Bah Humbug

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Photo on 7-17-14 at 6.30 PM

My life has been a fucking mess lately. Scene: Like a Girls episode except I’m not Lena Dunham, and I’m also not in New York City. Oh, I also don’t have a hot manic boyfriend named Adam. And I freaking hate Cool Whip. So, pretty much the only similarity is she also struggles. I STRUGGLE, WE ALL STRUGGLE.

It’s true. Sometimes life deals you weird, terrible, shitty cards. And you’re holding them in your hands, at an imaginary poker table, and you’re like, wait what? Where did these come from? How did I get these cards? These cards are wrong! Take them back, Kevin Spacey!

Let’s back it up a bit.

Just a few short months ago I felt pretty optimistic about my L-I-F-E. I was some dude in an 80s movie with Ray Bans and high-top sneakers giving the thumbs up to everyone around me. I’m envisioning Tom Cruise or maybe Robert Downey Jr. Long story short, I was feeling fly. And I was doing it on my own.

“Here I am, walking down the street! The sun is shining! I have my stuff together! I got this! Summer in the city! my life is GOIN’ GREAT. Watch out, world!”

Yes, my friends, things were coming together. I was writing consistently, treating myself well (mentally AND physically), putting myself back into the dating game, seeing someone new, eating bananas, feeling the sun on my wintered-out skin, dressin’ fancy. YOU KNOW, things that normally signify health and happiness…er something like that.

And then, all of the sudden, they weren’t. Things got strange. Life threw me a ::CLICHE ALERT:: curveball. And I’m not going to get into the specifics of what exactly happened (…but BOYS, IT’S ALWAYS BOYS) that started this bizarre, downward spiral again. Because really, in all honesty, that’s not the point. I let a situation take advantage of me and bring me down. Which is not what a strong ladyGIRL does. I should have been smarter. I should have had my guard up. I should have seen through the act. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda.

But I didn’t, sadface, and then things got difficult. And I’ve been here for a little while. Hell, I’ve been here lots of times in my life. But the disappointment always feels new. And then you decide to go out, pretend to be happy and carefree and social, and then come back and worry yourself to sleep at night. Wondering, will it ever REALLY get better? Eh, it’s not so great.

So what I want to talk about here is the ascent. Which is what I’m struggling with right now.

Yes, ladies and gents, that glorious ascent back into awesomeness.

And it can be done, but it’s super hard and annoying because you’re like, I just had everything, and I was HAPPY, and now I have to start AGAIN?! Yes, it’s stupid. Life is weird. There’s no denying the fact that it sucks to feel like you’re at the bottle of some old, rusty barrel again.

I want to start to climb back out once more. To open myself up to new things and places and people and eat those damn bananas again. And shine from the inside out. Because I know I’m capable of it, and I also know I’m 26 and I’m young and in my prime. I should be clicking my kitten heels and wearing bubblegum-hued lipstick and drinking Moscow mules. There’s no point getting hung up on people or things that won’t matter when everything is weighed in a balance. The people who care about you and have your best interests in mind will stay.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. The point of this blog is simple: If you get pushed down by some dildo who’s out to make your life a living nightmare, you get back up. Because you gotta. Because you’re awesome.

Your Body is a Wonderland?

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Your Body is a Wonderland?

Summer’s approaching (or so I hear) and I went on a lovely, but blustery walk today on my lunch break. That wind though! Yikes. SUN, where you at, bro? It came out a little today and for that I am happy. I’d love some consistency though. Can I get an amen?

Anyways it felt nice, so so nice, to get out and walk and think and ponder. And at first the thoughts were pleasant.

Hey, look at that bird over there! A squirrel!

That home addition is really coming along.

There’s a puddle there. No problem, I’ll jump over it!

And the thoughts stayed there for a little while. Lighthearted and innocent, like fluffy little clouds.

But then, it happened. My thoughts started to turn on me. Like an overwhelming current, I got taken away to that overpopulated island of thoughts called: MY BODY. Yep, it’s that huge mass of muddled thoughts that enters the minds of most women wayyy too often. I’m pretty sure I think about it 85% of the time. Like, it’s what I think about throughout MOST of my day. Isn’t that sad? And, at least for me, it’s usually never good thoughts. It’s self-deprecating and mean.

Let me say this. I’ve been doing pretty well in terms of taking care of said body, actually dammit, very well. Since February I’ve lost 21 pounds. And I did that all by eating healthy and exercising consistently. Hell, I even weigh what I did as a high school swimmer, when I was a Grenadier at good ‘ol EGHS. But somehow, that just isn’t enough. The body I’ll be “comfortable with” is still sitting high up on a cliff somewhere. The place where John Mayer wrote, Your Body is a Wonderland. I still see thigh gaps, toned arms and long elegant legs and think: you will never have those. “Your arms are still kind of chubby. Your legs are awkward and full-looking. Will that cellulite on the back of my legs EVER go away? Why can’t my boobs be smaller?” (<—-yes, yes I mean that last one)

And then comes the whole bathing suit nonsense. I tried my red bikini on the other day because (yay!) I'm going to Florida in June. And despite having come so far, I still felt disappointed. "Your tummy is still a bit pudgy. God, you're so pale. If only I had longer legs and arms, then maybe the fat could be spread out and you'd look more thin. Tonight, you seriously need to do more crunches." Yes, these are things I think to myself. And I know I'm not alone. Not even close.

So I'm walking along on this walk I was talking about earlier and I'm feeling strength in my legs that I didn't have pre-February. I feel lighter when I take strides. And both those things are great. Those are things for which I SHOULD be rewarding myself. And I've come a long ways in terms of my fitness. I push myself in Zumba so hard, I do weight training consistently, I can run A LOT farther and faster, I can do 13 push-ups in a row! I ordered a FitBit!

Great, but the mirror is still my enemy. That 2 x 7 foot square that stares back at me daily. Will it ever not be? It doesn't seem like it. And how do we as women fix something that is so largely ingrained in our culture? In the deepest roots of our society, there it is: body-shaming. Like a big black hole. Because that really is what it is, a big gaping black hole. Nothing ever comes from it but nasty, dark feelings. What's the point of it? I don't know, but there they are.

My point? I'm going to start focusing on the good. I'm going to try. I'm going to try harder. And I'm going to keep pushing myself fitness-wise because that's what feels good. I'll never stop wanting those toned arms, that flat stomach. And that's okay I think. But maybe, just maybe, if I think more often, you go girl, it'll start to sink in.

We are inching along. Every so often I'll see a "body acceptance" video tossed around on Facebook. An Amy Poehler Smart Girls campaign or something similar. Here's my contribution. If you're working out and eating healthy, give yourself a hearty pat on the pack. You go girl. You are doing what you should be doing. Your body is a wonderland.