Friday, November 1, 2013

Where I admit to being a FitMom

Or a variation of.

I took some time to reflect on why the attacks on this woman are so upsetting to me- and realized it's because I am Fitmom by various degrees.

Growing up, I was(and still am) smaller than most of my friends. Any time I made a comment about myself, I was(lovingly, mostly) told to shut up because I'm skinny. Unfortunately, they didn't hear my mom's constant comments about my feet being giant and see how that translated to me buying shoes a size too big. They didn't hear my mom's comments that 'no kid of mine ever fit in a slim jean!' and see how that caused me to buy baggy pants. My mom also told me for a long time that 'you should really jump on the Nordic Track for 20mins, you could stand to lose 10lbs'. So, I thought I was overweight. This was in addition to many assuming my family was the real life version of the Brady Bunch, while behind closed doors things were very, very bad. I ended up experimenting with cutting for a time and considered if it was worth continuing. Because I was thin(ner) it seemed I didn't have the right to voice my own body issues. I felt very isolated.

I still feel very isolated. It seems the same physical assumptions from my childhood have followed me into adulthood, and now extend to the way I keep my house, or the choices I make for my family. Then I lost 10lbs a little over a year ago when we had to make dietary changes for my son.

Ironically, a few weeks before Fitmom's picture went viral, I almost took a photo of myself to post to my facebook page in celebration of what I've achieved mentally and emotionally. I wore brown skinny pants, fitted cream sweater that didn't hide my butt/thighs, shoes the right size, and my hair pulled back(which I didn't do in high school because I was so ashamed of my skin). I did not post the picture, because I was afraid of the comments I might get. I don't think anyone would be intentionally mean, but I do know it'd only cause some to feel bad about themselves and post a comment alluding to as much. And that really hurts me, to know others are hurting. There was no caption I could think of that I thought could contain it to what it was- my accomplishment.

So again, ladies, my plea. Be gentle with one another, be gentle with yourself. We are all Fitmoms by various degrees.

Where I Rant About Fitmom

(Or rather, the response.)

You've seen it. We probably all have. That picture of the ridiculously good looking mom with the abs I could wash my stretchy pants on, posing with her three kids around her. Caption: 'What's Your Excuse?'
I first saw it shared from a facebook page looking for 'thoughts'. Those always crack me up, those posts looking for thoughts. When I first started reading the comments I jumped in the same boat as most and was a little put off by that fit mom challenging me as I sat in my chair wasting more time on the internet. But not as put off as much as most. And then I came across a comment that bucked the trend, the commenter stating we didn't know this mom, didn't know of her personal struggles, that she(the person commenting) had followed the fitmom's blog for years and that the image was meant for her fitness group. So I went digging. And realized I was wrong in my initial judgement.

That's right, I said judgement. Because that's what it was.

'But Stacy! She is judging all of us for not looking like her!'

No, no she is not. She made a motivational image meant to inspire her fitness group. It wasn't made to disseminate to all women. It is a celebration of what she's accomplished despite her own personal hurdles. She makes no assumption of yours or mine(hurdles), doesn't even declare our goals to be synonymous. Because the image was never intended for us.

But the response- let's just call it what it is. Bullying. The bullying she received is very telling.

'Telling of what, Stacy? How catty women are? That's sexist!'

How much we hate ourselves.

How much we've been sold that we're not good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, skinny enough, fashionable enough, smart enough. You name it, we're not up to par. According to whom, I'm not exactly sure. Media, society as a whole, companies who's sole objective is to sell us stuff to make up for these perceived shortcomings. Take your pick, take them all.

It boils down to us. Ladies, stop comparing yourselves to one another, stop tearing each other down. The conspirator-ist in me can't help but think sometimes it's all meant to be a distraction. Because let's be honest, if we actually put our self-hate-filled-words down, and banded together, we would effect some serious change.
Kang wrote: “I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.”
I challenge everyone to consider the root of your own self-hate, self-doubt, self-whatever you want to call it, and change it. The world really needs more compassion and care, and it has to start within.

Peace and Light.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's not just a fad- The food intolerance epidemic

These sweet faces are the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I fight so hard to provide them some semblance of safety in our food, environment, etc.

