Alcoholism · Body Image Issues · Health · Sobriety · Uncategorized · Weight loss

Body Image Issues

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When a person starts drinking heavily,  they start to gain weight, mostly in the abdomen area. And for women, this can create some really uncomfortable body image issues, especially if they already have low self esteem.

This is what happened to me after I started drinking excessively. I was having a really hard time with narcissistic family members who were so disrespectful and childish to me. It made me feel like I wasn’t worthy to be part of my husband’s family. I felt self-conscious and would feel hurt if someone was laughing behind my back (which happened a lot).  So every night, we put a bottle of wine out of its misery. It was a ritual; one that we dare not break for fear of the dreaded DT’s. “What harm could it do?” we thought, as we poured another glass. “We’re not driving or operating heavy machinery.”

Harm. It did some harm, all right. To my waistline, my self esteem, my moods, and the way I reacted to the negative energy around me.

It did a lot of harm.

To everything I loved, including my fit and healthy lifestyle.

It was battle of the bulge, and I was losing. Wine: 1. Emily: 0.

This went on until I realized that no matter how much I exercised, I was not burning the fat in my ever-expanding belly, thighs, and butt. It just wasn’t possible unless I benched 250 everyday for months. And that simply isn’t possible. I think I can dead-lift 30 pounds at the most.

I kept running and I would do squats and other body weight exercises occasionally, but it was futile; I had some strength in my legs from running, but that was it. The pounds just kept coming.

And so did the negative energy. It’s not easy being a very small, shy girl in this decade. People are hurtful. Unless you look like Kate Upton or Kim K, they pretty much dismiss you as trash, and I was dismissed all right. Tossed aside with ugly words and dirty looks. I’ve always been funny looking, but alcohol made me look a lot worse.

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I coped with crying and burying myself under the covers; and alcohol. So much alcohol. It was a vicious circle. The more depressed I got, the more I drank.

And from all this foolishness, I gained 20 pounds; but I’m trading in those pounds for self esteem, self care, happiness, joy, and a healthy, fit body. The body I used to have. The body that could run for miles like a tiger. That’s the body I want, and the body I deserve.

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Body image issues don’t have to be a part of our lives forever. I believe that if we forgive ourselves for doing things to our bodies that aren’t healthy or are harmful, then we can begin the healing process. We also need to forgive those who have hurt us; not because they deserve it, but because it will help us to heal from the pain. No one likes to be called fat, ugly or worse; but forgiveness is the critical first step in moving on.

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Loving ourselves is so important too. It may seem impossible now (believe me, I’ve been there), but loving ourselves in a healthy way is job one. Self-care is a way to love yourself; shave your legs, go for a walk, and put healthy food into your body. Those simple steps are a way to show yourself love.

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Changing our mindset. Oh, how important this is. I had to do it straight away because my original mindset was “I’m not worthy, and I can’t do anything right.” Now my mindset is “I’m created in His image, and God loved me so much that He gave His son for me.” Genesis 1:27, John 3:16. Changing our mindset can also be about replacing negative thoughts that bombard our minds with good thoughts. Cast out the negative, wicked, and depressing thoughts, and replace them with good ones. Write them down and read them aloud to yourself. It will improve your mood and help you climb out of the rut of a negative mindset.

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Exercise. This is a no-brainer for someone like me who is into running, weight lifting, and other outdoor activities. But when someone is depressed or hungover (or both), who wants to exercise? I get that, yet it’s so important to keep the body moving. Endorphins make us feel good, and that’s a great pick-me-up for someone with body image issues.

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These are just a few of the things (in addition to God’s Word) that I’m applying to my life to climb out of the rut and live a healthier, happier life. I know it’s hard to live with the body image issues that come with alcohol abuse; it’s one of the things I hate most about it. But there is hope, and there is a healthier happier ‘me’ on the other side of the spectrum. I just need to go after her.

Resources:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rm 12:2 Taken from 15 Positive Body Image Bible Verses, via Marie Osborne.

Body Image Activities from A Year Without Mirrors

The Struggle to be Skinny: What Does God Have to Say About It? From RockT.his

Disclaimer:

Everything I have written in this post is strictly my opinion. I am neither getting paid or endorsing a product or website. I am simply sharing my experience and what has worked for me in my current situation. Also, I am not offering medical advice or recommending that someone exchange professional advice for what I am offering here.

 

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Uncategorized

Just Be.

