Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Get Real, Get Right with Yourself

On of my favorite television shows of all time is the makeover show TLC's What Not to Wear with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. I actually think I have seen every episode, which is no small feat. But I really love experiencing the physical and emotional transformations of the subjects. Maybe it has something to do with wanting my own physical and emotional transformation. I certainly could stand a little help in both of those departments and I suspect that's a shared feeling amongst most of their viewers.

You can imagine my excitement last night when they aired a new episode and the subject was a popular blogger who goes by the name Dumb Mom at Parenting by Dummies. And her BIG issue, which, believe it or not, is not shared by every subject of the show, was her post childbirth weight that she carried around her middle. This spare tire was the source of much mental anguish as this professional photographer cried onscreen about how terrible she felt about her physical appearance.

I was so excited to go to her blog after the show was over and share my experience and strength with her. I mean, why not? She was practically crying out, "Help me, I hate my body." Yes, she was TRANSFORMED by the show, both physically and emotionally, but I was worried about her. I mean, how long could the good feelings last from the nice clothes, the new hair and the pretty make-up when ultimately the good feelings have to come from treating yourself to healthy food on a daily basis (wow, how that spare tire would disappear once and for all!), exercising in a method that you love, and positive self-talk.

Isn't she beautiful? photo

And then I read her "about " page in her blog. This is how she describes herself:

"Dumb Mom is not your everyday mom blogger.  She doesn’t craft (not well anyway).  She doesn’t share many healthful dinner alternatives (because she likes bacon, and bacon flavored products)."

So I started to wonder whether or not introducing myself would be such a good idea afterall (NOT!). And then it hit me.

Dumb Mom can complain all she wants to about her spare tire and the body parts that look less-than-ideal, but when it really comes down to it, is she willing to make the choices that she needs to, over and over and over, that would result in the body that would give her better self esteem and the best body that she can attain given her heredity and life experiences (read "havin' babies")?

Am I willing to make the right choices? I really need to think about that, because I'm one who incessently cries on about the way my stomach pouch protrudes, but I'm not always making the best choices (can anyone envision two scoops of Ben & Jerry's in a waffle cone after the kindergarden concert last night?).

Who am I going to be? The one who complains and lets her self image suffer or the one who makes the right choices to get the body that she thinks she wants? Even more importantly, the HEALTH that comes along with making the right choices?

Who are you going to be?


chris said...

This is so hard. EVERY DAY is filled with choices. We may know what we want to look like, feel like, etc., but how do we stay on track?

Your blog for one helps a ton. I think we need DAILY reminders to get through the DAILY temptations..... It helps me to surround myself with a community of people who value these things too. We help keep each other focused, motivated and on track....not perfect, but mostly good.

Thanks Wendy for all the amazing posts you continue to pour out!

JL goes Vegan said...

Some days I make good decisions. Some days I don't. I've lived too much of my life being either / or. I'm now firmly "sometimes" or, more honestly, most of the time I make good choices and thank goodness I give myself room to, other times, make some less than stellar choices.

You know how I finally got to the point of giving myself a break? I decided my poochy tummy is just fine (not from having children, by the way).

Some women have flat stomachs. More don't. I'm having a little love affair with my belly. When I look at it what I see is a stomach that is loving healthy, vegan food. Sometimes a little more than it should ;)

Sindy said...

Wendy so interesting. Not everyone wants to hear your message. We are SO lucky to be part of a community of people who do! I love what JL goes Vegan said. "Sometimes" can be good enough, at least some of the time.

liz said...

The older I get the more I realize that EVERY woman has something about her body that she doesn't like. Big boobs, small boobs, poochy stomach, thighs that are too big, and some even think they are too skinny (gasp!). My point is, as long as I keep making more good choices than bad and feel good about the way I am treating my body and my mind, I should be content with whatever outward manifestation that brings. Easier said than done, but we all need to keep fighting the good fight. Thanks for such a thoughtful post Wendy!

Lillian said...

I couldn't agree with you most I have been a yo yo dieter for much of my adult life...words like "I couldn't" ever totally give up "blank" or I can't make that taste good without....

I would add, NO EXCUSES to your list....but with that said, be forgiving of your mistakes and move on. My usual M.O. is to have a stressful day and let it lead to days, weeks and months of bad decisions.

41 weeks ago [yes, I am counting], I took the no excuses approach and committed to walking atleast 2 miles per day for 90 days [I am modeling my recovery like any other addiction]. Well, 90 days came and went and I have continued to walk atleast 2 miles each day. Many days I walk 6-10 but everyday, I make the time to walk 2. In January, while getting involved in a wellness challenge, I was introduced to the E2 Diet and in turn Dr. Furhman and Eat to Live. Despite thinking I could never give up meats and oils, I went in with an open mind. I am thrilled to say I think I have found my eating niche. I have to add that your blog and a few others have been great inspirations to me and my recovery...

KEEP up the great work!!

Anonymous said...

I try to adhere to the 90/10 way of eating meaning 90% of the time all is good and 10% of the time I'm making some choices that are, well, you know...not great choices! But, I don't see anything wrong with eating those not so great choices as long as you really want it, rather than eating it for other reasons, as in emotional eating to fill a void of somekind. There is a huge difference...eating that desert at the restaurant with family and friends and truly enjoying it, or eating that desert at 9:00 at night when nobody is watching and eating it to "fill" in a blank of whatever you are trying to fill up emotionally. It's interesting...if I have a couple bites of whatever it is and truly love it, or have the same couple of bites..and fill an emotional need...I won't gain weight if it's for the love of it, but if it's for emotional reasons, you can bet the jeans won't fit the next day! Funny how that happens!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

I struggle with making positive choices for myself... my weight is really the bane of my existence... it is so hard for me to not give into comfort eating. I KNOW I will get it and I will never stop believing that I can do it!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner said...

Thank you for all of the time you put into each of your posts! You are such an inspiration Wendy!

I love What Not To Wear too! :D

I am going to be the person that makes the right choices to lead a healthy life. :) Thanks again Wendy!


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

re bread: The bread definitely would not pass for Challah tastewise... it is more like soft whole wheat sandwich bread.. if you made it with a nondairy milk and added some earth balance, it may taste richer

Dani- danielleislosingit said...

I love what not to wear! That being said, I love this post. Alot of times I wonder if I really am willing to do what it takes to get the body I want.

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