We All Have Them

So today’s post may be a little different, but I’m a little different. So here goes.

There are people in your life that are suffering.    I would take it one step further and say that there are probably multiple people in your life suffering.   Suffering silently but suffering just the same suffering. I would bet that some you would never guess were anything but the happy go lucky person you think them to be.   Some may be suffering with anxiety, some depression, or some even a physical issue that is not obvious.    And just because you do not see their pain, see how hard they hold it together, or see how to anyone looking that everything really is not ok.    I will further say that often that people who suffer quietly, suffer from more than one thing.   Often they go hand in hand.


It is easy to miss the clues of their suffering becaue to be honest they go out of their way to make sure that no one sees it.   There are a multiple of reasons, but shame is a big factor. Then there is the “I don’t want to bother anyone” factor.   Then there is the lack of understanding. Maybe they’ve opened up but it was missed.   Some try to understand.   Some want to understand.   Some will never understand.   Worse is the one who hears you, but thinks your exaggerating or it’s not a big deal.

To each person struggling no matter what the reason, it is a big deal.

Often when someone opens up about their struggles, it is hard for the person hearing it.   I get that.   I’ve been on both sides of this equation.    It is uncomfortable.   You don’t know what to say.    You try to make it  better, but often words fall flat.    Sometimes it is the words.   Sometimes it is the receivers perception.   Sometimes it is both.    Sometimes we are battling our own demons that it is hard to recognize someone else’s. That is why it is all so difficult, complicated, and hard.


In my life, I have suffered from all of the above circumstances.    Sometimes they go hand in hand.   Sometimes they are minor.   Sometimes they are not.   Often though they are invisible.   Often it would surprise people.   I was once told by someone when I was sharing something about my struggles with hypoparathyroidism that “everyone has their own shit” which is true.   Although this person was telling me this as a way to tell me that I should basically just deal and be quiet. Nice. I know. Nice.

For me sometimes it is just about wanting someone to recognize what your going through.   That is it.   Recognize that the struggle is real.   Recognize that no it must not be nice that I NEED a nap by mid afternoon.   Not the I’ve had a long day, I’m tired nap.   The if I don’t close my eyes for at least 15 minutes I am going to fall to the ground tired because I can no longer function as a human nap.     That when I go through periods where I’m getting out of bed like I’m 80 because my muscles are sore, that I use the wrong words because my brain has brain fog, or that my body can not do what it should be able to do and that these symptoms as others come and go.  That sometimes there may be depression or anxiety that comes with these low calcium levels. That I’m not asking for your pity. I’m not asking you to fix anything. Sometimes a…. “that sucks” response is enough. That’s all it takes some days.

 
For those that struggle no matter what the battle, they know that yes everyone has their own issues. They know that often you must put on a happy face because like when the cashier at the gracery store asks how you are often people in your life want the canned response too.   Some days, you can give it.   Some days you can’t and on those days you realize why you keep it to yourself. 


Here’s the thing though…..  We shouldn’t be keeping these things to ourself.   Those in our circle do want to know.   They want to know when your crying in your car because your devastated by something in your life, they want to know how to help you.   But we are all human and sometimes we are too stuck in the weeds ourselves, so we fail.   We fail ourselves.   We fail those that we love.   We are all human and the only way we are going to get through this thing called life is with each other.

We also need to forgive those that have failed us. For those in my life that I have failed, I am truly sorry. We need to recognize that people in our lives are not perfect, but that doesn’t mean they love us any less or don’t want to be there when we need them.


“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”

Regina Brett

This saying could not be more true. So my thought for today is to remember to be kind to each other. Remember that we are not perfect and most of all remember you are not in this alone.

There is No test

Bad Ass
The term gets thrown around a lot in the running community.   Rightly so because there are so many out there.  

That being said….. What if there is not one size shoe fits all for being a bad ass.


You finish a 100 mile challenge – Definitely a Bad Ass

You finish a 50 mile challenge – Defineitly a Bad Ass

You finish a 50K – Definitly a Bad Ass

You finish a Marathon – still definitely a Bad Ass

You finish a Half Marathon – Go you Bad Ass runner

You finish a 5K –  Look at your bad ass self


What about if you don’t do these things but still get up every day deciding to be the best version of you? What if just pushing yourself forward is more than enough?   Does that count?


