I haven't kept up with moving my body as much as I'd like.
I feel a bit lazy in the "up and at 'em" section.
I have make discouraging comments about my body almost daily.
Today it stops. Today I'm going to take some time to genuinely thank my body for the things that it does that I take completely for granted. It'll be weird, and uncomfortable and I'll surely cry, but we'll get through this.
And stop calling me Shirley.
Dear little piggies, I've been rough on you. I've dabbled in barefoot running (much to your distress), lost feeling doing Spin classes, lovingly created callouses through Zumba and have squeezed you guys into the most uncomfortable of footwear ever conceived. I'm sorry about that last one. But y'all have been pretty awesome to me, too. You got me across the finish line of two half marathons (only one of which we were all MASSIVELY unprepared for), have trekked up hiking trails and down long beaches summer in and summer out. You do good work, and I'll start painting my toenails to make you guys a bit more pretty to look at.
I've always loved these stems of mine. They're strong, full of scars and scrapes and bruises from my clumsiness, but they're solid. My new favorite thing is quickly becoming when Eddie and I are just laying around and he mindlessly runs his hands up and down my legs. He's a leg man, and I've heard him say more than a few times "Your legs are looking mighty fine in those leggings!" (Yes, he really does talk like that.) which makes me feel sexy and empowered. Then again, I say it to myself when I look in the mirror. These legs have gotten me through a lot of stuff in my life, and I've got high hopes for them. And yes, my thighs rub together. The two-to-three days after every race I run I walk like a cowboy because CHAFING. But these thighs have kept many a phone safe whilst I text on the toilet (don't even judge, you do it too) and I like them. I like having sturdy, strong, curvy legs. I have no hips to speak of, and almost-but-not-quite a butt, so I've got to covet my legs for all they're worth.
YES, my belly. The thing I curse everyday when I try on my "curvy" jeans and they NEVER fit. Thanks to my dad's side of the family, my waist is naturally bigger than my hips, which kinda gives me a perma-muffin top. I've come to grips with it and figured I'll rock what I've got regardless. It's a good belly - it's soft, sprinkled with freckles and brushed with
Thanks. You two know what for. *wink*
But seriously, being a "blessed" woman has its ups and downs. Guys - it's really not always a picnic. They hurt when they grow, when they move too much, when you lay on them, and they jiggle like JellO during every flight I've ever taken, much to the chagrin of any 6 to 60 year old man around me. They sweat, but that means my skin is working at detoxifying (strangely, without doing one of those detox diet things...!). I like my boobs, but am looking forward to seeing them simmer down a few cup sizes.
My life has never quite been a "Suns Out Guns Out" kind of life. My arms have been just kinda there, never totally defined as anything but just arms. But I love them. They let me do all sorts of crazy things like throw frisbees at kids on horses, ride horses and bikes and break my falls from soccer and rollerblading and everything like that. They're strong and reliable, except for those few breaks back when I was a kid. I'll blame not drinking enough milk.
Oh what a fruit basket of amazingness my head is. I used to hate my hair and straighten it, dye it and do all kinds of things to it. My mom told me when I was a kid that "Jane, folks would pay $60 to get the color you have, and another $60 to get the wavy texture of your hair. Love what you have!" but I of course knew better (because what 8 year old doesn't know more than their mother?). Now that I'm older and no doubt wiser, I appreciate my locks a lot more. I'm much more hesitant to dye my hair and I hate getting my hair cut unless it's just to "freshen up" and trim. I'm 28 years old and I have FINALLY figured out how to maintain my eyebrows. I don't follow it, but I know how. My skin has weathered a pretty ridiculous journey of acne and sunburn and cysts and face washes, but it's mine and I think it's beautiful, even though it is getting hard to get into a routine of putting oil on my face every day. I'm smart as a whip, funny as all get out and sharp as a tack.
It's so weird, body butter. I'm making the "transition" (not like Bruce Jenner) to more homemade, "natural" products. Lots of coconut oil based things, basically. It's definitely different than your run of the mill Bath and Body Works lotions and potions, but I like them just fine. They make me feel soft and smooth and although I can't open doors with lotion on my hand and I sometimes get stuck in the bathroom, I feel gosh darn, downright sexy.
Now if only I could figure out body scrubs so I can start using the 8 to 10 jar collection I've got in my house, I'll be set...
Doing this "this is why I love this body part" exercise really, really helps my own mindset of body love and body acceptance. After all, I won't look like my "goal" self overnight, and I'm living in this body now, so why not make the most of it and like what I see? Practicing gratitude towards yourself and your body and what it does for you can be super empowering - it's not about what your body doesn't look like, or what your body can't do, but what it CAN do.
Gratitude. Compassion. Love. These are parts of a great mindset of happiness and sanity.
And body butter just makes you smell good.