a brief step recap:

#1.  ASK.

#2.  TAKE A TIME MACHINE.

#3.  F-U-N.

#4.  TEST THE WATERS.

#5.  INTRODUCE YOURSELF.

#6. ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL and ACT HOW YOU FEEL. 

Second, the outcomes:

#1. I asked those closest to me for a one word description of who I was:

My eldest son: sweet. My youngest son: strong with muscles. My daughter: good coloring. My two closest friends: Real and tenacious. My mom: Inspiring. My little sister:  My husband: Stunning.

I took those descriptive words in, let them settle into the crevices of my brain folds and then reflected. When it came down to the nitty-gritty it turned out that everything I wanted to be, I actually was in the eyes of those that really mattered. I wanted to be a mom that was tender and sweet. I wanted to lead a life that was real and tenaciously productive. I wanted to inspire others with my writing, thoughts and actions.  I wanted to be physically and mentally fit. By asking those that were closest to me with the clearest insight of my true self their answers gave me a reality check that I had been wasting so much time beating myself up for the personality traits I thought I lacked and the personal goals I considered too far to reach. In reality I carry all the traits that I have admired in others and my goals are actually accomplishments. Why was it so hard for me to see that? 

#2. I certainly feel my best when engaging in tasks that I enjoy, but also grow from. When I am accomplishing goals I feel on top of the world, because I am being productive in what I set out to do and recognizing it all at the same time. I think my confidence and knowledge of who I was took the biggest hit when I found out that as a woman I couldn’t just get pregnant “on my own”. This huge part of my identity sort of just was there one day and not there the next. I felt as if I was a failure. I failed myself and I failed my husband. In my eyes I was a broken woman, unable to have babies.  My body had betrayed me. Suddenly my plan was no longer in my control. Suddenly, I was battling with a problem that I had no knowledge of. It wasn’t fair.  Enter >>> Uncertainty of everything and self. Though six years and three babies later,  it’s unfortunate that I realize my confidence has yet to move on from that place of uncertainty. At least I know where the start took place.

#3. F-U-N. I thought about myself in college … I had a lot of fun then, but the majority of what was fun then was reckless fun. Did I want to be reckless again? NO. Was drinking large amounts of booze still fun to me? NO. So I went another decade back to when I was a child. My findings proved better during that era. My interests were still very much introvert-ish, writing, reading, exploring nature whether it be a field, beach or forest. I loved being near family with a small tight group of friends. I relished in experiencing really good comfort food after getting my hands in the baking or cooking process of it all. The bright lights and busyness of the city caught my attention and made my imagination dance. I was obsessed with laughter. Had an interest in crime and anything media related to it (think Law & Order or Forensic Files).

So I started writing again like a mad woman. Jotting notes, writing articles, leaving unfinished ideas on my computer screen, in the margins of magazines and in the pages of 3 different notebooks.  Reading books two at a time, mostly non-fiction one on Paleo, one on meditation one on happiness. I took to yoga in classes and on my mat at home. I planted some plants and puddled around in the yard with the kids. We are booking a trip to Chicago as a couple to experience the bright lights, the hustle and the bustle as adults. I’m doing a whole lot better at declining invites to things that make me shudder and altogether avoiding situations that may lead to me having to engage in some social activity that wouldn’t be my idea of F-U-N.Focusing on the friendships that scream closeness rather than those relationships that scream surface.

#4. This was sort of a cheat when it came to me. I basically had all the same interests that I did as a child but wasn’t necessarily making them a priority, nor was I shouting from the roof tops about them.  How could I when Facebook and every f**king magazine I picked up was telling me I should be interested in wine bars, the Kardashians, wearing yoga pants just because and hitting the Starbucks drive-thru before I wasted my time trolling the pages of Facebook – GAG.

What it came down to, again, was an issue of self confidence, I needed the confidence to actually be okay with claiming my activities and interests. Going against the norm, had always been my forte so why should I be surprised that my norm was not so norm??? So I started making it the norm, seeking out those who shared my interests or who didn’t care if I loved coffee or wine, as long as I was not a serial killer.