You bet your Bad Ass self it does!!   There is no test to become a Bad Ass.   There is no standard.   Each person decides for themselves. As I’ve said before, what is easy for one person is a challenge for someone else. What is a challenge for one person might be impossible for another. It goes both ways. What is hard for one person is easy for another. Unless you are a top of the line competitive athlete, there is always someone better, faster, fitter than you. There is probably someone who would also love to be where you are too.

Here is another thing…….. These things change over time. What was once hard may become easy. What was once easy may become hard again. The ups and down of life. This is why you need to live, train, and appreciate where you are in life and your training.

Today I finished my Couch to 5K training. I did my 5K on a treadmill. Where a 5K was once easy, it is now hard but not impossible. Someone said to me today that you haven’t been a Couch person for a while and while they are right, this was right for me. It was good to go back to the beginning. To remember that it is easy to get out of tune with yourself and take stock again. I realized that I need to keep my levels up to a certain point, that maybe speed and daily runs aren’t in my best interest right now. That I can do this. This is what this training has done for me. It has allowed me to reassess where I am, what I can do, and start to think about where I want to go.

Looking forward is so much better than looking backwards. Yes, I’ve realized that for now I am much slower than I used to be. Yes, I am at a point where I’m not sure if I would be comfortable running with others because I would feel like I would be slowing them down. Yes, I am lucky that I can do what I can do. There are others with Hypoparathyroidism that would LOVE to do the things that I can do. I can’t complain. What I can do is live where I am. Run where I am and once again start to enjoy the wind in my face.

Where are you?

No Expectations

Things that are worthwhile take work. They take time. They take investment. Sometimes in life we put things on autopilot…
relationships, work, exercise, eating habits, ect.


And while in the short term that may be fine, I think we all know in the long run it is not healthy or does that work out. You become out of touch. After a while you are just go through the motions. Then you begin to wonder why you are going through the motions.   That’s where I was with my running.  I lost touch with why I started running.   Why I continued to run and most of all what I got out of running.   It was never about being the fastest, running the  furthest, or even about the medals hanging on the wall.   While I admit that all of those things are fun to strive for they were never the reason that I started, pushed myself, and did what I did.


I lost that.   I was so concerned with going through the motions…… trying to maintain certain paces, trying to run certain distances, and trying to do runs that it no longer worked for me.   I lost touch with knowing what and how I should push myself and because of that I had (for now) unrealistic expectations of what I should be doing.    I was Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stamping my feet expecting things to be the way I wanted them still because I wanted them to be that way.


We all know that’s not the way life works.   Being out of step with your own self and your own body and pretending your not is exhausting.     But when I stepped back, slowed down, and pushed the ego to the side; things became not only more clear but more fun.     While I admit, I still have problems keeping my ego in check, I am getting better.   By reconnecting my mind with the body, I am rediscovering why I started running.   I no longer see people running on the streets and think poor them.   I think, what a great day to be running.    I am starting to think outside the box again, but I am keeping myself in check and not putting the cart before the horse.


The C25K program has forced me to step back and reconnect with where my body is today and not where I want it to be. Allowing myself to run with no expectations but to finish the run. No paces. No distances. Just follow the plan.    I have just finished up week 7 of the program where I am running for 25 minutes.   It is hard.  I must push myself.   I run slow, but I am pleased with the progress.   I feel like I am learning what now works for me now. Most of all, I am doing it.

I am learning how to push myself for where I am today not yesterday. To notice the subtle differences is how I feel when pushing the pace. To know that a pace that is hard today was once easy and that’s ok too. What my body needs to recover which I will talk about another day. I’m learning that the saying your race, your pace is true even when not racing. I’ve still got a lot of kinks to work out, but I’ll get there. The difference is that I know that I won’t get there overnight. As the saying goes, all good things come to those that wait……… I’m learning once again that I’m worth it.

And so are you.

Driving with the Handbrake On

I once shared a quote saying that having Hypopara was like driving with the handbrake on. This is really a good description.

Imagine that for a week you stayed up late every night only to have to get up early every morning to go to work. Than after doing this for several days, you not only stay up late but stay up late drinking. You do this for a few nights. Then after several days of doing this you wake up and are expected to run a marathon. Not only did you have to run the marathon, but you were expected to run it well. You were further expected to do so without a complaint and ignoring any discomfort that you might have. Just do it.

This is living with hypopara. And I don’t mean being an athlete with Hypoparathyroidism. I mean just day to day living with it. Now I share this because as my friends know, I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. That sharing our experiences helps us to understand each other and be able to support each other better. That in order to understand someone, you need to understand where they are coming from or have been. This is where I am now. So I share this analogy for that reason.

