When you’re riding the struggle bus

I don’t understand all the reasons, but I’ve been struggling with my internal dialog lately. 

My beautiful Emily graduated from college on Saturday. Wanna guess what I saw when I looked at these pictures?

Fat. I saw fat. 

Fat face. Fat midsection. Fat arms and fat hands. 

I saw Emily’s beauty and accomplishments, but on me? I saw fat. 

It’s been haunting me and causing me to second guess every choice I make about clothes. 

This is me this morning. What was going on in my head? I was wondering if the top was too flowy because a flowy top shows curves and shape and I really don’t like my curves and shape today. 

But I wore this for a reason. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. It looks pulled together even though I don’t feel that way. 

We all need clothes that we can do that with. These pants are amazing. They’re palazzo pants from Cato’s and they honestly feel like pajama pants. I love anything I can wear to work and be this comfortable in. The top is super soft too. I ordered it from eShakti and even though it’s long enough I could wear it with leggings and boots, I’ve always partnered it with pants. Red is a strong color, and even though I don’t wear it a lot, I needed it today.  

BGPS: What are your go-to clothes when you’re on the struggle bus? What are your triggers for getting on the bus and what are your tools for gettting off the bus?  One thing I try to do is focus on what my body can do and not how it looks. Today, I’m going to make a list to help me remember those things. I can sing. I can walk. I can even jog for short amounts of time if I want to. I can do yoga and plank and my flexibility with some poses has improved dramatically over the past year.  My body gave birth to babies and nourished them until they were ready to feed themselves. 

What would you put on your list? 

This one’s for Kayli

Do you ever have days where you feel plain old defeated? I definitely do, and yesterday was one of them. I found a great self-care planner that I decided to use over the holidays to keep from running myself ragged. The planner includes a suggested self-affirmation for each day, which sounds wonderful!

Until yesterday.

Yesterday’s affirmation was I am at peace with my body.  Now here’s the thing: part of why I
wanted to use this particular planner was because it was created by a woman who is living with cancer.  If a cancer patient can be positive about her body, I can, right?  Well, apparently not because not long too into the day, I started having serious issues with telling myself that I was at peace with my body.

I’m not at peace with my body.  I still want my body to be smaller.  I to wear smaller sizes.  I want to be able shop anywhere and find cuteness wherever I am.  I’m not even much of a shopper, to be honest, but still . . . there’s nothing fun about looking at clothes and realizing that none of them would fit you.  Nothing.  Nothing at all. 

So I realized that I still have internal work to do.  I made it through yesterday, had a lovely dinner with family a guest who is visiting Harding from the UK to do research, and by the end of the day, I wanted to be done with trying to convince myself that I am at peace with my body.  I looked ahead and saw today’s affirmation: I am forgiving of myself and others.  Ok.  I can do that.  I can forgive myself for not being at peace with my body and I can move on.

So, this morning as I was getting dressed, I knew I had to choose something fun and easy that would make me feel good about things.  I chose this:

Before I went to work I ran into Walgreen’s and saw my friend Kayli, or Kayli the Encourager as I think of her.  Seriously.  This woman blesses me in ways she will never know.  (Thank you, dear.  You really are good for my soul.)  When she saw me, she said, “Ooh!  You need to blog about that one!  So I am.  About why I chose the outfit, about the truth of where my head was when I chose it, and about how much I needed her encouragement this morning.

I seriously love this poncho.  It’s from Modcloth and I scoped it out for quite a while before I bought it on a major sale last year.  It’s warm.  It’s flowy.  It has fringe and bright colors, but isn’t overwhelming.  If you’ve not discovered Modcloth yet, go check them out.

My beaded bracelets are actually a long string of prayer beads that I twist around my wrist.  I love the deep colors and I’m a person who often needs tangible things to remind me of spiritual truths.  Although I have other used prayer beads in the past to help with creating a more disciplined prayer routine, I have not used these for that.  I don’t think of them simply as a bracelet: they are still prayer beads.  They remind me to pray without ceasing simply by being present on my wrist.

The other bracelet was a gift from a dear, lifelong friend:  Family by Choice. I loved it so much that I bought matching ones for all the girls in my family.  Daughters, bonus daughters, daughters of the heart.  We are family because we choose to be and that is worthy of celebration.

Big Girl Postscript:  Shopping can be a total drag.  I completely get it.  Once you find a merchant that works for your body, take advantage of it.  Shopping online can be challenging, but there are some online stores that have really good options for us.  Modcloth is one, but you’ll want to head straight for the clearance area.  JCPenney has also done a great job with sizes that work for me and lately, I’ve been MORE than pleased with Target too.  You can do this.  I promise.  Message me if you need to vent or scream.  I totally understand. 

Searching for . . .


And I’m not sure what.

What am I sure of? I’m sure that I’m tired and could sleep at a moment’s notice.

I’m sure that I would rather spend my days at home, taking care of others and taking care of my self than out and about doing things that require adult type clothes.

I’m sure that I have an amazing life.  A home I love.  Friends I cherish. I want for nothing, and yet there’s still a feeling of searching for . . . something.

For rest.  Respite.  A place of being neither too much nor not enough.  A place away from wrong or right or black or white or dark or light.  A place that just is.  A place and time to be still and know.

There is one more day until the weekend comes to greet us and I will cherish, cherish, cherish the time that I can structure and use for myself.  I will glory in times of rest and rejoice in areas of productivity.  Little things, like Christmas lights, cooking for friends, and watching a movie on the couch. Real life things. People things.

And in those moments, I will find the place where I am neither too much nor not enough and I will be in a place where there is neither wrong nor right nor black or white or dark or light.  A place that is home to my heart and my soul.  12

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