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Posts tagged "Body Love"
Have FUN!

Have FUN!

And from that point on, all choices regarding your body would be your own. Because your body would be your own.

And we all lived authentically ever after…

A warrior. A poet. An encourager. A light. A woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, was she.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying I am grateful for the words and work of Dr. Maya Angelou. Few words have touched me the way hers have and I’ve shared them here often. Searching for the “best” quote to post to honor her memory proved an enriching, but impossible task (how DOES one pick a favorite? Truthbombs galore). These are just a few of my favs.

But one particular poem has always held a special place in my heart. Even now it’s hard to deny how powerful it feels to read it aloud. If you’ve read it before, you know what I mean. If not, try it now.

A life phenomenally lived and such beautiful, inspiring lessons left for us all. Rest in peace.

*** Phenomenal Woman ***
(by Maya Angelou)

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size.
But when I start to tell them, they think I’m telling lies.

I say…

It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman. Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, that’s me.

I walk into a room just as cool as you please,
And to a man, the fellows stand or fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me, a hive of honey bees.

I say…

It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman. Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, that’s me.

Men themselves have wondered what they see in me.
They try so much but they can’t touch my inner mystery.
When I try to show them, they say they still can’t see.

I say…

It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman. Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

Now you understand just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing, it ought to make you proud.

I say…

It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman. Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

A metaphor I’ve always liked when it comes to being yourself, not caring what others think and putting yourself first is to compare it to having a massive wedgie and being too afraid to fix it in public.

Two options…

1. Fix it. You can risk someone seeing you do it, and yeah, there might be an asshole or two who may secretly judge. But if you laugh it off and remember that everyone knows what a wedgie feels like, you might be able to find some peace. Within a minute, those who happened to notice will have moved on and forgotten… and so will you. Off you go to live and be part of an awesome day. Winner. That’s you.

2. Don’t fix it. Stay uncomfortable, desperately searching for a bathroom, alley or opportunity to do whatcha gotta do (no guarantees you’ll find one). You spend more energy trying to hide your wedgie than dealing with it, and it gets harder to think of anything else. No one notices (because you’re amazing at hiding it), but you’re unable to enjoy your life because you’re preoccupied. Everyone else moves on with their day because whether or not you have a wedgie doesn’t affect them at all. But you’ve missed out. Not exactly winning.

The only person truly affected by ignoring your own needs is you. People move on either way, but you live with the consequences. When faced with the decision to be yourself or hide away, remember that hiding always takes more energy, energy stolen from YOUR life. No one will remember the girl who picked her wedgie, fell during a workout class, dared to bare her cellulite, farted in the library or had a pimple: generally people have better things to do. Being afraid or preoccupied with their opinions only affects you and your ability to enjoy this ONE life you’ve got going on.

So, in short, just pick the wedgie. And walk away like a boss.

Xo

Headlines Remixed! I think these are AMAZING, lol.

Headlines like the unedited versions below are so mainstream and “normal”, that we rarely stop to consider how perverse, bizarre, harmful and discouraging they can be. On the surface, they may appear to be “harmless” stories about celebs (if you can call being followed, photographed and stalked by paparazzi harmless. I wouldn’t handle it well at ALL). Or maybe you see these stories as reminders that even the stars are still human. But if you dig deeper and look at the underlying message, it’s one that reinforces the notion that it’s not only to be expected, but APPROPRIATE, to judge, criticize, debate or berate women’s bodies and choices. It serves as a subtle-not-subtle reminder that we should expect to be treated as though we’re always on display, a reminder that there are good and bad ways to have/decorate our bodies, a reminder that your ability or inability (or willingness/unwillingness) to adhere to media beauty norms supersedes your talents, skills and accomplishments and a reminder that we should make our life choices from those perspectives. It makes it seem perfectly normal, appropriate and entertaining to judge, criticize, and make assumptions about any woman who dares to be seen in the world.

Sometimes we are able to enjoy this kinda crap, seeing it as nothing more than gossip mag entertainment and without letting it affect us much. But in my experience, very few people can be exposed to those kind of messages daily without internalizing some of the values and potentially detrimental messaging. If you’ve ever wondered why you feel extra anxious about how you look, are preoccupied with others noticing “flaws” or worry too much about what others will think, consider that what you’re consuming might not be serving your very best self. ;)

The only diet I recommend is a media diet, lol. Mags, shows, pages, blogs, sites, galleries, tweets etc. Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from toxic environments to gain perspective and explore different resources that are more in line with who we want to be. Being able to think critically about the messages you are exposed to means you can still enjoy it… but you know what’s up. (though you may find your tastes have changed).

