I’ve been putting off my health for past couple of years as we’ve been building the company and life ramped up to super speed. I honestly didn’t have time for doctors, dentists and eye exams.
Now in my 40s, I know my patterns well. Stress eating is one of them. Each time I grabbed cookies or chocolate, I knew it wasn’t the best choice. It was, however, the easy thing to do and lovely little sugar rushes made me happy each afternoon as I pushed through and kept working. As the weight inched upward to my pregnancy weight, I didn’t want to look at it, or discuss it or even acknowledge it. It’s just no fun to look yourself in the mirror and own up to the things you wish would just go away!
Earlier this month, I decided to use my Law of Attraction skills to put it out into the universe that I would find the perfect new doctor for me. The universe delivered. My amazing new PA asked my permission for a complete blood work and labs to check me out completely and wrote up the order to get a mammogram as well. A complete H2T (head to toe) exam. When we talked about weight loss and busy lifestyles, she told me about the Fresh 20. This is a woman I can relate to; working a busy practice, 3 kids (one with gluten allergies) and a husband who travels all the time for work! If you are in the same boat of juggling a family, career, art, etc. and looking for a way to feed yourself and your family healthy meals, check out this online plan. I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks so I’m no expert, but it’s working for us so far. (note: the kale, corn and chicken enchilada recipe is yummy!) We print out the list on Sunday. Hubby does the shopping and I do the cooking. My son is now in charge of kitchen clean up after dinner.
My head is in the right place. I stopped eating sugary foods, joined Weight Watchers and have been eating good stuff like lots of veggies and protein and drinking my water again. I posted about joining WW on Facebook and didn’t plan to blog about this, as one’s weight and appearance is such a personal issue. My Facebook friends, many of them fellow artists/designers/authors/instructors, had so many positive comments to share and made me feel beautiful and worthy and loved, just as I am right now, that I decided to be brave and take it public.
This time, my desire to change to a more healthful lifestyle feels different. In the past whenever I’ve approached weight loss (and believe me, I have been down this road many times), it’s always come from a place of lack or frustration. Now, it’s not about what I can’t eat, or what I look like or even what I desire to look like some day. Instead, it’s about being the best authentic me that I can be.
I remember years ago when we took in my troubled nephew to live with us for a summer. He was such an insecure teenager that he would talk badly about people to make him feel better about himself. Every time he saw a teenage girl, he would judge them by two standards; hot or ugly. It would drive me crazy! I blew up at him once and told him he was never allowed to call another human being ugly in my presence ever again. The new comment for someone he wished to disparage was simply this: “She has her own kind of beauty.” Yes, I could have just said “don’t do it, don’t call anyone bad names.” However, I felt it had more power making him think about his words and then having to change them to something more positive.
Believe it or not, it worked. He’s 22 years old and when he starts his old habits during family get togethers, he looks at me slyly and repeats, “I’m sorry, Jen. She has her own kind of beauty.” I’ve come to love this, and I realize it is a positive statement. Nothing disparaging whatsoever.
As I’ve been taking these next steps in my journey, I keep thinking about how everyone has their own kind of beauty. We may not all look like Julia Roberts or Johnny Depp, but when we’re moving confidentially in the direction of our dreams, engaging in the things we love and supporting others who are authentically engaging in their dreams, we radiate joy. We beam our unique kind of beauty.
As I was looking through my photo files to find a picture to go along with this post, I came across this necklace that was just returned to me from when I sent it to Stampington almost 2 years ago. Normally the magazine never keeps my art this long, but I presume this little piece must have gotten put in a corner somewhere for possible publication and her time came and went. She never did get published, just returned to me in a box full of my other published artwork.
I made this necklace during a time in my life where I was feeling particularly vulnerable, and what came out of me was a melocholony I felt at the time but didn’t necessarily acknowledge. When I unwrapped it from the box, I was surprised to see it again since I had totally forgotten about this piece. After joining Weight Watchers this time around and looking at health in an entirely new light, I’ve titled this piece, “Her Own Kind of Beauty.”