#5.  I feel sort of funny about this one so I’ve decided to designate this intro task to a friend or my husband. Next time I’m out I’ll have my designated person introduce me in this way, I am a mom but NOT just a mom.

#6. One thing I did notice while in my time machine as I visited my college self was that I acted how I felt and felt how I acted. I would probably be described as free-spirit or bad-ass bitch as a 21 yea-old. Now, at this phase of my life,  doing so isn’t celebrated so much, I’m sure if I told a mom that i didn’t like her and I didn’t like her kid’s attitude, I wouldn’t be so cool. I’m pretty sure if I wore what I wanted no matter the venue or the event I may be kicked out. I’m positive the CPS may look into the upbringing of my children if I felt like “calling off” for the day, sleeping in, laying on the couch while I binge watched Project Runway or Law & Order ignoring all other breathing beings.

But I could Looking further into the details of #6 … ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL. I wanted to feel fun, I wanted to feel genuine, I wanted to feel energetic I wanted to feel at peace. I started planning fun events with my loved ones and friends. I focused on reaching out whether in small or big ways to those that meant the most to me to be my most genuine self.  I started partaking in activities that gave me energy but also provided peace. I started taking care of ME (mind, body and spirit) which in turn made me feel how I wanted to.  The reflection is still in process, as long as I remind myself that rather than wishing I felt one way, why not act how I wanted to feel?

Now it’s your turn, who are you? Apply the 6 steps or even just one to find out. 

Who Arrrreee Y-O-U?? 6 Steps to Finding Out.

Who are you

You ask a girl in college who she is and she’ll be able to tell you. She’ll also be able to tell you who she’ll be in the future. Odds are if you find that same girl ten plus years later, she won’t be able to tell you who the hell she is or what the future holds for her. Take me for example. Jumping in my time machine and watching my 21 year-old self, I knew everything and had the confidence times ten of my present day self. I had a plan. I believed there were no life obstacles. I literally had the world serving me what I wanted on a silver platter for the taking.

Now, I’m not so sure . I’m well aware of who I used to be and pretty sure of who I want to grow up to be, but I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea who I am supposed to be this exact moment.  I’m not alone in my feelings, it turns out the majority of women, especially moms, are in the same exact boat.

It’s all too confusing. Who arrrreee you??  As a mom I’m supposed to act one way. As a woman in her thirties I’m supposed to be interested in certain things. As a wife and stay at home mom I’m supposed to feel a certain way. But what happens when NONE of these guidelines within the handbook of woman, mom and wife doesn’t match the way I feel, act or take an interest in … am I an outcast? Am I “wrong” or possibly not fulfilling my full potential?

#1.  ASK. Ask yourself, ask your husband, ask your fiends, ask your relatives, ask your children. What stands out to them? What is one word that they would use to describe you?

#2.  TAKE A TIME MACHINE.  When did you feel at your best? Why? What was it that gave you that reassurance and confidence? To balance your knowledge, when did you feel your worst? What or who makes you feel less?

#3.  F-U-N. While in your time machine be sure to visit your carefree FUN self. What were you doing? Where were you? What were your hobbies that made you feel alive where clocks didn’t matter and consumed you?

#4.  TEST THE WATERS. Is it the same? Do you still enjoy the activities you found on your time travel? Or have your tastes changed? (I used to like shots of Tequila topped off with Tabasco, I’m pretty sure I don’t like those anymore.)

#5.  INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Studies have found that the majority of the population identify themselves with their title within employment. However when I say I’m a stay at home mom, there are many that are not parents that don’t understand what that career even is so … What do you do?  I learned from a fellow mom to follow up the SAHM thing with your hobbies or interests. For example I would say, “I write a blog and study yoga.” (Or A.K.A I share my feelings through written word for FREE and do weird movements while breathing rhythmically). You are a mom but NOT just a mom >> Spark that conversation.