The little guy on your left is Sam, my 3-almost-4 year old son. Sam loves superheroes, bugs, Charlie Hope, running fast, and snuggling. Sam has 126 known food intolerances and sensitivities. And I am really tired.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mid-Life Crisis

FYI, I'm having a mid-life crisis. Growing up, there were some sayings or whathaveyous that struck a chord and I thought everyone was similarly affected. For example, 'Never Again'. I really believed it. How could we possibly allow something like the Holocaust occur again? We all read the same pages, saw the same pictures. Or others like, Leave it better than you found it, Treat others the way you want to be treated, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Did they affect you, too? There aren't enough people calling for an end to some very bad things. Please get involved in whatever stands out to you as wrong. It's 2013, and we apparently still have a need for something called the Lakota People's Law Project. In the USA. This isn't some far off country. I can't keep up, can't figure out what wrong to focus on first. Please get involved in something if you aren't already. And please consider what can and what can't be fixed if it is allowed to continue, or what is truly a matter of free agency. Some things will always be in flux, others will only get progressively worse and we'll be hard-pressed to correct them once we do turn our attention towards them.

I do believe, if everyone gets involved, it will get better.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

'Practice makes Perfect!'

‘Practice makes perfect!’

The line rang out from the lips of a very sweet 8 year old, directed at my 6 year old daughter regarding some project they were working on. I’ve heard it a million times in my own life and never really thought much of it. But today I did. And I decided it’s a terrible phrase.

What exactly constitutes Perfect? Who decides?  And is it even truly achievable?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about working hard and progressing in life. But I have an issue with being setup from a young age to think Perfection is something we’re supposed to achieve to validate our efforts. Or that your end result isn’t good enough if someone (including yourself) thinks there may be room for improvement.

Maybe not everyone else got caught in this trap. I know I did. And what joy is lost in life because of it? While I’m out watering my garden, I see the need for more mulch, more or less order, the spots on the leaves, the dead heads of the spent flowers. There’s awkward chicken fencing around the beds to (try) to keep the chickens, dogs, and yes, even children, out. I look at the fruits of my labors and all I can think about is how great they will be in time.

What about now?  What about in this moment?

I have a yard, the space alone many in the world would envy. A place for my kids to play, my dogs to run, my chickens to range. I have fruit trees and fruit bushes, several raised beds that provide food for my family. And still extra space to have many of my favorite flowers. Does it look like something out of a gardening magazine? No, not to me anyways. Should it? A part of me still wants that. But I understand now it’s not only unrealistic, it’s unhealthy.

Because it’s more than just gardens. It’s a whole life outlook, feeling not good enough. That other’s are watching and finding me wanting. And all the self-imposed limitations set based on that perception. What things did you not try because you didn’t think you were good enough? I was afraid to sing, to learn an instrument, to pursue painting and writing. I never bothered applying to my college school of choice.

Of course there’s no telling the impact that perception and fear has made in my life at this point, but I think it a fair estimate to assume there may have been some big things. I wouldn’t change where I am or who I am now, but I would like to change who I am going forward. If only to shake the fear I’ve allowed to dictate my life for far too long.

First up, cello lessons.    

Friday, February 1, 2013

Melissa & Doug $350 giveaway is open tonight!!

$350 Melissa & Doug Toys Giveaway
Sponsored by Melissa & Doug

From puzzles to puppets, plush to play food, magnetic activities, music and more, Melissa & Doug® is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of educational toys and children's products.

Over 23 years ago we started our company in the garage of the home where Doug grew up — we had to be careful not to disturb Doug's parents who were still living there! Thanks to your support, we've been able to move into a real office down the road, a building that actually has separate ladies and men's bathrooms! Our philosophy has remained the same over the years–to make each and every customer a happy and permanent member of the Melissa & Doug family, while offering products with tremendous value, quality and design. Our line offers something for everyone with over 1,000 innovative products for children of all ages! We've always welcomed customer suggestions, and we continually strive to make improvements to our products. We're honored by the faith you place in us and view it as our responsibility to continue to earn your trust in the years to come!

Read Coupon Gator Mommy's Melissa & Doug Toys Review.

Three lucky winners!
Grand Prize: $250 in Your Choice of Melissa & Doug Products
1st Runner Up: $50 in Melissa & Doug Products
2nd Runner Up: $50 in Melissa & Doug Products

This giveaway ends Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. 
Open to US and Canada residents.
Good Luck!

A special thanks to all the amazing bloggers who are participating in this giveaway!

~Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Adventures in Green Living is not responsible for shipping prize to winner, nor did I accept any compensation for this promotion.~

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