Maybe You Should Go and Love Yourself

I’m finally starting to feel at home in my own body. Gone is this mythical future me who has my ideal body. She has been replaced with me the way I look right now.  

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Every woman has an ideal body type. Mine from childhood was always a hourglass with a flat stomach and toned limbs. I didn’t care for my apple shape, it came with broad shoulders, an annoyingly large chest, a flabby tummy, and flat behind. I would look in the mirror, sigh with disappointment and envision my adult self with a perfect curvaceous figure. I’d say to myself “Right now I may be struggling with my style and I may be a little dumpy, but one day I’m going to get all that together.” Years past and I found myself firmly planted in adulthood  still not “together.”  I came to the realization that while I am going through the ups and downs of trying to live a healthier lifestyle I could be this size for the rest of my life. I need to be able to be okay with that and love myself anyway.

Mission Love my Body started by following a lot of plus size models on Instagram. These were women with a similar body type as me loving their bodies with all its rolls, cellulite, and stretch marks. They were fashionable, beautiful, their size was not a hindrance it just simply was. I then scoured the internet for tips on best dressing my body. Next I pushed through self deprecating thoughts and posted full body pictures of myself on social media. And I finally started to feel at home in my own body. Gone was this mythical future me who had my ideal body. She was replaced with me the way I look right now.

Some people may call me plus size, others thick, others curvy, some may call me overweight, or unhealthy, and some may call me fat. Some of these terms I like, others I don’t, but the fact of the matter is that how society sees my body is not as important as how I see my body. I’m the one whose living in it, looking at it every single day. There might always be a little jiggle in certain areas, I may never have that flat stomach and my cellulite is probably here to stay. But I walk out the door feeling just as beautiful, just as worthy as any other woman.

 

Lies, Sabotage, And The Way Back To Redemption

When we believe a lie so long it becomes apart of who you are, and you unconsciously spend your life reaping the consequences of this lie.

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You’ll always be alone.

That was the lie I believed for most of my life. It drove me to many decisions, mostly bad ones. It drove me to the wrong people, to wrong things, and more pain.
I learned recently that the reason we believe these lies about ourselves is because we interpret wrongly painful events in our lives.
So what was my event?
I couldn’t think of one isolated event, my childhood was the event. I had a hard time with making friends because I was very shy, so in order to avoid the anxiety of talking to new people, I just didn’t. I also had a hard time finding kids who I had things in common with which only furthered the gap between me and others. Throw some bullying from the mean girls in there and there you have it, the event.
I interpreted my social rejection into thinking that I was boring, strange, weird, etc. and came to the conclusion I’d always be alone.

When we believe a lie so long it becomes apart of who you are, and you unconsciously spend your life reaping the consequences of this lie.

To escape the pain of my event I dallied in a few unhealthy things.

  • sexual sin
  • isolating myself from others
  • denial
  • busyness
  • distrust of others

When I gave my life to God I thought I was done with these things, but they lingered. Some I eventually was able to completely be done with by God’s grace and mercy, but some new stuff popped up. I became addicted to affirmation from others, mostly men. Male attention was something I had very little experience with. But I guess as I grew into myself it became a fairly regular thing. It was a rush.
All the things that separated me from others in the past were now appreciated. I didn’t know how to handle it, and I came to crave it.
So whenever I suffered a disappointment, or a rejection I’d seek it out before God.

What if that’s not true?

That was question the pastor asked. What if that lie you believed isn’t true?
A simple question that completely rocked my world.
I won’t always be alone?
As my brain pondered the idea my heart rejected it strongly. It only knew the painful memories of the past and it wasn’t ready to be convinced of anything else.

So what I do? How can I undo all that this lie has done to me?
Well I can’t, the past is done I must look forward to what’s ahead. It’s time to tear down the lie with God’s truth.

Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

What concerns me concerns God. He doesn’t want to see me alone and depressed. He knows the deepest desires of my heart and he will give them to me because He loves me and I delight in Him. I renounce the lie and receive His truth.
Moving forward when I feel alone I will go to God, He is my comforter. He’s the ultimate comforter. The affirmation of others is nothing compared to the love and affirmation of my God.
It will be a process, bad habits die hard, but my faith and fervor for God have been renewed.

What is the lie that has kept you bound? I challenge you to invite God in and let Him reveal to you His truth.

 

*photo by Evan Dennis

Yoga Gangster

 

 

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During the month of January I took a 21 yoga class challenge, 21 classes in 31 days. It was an awesome experience, here’s a few things I learned along the way.

1. Listen to your body

Maybe you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, or you had a very stressful day. In that case give your body a rest. I don’t mean just stay home though. Test yourself see what you can do and if you’re struggling, do some modified poses. You’ll thank yourself later when you leave the class not more exhausted but rejuvenated.

