Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Changing Directions

After my last couple of posts, I've decided that I need to change the direction that my blog intended to go. I will still have some DIY going on, but I've decided to show you a slice of my life, my real life.

You see, I'm a writer. An honest-to-deity*, dyed-in-the-wool writer. You see, I've been reading since I could crawl- no lie. Just ask my mother. I have had a passion for words ever since I wrote my first book (10 pages) in first grade. It was entitled "The Wierd King." Yes, I am aware that I spelled it wrong. Give me a break. The book was written in crayon on construction paper.

I read to escape when I was teased in elementary school for being slightly overweight. My passion for writing extended in junior high with free writes and the license to be creative. I wrote my way through high school. I wrote my way through college, finding an intense passion for writing plays and research papers. Yes, research papers.

I decided to be a theatre major, English minor; a playwright. I wrote plays that I never attempted to publish. I wrote research papers that teachers tried to convince me to publish. Why did I not seek publication? Maybe it was a fear of success, maybe a fear of failure, but whatever it was, it was crippling.

Yes, I have written some awful things. I have some ridiculous angsy poetry from my teenage- and not-so-teenage years. I mean awful. Broken hearts and unrequited love. Using and being used. I mean, I have some passable poetry, too. You know, most of my passable poetry includes at least one food analogy. Hm. Freud, what does that say about me?

Speaking of Freud, do you know that his grandson was a German-born, British painter? Well, he didn't necessarily paint the British but... his works are extremely interesting. They're mostly headshots and nudes. He found beauty in exposing ugliness to a world used to promoting only beauty. Here's the wiki-link:

Can you guess who this is?
Woman with Arm Tattoo

I think that the charcoal rendering is actually very beautiful.

Writing is my therapy. This will be my therapy. You will find both ugliness and beauty in this, in me. I wonder which you will choose to see...

*Insert your deity here. Everyone has beliefs. I believe that everyone should be able to have them.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Self-Image And Its Effect On My Life

I've been struggling lately with my self-image. The person that I see in my mind is very different than the person that I see in photographs. I rarely look in the mirror but I have a lovely face- beautiful eyes, clear skin, shiny, healthy hair. I also rarely wear makeup because I have sensitive skin and break out with makeup. Not dirt. I don't break out when I've been playing in the dust.

The person in photographs is a very different animal. In photographs, I always see a dumpy housewife with no sense of style (which isn't true. I have a lot of style, just none of it in my size), poor posture, and lots of baby weight.

There are some things that I know about myself.

  • If I formulate a plan and follow through, I can do anything that I desire. 
  • I am a naturally beautiful person, inside and out.
  • I aspire to lift others up because I know that they will lift me up.
  • I never, ever give false compliments. Ever.
  • And I have never, until now, worried about my weight. Whatever my weight was, it was fine.
What brings about this change in me suddenly? Was it a change in society? No. I've never been one for the popular view. Was it a change in how I am viewed by my friends and family? No. They tell me I'm beautiful, whatever my weight. And mean it. Was it my husband? No. He's my most adamant supporter. 

It was me. All me. I keep seeing myself in photographs and I know that I am not my best. Physically, I'm not even close to my best. If it were just one or two candid photographs, I could dismiss them and not worry. But posed, happy, and beautiful pictures still reveal this alien person that I don't believe I am. It doesn't make them any less happy but it shows me someone who isn't even nearly close to me. I want people to see the image that's in my mind, not the image that is in the photographs. 

In my mind, I look like this:

Not bad, eh? Yes, the red dress is my wedding day. I know that people shouldn't expect to look like their wedding day again but I started gaining weight almost immediately after I got married. When I got pregnant, I gained a whole bunch of weight.

I got rid of 30 lbs doing the Whole 30 and completely changed my outlook on food. Now, I don't eat processed anything. ANYTHING. Candy tastes gross to me. I'd rather reach for an apple than a sugary treat.

But that's all well and good. I don't eat according to the Whole 30 every day. I eat more like a modified Paleo. Well, plus potatoes. My family eats potatoes. Organic potatoes, but still potatoes.

And I'm back to my chubby, dumpy self. I'm not grossly overweight but the doctors tell me that I'm obese.

Exercise has never been my thing. When I say exercise, I mean jogging, weight-lifting, aerobics, and crossfit haven't been my thing. Walking is my thing. Yoga is my thing. Swimming and dancing are totally me. Why don't I do these things, then? Because I have an almost 3-year-old.

But since she's almost 3, it means that I can start doing some of these things again very soon. She loves to walk, so we can get out and about for about 2 miles a day, max. She still tries to sit on my head during yoga, or climbs me in downward dog. I've tried getting her to do yoga with me, but no. Swimming? Yes, I love to swim. Swimming with her is basically walking around while she practices swimming. I'm allowed to put her into next-level swimming lessons when she hits 3 in December.

OK. Enough about what I can't do. I need to formulate a plan of action and follow-through. That's what this post is about.

Proposed plan of action?

  • Get back on the Whole 30. 
  • Find time for yoga amid the rest of life's challenges, if only for 15 minutes at night. It's a start and it will help with my posture. 
  • Walk at least 3 times a week. If I set a light goal I won't try to pixie out of it. it's a very reasonable goal. 
  • Dance. Just dance. Have fun. Turn the music on while doing dishes. Dance with my daughter. Dance poorly but with all of my heart. Dance while walking. 
These things are small goals. This is a place to start. I want to see this smile again when I look into the mirror:
October, 2012

October 2011, still pregnant

October 2010, BiZi Farms pumpkin patch

December 2011, Ariadne's 1st birthday party
See? I'm still beautiful. I'm just not the best version of me. These are mostly pictures of my face. I'm very satisfied with my face. I generally just wear mascara. 

October is a time of new beginnings for me. Here's to new beginnings. 

More DIYs soon. I am making Halloween costumes that are absolutely adorable! I'll take pictures and do the tutorial from here on out.

Thanks for reading. Positive comments and honest criticism are welcome. I'll just delete the counterproductively negative comments. Ain't nobody got time for negativity.