#6. ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL and ACT HOW YOU FEEL. Pretty simple steps >>> right?

How do these 6 steps work? Well, I am your guinea pig. I tested these 6 on myself and will post the suburban scientific findings in the next post of The Funny In Mommy!

 

Spring BREAK

spring-break

The possibility of becoming wrapped up in the To Do Lists of life is a topic I often write about. This article happens to revisit that subject again. Surprise, surprise.  But just like everyone else I need a reminder.  Habits are hard to break. And that damn To Do List is a drug that I can’t seem to fully detox from.

The month of March did not disappoint when it came to the phrase “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. Holy shit. The first 19 days of March were a chaotic frenzy of scheduled classes and events. Though I had seen my family it was as if I hadn’t seen them. Though I was slipping in between the sheets each night it was as if I hadn’t slept. I went into each week hating Monday and hating Friday along with everything in between. It wasn’t until a divine intervention in the form of a wet nasty cough came into play on a Saturday morning. Cue bronchitis diagnosis on all three children not to mention a cold for mommy and daddy as well.

Swim lessons were cancelled. Karate belts were left unworn. Yoga classes were missed. Preschool and Kindergarten were issued absent calls. Tutus weren’t even attempted. The week prior to spring break was one long series of endless days of sick kids and exhausted parents. I sat with my little ones sprawled across my lap. We read mounds of books filled with fiction and talking animals. Plenty of odd characters and colors filled the television screen. The time spent indoors during recuperation, though snot filled and echoed with coughs, was a time of bonding, a time for retreat and not to mention gave me time to clean every inch of the house. The only problem was that we were leaving for Texas at the end of the week to start spring break at Nana and Papa’s house. It was clear we needed the helping hand of a doctor. Two days before we were scheduled to board a plane we wiggled our way into the pediatrician’s office on a sick visit. All three kids were checked head to toe, all three leaving with the same diagnosis. Bronchitis. All three with prescriptions to ease their breathing and help their little frames to stop coughing.

Fast forward to the plane ride. To make traveling with three year-old twins and a five year-old bossy brother even better, my ear tube popped causing a domino affect of pain and sinus problems leading to an infection and visit to the Urgent Care – woo-hoo!  Long story short, I literally broke on spring break.

Breaking forced me to fully embrace the break part of spring break. It helped to be surrounded by family day and night. I went to bed early and slept in late. I sat by the pool and ate apple pie (that GASP wasn’t Paleo – it was homemade by the gals behind the grocery store bakery counter). I didn’t cook dinner once and laid in bed watching Law and Order more than once. I forgot about makeup and wore a hat rather than brushing my hair. Rest. A true break from reality. I welcomed it and so did my kids. They skipped naps, stayed up late, swam all day and ate fists full of candy and squished fries into their little cheeks. They followed on the heels of their older cousins and ignored mommy altogether.

As we littered around the living room after filling our bellies with Easter goodies. We rambled on about this and that, leading to the talk about taking a walk. My brother in-law’s dad responded “I don’t walk on Sundays, it’s a day of rest.”  So simple yet so brilliant. A day of rest. When was the last time that i had a day of rest? When was the last time that I felt like it was okay to rest. March had proved that I could do it ALL, but it also proved that I shouldn’t do it. It also made it clear that days of rest were need for those small and not so small. So why is it that we feel like we MUST do it all? That we should wear all hats and not just one. That being well-rounded with a full schedule is far better than being down to earth and grounded with a lack of schedule.

With the taste of rest that spring break provided, I welcome summer. Not only for its sunny bright days but also its lack of schedules. Lack of structure and more freedom to promote creativity and imagination.  Long days filled with independence, dirty hands and tanned skin.   Far from being useless, resting play is the food that feeds the soul that drives healthy development for the young and the old(er). I invite the productive-lazy days of June, July and August. Months of exploration of not only nature but also the interests of my three wee ones, my own and my husband.

