Monday, 27 October 2014

Of self-loathing...and discovery.

I am almost half way through my thirties and sadly, like many women my age, I'm stuck in a rut of body hatred and self loathing.

On one hand, I'm proud of what I have achieved with this body. I have been a gymnast, a dancer, and an ok netball player (this may or may not have been a few years ago now). I have bush-walked, climbed mountains, swam and completed City to Surf three times (I even ran one of them!). I have snorkelled the great barrier reef and the islands of Fiji. And most importantly, I have birthed three beautiful babies - my greatest achievement yet. 

They say comparison is the thief of joy and boy were 'they' right. It's so hard not to compare myself to others. My friends. My family members. The women in my life who birth babies and their bodies 'snap' back into their original wonderful form - or better! It's hard not being able to understand why, in the genetic lottery, I missed out on the body that goes back to 'normal' after a baby. Why I'm doomed to a life lived in firming underwear!... not because of my size, but because of my skin. I have the tools and the ability and the mindset to change my weight, but no amount of conscious eating is going to change what only surgery can fix.

This all came to light this week as I shopped for a new item of clothing. Nothing makes me feel more shite about myself than a fluorescently lit fitting room with all around mirrors. I sat in the change rooms of a department store lamenting to loss of my confidence filled early twenties. The days where I didn't feel crap leaving the house. 

Last year's HCG Protocol journey has taught me one thing. Amazing health is achievable and it is worth striving for and focusing on. But at the end of the day - eliminating the excess fat on my body isn't going to remove the 'other excess' (I know, this is freaking you out - but I've always been about honesty - so I hope this doesn't scare you off). So unless I divorce my husband and marry some rich sugar daddy to fund stomach surgery (which, frankly I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to have anyway) I have to at some point come to accept my body for what it is and me for who I am. This is going to be easier said than done. 

I get that there are people out there who are going to be my biggest critics and judges... they can bite me. I was always taught, if you don't have something nice to say, keep your trap shut. But at the end of the day - it's me who has to feel good about me.

This is where Body Image Movement comes in. I've been keeping an eye on this movement over the months prior to E3's birth but haven't been onto it as much since she was born. I've just discovered that in my down time, Taryn has launched what looks like an amazing program to help people like me on a journey to self acceptance. I love seeing her confidence. I love her philosophy. I just don't know how I can reach that point myself. 

I'm hoping that I can save the $$$ to sign up to a future round of Unstoppable, as the current one is closed ( I just missed it - bummer!). 

I know I don't often mention my faith over here on Think BIG. Start small ( I usually save that for Take Heart, Sweetheart) . But I also wanted to mention this bible verse that's coming up in my heart and mind a bit and perhaps it will also speak to your heart... 'For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:56). Just another reminder to me that it's about the inside and not the outside. The current Freeway series I'm a part of is really appropriate for my current state of mind.. you might also find it helpful.

All I can say is it's a journey. And one that I feel like I am just discovering, dipping my pinkie toe in the HUGE ocean that is my own personal healing. I'm sure it's a lot simpler than that. I share my thoughts and my feelings because I want people like me out there to know that you're not alone. You're not the only one feeling like the real YOU has disappeared in a sea of motherhood, family life and other commitments. If I can be this blatantly honest with you, complete strangers, then surely you can be honest with yourself. So with the help of my Church, Thermomix, Body Image Movement and Changing Habits, I am going to endeavour to become the best version of me that I possibly can. It's going to take time. I'm sure there will be set backs. And triumphs. Self discovery is a never ending process right? But with the support of my family and friends and the love of my God, I know I can get on the right road.

In the meantime I have discovered this song - and I get the feeling that perhaps I should play it on repeat until I get the message right! I know, I've probably been living under a rock (such is the life of a mum of three including a newborn!) because this song isn't so 'new' anymore - but it is to me. So here is my anthem from this time forward. I hope you enjoy it like I am!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

When did it become such a bad idea to take your husband's name?

This could perhaps be one my most controversial posts, but fortunately a personal blog is a place where one can voice their own personal thoughts and opinions freely (hopefully) without persecution. Feel free to agree or disagree with what I have to say, let's just not make a sh*@fight out of it ;)

So, it seems I keep hearing and seeing headlines that discuss the issues of misogyny and sexism and other controversial issues that push the gender inequality boundaries and I'm wondering, what's all the fuss about?

Today I read this article on about Family Feud's apparent 'gaffe' last night. Now, as it so happens I was listening to this show in the background while I cooked dinner last night (goodness knows why because I've never actually watched it before!) and as I heard this question come up I thought 'ooooooh there's gonna be trouble over that one!'. But the thing is, does it really require that much of a discussion?

