Many of you know, I lost my mother on the day after Christmas, six years ago. Her loss hit me very hard, and I slipped into a deep depression for years. I have slowly brought myself out of that depression, but I wasn’t prepared for the challenging discussions I would make with myself.
My mother was a wonderful woman with a caring heart the size of Texas, but like all of us, she was not without faults. My mother had a lot of insecurities and was also vain. She propelled those insecurities onto me.
My mother had this insane idea that for a woman to be seen as beautiful in the public eye, she had to act a certain way, dress a certain way, and be a size two. I was the kind of girl who would rather play baseball than attend a tea party. I laughed too loudly, and my body wasn’t made to be a size two.
I have learned to accept these things about myself. I love getting dressed up in heels and dresses, but I also love my blue jeans, sports jerseys, and band tee shirts, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It is also perfectly okay that I will never fit into a size two because I would look ridiculous if I tried. I was “blessed” with wider hips and large breasts. Both of my grandmothers had hourglass figures. They were not as small and petite as my mother was, and while my mother was a lovely woman, so were my grandmother’s.
I still struggle with certain things. I don’t know that I’ll ever reach a point where I feel delighted with anything I do, and failure is still my biggest fear, but I have learned that my mother’s view of me does not represent who I really am.
For years, I hated my body because I wasn’t the super skinny model type girl my mother thought I should have been, and because I hated my body, I didn’t take care of it.
I remember when I had this epiphany, it was as if I actually saw the light go off in my brain, and I stood in front of the mirror, naked (something I have always tried to avoid), and I gave myself an apology. I sobbed so hard I fell to my knees, but I continued talking and screaming, and I was no longer angry with myself. For the first time ever, I showed myself the same amount of unjudgemental kindness I give everyone else.
Instead of beating myself up for sitting around, not exercising, and feeding my body crap, I realized that I could accept what it was and change it. I cannot blame anyone else but me for my laziness, but I can also respect myself to cut myself some slack as I was wandering through the dark, trying to find myself again.
After I forgave myself, I started seeing myself in a different light, and I grew to love my body and all its curves. I have accepted the fact that I do not need to look like a Barbie doll to be considered beautiful. I have realized I can still wear a size 10-12 and be fit and healthy. I have had numerous talks with nutritionists and health coaches, and I threw myself into research. I have found exercises that I genuinely love doing, and some I’m less enthralled about, like running, but it burns the most amount of calories in the shortest time, and it does wonders for my brain. Both in the creative sense, and when I can just turn up the Foo Fighters, or The Red Hot Chili Peppers and focus on nothing but the lyrics and my breathing.
I have fallen in love with yoga! First of all, I feel so amazing after I do yoga! I feel relaxed, focused, and confident. I love stretching, and it’s as though I can feel the stress leaving my body. Yoga has also taught me patience because the only way to get results is to do the steps correctly, and yoga is all about holding positions and focused breathing. I’ve become more flexible, my posture is better, and I feel sexier than I have in ages. Yoga has also shown me results in the quickest amount of time. I can feel my stomach and core muscles for hours after a session. I will sweat for half an hour just sitting after a session. It’s amazing! I highly recommend yoga to anyone. It has so many benefits for the entire body!
The second exercise I have fallen in love with is belly dancing.
Long-time readers of the blog are aware I love to dance, and I dance every day! I’m not generally a fan of dance aerobics. However, I do them occasionally because I find I enjoy Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies! Hahaha. I know, I know…
Anyway, I still dance for cardio frequently because it’s a great workout! I move my entire body, including my hair. I wrack up so many steps! I will often hit 16,000 steps just by dancing around my living room, dining room, and kitchen!
I read about belly dancing, though, and so many women had lost a lot of weight by belly dancing alone! (And eating healthy, of course). Some of them lost up to 200 lbs! That’s amazing!
I did hours of research finding actual instructors on YouTube! I’m not sure when this started, but now, I find I turn into Sherlock Holmes when I research. I will find a name on Youtube and then research said name to ensure they are actually who they say. I spend hours looking for specific kinds of training that not only provide step-by-step instructions but inform me of how my stance should look and when to hold my breath and squeeze particular muscles. I am toning, and I want results, so I want to make sure I perform correctly and safely. I cannot afford a personal trainer, but I’ve always been a pretty good self-teacher with the proper guidance.
I still have a somewhat long road ahead of me in my fitness journey, but I’m much further than where I started. I’m most proud of myself for the fact that I do love my body, and because I love it, I want to take care of it. I’m going to get the figure I want, and most importantly, the 40 and 50-year-old Kristian will thank me because I’m really looking out for her health!
Thanks for sharing the journey with me!
Have you reached enlightenment recently? How do you stay fit? What are your favorite workouts?
Love & life lessons,