Today I went out for week 6 Day 3 of my C25K training. This was the longest run yet with this program. After walking for 5 minutes, I needed to run for 22 minutes with no walking. I admit that I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, but I was determined to do it.

I’ll let you in on a secret. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am very stubborn. Just ask my mother. I went into this run today determined to do it. I went into this run really not sure if I could do it. There were times on this run that I cursed. I wish on that hill that I had seen the woman in her front yard because she might have thought that I had turrets. There were times I looked at my watch to count the minutes down. I did not stop. I did not quit. I finished.

Not only did I finish, but since I was running outside I had to walk home when done. I ended up finishing a total of 3 miles in a little over 40 minutes.

I am happy. I am pleased with myself. I have my feet in my foot massager. I will nap shortly. But best of all, I did it.

Looking Foward Not Back

We live in a society that is always sending the message that

BIGGER IS BETTER

NEW & IMPROVED

FASTER & FASTER

GO BIG OR GO HOME

We buy into it. Sometimes these are right. Sometimes they are wrong. At some point in our lives these can be true, but what happens when they no longer fit into your life? What happens if you no longer buy into these messages? Where does that leave you?

What happens if after years of chasing longer distances, faster paces, challenge after challenge; you just aren’t feeling it? Is there a place for us?

I think many people get burnt out because we start pursuing things not because they are something we want to do, but something we feel we should do. I ran a 5K, I should do a half. I’ve run a few half marathons, I should do a full. I’ve concurred the full, I should do an ultra. Sometimes these are things that start out as wants but then turn into expectations. The pressure is often all on us.

We get burnt out. We loose the joy. We stop running.

I have and maybe one day again, have pursued the distances. I’ve only completed one 50K, but in the recess of my mind I don’t feel that is the end. The same with marathons…. I’ve done 6 now. I have no desire to run one in the near future but also don’t feel that is the end. I’ve chased the ever elusive 25 minute 5k. To a non runner, I was close at 26:26, but we know the truth. I’ve chases an obtained a sub 2 Half Marathon coming just under wire at 1:59. I’ve had monthly running goals. Yearly running goals (1000 miles in a year). I’ve had goals big and small.

I have no goals right now. No distance or pace goals. My goal right now is just to as said many times, get back to the basics. I’m actually ok with that. I’ve been doing my running following the C25K program. 3 runs a week. Part of me wonders if some people think I’m not pushing hard enough, so what’s the point. Part of me is like, “that is not enough.” Then part of me is like, “enough.”

ENOUGH

I am enough. I have been embracing it as you’ve probably heard before but it is a constant reminder. If you are always looking at where you came from, you won’t see where you are going. I am going forward. I am continuing my journey. Yes, it is a much different journey than I thought I would be on at this point. To be honest, at this point I really thought I would have done another ultra, hat trick, and that 25 minute 5k. I was disappointed because I thought I wasn’t where I should be. That I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. These thoughts still creep in.

I am FINALLY getting to the point where I realize that I am right where I need to be. Doing what I need to be doing. My journey is my journey alone. Alone doesn’t mean that I am by myself on it. It just means that I can only be happy with it if I accept it. I really think I am getting there.

I have been running my runs on a treadmill for the most part. I’ve been conscience to keep the pace under control. The max I’ve been using is 5.3 and those are for briefer intervals. Sometimes I feel like I’m not pushing hard enough. Then I remember that for now it does me no good to push the pace and really for what purpose. Running on the treadmill while boring has kept me in check. This is what I’ve needed because the few runs I’ve done outside, I’m not as in check. I am actually starting to like it. I also know that once I get back outside that I will have to learn to control paces again.

Sometimes life doesn’t give us what we want. Let’s be honest…. often life doesn’t give us what we want. But if you make peace with what life does give you, you are able to enjoy where it takes you in a way that you can’t when swimming against the tides. I’ve been having this conversation with one of my sons that attitude is everything and it’s true.

I have started looking forward. Thinking about new challenges that I can take. Realistic challenges for where I am at. Sometimes it’s good to pivot right when you’ve always been going left because you never know where the new path will take you.

Right and Wrong

No matter where you fall in the spectrum on how we can improve and fix our broken healthcare system in this country, most will agree that there is a problem. I have thought for a long time and it has been brought home to me so much more these last two years that the biggest problem is that we have taken so much of the decision making off of the doctors. Again, there is much to this discussion but I am going to be very narrowly focused on this in this post. This post will focus on my issues and you can glean from that how this effects our system in a broader sense.

