Monday, June 20, 2011

Self Image

When people look at me, they might see this:

Happy, smiling, confident
 Or this:

Strong, capable, enthusiastic
But what I see when I look in the mirror is most often this:

Yep, that's a cow.
Unfortunately, too often when I look in the mirror I don't see what I hope others see in me.  I see rolls, flab, dimples and even frizzy hair.

I think a lot of women (and plenty of men) feel this way, and I have to wonder why.  Is it due to the advertisements we're bombarded with on a daily basis; the super thin women with perfect hair, perfect breasts, and the perfect ass?  Whatever the cause, it doesn't make me feel good.

I find that the more I feel like this, the more depressed I become.  There have been days where I've been so down on myself that I haven't even wanted to leave my bed.  I've been moody and irritable.  Hans has had to put up with a lot.  I haven't wanted to clean or even walk the dogs.  Forget walking the dogs, I haven't even wanted to hear the dogs.  The most I've wanted is to sleep with a dog curled up next to me.  The worst part is that as I feel like this, nothing gets done.  Since nothing gets done, I end up feeling overwhelmed and then I end up feeling worse...much worse.

After one particularly bad morning a few weeks ago Hans and I sat down and had a chat.  We finally decided that some things had to change and they had to change right away.  I knew that whatever was going on was NOT healthy, and I had to figure out some way to change it.  So, I've implemented a few changes.

-I've signed up for the Up & Running course.
I signed up for this for a few reasons.  First, I've heard of the coach, Julia Jones, for a few years now, and I've liked what I've heard.  Her programs focus on the entire body, not just endurance and not just running.  It's an online course, so I can do things in my own time, but the best part about this course is the community.  There are hundreds of women (only women) around the world who are doing this with me.  This morning, I did the first work out, tweeted about it, and got a response from some of these women cheering me on.  I'll cheer them on too.  It makes you feel good.  I'll tell you now I probably won't post much about this until I'm done with the course, but I figured I'd let you know what's going on.

-I've eliminated all medications.
I really am not on many meds...none for anything life threatening.  The thing is, I do feel that the meds I was on were making me irritable.  I could be wrong, but I've been off the meds for a few weeks now, and I'm feeling better than I have in a few years.  I've never been big for medications anyway (I only take 1/4-1/2 aspirin when I have a head ache) so this wasn't too difficult for me to wrap my head around.  There are some things in the works, but for now I just want to see if being off meds really does make me feel better.

-I've changed my diet.
Summer is a really good time to do this.  There are so many tasty fruits and veggies out there (and boy do I love watermelon).  I've always been a breakfast person, so I've enhanced my breakfast (bacon and eggs instead of cereal), and I'm working on the lunches and dinners.  I'm making a very conscious decision to eat lots more fruits and veggies.  Meals are still simple, but they're a lot better.

-I've started cleaning...a lot more.
I started by just washing the dishes.  I wash the dishes and Hans dries them.  We talk, we have fun, and at the end of the evening the kitchen is clean.  Eventually, I moved up to the bedroom (a place that's always needed some extra attention).  The next morning, Hans got the upstairs bathroom while I got the downstairs bathrooms.  Hans vacuums more than I do, but I dust and clean windows.  It's working well.  And guess what.  I don't feel so overwhelmed!

The changes haven't lasted that long, but I am noticing a difference.  I'm hoping it's more than just me being happy due to summer weather.  I'm praying that these changes stick, because even if the bad moods do come back, these changes help.  My fingers and toes are crossed, but for now I'm happy that I'm currently feeling happy.


  1. I definitely know the gloomy feeling! But it's good you signed up for a course. I just registered myself on the forum because I felt like I needed more immediate feedback about my weight loss questions. Cleaning is great too! I have bursts of that. I hate cleaning but I love the results. Keep it up!! Post some recipes too (I'm trying to collect some recipes so I can stop microwaving everything and feel like a real adult!) It really sounds like you have a lot of positive things going on. Just remember the positive when you are feeling gloomy! You can also shoot me a comment or email and I will respond as soon as possible!! :)

  2. You're awesome. It's so good that you're implementing these changes in your life. I have definitely felt the same way you have. I know how hard it can be. I really love UAR because there are so many women just like us in the forums. I definitely underestimated the importance of that support.