Unrecognizable Self

An extremely important component in learning about your individual health needs and getting to know how your mind and body works; is becoming your own healthcare advocate. You can read it here.

I’ve written about my thoughts on why it is so difficult to be and stay healthy. You can read it here. I’m expanding on each of the eight points I made, because I have a lot to say. What I write about, comes from my own personal experiences and observations. As individuals–our health–needs to be approached as such.

7. We have this grand vision of what we will look like, once we’ve started to eat better and exercise. Forgetting of course, that the changes are small, and stretched out over time. Make your goals achievable, baby steps. Don’t get stressed out if you take longer to achieve a goal or fail to achieve one. Just start again. A daily goal of eating carrots for a snack, and getting in your twenty minute walk, is a start and is achievable. Or, pick one of those, and just start. Then, because you achieved, you feel happy, you want to repeat it. That’s the idea anyhow.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Have you ever looked at yourself naked for more than ten seconds? Are all the thoughts racing through your mind positive or negative? How many of those thoughts come from your past, like a tiny seed deposited in your brain, only to grow into something much uglier? Who were those people that planted the seeds, spilling their own grief onto you?

It may only take one tiny little comment, said in passing, to begin building self-doubt. Once the garden commences sprouting, it can become a tangled mass of self-destruction. We carry this mess with us well into adulthood, and if we don’t find a way to begin untangling it, understanding where it came from and how we nurtured it to grow, the view of ourselves is distorted. There are many varying degrees of this distortion, and I have my own to deal with. Life is full of challenges and if you can see it as a challenge, then it should be easier to dissect it and lay the bits and pieces to rest. If it has become a struggle for you and you find it overwhelmingly difficult, if not impossible, to make sense of your thoughts, then reach out for help. Most times others can see what we are blind to.

Working on ourselves is never an easy task, although with practice we can mend quicker. Self-discovery will open up a can of worms every time, but if we can prepare ourselves with the knowledge that we have created this ourselves, then we understand that we can also tear it down. Time is what we need to give in to. How much time has it taken you to get to this point? Then be prepared to spend at least as much time healing. Have expectations, but keep them very simple in the beginning. Focus on the complete picture, and avoid the nitty gritty, pick-apart everything, scenario which will slow progress.

A great place to start, now that eating healthier is on the menu, is to move the body. Change the routine and walk a little farther, take a set of stairs, do a couple of sit-ups. Anything that stirs the pot of stagnancy and changes the direction of thoughts in our brains, waking us up.

If ever we were challenged before, this will take it to the next level. We are the only ones who can make these changes, learn about ourselves, and move forward. Stop allowing the image that is burned into our brains, rule our lives. To take back that control, we need to face our fear, study it, cry and scream at it, then do something different than what we’ve been doing. These are life experiences, teaching moments, and if we keep feeding ourselves the same answers over and over again, we will get the same results…obviously.

Keep looking in the mirror, facing fear, choosing to see the beauty in nature, and the changes we desire will start to happen. Little by little, the mask we hide behind will break apart, and what is revealed will be new, exciting, and beautiful.

 

Any other suggestions? Comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Boudoir Fun Anyone?

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a model? To look like a model? To look glamorous? How do you feel when you look in a full-length mirror? Would you like to see yourself differently?…read on.

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect, beginning the work of becoming yourself.”  Anna Quindlen

While contemplating some groupon savings, a while back, I came across one with a most interesting idea. I bookmarked it and sat on it for a good week trying to decide what to do. There was a debate between the angel on my right and the devil on my left. I’d never embarked on such a journey before and thought of myself as ‘silly’ for thinking it would be wonderful. How on earth would I ever be pleased with the results? So I called the number. My groupon had expired, of course, and I was almost relieved, but the voice on the other end of the line said she would accept it anyway. I listened intently and asked a few questions, then booked a date. OMG! What have I done now!

I didn’t give any details to anyone which was difficult when it came time for my family to vacate the house for a couple of hours. The grief I got was unbelievable! I know they were just trying to get some answers from me, but, I being the most stubborn of all humans, did not give in. And so, I got my way.

There I sat, alone, waiting, nervous, excited, and of course, thinking. The first to show was the make-up artist, and once that got underway, I relaxed a little. Twenty minutes in, the photographer showed. After talking with her I relaxed even more, and watched as my bedroom was transformed. At this point I was pretty excited. A few outfits were chosen and we started with the most coverage graduating to the least coverage for the final shots.

I was completely unaware how difficult it was to maintain some of the poses and learned very quickly that my body was not as limber as I had thought. She could tell when I was uncomfortable, or when a pose wasn’t going to work, and she literally guided me all the way through. Put your hand here, lift your shoulder up, turn your face, and look out the window. It was a lot more complicated than one would think. She showed me a couple of the pictures on her camera, and I was so surprised at how good I looked. So…I was having fun AND I looked good! Who knew? With the last outfit, my focus was no longer on my thighs or my tummy but on the poses and working hard to get my expression right. Things I learned: A natural, no. Awkward, yes. Stiff, yes. However, I had progressed to where I would have done a nude, had our time not run short. That’s how much fun I was having!

All in all, the experience was life changing, and I would recommend it to everyone. I am reminded of how I generally view myself, think of myself, and the contrasting emotions I have when I look at the pictures. Seeing myself through the eyes of someone else is a unique occurrence and full of insight. I chose three poses to have developed into prints to be framed, and I picked a wonderful little album with a variety of poses. Whenever a boost to the self-esteem is required, I look through the album.

It’s a boost to the overall mood–I had such fun that day!

The photographer, Barbara Rahal, is a genuine, compassionate, understanding woman, with an amazing creative eye, a pleasure to work with. Check out her Facebook Page here.

Questions? Similar experiences? Lightbulb moments?  Please comment below.