For those who have been here a while, you know that two weeks after running the 2016 NYCM I had my thyroid removed. This not only left me without a thyroid, but my parathyroid glands were damaged leaving me also with hypoparathyroidism. I was led to believe prior to surgery that this very infrequent possibility would really just be a minor inconvenience of having to take calcium supplements.

That is both right and wrong.

Wrong – It is not a minor blip.

Right…. Yes, my body no longer produces the parathyroid hormone (PTH), thereby causing my body to be unable to regulate it’s calcium. PTH also controls the level of phosphorus and has a role in the production of the active form of vitamin D. All of these activities are required to maintain calcium balance which does so much more than give you good teeth and strong bones.

Here is a list of common complications

“Tingling of the lips and hands (due to muscle spasms and overactive nerves), muscle cramps, and pain in face, legs, feet Dry hair, brittle nails, dry skin, and weakened tooth enamel Abdomen pain, muscle pain, constant headaches Cataracts, heart arrhythmia, peaked QT waves (shown on EKG) Tetany (muscle spasms) of trachea/larynx, causing breathing difficulties Kidney stones and kidney failure due to high phosphorous. Deafness and hearing loss is connected to hypoparathyroidism due to a defective receptor on the kidneys Irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations. Convulsions or seizures Sleep apnea and insomnia Consciousness decreased Learning disabilities and behavioral disabilities (ADD, etc.) Hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia “

Now I can tell you off the bat that I’ve had a decent amount of these. I’ve been lucky not to have any of the major ones (yet), although at my last eye exam she did see the beginning of cataracts (I’m not even 50 yet). Now the reason I think that I have been so lucky not to have the kidney issues is because within a year of my surgery, I was seeing a doctor in NYC who specializes in this disorder. If not, I would bet that I would be having issues.

Prior to seeing this specialist, I saw another doctor who only looked at the calcium blood levels. They were great. Right in the normal zone. The problem was that he never checked the output. The first thing this doctor did was order a 24- hour urine test. My results were a 578. To be clear anything over 300 is bad. With these results, we worked on lowering this number. In order to do this, we had to reduce my calcium supplements and prescription medications. Mission accomplished.

Now the flip side to this….. In order to bring down the urine calcium output, I had to bring down the input. Makes sense. BUT that then also reduces my actual blood calcium levels. I live in a state of perpetually low calcium. 8.5 is considered the low end of normal. My last blood drawl, I was at 8. Living on the edge that’s what I do.

So my doctors and I decided that quality of life was suffering due to this constant state of low calcium…… Muscle spasm’s, muscle cramps, dry skin, napping almost daily, brain fog like you would not believe and more. I’ve said to my family that I make this look easy. On a daily basis, I just go about my business getting done what needs to get done but they don’t see the cost…..

Some mornings, needing to use the nightstand to get out of bed like a grandma. Afternoons where it is all I can do to push through till I can literally close my eyes. And I’m not talking about, “Oh I’m tired I wish I could nap” feeling. I’m talking about, “if I don’t rest for at least 15 minutes I’m going to fall down” feeling. There is a lot to this crap that just becomes part of your daily life, so there really is no need to talk about it. Some days I use the grit that gets me to the finish line of a marathon just to make it to the end of the day. You do what you’ve got to do.

I also firmly with no proof believe that being an athlete helped me. It helped me because I was already in tune to my body. Learning to listen to the signs when training that I could tell when my body needed extra calcium and adjusted accordingly. It’s a guessing game, because there is no at home monitoring system like a diabetic has with insulin levels. Because of this, I have been able to adjust and keep myself from crashing which for many requires a trip to emergency room to get IV.

I know that for a whole host of reasons, I am very lucky. Yet, my treatment plan to add Natpara is not mine and my doctors to make apparently. Insurance has denied it because I do not meet their criteria. Even though my doctor and I think I do.

So because apparently this treatment option is very costly, my doctor and I need to jump through hoops to prove why it is necessary. I feel like the monkey in the middle. It is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. So now it’s time to jump through hoops with my doctors help to justify to someone why I should be able to have the treatment plan that my doctor and I agree is the right course of action for me.

I wonder at what point in our country, did we stop letting doctors and patients make decisions that were best for the patient and not the bottom line of an insurance company.



Embracing It

Like millions of other people in the country, the beginning of the year marked a time to get off my behind and start moving again. Start eating healthier and just overall taking better care of myself. I didn’t make a resolution because that’s not what it was all about. I admit that it has been helpful that this was also something everyone in my household wanted to embrace.