With less than 2 months before the last school bell rings to mark the start of summer, my family is gearing up for those warm days by not only planning but also breaking into restful play days. The bikes are out, sidewalk chalk litters the yard and our hands have already planted the first greens of our makeshift garden. We’ve ditched going home right after school for the play ground or the backyard.  Our days are filled with more freedom and play rather than lessons, structure, treadmills and rules.  I may not be throwing my bikini top off a stage or getting drunk at noon on a beach but I’ll be throwing caution to the wind and getting drunk on the freedom that summer has to offer. You get drunk too …

 

Recognition by a perfectionist …

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I’ve been thinking about becoming famous.  I’m thinking that it may be a good idea to do something, invent something or create something that would bring me to celebrity status. As a mom who doesn’t shower on a regular basis or hasn’t stayed up past midnight in years (without a child puking as the main event) it’s hard to not want to be a celebrity, I think about the money, the parties, the vacations, the spa days, the clothing, the personal trainers … it’s hard to not get swept up and in the glitz and glamour of it all.

As of lately, I find myself drawn to this idea even more.  In fact, I’ve had vivid dreams of reaching my day-dream status.  Instead of reading something that won a Pulitzer Prize I dive into the latest blogs and articles covering the gorgeous and famous. Did I mention that Oscar night is like my very own version of Christmas morning? So what gives? Why the sudden emphasis and desire of public attention, this focus on bling?

Like the rest of the world, I looked for answers to my questions in the all-knowing Google. According to the articles within it’s not a desire to be in the public eye or a love for money, it’s actually the longing for recognition.

Ah-ha! Now this makes sense! Recognition for what moms do on a daily basis is far and in between. I find myself reminding my kids to say please and thank you at least a million times per day. My dogs could care less if they give me some love to show they realize they would starve and barely survive without me.  I’m not alone in my feelings. According to my placement in Generation Y, it turns out more than 50% of those born between the 80’s and 2000 long for a status of rich or famous.

So which is it? My longing for recognition for all I do or is it my Gen-Y birthday??? Google has no feedback and Bing has no idea. Unfortunately, it turns out the only person that can answer this question is ME. Cue pity violin for ME.

Looking within, it may be that I cannot give my own self recognition. It’s hard to recognize the things I do and accomplish on a daily basis without focusing on what I feel I could have done or accomplished. It’s hard for me to see what I have right in front me when it’s so easy to see what I want in the glossy pages of a magazine. I blame my lack of self-confidence too. It’s easy to be conned into the words and images depicted across the pages of my magazines, within the clicks of my inbox and the screen of my television. If only I did that, looked like that or had that I would be perfect. Damn you perfectionist, damn you.

Recognition by a perfectionist …

For me the solutions to life’s questions or what may be ailing my soul can be found in words. For me the words spoken by another or those I read in a book are similar to the comfort found in the warm arms of a hug from my mom. Words in all forms seem to bring a sense of calm over my crazy. So when I came across the following words without even really searching for them, my celebrity fantasies came to mind …

If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich, fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.  (Mind you this is a biblical verse which I usually tend to stay away from in my own writing but when I came across Timothy 6:9 in not the bible but a Google search, biblical or not it spoke to me.)  To me the word “rich” is equal to famous so YES this makes sense, YES this was the end result of these so-called desires I’ve been having. Timothy knew what he was talking about, even though he may not have had a stay at home mom in the age of Facebook in mind when he uttered these words. My materialistic desires and fancy celebrity daydreams had become a snare, a trap set for my own good fortunes.  Rather than seeing all that is awesome in my own life, those desires fueled by my own lack of recognition for what I do and the woman who I am were ruining and destroying all the good. Because when I pull back the curtain of “the grass is greener” and look through the eyes of gratitude all I have around me is all that I truly need.  All that is around me is perfect in it’s own imperfect way. 

