(*can’t believe I’m doing this. I mean, really. Like anyone wants to see my wildly out of shape body. But then again, I’ve shown you my balding head, not to mention the knot behind my ear. Hell, I’ve shared all kinds of insecurities with the readers of this blog, why should this be any different. But it is. And I’m not sure why. And is this brave of me or stupid? Will I attract unwanted criticism or other negative attention? But then again, people post their before stories all the time. And it’s not as if I’m naked. But man do I feel as if I am. Naw. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should just leave the pictures out of it and talk about something else. But how am I going to inspire anyone else if I’m not willing to share, be vulnerable; to show what I look like at the start of this journey? And hey, others have done it and feel pretty darn good about it. I mean, look at The Militant Baker and her peers. They’re all about body love regardless of how that body is built. They post pics in and out of their clothing on the regular, despite the run-ins with the internet trolls, bullies, and assorted other low-lifes. Maybe if I crop my head out of the pics. Good grief, that would be stupid. Crap. If you’re going to do it Dana, then just do it. Stop with the bullshit already. sigh.*)
Hi. So, um. I’m feeling really…I dunno, silly? Embarrassed? Afraid. Dare I say, ashamed as well. But there’s a bit of hope sprinkled in there, and a touch of pride too. This body, as it is, has done some amazing things for my soul. It’s carried my spirit to two continents, multiple islands; many, many beaches; up mountains and across a glacier. It’s survived a squirrel bite (don’t ask, LOL), a large fish bone stuck in its throat, a huge splinter jammed under a thumbnail, a fall down one set of stairs, and a fall off the side of another. It’s enjoyed the feel of furry domesticated animals and one or two not so domestic and not so furry (there’s a reason my mom stopped letting me go away to summer camp). Hell, it has even fallen out of an airplane once.
It’s been held up at gun point once, threatened with a knife once, kicked once, punched a couple of times, and raped, once. It’s fractured a bone, once; sprained an ankle, once; got a few scrapes, bruises, and scars. It’s had surgery and is now missing a couple of pieces – hadn’t planned on using them anymore anyway so, no big loss there.
It learned how to play a couple of instruments, though not very well. It’s sung in front of audiences even though it doesn’t have what I’d consider a voice worthy of an audience – not even during bad karaoke. It’s been on television and acted as Beverly, the drunken, slut of an ex-wife to Brian (?) in the Tuskegee University Little Theater Guild’s production of The Shadow Box (earned a couple standing ovations for its efforts as well).
That body acted as the vessel for a true miracle. It has orgasms! What I’d consider another form of miracle under the right circumstances ;-). It’s carried the many personalities and characters that make up my writing world. It’s housed great joy, deep sorrow. It’s ridden horseback, roller skated, taken on miles of roller coaster tracks from coast to coast of the United States. It’s been on eight cruises! Met a few celebrities too as well as gawked at a few from a-far.
Truly, the list of all that MY body has done and been through is way too extensive to mention here. And despite how it looks in those pictures there, it’s quite an amazing piece of human anatomy. JUST LIKE YOURS! Whatever shape it’s in, your body has done some amazing things for your soul / spirit too. It deserves as much tender loving care as you can give it. Even when you’re angry with it, when it’s diseased, in pain, missing pieces, not working the way you want it to or, if it’s carrying extra padding.
Eating better, moving around more (whether I choose to consider it exercise or not), drinking plenty of water…those are all ways to show my body I care. That I love it for all it’s done for me. I’m done with the “I have to get in shape so I can ‘look’ a certain way” and instead, I’m going to love on my body with water, fruits, veggies, and the occasional (read more often than not) ten minute minimum walk, dance, or weighted movement (a.k.a. weight lifting, which I actual enjoy but have gotten away from because I was thinking of it as a “have to”, and we all know by now that “have to” and “supposed to” don’t work in my world 😉 ). I’m tossing out the work out plans, the eating plans; all those rules and regulations are for the, well, not birds, but for those humans who need that sort of thing.
My Body Love Journey Begins
Clichéd as it sounds, you know any real journey starts with that first step. I’m hoping that the research I’ve read recently is correct and that one, small, behavior change done consistently over 30 days is a solid way to add some new (improved / positive) habits.
HA – guess I’m still a bit of a sucker for a “plan”. Here’s hoping I find my bass-akwards way to follow it, quickly and with much joy.
I’m not setting specific goals. Contrary to popular belief, that hasn’t worked for me very well in the past. Another cliché comes to mind about insanity – it being the repetition of the same behavior whilst expecting different results – yeah, I’ve done the targeted, SMART goal thing to death and it hasn’t worked. The accomplishments I’ve made were all done with a target in mind, but not a detailed plan of action on how to get there. Well, with the exception of grad school – I knew what courses I had to take and the time frame in which I wanted to complete my studies, but even then I wasn’t all that freaked out when things didn’t go according to plan and I had to take an extra few months. I graduated the year I had planned, and that was all that mattered to me.
With my Body Love deal, I have four, simple rules:
- Eat Better (fruit, veggie, lean, clean and unprocessed as often as possible)
- Move More (10 minutes minimum; don’t care if it’s dance, yoga, weights, or walking)
- Water my Soul (when given the choice, choose water)
- Write in my WsIP (10 minutes minimum; do a page, a paragraph, a scene, a single line….just something to put words to page on the many works in progress (WsIP))
That’s it. How I do them will vary from day-to-day, but each target is to be met that day, for 30 days in a row. That includes weekends.
I won’t make any promises that I’ll post anything else about my Body Love Journey because I know how my mind wanders. I may very well get to the end of the 30 days and completely forget that I wrote this post. I may instead, put up some news about the manuscripts I’ve finished, the latest recipe I’ve tried, or pics of me running around on a beach somewhere whilst wearing an actual swimsuit (haven’t worn one of those in public in seven years).
In fact, I’m hoping that’s exactly what happens because it’ll mean I’m set to see this Body Love Journey through to its final destination.