A month in and I have to say it’s going good. Although I will admit that it is extremely frustrating that my husband has been able to drop almost 15 pounds already. I’ve dropped 3. Maybe 4 depending upon when I weigh myself and if I want to admit what my starting weight really was (and no I don’t). To be honest, I am not being obsessive with weighing myself. I will have to do it tomorrow. I don’t actually care about the number too much (ok, yes to a point but I know the number isn’t everything). I want to be able to fit in my clothes again and the ones I still fit in fit in more comfortably again.

I will further admit that I am very happy that my husband is embarking on this heath journey as he just turned 50. I’m turning that number in a few months, so we really need to be making healthy choices. And while I am so happy for him and see the changes a month of steady exercise, healthy eating and portion control had done for him, I admit that I’m pissed. Not at him, but at how I too have gone on this journey of healthy heating, portion control, and getting back into and exercise routine and there is not as big change. I’m trying. I’m really trying.

I have to remind myself that is all I can do. Keep plugging away. Don’t give up. Don’t compare to others journey. Don’t give up. Take it one day at a time.

WA WA WA

STOMPING FEET

POUNDING FISTS

IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!

Ok every woman around my age knows this to be true. Many of my friends joke that their husbands can loose 2 pounds just skipping dinner. At a certain age which I think I’m almost 10 years past, a woman’s hormones/metabolism stops. I say stops, because I think it definitely more than slows down. Add to that the thyroid issues and I know I’m going to have to fight hard to fit back in those jeans.

WWWWAAAAAAA WWWWWAAAAAAA WWWWWWWAAAAAAAA

STILL STOMPING FEET

STILL POUNDING FISTS

STILL THINKING IT’S NOT FAIR!!

That being said, I’m still plugging along. Still working on my couch to 5k program which I’ve got to say I’ve really been enjoying and will talk about more another day. This week, I even added to the repertoire a Beginner Core Strength class. I went with a friend. We had some laughs. We did what we needed to do. On the plus side, we felt like the youngings in the class as it seemed like most of the people in the class where 60 plus. Hey it’s not often I get to be the youngin any more, so I’ll take it. Plus it was a good core workout utilizing Pilates exercises.

I’ve decided that what I need more is to cross train. I’m not talking other cardio exercises. I’m talking core, yoga, stretching, and weights type of things. I get enough cardio with my job and running. I need to find my core because I’m sure somewhere underneath that fluff in the middle there might just be one.

So how are you doing in the New Year with your fitness journey?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Expectations

Why do we always look at starting over in a negative manner? Isn’t it positive that in many cases we were willing to pick ourselves up and begin again?

Why yes, yes it is.

Don’t we normally look forward and congratulate those who are starting new chapters in their lives….. Weddings, babies, going off to college, ect, ect.. And while some new beginnings are not wanted and are hard, picking yourself up and having the courage to face a new beginning makes you a stronger person even if its one you never wanted or would wish on anyone.

As I’ve mentioned before, once again I’m starting over. Back to square one. I went through the motions and pretended that I didn’t need to do this, but I did. I beat myself up about it even while I was starting it until I realized the beauty of starting over.

No expectations. As nike says…. Just Do It.

I’m working on week 4 in my C25K program. I’m sticking to it. No more. No less, but I’m getting it done. I have enjoyed going back to the beginning. When I started my fitness journey years ago, I needed to learn what my body needed. What it could do. How far I could push it. I’m relearning that again and it feels good.

After NYCM, I went almost 2 months of not running where I felt “normal” where I gave my body a chance to just be. It needed it. I need it. I am now relearning what my body can do and what the effects are once it does it. My legs are once again sore. I need to stretch. I’ve been using my back and foot massager a lot. After 2 months of not feeling like this, it’s an adjustment. One that I like. I’m realizing just how far I can push myself and if I go too far what I will deal with. I’m learning, adjusting, and moving forward with the knowledge.

It was interesting the other day I went for blood work and then after for my run. I’ve been running on the treadmill so that I can more closely monitor my pace and also so I only do what I need to do. I could tell going in that my calcium was low which the blood work confirmed, so I did not push the pace. I had a good run and finished more than 2 miles. What was good about this though is that not only did I do the run, but my instinct about where my body was right on the money. Learning to read the signs and trust them.

I will say that this time is also helping me make friends with running on a treadmill. I am able to control the pace. I am able to control how long I will be running. On the plus side, I am also avoiding the cold. That being said, I’ve had the confidence to push the paces (for me) and hit my targeted goals of sticking with the program.

