A year ago, my little body was starting to shut down a bit when it came to my pancreas and liver. I was sitting in a hospital room, hooked up on so many pain meds, being flushed with so much fluids, I was unable to not only get out of bed but unable to move myself up or down without the help of others. This would happen time and time again until February 2015 (knock on wood, it never happens again). During these bouts, I would end up having to use walkers, canes and go through physical therapy to “learn” how to walk again. But my body is strong and I’ve learned that so is my mind. With a good attitude and determination, you can do just about anything.
So yesterday, I completed a 5K race with three of my favorite people in the world. I certainly didn’t run the whole time, but I had a blast and did the best I could do. The greatest part of this race? 10 inflatable obstacles to throw yourself into, bounce and slide down. I pretended I was an American Ninja (princess) warrior and laughed my ass off the entire time. Laughing is the best ab workout, anyways right?
How grateful I feel to be strong enough to complete a physical challenge like this. 🙏🏼
Happy Sunday, loves! Enjoy your day.
I’ve been trying to work out a lot lately, eat healthy. do yoga, take the stairs. And as much as I’d love to say it’s all for my overall health, a lot of the motivation has to do with my body and how it looks. Knowing I’m going to be in a bikini next week stresses me out. I’ve been thinking about it all the time. Every time I go to get in the shower, I look at myself in the mirror and think “ugh.” Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “oh shut up Jess, you’re a small girl.” I hear it all the time and I get it. But I also know how I feel. I also am allowed and entitled to feel unhappy with my body if that’s the way I honestly view myself. It’s always really irked me when someone scolds me for complaining about how I look because they think I’m being ridiculous. I’m a petite person, I know this, but I also have flaws that I don’t like and I struggle with feeling good about myself. The reason for this blog post, however, is not to rip on people that “shoooosh” me or tell me to be quiet when I talk about my weight. But instead, it’s to vent about why I even feel this way in the first place. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and it really makes no sense. Why do I care that I have a roll when I bend over? Or that the lower portion of my belly sticks out a little bit? Those factors really don’t affect my actual life yet it affects my mental life. My body has done incredible things this year. My body has rid itself of a horrible disease called leukemia. My body has overcome pancreatitis, on multiple occasions. My body has taken round after round after round of toxins to help the leukemia never come back. Yet, somehow, when I think of my body, I think it’s not enough? If I’m being honest, that’s seriously effed up.
I really don’t know if there’s anything that can be done about this but it’s something that makes my mind move. It interests me that the brain works like this. That I logically know that having a “pooch” is really unimportant, but emotionally, I can’t seem to shake the fact that I absolutely hate it and want a flat stomach. Emotionally, I’m jealous of the tall (long haired) girls with lean legs and a flat stomach rather than maybe someone who’s short and stalky but brilliant and a doctor. When I really stop and think about it, I’m jealous of that doctor. I truly wish I could be a nurse or doctor but I spend more time fantasizing about having Candace Swanepoel’s
body. I spend more time idealizing someone for having a nice stomach rather than someone who’s saving lives. That’s a sad fact.
I think we’re all guilty of this, however. Even the Candace Swanepoel of the world. And I don’t think it makes us bad people, it’s just who we are as humans. It’s the old “you always want what you can’t have” and having a better body always seems to be on the list. But I’ll tell you something, as much as I say I want it, I don’t know how much I truly do. Because, unlike the Candace’s of the world, I like my burgers. I love nachos. And beers. And pasta. And cheeeeeeeeeeeese. Good food makes life good. It’s an activity. It’s a part of life and one that I would never give it up just so I could attain that 6 pack abs look. Because “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is IN-FRICKEN-ACCURATE. Buffalo chicken pizza tastes WAY better than a flat stomach would feel.
Till the next random rant.
p.s. I hope this didn’t come off as “woe is me” or a back-handed way to get compliments, because that’s not what I’m looking for. I just wanted to openly talk about how I feel about my body image and body thoughts in general.
Sometimes I dread working out. I’m not in the mood. I’m tired. I’d rather do something else…like shopping for example (“shopping is my cardio,” anyone?) but once I make myself do it, I’m always happy I did. My whole life I’ve been “an exerciser” but it means more to me now. It’s one of the few times I feel in control. So much of my life right now is out of my control; work, getting a dog, being able to drink (or smoke hookah apparently– just got that put on the banned list recently), and my diagnosis and treatment in general (soooo out of my control). I don’t have control over what’s getting pumped into my body each week. I don’t have control over how I feel afterwards. I should, but I often times lost control over my emotions. My emotions about how my life has changed, how work is going, or “what I’m doing with my life.” My emotions are all over the place lately.
So to feel that sense of control that I’m missing in so many other aspects of my life is empowering. What’s more is that I feel strong when I workout. Not as strong or conditioned as I once was but I’m getting there. Just a few short months ago, I was in the hospital going through physical therapy to regain the strength to walk again. Thinking of that makes me think, damn I’ve come a long way. Exercising also helps clear my mind, I get to listen to music and get out my frustrations from the day. It helps put the worries of my world on hold, even if just for a little bit.
I debated putting up the picture below because my hair has thinned so badly and you can really see it in this shot which I feel embarrassed about but at the same time, I’m doing a yoga pose, called Crow. I’ve been working on and struggling to be able to do Crow. Long before my diagnosis, I couldn’t do it. You can barely see, but my feet are elevated off the floor and I’m balancing solely on my hands. It takes a lot of balance and even more upper body strength. I still need to work on being able to stay there for an extended period of time, but I felt such gratification this weekend when I was able to get into the position a few times. It shows, once again, that if you truly put your mind to something, you can achieve it.
That’s all I have for my lecture today on the benefits of exercising. Sorry if it was preachy but I’m just feeling so grateful to be strong enough again to have this piece of my life back.
Plus, let me not fool myself… bikini season is fast approaching and I’m all about being ready.
Sometime’s when you just can’t decide between dancing around your living room or doing yoga, you should mix the two together for a workout that’s fun but still makes you sweat!
So that’s what I did. Turned up my Beyonce Live CD, rolled out the yoga mat and grabbed my 5 pound weights. Mix the three together and my worries were long gone, smiling as I shook my rump, and peaceful as I got my namaste on. What a perfect combo!
Happy Saturday everyone!