2. Every “body” is different

All body types come to yoga, tall, short, fat, skinny, old, young. So you never have to feel like you stick out. And also everybody is in different places in their body. Some people’s balance isn’t as good as others. Some people are more flexible. So don’t fret if you can’t do a certain pose and others can, it’s okay. Sometimes even your proportions can hinder you. If you have long legs or a short torso, you can’t control that, so no sweat.

3. Flatulence is normal

In one of my first classes a woman let out a loud and long fart. I was shocked! What was even more shocking was that no one said a thing, not even a giggle. I later found that certain poses put pressure on your stomach and that urge to “let one go” will come, it’s normal. Better out than in, isn’t that what they say?

4. Downward dog isn’t the devil

I bet if you ask any yogi they will tell you that they hated downward dog at first. It’s supposed to be a resting pose, but I felt no rest when we did it. Now I can say I struggle less with it and sometimes it actually feels like a resting pose. It comes with time and practice.

5. But frog pose is 

I don’t care what anyone says frog pose is the worst. Imagine laying on the floor with your legs out to the side bent at the knee looking like a frog. Yes it stretches the hamstrings but it’s also extremely uncomfortable. And getting out of the pose? “Fuh gedda about it.” You will think you were 100 years old and arthritic as you try to get off that floor

6. Some people like to talk through their pain

So as I previously stated sometimes you hurt in yoga. When I’m in pain I’m quiet as I try to breath through it. Not everyone is like that, some people have to verbalize their pain in groans, complaints, and bad jokes. To be honest it annoyed me, I mean who wants to listen to that while their calves are on fire. Everyone processes pain differently though, so you got to suck it up.

7. Stay on your mat

What I mean by that is focus on you and what you’re doing, don’t stare at others. Watching others is a distraction that can prevent you from successfully doing a pose. I found that my closing my eyes or just looking straight ahead helped me keep from getting distracted.

8. Thin does not mean fit

None of the yoga instructors had these perfectly toned “yoga bodies”. Some had booties, or a little belly, or even some extra flab on their arms. And these are people who do yoga everyday multiple times a day. The people you see on fitness videos are not the norm.

9.  Wear fitted tops and a sports bra

This is something only the busty girls of the world would understand. When your bending over and are up and down off the floor the “girls” tend to fall out of your bra and then your shirt. Attire that is actually made for working out is recommended.

10. I can do anything I set my mind to

21 yoga classes in 31 days was a daunting task for me. It meant I had to do yoga 5-6 times a week, something I had never done before. I’ve never been an active person. But I did it, I rose to the challenge. I am a strong woman, even if sometimes I don’t feel like I am.

 

One month into 2016 and I’ve already accomplished a goal. #crushingit

 

*Photo source weheartit

Poetry 101: Reflection

Sometimes I love my reflection, other times I hate it.

Sometimes I wished that I loved it more, other times I wished I hate it more.

Most times I don’t even recognize my reflection.

Parts of my life require me to look a certain way, it’s drab and it’s beige.

The world expects to look a certain way, it’s  primped and it’s polished.

But somewhere between the world and life’s requirements is what I actually look like. My actual reflection.

It has no rules, no requirements.

It’s not primped and doesn’t have to be polished

It changes with my whims and obsessions.

It has no dress code.

 

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The Battle Within

imageI was not always the woman I am today. Most of my childhood to early adulthood I struggled with self-hatred heavily. It affected every decision I made. But by the grace of God I overcame it….well mostly. I think most people who know would say I amunapologetically myself no matter what. I have come to love all things I hated about myself in the past. But that girl I used to be, she’s still there trying to bully me, I wrestle with her daily. And even though she’s defeated every single time the fact that she’s still around scares me. She’s that whisper saying that I’m not smart enough or pretty enough. She says I’m not worthy of anything good because I mess up every good thing in my life. She says the man for me doesn’t exist and I’ll be alone forever. My true self knows none of this is true, and so I fight her off. But I’m tired of this constant battle within. Can the old me truly be banished? Or will she forever linger in the darkest parts of my mind?

Beauty Is The Beast

“Am I beautiful?”

That one question of beauty influences a woman’s everyday life. She will go to great lengths to make herself feel beautiful or at least “acceptable” to be seen. I myself have watched my mother spend hours in the mirror trying to perfect her makeup. The time she spent getting ready, you’d think she was putting on some complicated contraption like a corset or hoop skirt. To me her final result wasn’t much of a difference from her naked face. But to her the difference was immense. As for myself I’m no goddess or anything. I’m probably about 30 pounds overweight, bordering on obese according to BMI scales, my skin isn’t perfect, and my smile could be a little whiter. Yet I often leave the house without a lick of makeup on. My mother is a petite woman with a healthy weight, who looks quite young for her age and has so much self image issues. What a contrast! I often wonder what makes us so different? How is it that the woman with very obvious body flaws is more confident than the woman that you’d have to squint at to see her flaws? Below is a picture of me and my Mom, that’s her on the right. Isn’t she gorgeous?

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