Recognition by a perfectionist …

Taking a cue from Timothy, I focus hard on the present and on my own “green grass”. What do I find? I relish in the love of my devoted husband and treasure the sticky hearts and hands of my small children. I am famous in my own little celebrity world where this blog is my writing outlet and grabs the attention of more and more readers with each article posted. The MOPS group I created that has opened the door to a whole new world to so many mothers. The volunteer work I do. The tiny human beings I raise. The thought and care I put into my actions as a daughter and a friend.  The mundane but necessary work I put in as a homemaker, mother and wife does all matter. I may not be recognized for it all on the front cover of US Weekly, but until I come to recognize it on my own, it wouldn’t matter if I was on the front cover of every magazine in the checkout line of Target.

Recognition by a perfectionist …

4 TIPS TO RECOGNIZING YOUR OWN CELEBRITY STATUS:

  1. Reflect on your What I Did Today List, rather than what is not crossed off on your To-Do List.
  2. Think about who you cared for today … whether it be an ailing parents, a newborn, your high school age daughter, your new husband or your loyal dog. To that one being you mean the world!
  3. Did you flex your talent muscle today? If you’re good with numbers or words, did you jot some down? A great baker or fabulous cook, were you in the kitchen today? Amazing singer or instrument player, did you hum a tune or strike a note? The list goes on …
  4. Think of your body in regards to senses not just looks. Engage in smelling, seeing, touching, tasting and hearing while being grateful for all those abilities to experience this brilliant life. Go a step further and thank the body that holds all those pieces of sensory together.

 

 

 

 

81%

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A little over a week ago I was presented with a figure … 81%.

Eighty-one percent.

That’s the percentage of time that we spend involved in activities  NOT present. Not mindfully living the moment. That means we are somewhere else in our minds, whether that be in the past or in the future, rather than in the present. We are thinking of something that happened or predicting something that will. Not giving our complete selves to the person and/or activity we are engaged in at that exact moment.

I can only wonder if this number is behind the increased divorce rate. Or behind the lack of committed relationships and actions we all exhibit. Our minds and thoughts being pulled in a million directions by the pings of emails, texts, Facebook alerts and the technology of our world.

Yoga has taught me so much about being in the present moment but I have to admit that though I am focused on the moment in class and mindfully living out each pose, it’s difficult to extend that mindfulness into my daily life. Especially when it comes to my marriage.

Inside the walls of my marriage I take the “mindful time” opportunities we have for granted. Like many couples in the throes of raising little people, we find ourselves talking about the events of our children’s day or planning out the events of the following day to meet their needs as parents. Then the other part of our time is dispersed among chores, work, bills and then zoning out after our greatest treasures are fast asleep.

I don’t want to be part of that 81% statistic and I certainly don’t want my marriage to be within the grasps of that number either. In order to escape the villain of 81, I searched my mind for mindful moments, to identify and understand them in order to make sure I acknowledge those moments as they come to play out in my present moments before they passed by without a mindful thought.

The evening of Valentine’s Day we put the kids to bed and found ourselves on the couch just talking. Not watching the latest Netflix documentary. Not checking off the DVR list. Not a Smartphone in hand or a laptop on a lap. Just us, just talking. Mindfully talking, completely in the present. Before we knew it two hours had passed feeling like an instant. For me, such a talk is equivalent to a diamond ring. I’m a planner, a person with so many ideas filling the nooks and crannies of my brain. Sharing all these thoughts with the man I vowed my life to, makes me feel complete and cared for.

The act of teaching lead to another opportunity where I found ourselves immersed in the present moment. Completely focused on one another, my husband recently gave me my first tennis lesson. To be taught such a craft, the teacher and the student need to be in sync. My husband needed to be focused on my needs and my body movements just as I needed to be focused on his words and his movements. Being focused mindfully in the present lead to an encounter that was loving and tender.

I love the gym. I especially love the gym childcare. But I really love it all when I find myself in the lounge with my husband, just talking. Just he and I, coffee cup in hand. No televisions to be watched, no phones pinging away, no children competing for attention.  Our attention mindfully on one another as we talk about everything and anything … mindfully.

