Self-Imaginary-Imagery

I touched briefly on my last post about losing 40-50 pounds in the past.
(I say 40-50 because towards the end of my weightloss and before I got pregnant, I didn’t weigh myself anymore.)
After pregnancy, being diagnosed with Hashimotos (hypothyroidism caused by antibodies attacking the thyroid gland) and it taking almost two years for me to start feeling better – I want to get back to where I was.
So, what happens when you start feeling better on the inside, but your outside doesn’t reflect it?
It causes me major self-image issues, that’s what.
I am feeling stronger now and ready to take on physical challenges again. I feel like a badass whenever I am at bootcamp or running and realize I am accomplishing feats I have never done before or at least haven’t in a very long time.
I even have days or weeks where I feel like my squishy bits are looking a bit less squishy and I can feel some sort of definition taking place.
Alas, then I see a picture of myself and I feel so defeated.
I know it is such a struggle, for women especially, to accept the way we look.
We avoid taking pictures altogether, or we only allow certain angles, or we filter and touch up the pictures until they look the way we want.
Sometimes we avoid social situations altogether because we are uncomfortable with how we look.
We think we are being judged – when in reality we are our own worst critic – for the most part.
I truly believe that everyone else is so focused on themselves to judge as harshly as we judge ourselves.
On the flip side, it can be such a bitch to be feeling good and have this idea of what you look like, and then see yourself in an unflattering picture – or when you try to get into that outfit that you thought was your size and you realize it is too small.
This past weekend I felt pretty amazing.
Then my darling teenage daughter snapped a pretty unflattering picture of me.
SMLXL

I was posing with the fish I caught.
Damn straight – I caught us some dinner food.
But, is it a pretty picture?
No.
Honestly, I thought I looked so much better than that when I was posing for it, so to see the picture myself it kind of shocked me.
I had my chest and belly puffed out and was mid laugh – aka, my other chin was in full view.
Yup. I am a little fluffier than I want to be. I don’t feel like I am, but pictures don’t lie.
What this picture doesn’t show is that I have been battling through every step I take for the past two fucking years.
Two years ago, when waking up with a headache was the norm.
Two years ago, when making it to lunch time without a nap was considered a successful day of battling this bullshit disease.
Two years ago when trying to focus enough to write a paragraph was hard enough – let alone a whole blog post.
Two years ago when I felt like I was so lost and was never going to be found again.
Two years is a long time, yet a short time all in the same little ball.
I have had some success with taking supplements that aid thyroid function and getting copious amounts of bloodwork done to make sure my levels are stabilized.
But, I am not done yet.
I feel like I am on the right track to feeling better, but I am taking the long route.
The first time I lost a significant amount of weight, it was hard.
It was downright mother-effin’ annoying at times.
I had to find new ways to enjoy exercise and how to eat differently and apply it every.single.day.
Now I have to learn how to do things different all over again.
Hashimotos is an autoimmume disease as well as a glandular and hormonal ailment.
It fucks up everything in your body.
My metabolism is out of whack, my hormones are out of whack, my digestion is out of whack.
This whole body is out of whack!
I have to relearn what my body can and can not have put into it and I have to find the time to manage my household, children and working out.
What hasn’t changed is that I know I can.
It can be done.
With perseverance, the willingness to learn and some hard work, I can do this!
This isn’t a race and there isn’t anyone giving me an ultimatum or telling me to get my shit together… except myself.
In the meantime, I have to love myself right now.
Right now – exactly how I am at this exact moment – I need to remind myself that I am O-Fucking-K.
Even if nothing changes on the outside, I am still allowed to be happy with who I am.
Love Yourself, even if you are fluffier than you want to be.
Allison
PS) For some real motivation, I am posting my very own (old) before and after.
It seems like so long ago now, but I am happy that 35lbs makes such a difference. It gives me a bit more hope.
SLXLM

 

When Bad Things Happen to Good Mugs

I had great intentions.
I was almost in dreamland last night when I realized I had forgotten to put the wet laundry into the dryer. Sometimes if it stays overnight in the washer, it can smell musty, so I rushed downstairs – miraculously avoiding the sleeping dog on the floor by my bed and switched the clothes over to the dryer.
Mission accomplished, right?
Nope. I thought I would be a baller and tidy up the recroom a bit.
Secretly, I just wanted to bring the mug I had been using upstairs so I could use it for coffee or tea in the morning.
My favourite mug, I might add.
It was my favourite for a few reasons.
It was huge and pretty.
It was also thick and wide brimmed.
It was also free. I won it at a wedding shower last year.
Just look at ‘er:
 PicMonkey Photo
 
She is beautiful.
I am pretty sure she’ll fit a good 8 oz and that makes her all the more glorious.
I ran with Mug upstairs and noticed the counter had a dirty butter knife on it and decided to put that in the dishwasher as well.
Unsurprisingly, in my midnight stupor, I swiped the butter knife onto the floor with one hand, holding Mug in the other.
With a clang, the knife flew off the counter and onto the ceramic tile.
Not thinking, I let go of Mug.
Ceramic tile be damned.
20160714_105859
 
