Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Body image

I shared research with someone that was talking about self image and how many people struggle with how they view their body.  Parents say things that hurt kids when they try to do this or that to make their kids look better.  Braces and diet suggestions can improve looks but sends an underlying message, "You aren't good enough."  I remember as a teenager being told I needed to go on a diet.  I was 5'4" tall and weighed 125 lbs (Metric 162.5 cm tall and weighed 56.7 kg).  I was told I needed to loose another 10 lbs to look good (Metric 4.5 kg).  To me, of course, the implication you don't look good.  Heaven help me if my father made the mistake of complimenting me then the criticism became more caustic.  I knew I didn't want to get sucked into the yoyo diets my mother obsessed over.  I could ignore my weight for a lot of years then old age and poor eating habits caught up with me.  My daughter set the example for me on how to regain a better relationship with my body.  She purchased a dance class at the studio where she worked.  Got me to get up off the couch and try to exercise.  Mega challenge when I still passed out a couple of times a week. She repeated every class, "Ladies, honor your body." About 2 years ago I went the route and lost weight.  It worked for a long time then my life at work went crazy and I was a substitute teacher for 4 months and my self-care went out the window and I gained all the weight I lost plus 20 lbs (Metric 10 kg) more.  I weigh more now than I ever did.  I yo-yo'd.  Well past that 125 lbs of my teenage years.  No, I don't like how my body looks.  After the car crash a month ago, I don't like how my body feels.  Self-care is at the top of my list for summer activities.  If I loose weight fine, but my main goal is to feel healthy.  Things I know help: tracking what I eat, choosing more vegetables, sleeping more, exercise in moderation, weighing myself no more than once a week (reminder I would weigh less if I went to the Moon,) essential oils, and the list goes on as to what I know helps me.  Now the challenge is to care for myself.  I don't set an alarm yet I'm awake by 6 AM.  I work at my computer and remind myself to get up often and move.  I like walking at the park.  Why is self-care such a chore to me?  There are these negative tapes in my head going off that each thing I do isn't good enough but logically I know they work.  I have the essential oils close at hand but I neglect to use them.  How is it the very things I need to do to care for myself seem so hard?  My favorite diet book was  Richard Simmons' Never-Say-Diet Book – October 1, 1980 by Richard Simmons
I actually used his suggestions when I raised my kids.  I left the food on the counter instead of on the table.  I didn't restrict kids eating, I allowed seconds if they got up to get it.  My exercise program is videos, walking, and karate.  Not doing much of any of these since the car crash.  I'm starting to feel much better but my neck still tells me it didn't appreciate coming to an instant turn and abrupt stop. Today, I opened up Myfitnesspal for the first time in over a year.  Do I do it?  Or am I setting myself up to fail again?  Heavy sigh.  Being human is such a chore some days.  


Tundra Woman said...

Ruth, do you ever "have time" to just BE? Think you can do that?! I'm half teasing you but I still remember being shocked you thought giving yourself 15 min. or so to wind down before bed was plenty. And I take 60 to 90 min., flop on the couch and do some light reading to get sleepy.
You just had a car wreck. You're already planning another diet (get the ape picture out!) You're taking summer courses. You aren't real happy that your neck won't "just get over it" and you don't like the way you feel-have you ever? You just got done with school. No break and now you jump right into "more stuff to do."
I read your Blog with my coffee in the morning just after I finish the newspapers and I'm tired just reading about what Ruth is up to today! I've never come across anyone who was actively dying who wished they had time to finish the stuff on their "to do" List That Never Ended. Or wished they had stuck to their diet, saved more money, competed in a triathlon, ran around Europe etc. on another group tour, or any of that stuff. They wished they had just taken the time to be "selfish." To let the day unfold doing what ever they wanted to-including nothing, not what they believed they "had to do." To "visit" with people they ran into during the course of the day. Your "mother" never gave you a moment's peace-and it seems you're not gonna either. She's the nag, the "have to" in your head.
You're taking summer courses. That's enough! And so are you.

Ruth said...

Tw you are so right. I am terrible at just being. I'll give a more complete answer in my post. Thanks for the reminder. I took things a bit slower, but not much. Hugs. Thank you for telling me I am enough. You said exactly what I needed to hear.