Yes, woman are capable of much more than ironing, cleaning, receptionist duties and hairdressing. But are the feministic crazies that jump on their soapbox every time something like this 'slips through' the censorship cracks actually dismissing the importance of these roles and the capability of the woman who do them?

I happen to be a housewife. I cook, occasionally clean, raise my children and the like. I, for the record, do not iron. Not because it's 'a womans job' and a refuse to be pigeon-holed' but rather because it's a ridiculous waste of time and no-one of either gender should be submitted to doing it. But 'womens jobs' aside, when did it become so bad to do all of those things? Am I less of a woman, feminist or forward thinker because I don't 'work' in a 'job' outside of the home? And perhaps, the 100 Aussies who answered these questions were not just men - 'gasp' no! Perhaps some woman also believe these things to be true. I get the feeling that if Channel 10 had simply added the world stereotypical to the question, they'd be in less trouble today.

I for one am quite comfortable in my stereotypical roles. I don't feel like Family Feud or anyone else for that matter has made me feel like I am disadvantaged by choosing to live my life in a 'womans job'. Is it really that big of a deal? Don't we each personally have a choice to either act or re-act to such commentary?

And while we're on the topic - since when did it become such a bad thing to take your husbands name? Quite frankly I'm saddened by the article in today that critisizes Amal Clooney (yes Clooney) for changing her surname after marrying George. Seriously -this requires comment? Why is it not possible that an educated, beautiful woman of a certain age not be able to make a decision that honours her husband in a lovely, albeit traditional way? What on earth has this world come to if a woman can't change her name without being mocked for it? I say hurrah to the new Mrs Clooney! I know the day I married my man I was proud to take his name! Not because it was the traditional thing to do, but because this was the man I was committing my life and my heart to and I wanted to honour him in doing so. It doesn't mean that he isn't committed any less because he didn't take mine. It's about showing respect and about honouring the love between two people. If someone choses not to take their husbands name - it's fine with me - I don't feel the need to critisize the move publicly. Goodness me, do we need to be that picky? Truly?

There is beauty in tradition - nothing wrong with that in my mind. Perhaps the media need to recognise that it's possible to be a 'stereotypical woman' and be strong and capable at the same time. All this fuss about womans roles get's people all in a tizzy... just take a breath people.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Hold them close.

I just can't go to bed tonight without getting the emotion from my heart onto the page.

Today my 1st grader daughter lost a class mate. A boy in her class, J lost his battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL).

Miss E1 seems mostly unaffected by it as if she is not fully aware of what this really means. Although I wonder if it will come out as days go by. She wasn't particularly close to J. They weren't in the same class last year and he was diagnosed in February this year, so has been off school since the first term. I don't even know his poor mama (we have a very big school). But his passing is weighing heavily on my heart tonight.

J was a classmate. A son, brother, grandson, cousin and friend. A brave little fighter. And he was juste six years old. The loss of someone so young is a tragedy and tonight I am praying for peace and comfort for his family and our school community who loved him.

I don't understand why this happened, but J's passing leaves a footprint on my heart. This little boy who I have never met has changed my perspective today. His legacy is in what he has taught us to prioritise in our lives.

How many times a day do I pick up my phone and tell my children to wait a minute while I just....?

How many times do I yell, snap, get impatient or angry with my kids?

How many times a day do I take a photo of them, rather than living in that special moment with them?

How many times a day do I get frustrated at the not so positive behaviours of my kids?

I can guarantee you that if I was J's mama tonight, I would give anything to go back and relive every one of those moments over.

I imagine myself running out of time with my precious babies. They're only babies for such a short time. Only toddlers for a short time. Preschoolers, kinders, and someday they will be teenagers then adults. Time will go by quicker than I want it to. Will I be able to look back and remember those moments?

This has been on my heart and building for weeks now. As I nuzzle in to my newborn daughter and remember every smell, every sound, every milestone I find myself lamenting that they will be gone before I am ready for them to be so. And yet some people don't or won't get the privilege of each season and stage. How can I not be in awe of the wonder of being a mum?

I am resolving to be a more calm parent. To listen. To respond. To chose love over anger and frustration. To chose gentle instead of dismissive. To chose time over time lost. Because I am blessed to be in every moment of their lives. And I am blessed to have them in mine.

Hold your babies a little closer tonight. Cherish every second. Love every moment. Because every single one is a blessing we are gifted with and I know I personally have taken it for granted too often. That changes now.

Rest in peace brave boy. Your life, though short, was not in vain. You have made a difference.

Think BIG. Start small.