I had written about the ways in which I celebrate my strengths, and last week I did a post actively practicing self-love and looking for the good in what I had thought were catastrophic photos of myself. But I realized rather humbly that there are quite a few more areas where I can do good work. So here are some examples of how I’ve been a strength rockstar this week:
1. Made some BRILLIANT fermented dill pickles. I’ve been a little afraid of home fermenting and/or canning (Botulism? I have to sterilize things? errrrr does washing count?), but this recipe was so simple and delicious. It only took 3 days for bubbles to form in my kitchen, and these cukes have the perfect amount of crunch. I was worried about eating two jars before they spoiled, but I don’t think that will be any problem now!
2. Thinking about things that I WANT in my life rather than things I need to improve on: I’ve decided that I want more intention in my life and less thinking. Still puzzling this out while I continue my 30 day Meditation Challenge.
3. Clothes. Over the years of weight fluctuation paired with a natural aversion to shopping, I’ve amassed clothes that don’t fit the best. Some are too baggy and some are too snug. Today, I put on a pair of pants that fit last summer, but are currently just a wee bit too tight. Instead of freaking out (like I have been for the past 3 months) about how I’ve gained a little weight, I told myself this: “Ok, these aren’t working right now. That’s ok, no big deal. I’m going to put on some pants that make me FEEL good, and I’ll hang these up for now. When I’m ready, I can wear them again.” No shaming story, no hypercritical judgement, just a decision to wear only the things that make me feel good.
4. I went to the gym on Saturday, and instead of looking at my flabby arms like I usually do, I thought about how I was pretty much an Amazon at the gym. I’m considered tall in Japan, and I was the only woman lifting weights. I love all the stares I get when I throw some weight on the squat bar or pick up some dumbbells!
5. I realized that, as far as I’ve come in dealing with shame, I still had a “not good enough” attitude when it came to exercise. I thought I was never trying hard enough or exhausting myself enough or being as good as someone else. And once I realized that, I stopped for a second and thought. Who cares?!!! I’m exercising! I’m enjoying it and keeping up with it. Consistency is more important to me than perfection. I go out and do a sprint exercise each week, and actually feel good about doing it, whereas just a few years ago the only reason I got off the couch after work was to go and get a second frozen ice cream cone. (Even that last comment was a little judgmental. I was sick and I didn’t know how to make myself feel better. I’m ok that I ate that second drumstick – I can still love myself for it. I just wanted to celebrate how far I’ve come!)
So I may not satisfy my own Judgy Judgmental brain when it comes to how hard I should be working when I exercise, but I know that if I keep practicing self-love and self-worth then the whole “I’m not good enough/don’t try hard enough” exercise thing, perplexing as it is, will work itself out in time.