Be Happy…

After a recent shopping trip I realized I’m developing a problem.  Despite my efforts to downsize before moving I’ve recently become a bit of a shopaholic.  I donated a box of clothes then went shopping 2 days later….not doing well with the downsizing.  I used to hate shopping for clothes, dreading going into the stores where nothing fit and I looked terrible in everything I tried on; however, at some point in the last two years something in me clicked and I began to love clothes shopping.

Since I’ve found out shopping can be fun I always feel bad when a friend or family member proclaims they hate shopping for clothes.   Most of us have experienced terrible shopping trips, the ones where you walk into a store with hope and optimism only to leave in tears.  I’ve had my share of those shopping trips and looking back I realize I made several mistakes when shopping.

  • Always wearing the same thing- This is not always a bad thing but can lead to getting caught in a rut.  You find something that works so you continue to wear the same thing, sometimes for longer than you should.
  • Not being adventurous-I used to always wear the same jeans and when skinny jeans became the trend I thought, nope, never.  One day I decide let’s give these a try and I realized they were actually flattering on me but I never would have known if I wouldn’t have tried.  Trying on new styles can lead to a whole new wardrobe.
  • Not being in the mood to shop-This might seem simple but if you’re not in the mood to try on clothes it’s probably not going to be a good experience.
  • Not accepting your body-  I’m 5’3″ so what looks good on a model or even someone has a different body type might not look good on me.  Shopping with a friend, she tried on a puffy vest so I tried on a puffy vest, she looked cute, I looked like I was wearing a marshmallow.  I was being adventurous but as a busty girl the puffy vest didn’t work but I realized I liked the style it was just too puffy so I’m still looking for one with a bit less puffiness, which leads to my next point.
  • Becoming easily discouraged-Just because one store doesn’t have your size, one trend doesn’t work, or one shopping trip goes poorly doesn’t mean you should give up.  There are so many clothes out there that everyone can find clothes they love.

No one is perfect and I still have days where I try on every item in my closet only to wind up in tears and screaming I hate my body and all my clothes.  I throw my fit then throw on some clothes.  I might not be where I want to with my body but it’s not going to change overnight, so in the meantime I’m following the advice from one of my favorite quotes.  I’m learning to work with what I’ve got while continuing to work on getting where I want to be in the future.

Let’s get physical!

I’m really struggling with working out so I’m beginning to explore some of the options to get me on track.  I actually enjoy working out but for some reason I struggle to get started.  Last week I was convinced that I would keep walking even during the winter but yesterday I bundled up, walked outside, and after 5 minutes ran back in the house (not exactly enough to get the heart rate up).  I had the best of intentions but I’ll admit to being a wimp, once it starts dipping below freezing I’m not gonna be heading outside for my workouts.

On to the next option, which is working out at home.  I have an elliptical machine I drag out about once a month, do about 5-10 minutes then I’m tired and honestly a bit bored.  I used to really enjoy working out on the elliptical at the gym years ago, perhaps I’m just giving up too soon but the other problem is the boredom factor.

Enter Wii Fit.  The only reason I decided to purchase a Wii a couple years ago was for working out.  I figured the variety would be the key to keeping me entertained and working out at the same time.  Unfortunately like the rest of my workouts I’m very sporadic with it.  When I power it up the sarcastic little board on the screen reminds me how long it’s been since my last session and that I need to keep on track to meet my goals, sometimes I hate that little board but I know it has good intentions.  I haven’t given up on this option.

Another option I’m considering joining a gym.  I don’t want to spend the money and don’t want to join during the New Year’s resolution rush but it’s something I haven’t actively explored.  I would have to leave the house so if I set a time like an appointment I might be more likely to get there at least a few times a week.  The other thing is if I’m paying money and don’t go then I would feel like I’m wasting money, which I hate doing especially since I don’t have a job.

The downside is since I’m not comfortable with my body I’m a bit scared of the gym.  The rational part of me recognizes that this is one of the best reasons to go to the gym but I still fear judgement.  Some days I wake up the confidence to take on the world but other days I doubt every aspect of who I am and want to hide.  Again, the rational part of me knows if I want to have more of the “confident take on the world” days I need to change my mindset and my body.

Right now, working out is one of the key components I need if I want to make lasting changes plus I know once I get into it I’ll be happier.  Today I am going to pop some batteries in the Wii remote, get my ass off the couch, and do at least 30 minutes just to get moving.  I’m going to find what options are in my area and go check out some gyms this week because it’s an option I’ve been considering but haven’t explored and it might be just what I need.

My relationship with food

Friends come in all shapes and sizes.  If they can handle my sarcasm, creativity, and quirkiness then we can hang.  This is not to say that I’m not human and don’t judge people when I first meet them, unfortunately appearance is the first things we have to go on in most cases.

I’m guilty of judging skinny women but I’m beginning to realize what I’m doing is stereotyping in the same way that people might stereotype me because I’m overweight.  I’ll save my rant on body shaming for another day because what’s on my mind today is what I’ve learned from my healthy friends and how it brings to light my negative relationship with food.

Some of my friends are super skinny, the kind of girls you see and automatically want to feed them, maybe joke about throwing them a cheeseburger.  Something I’ve found with these girls is if you throw them a cheeseburger many will eat it because they do not always have the negative connections with food.  A skinny friend would always question how I would never eat because at work I wouldn’t hardly eat whereas she would eat a meal and a snack in a typical work day.  I’m beginning to see that she had it right, you have to eat to be healthy.

This is a bit of a struggle for me because I don’t always see eating as a necessity for life but as a source of weight gain.  I question all my food choices and will dwell on anything that I view as a misstep away from healthy eating.  Most of the people I know who are healthy and not constantly worried about food or their weight seem to eat constantly.   When I say that these people eat constantly I mean they eat 3 meals and maybe a couple of snacks during the day, which to my one meal a day mind seems excessive.  I’m getting better about my eating habits but I still struggle to eat consistently because I worry that I’m overeating.

Rationally, I know it’s not excessive and I know I feel better when I eat consistently but old habits and mindsets are hard to break.  I also know that if I don’t eat I’m more prone to overeating.  Even today I ate a handful of almonds, some coffee, but have yet to make an actual meal and it’s after 1 PM.  I feel tired, a little cranky, and I know it’s because I haven’t eaten.

Everyone is subject to food issues, whether they’re skinny, obese, or somewhere in between.  Healthy and happy is the key to body acceptance, and in my case one of the steps I need to take is to mend my relationship with food.  My goal right now is just to get to a place where food is not the enemy and where I can go through the day without thinking about what I’m eating or what I’ve eaten that day.

I’ve been working over the last few weeks to incorporate healthy eating and I’ve made some baby steps but as I continue to dwell on my eating habits I know I have a long way to go but I’m positive that I’ll get there, I just have to accept that it might take some time.