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It’s ironic that I posted this as my status on Facebook a few days ago, but when it comes to maintaining this blog, I can’t ‘just be.’ I can’t simply enjoy the journey of blogging, writing content, and having fun. Instead I’m spinning my wheels trying to learn all I can about affiliate marketing, monetizing my site, and promoting my site. I’m like Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde. One minute I’m in my zen mode, completely entranced in a relaxing yoga pose. Then the next minute I’m like an anxious hamster that can’t get off the wheel of trying to make things happen that aren’t meant to happen…yet.

I understand that I’m new to blogging and promoting content; I have a lot to learn. So many questions are left unanswered. Until those answers are found, I should just sit back and enjoy my blog. Write, upload photos, and share things I’m passionate about; but leave the more complicated things on the back burner…for now.

Many blogs fail within the first few months, and I don’t want to be on that continuum. Nobody wants to be a statistic; and nobody wants to see their blog fall down the black hole of the delete button. I can make this blog work, I just have to find its purpose, and its mission. This blog is in its infancy, and it’s not ready for solid food.

Solid food for an infant blog may consist of affiliate marketing, shared hosting services, buying a domain, and building links. And like my blog, I’m not ready to invest in things I’m too young and naive to digest; things like investing in my blog, buying a WordPress theme, and paying for things that I normally use for free.

I’ve never paid to edit or enhance a photo; those apps have always been available to me for free. But pro bloggers use PicMonkey to create and edit beautiful photos that drive traffic to their site..for a fee. I know I’m not ready for that level of professionalism, so it falls under the category of ‘baby food.’

This little baby blog doesn’t have the traffic yet to make investing money into my blog worth it; doing that would fall under the category of stupid. Because to be honest, I may never get a lot of traffic, and that’s OK. I have accepted that, and I will continue to use this blog to be an outlet for my daily runs, thoughts, training victories and defeats and other notes about my crazy life. Not everybody is going to want to read that; and I can live with that. I won’t lose sleep over it.

So why do I keep jumping on the hamster wheel of anxiety? It’s a bad habit of mine to keep doing things that are way ahead of their time. When it comes to success, I don’t want to read the introduction; I want to get to the ending straight away without doing actual work. It’s a character flaw; and I admit it. Just like I admit that my writing isn’t optimal for driving traffic to my site. I know very little about SEO, and ignorance is not bliss in this case. Yet I keep trying to read the ending  before reading the whole book.

I should definitely go find a yoga mat and get into my best Lotus pose. Inhale deeply, letting the breath I take bring peace and tranquility to my entire being. Because after all, if it’s meant to be for me to make money on my site, then it will happen. But for now I just need to namaste.

Photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net

Running · Training · Uncategorized · Weight loss

Running Past The Finish Line

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Excuses, Excuses

For the past few years I’ve wanted to run a marathon, but I wasn’t prepared to put in the work. The long, difficult training seemed to be too daunting for someone at my age, who is passed her prime and who is carrying a few extra pounds. I also deal with ankle pain from time to time, thanks to a serious bicycle accident 3 years ago. But these are all just excuses. Excuses that I let take root in my mind. The roots of these excuses permeated my thinking, and crowded out any motivation that I had to continue training for the marathon. The roots dug deep into my psyche, allowing no room for progression or success.

Running I Shall: Train I Shall Not

I did continue to run, but train I did not. I would start a program, and then stop. I did this multiple times; and once you make the same mistakes over and over again, it becomes a decision. I decided that a marathon wasn’t for me. The tree began getting stronger, and the roots embedded themselves deep into my brain; the excuses became decisions, reasons, and alibis.

Then one day something clicked.

The reason my body wasn’t ready to train for a marathon was because it wasn’t strong enough. After my bicycle accident in 2014, I started running very slowly until I could run 10 miles comfortably. I got back on the bike and enjoyed hiking with my husband. But I did virtually no strength training. And my running suffered for it.

No More Running For Me!

Fast forward to 2017, and my thin, lean body became a study in fat collection. I put on 20 pounds, and most of it rested in my gut. It made it very difficult to run, and I basically gave up in March of this year. “No more running for me,” I said. “I’m done–now I just lift weights.” When I made this announcement, I pictured my Facebook friends looking at their phones and rolling their eyes, because they knew I was full of it. They knew I would return to running.

And by golly, they were right!

I just finished a nice, relaxing 4 mile run, and the endorphins are flying all over the place. I feel great, and I’m excited about my training plan that I am now following. I’m determined to see this thing through because I’m not getting any younger (I’m now part of the over 40 crowd), and it’s either now or never. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. That I let the excuses take over my mind and crowd out the reality that I do love running, and I always will.

Run Past The Finish Line

I know that once I run past that finish line, all the hard work will be worth it. I will have achieved a goal, and it will feel awesome. There’s no try: lace up, show up, and go!

Photo credit: Brittneymasseyphoto.com via Pinterest

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