Day 134 Question 134:
What is a challenge you plan on facing?
What a great weekend I had. I was able to spend this holiday weekend with family and I took the time to remember what the holiday was all about. I have focused a lot lately on not taking life for granted…to appreciate my friends and family and to offer them support and encouragement when they need it. I have seen a huge change in myself as have others…my mother told me she noticed a lot less anger in me and other friends have noticed how relaxed I have become. I was so high strung and always stressed out. I was always tearing myself apart and letting every little thing get to me. I still have a day here and there that life might get the best of me but I no longer let it control me. I just let the moment pass and move on.
This big change in my life really began when I grabbed my life by the balls and decided there was no longer going to be a pity party. I chose a healthy lifestyle and the meditation that I practice every day has given me this sense of calm and peace. I no longer hold onto anger and irritation. Don’t get me wrong, they still occur but they disappear so fast. They no longer exhaust me and hold a power over me. Since this huge change in my life I have given myself challenge after challenge. Some challenges have been small while others have been much larger. The goals that I have set for myself are realistic goals…I have learned to start slowly. I never used to…I used to set about 500 goals at once and want everything to happen fast and I would either quit or would find myself disappointed because I couldn’t accomplish something. I now enjoy the process and the journey of reaching a goal.
So, last night I was hanging out with a girl friend and out of nowhere she asked me if I would do a 5k with her sometime in the next few months (probably sometime in the early Fall). I kind of stumbled when answering because I didn’t expect her to ask me that. I told her that I was not a runner at all but I definitely would not shut out the idea. The more I started to think about it the more I started seeing the challenge and well…I LOVE A CHALLENGE!!! I knew that if I started “training” for a 5k and were to get myself running (even if I am not a fast runner) and completed the race that I would feel beyond proud. I don’t always believe in myself the way that I should and that is what these challenges are about. I don’t do things to prove myself to others. I do things to prove to myself that I am capable and I am stronger than I sometimes believe I am.
I look at who I was 2+ years ago and who I am now. I was a 30 year old woman that hated her body and to be honest I was just lazy. I got myself stuck in this depressive rut and I let everything tear me down….I allowed it to happen. By NO MEANS do I believe that looks are the most important thing. I am now almost 70 lbs. lighter and I workout 4-5 days a week. I still have cheat days and my eating habits aren’t perfect but I am so much healthier. I didn’t want to be a person anymore that dreaded looking in the mirror. I didn’t want to feel so uncomfortable in my own skin. I did not want to continually hate myself knowing that I got myself to that point. It became a matter of do or die…almost literally. I am not the girly girl type but I am not a tomboy either. I am just the type that likes to dress comfortably and go with what I like at that time. That might be a flowy maxi dress or it might just be capris with a tank top and flip flops. I have never been one to really go over the top because it doesn’t fit my personality. Image and looks have never been as important as being known for my brains and my abilities. BUT I am still a woman and I still wanted to feel pretty in a sense and I wanted to be healthy. My body will never be “perfect” but for the first time I am ok with that. I know where I have come from and I know how hard I have worked. The stretch marks and the cellulite I may still have have never and will never define me. What became important to me was being healthy. I didn’t want to keep dreading going to the doctor and standing on the scale and then having to hear a lecture about why I needed to lose weight. I knew that I needed to lose weight and I was just being ignorant at the time. I didn’t need to lose weight to meet some image molded by society. I needed to lose weight to be healthier and since I have lost weight I have become unbelievably healthier both physically and mentally. I have learned that my body is not who I am and will never define who I am but it is my machine and I need to constantly make sure to maintain this machine so it doesn’t break down or die too early.
So with all of this in mind I texted my friend shortly after she left to count me in for a 5K. I knew it was the challenge that I needed. I write this blog for a wide variety of audiences and I hope that some young women tune in from time to time…maybe even youth and teens (and if not maybe their parents may mention it to them). I think about young people all of the time…especially young girls. We live in this society that has completely lost focus of who the individual is and now we only focus on what he/she looks like. Image has been portrayed in the media in such a warped way and it absolutely breaks my heart to think about the young girls out there that look at themselves in the mirror (at the ages of 12 and 13) and hate their bodies. They hate what they look like. They hate that they are flat chested for that they have curly hair instead of straight hair. I was one of those young girls but the pressure was not nearly as bad when I was young as it is now. I have walked down the hallways of middle and high schools in the last couple of years and the remarks that I would hear kids make about images and what is important just made me sick. I wish I could talk to every young girl in the world and tell them how beautiful they are. I want to tell them that beauty has nothing to do with how they look on the outside and the first step to happiness is loving yourself (it may sound corny to some but the truth to it is larger than life). I can be somewhere by myself and just sit and people watch and I tend to watch the young girls and women to see how they dress, how they act and how they react to certain things. Young girls and women are so different and so much more bold than when I was young. Life in general is so much different now than it was then. Even when I see women that expose their bodies too much (at least I believe it to be too much) or act in a manner that is not very (self) respectful, I am still able to see the beauty they have within. Every woman is beautiful no matter their size, shape, color, age, etc. Being a woman, I absolutely love my gender. I love being a woman and I love being a strong, powerful woman…I love being a beautiful woman. I challenge all women (actually all people) out there to start loving themselves today and to not stop. I may not be able to talk to every girl or woman in the world but to those that will listen, I know I do not have all of the answers, but I do believe you to be beautiful and I hope you believe yourself to be beautiful.
I have been faced with a challenge and although I admit to being scared and I have doubts of my ability, I am choosing to accept this challenge. I will keep everyone updated on my progress and what I ask of you is for support and encouragement every once in a while and know that I would be more than happy to do the same for you if and when you ever need it. Find a challenge and go for it…I believe in you! ;0)