I’m not sure where this new fitness journey will take me, but i will admit that I am glad the I am on it.

Where are you going?


Enough

In life we are often made to feel like we need to be doing more. That what we bring to the table is never enough unless we are pushing ourselves to the limit.

As a runner who has done many races, I daily get emails reminding me how much there is to do…. Register for this race. Don’t miss the price increase for that race. Push your limits. Go the distance. Monthly distance challenges. Yearly running challenges.

Go. Go. Go.

When is enough enough?

There is a poem from a little book called To Be Enough – A Lenten Journey. And while it is not Lent yet, this poem is fitting.

To Be Enough

You were simply not made to do it all
Children of Adam
return to the garden.
Lay yourself down in the moss to rest.
Lure the hourglass to pass you by.
Let the trees whisper their secrets
Let the evergreens cover your stillness.

Children of Adam, rise up from the dirt.

You were not made to do it all.
Simply, you are enough.

It is often hard to remember that we are enough. What we are doing is enough. Often our unhappiness comes from trying to do too much. Pushing ourselves not because we want to be pushed but by external forces that make us think we need to be pushed. I am pushing back against those forces.

I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I am where I want to be…… For today.

Yesterday I completed the first day of week 3 of my Couch to 5K training. There have been days that I felt like I should do more. That I felt like I was not pushing myself enough. The truth is that I have been enjoying it. I think my foot has been enjoying it too as I have had not hand any issues with it. Building up slowly and smartly is always a wise thing. I think this is where I should be. Yet, I have found myself questioning if this was enough. The emails, the social media posts, my own thoughts and on and on…….. But as I’ve said before, this is what I want to do right now and it is true. I believe both mentally and physically this is what I should be doing. Yet it isn’t always easy allowing yourself to say….. This is enough.

It has been a nice change too not feel like I need to get out there and concur the world. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes the world does not need concurring. Sometimes it is nice to realize that the best way to get where you want to go is by slowing down and enjoying the journey. One thing that I have noticed following the plan is that I am starting to enjoy running again. If you are always looking for your next conquest, you don’t always enjoy the small victories and they are there if you allow yourself to see them.

Why do we always think that we should be doing more?

If I had the answer to that I could probably make some real money selling the answer because everyone I know, every family, every child is usually overscheduled and pushed to the limit.

But for today, for now…..

I am enough.

PS – Here is link to the book…https://www.amazon.com/Be-Enough-Lenten-Journey-Attempts/dp/1985206544


The Whole Package

Today I completed my second day of Couch to 5K training. I met someone who is not a runner, but wants to do the program. That’s the beauty of program, you don’t need to be a runner to start it. I told her that we would go at her pace and we did. We had a great day completing her first day of training and my second. Next week, I will also add some cross training to the mix.

Today I also took the time to look at myself in the mirror. I mean really look at myself. I don’t know about you, but it is something that I often avoid especially when getting out of shower. This was supposed to be a beat down to motivate me to stick to the plan. To start eating healthier. To be kinder to my body.

Then I realized that to be kinder to my body, I also needed to accept it where it is and all that it has gone through. It is NOT by any stretch of imagination what is thought of as a good body, but I don’t give a shit. My body tells a story. It has scars. It has wrinkles. It even sags. The stretch marks littering my belly are a reminder (not that I need it) to the 3 boys that I carried inside of it. The scar from all 3 c-sections somehow with it’s line and stomach creates a smiley face. You will have to trust me because there will be no photos. My belly literally jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. As I stood there looking at this body that society tells me that I should hate, I looked at it and saw all the things right with it.

My body even at my fittest was never a “designer body.” What it has and continues to be is strong even when it’s week. Tough even when it is soft. Badass even if it only by my standards. This is the body that allows me to get out of bed every morning. Gives me the strength to do amazing things. This is the body that I have and I’m ok with that.

Now this is not to say that I do not want to loose some weight and tone up some. I do but only because I know that will make me healthier. It might help with some issues that I have. My goal is healthier lifestyle not a six pack. It is not the body that makes the person. It is not the body that creates happiness. Happiness must be searched out, found, and embraces each day. Fat, thin, in shape, round (my current shape), rock hard, soft body….. None of that matters.

Acceptance means acceptance. If you think that you can only accept yourself when you have the perfect body (house, job, ect, ect); you are missing the point.

Learning to love yourself means learning to love where you are right now.