I’m grateful for the fact that I’m lucky enough to have my husband home for lunch and dinner most days of the week. When we sit across from one another, talking about the day. Or rolling our eyes at the dramatic tendencies of our children.  Or laughing at the weirdness and innocence of our household. Or sharing in the stress of whiny children who seem to be able to get along with everyone BUT their siblings while asking for a glass of milk or seconds each time we raise our own forks to our lips.  Eating our meals, not so mindful of our food, but definitely mindful of one another.

81% is just too much of life to let it go by quickly and without full acknowledgement.

I need to make my mindful presence in my marriage more often.  Rather than waiting for the moments we are alone I need to start taking advantages of the opportunities that pop up on a regular basis. As hard as it may be when children are screaming or dogs are scrambling under our feet. We vowed through richer or poorer in sickness and health and well past death do us part, so why not live all these vowed moments, good and bad completely mindfully.

How will you spend your 81%?

 

Mirror Mirror On the Wall.

broken-mirror

One of the people I love the most heard a terrible secret. What made the matter even worse was the secret came from my own mouth.

I made the mistake of uttering the words that are a deep and dark secret within. A single sentenced leaked from my lips that make up the paragraphs that I utter to myself throughout the course of every day.

I spoke the words to my husband, forgetting my eldest was in ear shot, not out of neglect but out of feeling bogged down under the feelings of the adjectives I spoke ….

“I just feel gross and ugly.”

Hearing me, my oldest son responded, “No you’re not! You’re the most beautiful person!!”

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

I made the error in thinking that once I made peace with my weight that somehow I would be fixed. I was wrong. What I hadn’t known was the extreme focus I put on weight and what I ate would transfer to focusing on the faults of my appearance. A deadly obsession that seems to latch on like a life-sucking leech to a new life-source each month. Who knew that skin, eye brows, a nose, facial shape, eye shape and all the rest could be the source of much dismay???

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

To be in such distraught while looking in the mirror makes mornings sort of daunting. Being envious of the way others appear make getting ready for a public outing somewhat sad. Far from shallow, I believe everyone else to be attractive, pretty or beautiful as I stand alone in a category of misfit or outcast. I can only describe it as feeling like a handmade rag-doll that though made with hands of love, her physical characteristics are mismatched and awkward.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

I want to be able to see what my son sees. I want to be at peace with who I am and what I see, but I know I am not alone. In fact, studies have shown that the majority of American women don’t like what they see in the mirror, all of us struggling each day with feelings of shame and inadequacy about our physical selves. Just the other day I read that 91% of women would not use the word beautiful to describe themselves.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Self-esteem at the reins of my body image.  A pesky little monster making me feel inadequate among the outside world, bullying my internal world with snide remarks and negative commentary on how I look. My body image a complete mess, broken and cracked. But smashed beyond repair? At present, more than a decade of self negative talk, it feels like that I’ll always be that awkward rag-doll made of bits and pieces that don’t seem to fit so well together while everyone else is a shiny new Barbie or Ken doll.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

The answer to my problems seem to lie in my internal “mirror”. I just need to fix it, to make it a mirror of love and acceptance. I need a hugging mirror. I need to embrace who I am at the present and not for an image of perfection that I seem to be striving for each day, one body part at a time. I think my children are the most beautiful creatures on earth, each one made up of pieces of myself and the love of my life.   It’s so easy to love their parts, then why can’t I love my own?

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

I find that my thoughts drift back to the idea of embracing. Embrace > The word I keep fixating 2016 to.  Embracing my body and all it’s parts, not as something that needs to be changed but as a unique and beautiful creation that allows me to relish and live in the experiences of my every day life. A vessel that I can physically love my children with, hold my husband with and enjoy laughter and long talks with close friends.

Embracing the inner mirror.

An obvious beginning of a longer process, one in which I come to accept my body and physical attributes as they are in this very moment. When one day I’ll be able to say “Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all? You are.