She’s even beautiful while she sleeps eternally.
I don’t know where Mug is from.
It could be a dollar store mug, or a fancy mug from the Fancy Mug store.
Either way, her value was not on the amount she cost, or even the liquid gold she held for my consumption.
I just really liked her, dammit.
She was just one thing – ONE THING – that I looked forward to in my morning routine.
Sometimes we sipped and read the news on the deck while the little played in the backyard.
Once or twice she came on our walks to the mailbox – or even on a short car ride.
There was a time when I thought Mug was lost.
Turns out Husband was quite fond of her too – but he was irresponsible and left her in his work truck amongst some dirty tools.
He never used her again.
So there she goes. Ready for the recycling box of broken glass.
She will fit in well with the beautiful mercury glass candle stick Toddler broke just after Christmas.
Did I mention I had good intentions at the time?
I was going to clean her up and we were going to have another day together.
Yeah sure, she was abused and used as much as I wanted, but I never meant to hurt her.
Sometimes it happens when we mean to do good things – at least we think they are good. We have done them all along, even though they are a bit self-serving.
We may have this thing that we love, we almost take for granted, get a little reckless and then it all comes crashing down.
Mug is broken and can not be repaired.
I have done this exact same thing figuratively so many times.
I have had great intentions, lovely things – and I either drop them or throw them away.
Relationships, friendships, bonds of trust and even my own personal virtues.
I have broken many.
All too often they are broken beyond repair.
Of course, we could slap some glue and tape on Mug and she might hold out for a day, or give one last offering – but the damage has been done.
I am sure I will find a replacement somewhere.
Maybe it will be a blue one and we will forget about the accident.
My wine glasses are currently throwing me shade glances from their perch in the curio cabinet.
Fuck them.
Sometimes all they hold are bitter tastes and headaches.
They have their place, but it is not today.
Today –
I am Mug.
Love Yourself and Love the Things You Love Because You Can,
Allison

 

One Way to Be Happy

NOTE: This post is written in a rush, but I am so elated that it can not wait until tomorrow.
My toddler is begging me to go outside and go swimming or to the playground right not so let’s hammer this one out. Fast fingers please.
Shit just got real.
I just posted this on our local community centre facebook page:
SMLXL

BACKSTORY:
I actually left my television production job twice.
My husband went to work out west for a few months and I quit my job in 2011 and became a Zumba Fitness instructor.
I had been working on myself for over a year at that point and had lost about 40 pounds and just wanted to bring some fun fitness to people in my area.
It was awesome.
I was teaching six classes per week – including a set of back to back classes.
This went on for over a year and I met so many amazing people and networked with so many awesome instructors in my area – it was honestly one of the most rewarding and fun times in my life.
I just didn’t realize that it is also easy to burn out when you are going at it so hard.
I fell out of love with the Zumba brand at around the same time that I started teaching other varieties of classes.
I had decided to get my Canfitpro certification and to really make a go of being a professional instructor and I taught some pretty badass classes.
I also got to work with some awesome and inspirational people.
It was also exactly what I needed for myself.
Then my husband came home from the oil fields and we decided we needed to actually have a steady income.
(With teaching fitness classes, the income can be sporadic. I mean… some months I paid for my people to come to class and other months I felt like I was legit money making.)
So, that’s when I went back to the exact same job in television production that I had previously.
Literally I took over the position from the person who had taken it from me.
I wasn’t there long before I got pregnant and the rest is history.
Or is it?
During my pregnancy I developed hypothyroidism and I had no idea what havoc it would send my body into.
I had the worst symptoms:
Headaches
Poor concentration
Diminished motor skills
Fatigue
Hair, skin and nail dryness (I literally had scales on my forehead around my scalp)
Hair loss
Weight gain
Signs of depression and anxiety
Moodiness
etc.
I literally could make this list pages and pages long.
I have been through so many rounds of bloodwork that I think I have permanent needle hole in my arm.
It took almost two years for my bloodwork and thyroid levels to even out.
I started taking some natural remedies as well – vitamins and supplements – and I finally started to feel a bit like myself around the same time we moved into our new home.
I could progressively feel myself feeling better and better – so I started going to some fitness classes being offered at the hall near my house.
These were the most difficult classes of my life.
The first few weeks I was still battling fatigue and brain fog, because even though I was feeling better, not every day is 100%.
I can still have my off days even now.
But I could progressively feel myself getting stronger and stronger.
For about seven months I went to these classes twice per week that made me feel like I could do anything and it made me feel like I
could beat this thing inside of me that made me feel like crap.
At the end of the season our group was told the instructor was moving.
We were all devastated because this had become a little social gathering as well.
There was no way we could let these classes go.
Our community needed something like this.
What if there was someone out there just like me who’s only hope was to come to classes like this and finally feel strong again?
So, I stepped up.
Now in the excitement of it all, I am also a little nervous.
I have to rewrite my certification exam and prove myself all over again.
But, man I am so game for this.
It is exactly what I need, again.
Love Yourself,
Allison

A Broken Tailight

A Broken Tail Light.
I wasn’t taught to be racist.
I lived with people who look like me,
and People of Colour lived someplace else with their own.
We were separate and life was fine –
– Fine for the people that look like me.
Truly, I was taught to ignore the division.
I wasn’t taught to be racist,
but I learned that we are different.
Though, it isn’t just the colour of our skin that differentiates us.
It is the opportunities given – that’s what really separates us.
The people who look like me live freely and unafraid.
Truly, I was taught not to think about my privilege.
I wasn’t taught to be racist,
but racism doesn’t mean toting guns and waiting to attack.
It is the tense smile you wear as you clutch your purse walking past a man on the street –
knowing his children will not get the same chances as your own.
Racism can be ignorance painted with assumptions.
Truly, I was taught to be naive.
I wasn’t taught to be racist,
and it is possible so many of us aren’t.
Even though a man can be killed –
without hesitation,
in front of his child, and beside his lover –
because separation has made him a target.
Truly, this is a disgrace.
I wasn’t taught to be racist,
was I?
I still live with people who look like me and we are fine.
Life is fine for us.
We live freely and unafraid,
until we see what we have done.
Truly, I am ashamed.
MLXLS

————————————————————————————————————————————-