In the meantime, these are pretty good. :)
See the rest here: http://imgur.com/a/r12nF

Your body is your OWN.

Your body is your OWN.

If they only knew they had such SWEET bodies…

If they only knew they had such SWEET bodies…

Body Peace, Six Packs, Weightloss Loss And Feeling Good

Something that helped me when I first started feeling worn down by the pressure to lose weight (before I was ready to let go entirely) was giving up the idea that weight gain or loss was “bad” or “good”. I’d already given up the scale because it wasn’t helpful or healthy for me to have it around, but I needed to work on gaining acceptance of my body in all states.

That meant finding joy in jiggles. And shimmies in shakes. And magic in muffin tops. And celebration in cellulite. Because my body was and is gonna change. But how much energy I spent perfecting it or fighting that change the was up to me. And I was TIRED. And I needed that energy elsewhere.

At the time, illness had given me a wake up call that there were more important things in life: it had forced me to re-evaluate why being as small as possible took up such a big part of my life. At first, I decided to call weight changes “feedback”. That worked for awhile. Weight gain was no longer failure or something I had to urgently address. It was the result of my life at the moment, which included periods where I couldn’t move like I wanted to, didn’t have the energy or motivation to eat how I wanted to eat (or, many times, was eating more after a period of restriction). It gave me freedom and wiggle room. I’d never felt those things before.

I repeatedly told myself “it ain’t a big deal”. I’d been heavier before, I’d been smaller before and in my head I decided that’s how life goes. I got rid of the “wagon”. I knew I felt good when I could move and I ate tons of veggies. Putting my energy into that goal instead (feel good), replaced the “I suck at life because I’m fat” guilt trips I used to have that never, ever, served me. Ever. So much energy had gone into feeling bad about myself. I decided that was enough for one lifetime.

The idea that “old Chichi” would have thought “current Chichi” was too fat to…

- Have a fitness page
- Be a trainer
- Share anything with the world
- Be inspiring
- Be herself
- Be happy
- Call herself sexy, beautiful or awesome
- Take pics of herself
- Live freely
- Eat what she wanted and do what she likes.

… seems freaking crazy to me. Cray cray all the way.

Getting to a place of peace with my bod took lots of little steps and changes in my thinking. And time. Each small step lead to bigger ones, and soon the whole idea of having to mold my body into perfection seemed dumb, dumb, dumb. But when I look back on my journey, I realize that for me, it wasn’t just ONE lightbulb moment, but a series of them. And daily effort to keep my environment and headspace clear. Others might feel the same way; if you are struggling with having a “lightbulb” moment and the mantras aren’t working, start smaller. One step at a time. Some people have massive “a-ha” moments. The rest of us have to work at it a bit. All you need is the desire to want to change your narrative. And some guts.

I gave up magazines and blogs I was obsessed with, but we’re making it hard to love myself. I started questioning marketing, specifically in fitness. I shared my thoughts and found others who felt the same way. I dug. I looked for the root of where and why I was dissatisfied with my body, and opened up to seeing how I’d been taught to hate it. I decided the only “rule” that served me was “it should feel good”. And obsessing over my bod didn’t feel good.

This meant giving up working constantly towards six pack abs and living my life to be as lean as possible. But it also meant giving up the idea that anyone else should feel that pressure either. I gained an appreciation for my love of physical fitness, but as a marker of individuality not superiority. I like what I do. But not everyone has to. I hate the notion that some people would consider that “lucky”. It’s not luck, just my thing. I like burpees. She might like knitting. We’re both awesome.

All this to say, I never found body peace in abs or weight loss. I found it in being okay with OR without those things. I found/find pleasure in eating well and moving, but never in thinking those things made me better than anyone else. I found love for myself when I ditched the rules on how, when and what I needed to be allowed to feel that way. For the first time in my life, I feel confident that I’d be just as awesome in a body 100lbs heavier because my priorities are straight. I’m grateful for what my bod can do, but if for any reason it can’t do it any longer, I know I’ll be okay. I’m not sure the same can be said for a lot of weight loss enthusiasts: take away their abs, guns and ability to do what they do, and they might not be able to identify themselves.

Just some things to think about. Baby steps and end game are very different, but my end game would not have been possible without a TON of baby steps and effort.

What’s your end game? If it’s body peace, six packs and weight loss might not cut it.

Just. Like. That. :)

"If you’d describe the way you treat yourself as animal abuse, please get help"

(via http://boggletheowl.tumblr.com/post/62711162750)
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