Always Love Yourself

Hello there! The days are flying by! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is in a few days.

Now that I am home until we leave for Arkansas, I have decided to take the plunge and put my money where my mouth is. And 1950’s Hot Housewife with a Modern Twist? Time to get ‘hot’ (more on that in a minute). I signed up for ALY|Integrated Strength & Wellness. ALY is an acronym for Always Love Yourself. Absolutely something every person, especially every woman, needs to practice.

I am 5’4 1/2″ – that 1/2″ is way important ;). I’ve gained a bit of weight. On a petite woman, five pounds looks like a lot. As much as I absolutely hate to admit it, I’ve gained about twenty. Most people will tell me I am ‘small’ or ‘tiny’. Ever heard of skinny fat? I’d say that describes me. My clothes are either tight or they altogether do not fit. I have about ten pairs of pants in my closet (and even more in boxes) that don’t fit. I don’t feel good in my skin. I don’t feel HEALTHY.

I’ve had body image issues for a very long time. I was once in a long-term relationship with a man who would come up to me, squeeze my thighs and ask, “Did you workout today?” The photo below – well, I was with that man then. Ummm. Yeah.

After him, I dated someone -off and on- for two years who was hung up on the fact I wasn’t a 6′ tall Victoria’s Secret Model. He never came out and said it, but he did admit my height bothered him when we finally said we weren’t going to date (as in ride off into the sunset together). Yep, his exact words were my height/weight ratio bothered him. Before me he dated a pro tennis player and had a hard time with her weight, because it was a number on a scale. She was probably in incredible shape. He definitely projected his own body image issues onto me. I was a different person back then. I am not proud of admitting I continued to ‘hang out’ with that person after our conversation. It was complicated, for both of us, probably. But it was a lesson and I can say now, years later, I did learn from.

It is a hard thing to admit that when I looked like this:

When flip-phones were “THE” thing – trying to get a signal on the island of Lanai

I thought I was fat.

I worked out. I ate right. I cheated with sweets/desserts once in awhile, but I was healthy. I had muscle tone. And still I didn’t feel “good enough.”

Right now, I am at one of my highest weights, ever. I think about it Mentally, I’ve been blocked because getting back to that picture seems so far away. Early 30’s and late 30’s are two different ballparks, but still. There are women out there older than I, some by decades, who are in AMAZING shape. I have had a literal mental block and traveling like crazy has made it difficult. But again, it’s been excuses.

Thanks to the comment (or maybe it was a Like) that Jeanette of Fit Girl Travels made on the ALY Facebook page, something clicked. A switched flipped. I saw it, I opened the link and I read. It’s time.

I want to make something clear; I make reference to 1950’s Hot Housewife with a Modern Twist. Hot is not about “looks” – it’s about being healthy. It’s about having the energy to have my home the way I want it to be, and to be the kind of wife that *I* am proud of being. My husband deserves a wife who takes care of herself; who is HEALTHY and who will be around a very long time to rock his world ;).

As a three-time cancer survivor I know that there is nothing more important than one’s health. Without it, a person cannot have anything else. It’s time for me to step up to the plate and take care of myself.

I hope you’ll follow along (I am not too proud to ask for encouragement). I’m ready. Beyond ready.

I start Tuesday. It’s high time.

I still have these jeans hanging in the back of my closet. These are my goal jeans:

Leaving Jamaica in my favorite jeans

I look forward to wearing them again, but more so, I look forward to getting back to healthy. To having a positive body image and knowing that I am setting an example for other cancer survivors – and for my bonus daughters- who are young and exposed to the “standards” society sets on girls and women. It isn’t about a number on a scale, or a pant size. It’s about knowing that I am doing what I can to take care of myself. It’s about being the kind of wife I want to be for my husband – on all fronts. It’s about putting myself first.

“If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities.” 
―Ann Richards
Time to be responsible, don’t you think?