Body Positivity, Jesus, Mental Health, self care, self love, Vulnerability

Learning to Love Me

love-yourself

Yesterday I wrote this post:

I am Your Anchor in the Wind and the Waves

Then last night I read this:

“I’m working on my abandonment issues, and I am also working on not saying ‘sorry to bother you.’ I’m not a bother, a nuisance or a burden; I’m a human being who deserves to be understood, loved and valued. I won’t let anxiety tell me anything otherwise, no matter how hard it tries.”

What It’s Like When Anxiety Tells You Everyone is Going to Leave You

It’s so spot on.  In every way.  I’m thankful that there are other people who understand what this is like!  It makes me feel less alone.

I have decided that it’s time to tackle this “self love” thing.  I am learning that I may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” but I want to be happy with being me.

“What people think of me is none of my business.”  This was repeated in rehab often, and I need to repeat this daily.

All that matters is that my Savior loves me unconditionally, and He has grace for me every day.  I mean, He made me!  He made me on purpose, for a purpose.  That purpose is to share my struggles and how I overcome every day so that people have hope!

I decided to write a list of things that I like about myself (learning to love).

  • My eyes are pretty.
  • My freckles make me look unique.
  • My body is pretty great.  It shows that I’ve had 3 kids and that I’m no longer yo-yo dieting.  My husband loves it just as it is.  I’m taking good care of it by eating nutritious foods much of the time, but also nourishing it by eating foods I enjoy.  I’m allowing it to settle where it will.
  • I’m strong.  I have overcome a lot through the power of Jesus.  He makes me strong.
  • I’m a Christ follower.
  • I share my faith most days.
  • I’m vulnerable about my mental health and addiction.  Maybe this makes me brave and courageous?
  • I’m quirky.
  • I’m passionate about important stuff.
  • I am fighting hard to have a close relationship with my family (after lots of distance because of my illnesses and drinking).
  • I help other people going through mental illness and/or addiction.
  • I love people when others may not.  I love deeply.

What do you like about yourself (learning to love)?  You should make a list as well!

Body Positivity, Intuitive Eating

What Body Positivity and Intuitive Eating Means for Me… Loving Myself

riots-not-diets

I have been spending a lot of time thinking and learning about this.  I am in several groups that promote body positivity.

As I’ve learned, the main way people lose weight is dieting, and there is only a 5% chance that with dieting you’ll keep the weight off.  I mean, you may lose weight eating intuitively, but the reasons to eat that way have nothing to do with weight loss.  You may or may not lose weight eating that way.  I’ve learned that our bodies have a set point and it’ll always go back to that.  I’ve seen this time and time again.  So many of my family and friends will lose a good amount of weight, only to put it back on and sometimes more.  So, the science shows this to be true and it’s true in my life as well.

So for me, I know that I can’t do much about my weight long term.  Between medication, metabolism slowing down, and just coming to my set point, I have gained 30 pounds in 3 years.  I also cannot lose it (even with dieting) and have only gained more back when I have dieted.

I have learned that weight doesn’t necessarily measure good health.  I had high cholesterol at my lowest weight.  I have normal cholesterol at my heaviest.  I know people that are thin that have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.  Thin-ness doesn’t necessarily mean that you are healthy!  I know plenty of thin people that drink lots of sugary soda, eat whatever they want, and they don’t gain a pound.  Robert is super thin and doesn’t gain no matter what he eats (he’s been known to eat 8 tacos on Taco Tuesday).

And on the flip side, I know people that are heavy that are super healthy.  I’ve read about so many women who run marathons, lift weights, exercise a lot each day, and not be thin.  Exercise doesn’t=weight loss either.  I have been known to exercise 2-2 1/2 hours a day (when I was hypomanic) and not lose a pound.  Many women that are heavy don’t have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes.  Movement actually helps this.  No matter your weight.

I am learning that body positivity means to love your body no matter what body type you have.  Whether you’re thin, or whether you’re not.

nowrongway

Now, on to intuitive eating.

intuitive-eating

I’ve shared about this before, but what does it mean?

intuitive-eating

For me, this means:

  • Eating vegetables every day because they make me feel good
  • Eating pizza sometimes
  • Eating lots of protein (because of blood sugar)
  • Eating my favorite meal at my favorite Mexican restaurant
  • Eating whatever is served in the dining hall because it’s free food and it allows us the chance to hang out with our community (and I refuse to eat just salad…)
  • Drinking as much coffee as I want with half and half, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp Pyure (I love the flavor of these mixed)
  • Eating what sounds good, and what I want (sometimes vegetables and sometimes cookies)
  • Having green smoothies (or scrambled eggs with spinach) or Pop Tarts for breakfast
  • A balanced approach!
  • Food freedom!

This means I move my body how I want, when I want… for me, this means hiking on this beautiful property that we live on, but not feeling guilty if I choose not to!

On another note… taking steps to loving myself is finally doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and have put off for fear of what people will think.

I’m going to finally be getting the tattoo that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  It’ll be on my forearm.

It will be of this tree (a painting in my house, by a friend of mine).

img_8483

And it will have this scripture reference: Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

I’m also going to have my nose pierced again.  I’m going to try it in hopes that it doesn’t do what it did last time (got infected and I had to take it out).  We’ll see what happens.  I’m going to get a small hoop instead of a stud.  I think that will make it work out better.

All of this, of course, with our income tax refund after we pay off debt.  We wouldn’t be able to otherwise.  I’m grateful for the income tax refund!!!

One thing that really helps me is learning to spend my time focusing on what I’m grateful for and what I love about life.  Every single day I share with my sponsor 3-10 things I’m grateful for that day.  It helps keep things in perspective.