Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Accepting What Is

The other day, I watched a coaching video and the major point was that in order to make a change you have to first accept what is. Only once you’ve truly accepted what is, and learned to appreciate it, can you make a change. Part of appreciating what is, involves building an ecology to support the life that you have now. Not the life you want and certainly not the life you used to have. The life you have now. Accept it. Appreciate it. And support it.

It seems a little counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?

But the guy is a little bit brilliant and I’ve seen his results in other people who I admire, so here I go.

Let’s just be really transparent, here: I’ve gotten fat.

At this moment in time, I am significantly larger than I was last year.

In fact, I just spent two hours cleaning out closets of clothes that used to be loose and now won’t even button around the middle. Seriously, about half of the clothes that used to be in my closets no longer fit.

But let me not get ahead of myself.

Yesterday, I lay on my bed crying, because I couldn’t wear any of my summer clothes. I was literally swimming in a swamp of self-loathing and self-pity. I was also going to skip the annual Memorial Day picnic at Michael’s dad’s because I didn’t have anything fun to wear. (I actually did end up going, but that’s another story). And I certainly wasn’t accepting what is. You know that river in Egypt? I was there.

This morning, however, I decided to shake it off and make a counter-intuitive decision; well, at least one for me.

Normally I would have stayed in the water. However, today I decided to accept what is.

Instead of beating myself every time I go to the closet this summer, I decided to go shopping. Essentially, I decided that if I didn’t have clothes that looked good on me that fit, I should go buy some. I decided to not hate on myself for what is, but to honor what is. (Trust me; it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either.)

At one point, I was standing in the local department store with 5 pairs of pants/shorts – all of a size that I had convinced myself was my upper limit. I was wrong. None of them fit. It was ugly. But instead of getting really down on myself, in that admittedly teary eyed moment, I realized that where I am is not going to be fixed in a week or two. Where I am is going to require a level of discipline that I’ve seen precious little of over the last six months. Where I am is not solely the result of water retention, my faulty thyroid, the wheat that I accidentally ingested last week, my out of whack hormones, etc., but rather a combination of chocolate, wine, improperly combined foods, and general overeating. Where I am is going to require attention and effort. Where I am is going to require commitment on my part and the support of my partner, my friends, and my inner child. Where I am is going to require pushing myself through more intense workouts, instead of gliding through what’s become increasingly comfortable.

Instead of buying one or two things, I bought an entire wardrobe: four sundresses (they’re more forgiving than pants and can be paired with jackets, sweaters, and tights to be worn into the fall), three skirts, three tops, a camisole, a jacket, underwear, a corset (!), capri tights, two pairs of shorts, a pair of pants, and a pair of fuck me shoes. (Just because I’m tubby doesn’t mean I can’t be sexy!)

Does this mean I am staying here?

Not at all. It means that I accept where I am in this moment – without excuses or illusions – and I am creating an ecology where I can still look good and take care of myself. I’m allowing myself to have pretty and fun things to wear that will help prevent me from beating myself up or feeling (and looking) even bigger than I already am. Where I have pretty and fun things that will keep my feeling attractive and motivate me to do what’s right for me and my body as it is right now.

Now that I am no longer in denial, I have placed one pair of pants that no longer fit in plain sight. These are the motivators. In fact, these are the smallest pair of pants that I’ve ever owned as an adult. Everything else, however, has been put away, out of sight. There is nothing in my room (other than that one pair of pants) that doesn’t fit well or look good.

Now that I am out of denial, I know that what I have been doing isn’t getting me (and isn’t going to get me) where I want to be.

Now that I am no longer in denial, I will make a plan that supports not only where I am in this moment, but what I can and am willing to do.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone and loving my body…regardless

I live in a cold climate.

So, as I have gained and lost weight over the last 6 months (see any of the previous posts with the word thyroid in the text), I have used the climate as an excuse for covering up and hiding. I’ve found myself becoming the queen of layering. Where I used to wear cropped, close fitting tops, my closet now hosts a veritable smorgasbord of long sweaters, shawls, etc. Trust me, if it covers my tummy, I have one.

Because I live in a cold climate and winter has stretched on from 5 to 6 to 7 months, it’s been pretty easy to pretend that I’m just cold and not just ashamed of my expanding physique. However, at home, the temperatures are beginning to climb and I am about to head south – and not South as in Kentucky, but Southwest as in Arizona. The highs are going to be in the 90s – every day.

I wonder how well that cold weather excuse is going to hold up?

Last night as I was packing my suitcase, I found myself trying on clothes and discarding, trying on clothes and discarding. The 4s simply don’t fit. Okay, that’s fair. But interestingly enough, some of the things that I had bought ages ago (and never had the courage to wear either because of the pattern, the color, the length, or the cut) looked pretty darned good. That is, for someone who is not ashamed of the fact that they have curves. For someone who is okay with her body and owns it.

In fact, a lot of these more form fitting clothes (curves and all) looked a heck of a lot better than some of those sweaters I’ve been shlepping around in all winter. Though, in all fairness, most days I really was cold!

So here’s the deal. I only packed clothes that I might not have the courage to wear in my home town. Why? To push myself. To not give me a choice in the matter.

But the bigger why is why won’t I wear these at home? I stand in front of the mirror and think, “I can’t wear that! That’s not me! I would never wear that!” But you know what? It’s less about what I look like in them objectively and what I think I should like, which is much more subjective.

Michael and I have made a deal that we will always look out for each other’s best interests and to trust that any criticism, comment, suggestion, or observation is in service of that goal. I trust him to help me outside of my comfort zone and to make sure that I don’t get too carried away in the process.

My suitcase looks like a paint bomb went off inside – it’s a literal explosion of bright colors, soft, smooth materials, and dresses. Lots and lots of dresses.

I figure that just like Vegas, whatever happens in Phoenix, stays in Phoenix. However, if being a girl – a girly girl who accepts and loves her body regardless is as much fun as I think it’s going to be…who knows what may happen.