The Happiness Project: August Goals

First to recap July:

In July I really wanted to focus on who I am on the inside; my inner feelings of myself, other people and my general outlook on life. I feel like I was largely successful with this. Although there isn’t so much quantifiable data for me to look at, I can tell a difference in how I look at those around me. I plan to continue to work on myself and my attitude for the remainder of this project.

August:

Body Image w/ Diet & Exercise: I’ve struggled with my body image for as long as I can remember. I’ve written about it before and it’s possibly the most painful thing I have to share. I’ve never felt more exposed then when I talk about my insecurities with my body. I have a skewed self image and I have a hard time knowing what I really look like. I know how I want to feel and it isn’t skinny. I want to feel strong and confident. I want to be healthy. I want my body to work for me and not against me. I want to know that the food I eat is to the best benefit of my body 90% of the time. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and know the girl looking back at me and feel comfortable with that girl.

Discussing diet and exercise is never an easy thing for me. There is so much judgment in the world regarding people and their bodies and what is right or wrong. In reality what is right for someone should be a very personal opinion, but society at large seems to have decided what makes a person worthy enough.

It kills me to see (mostly) women jumping through these crazy hoops, going on fad diets, trying to find the magic pill, following the next weight loss fad from tv’s most popular doctor (for the moment) and still never feeling like they are enough… skinny enough, curvy enough, strong enough, beautiful enough. Let’s be honest, being intelligent enough is not a label society is often concerned with.

I remember running across this pin with the accompanying text right around when I first started using pinterest:

“Seeing the model on the left’s emaciated form next to the curves and softness of the model to the right, I pause to wonder: WHO decided that lovely, normal, beautiful girls aren’t sexy? Who DECIDED that boys and men should pant for the incredibly small percentage of women whose bodies are like the model on the left? Whoever they were, I call “Bullshit!” Were they trying to make us weaker? Women were demanding rights, so someone decided to influence society – “Let’s make them weak, body-obsessed, hungry, and decimate their natural self esteem!” I can’t think of any other reason anyone would want to have the model on the left’s body.”

I always thought whoever originally wrote this, failed so hard. I don’t understand why either body has to be right and the other wrong. Why can’t both women be beautiful for what they have and who they are? It’s just proof that even when trying to be more open minded to body types, society is incapable of just accepting.

There shouldn’t be a need to tear down something or someone so that we can build up elsewhere. For too long I’ve been sucked into this head game where I chase something because I want to fit in, instead of working to accept who I am, exactly how I am because I will fit into the places that I actually want to be.

This month, when I say I want to focus on my body image with diet and exercise, I don’t mean, I want to lose weight. Although, I do want to do that, and for the first time in my life I can honestly say it has more to do with being healthy then trying to achieve an ideal look. But what I mean I want to do is that I want to treat my body how I’ve decided it deserves to be treated. Specifically, this is what I want for me, to make me happiest, the most content and the most proud of what I know I’m capable of doing and has no bearing or indication of what anyone else should feel they HAVE to do.

Because, you know what, society has it all wrong and they can’t get it right even with trying. I don’t want to achieve someone else’s ideal, I want to achieve mine. My ideal is an eclectic mix that includes so much more than just being a certain weight or size. I don’t want to get sucked into that number game where the scale indicates whether I’ve been “good” or not.

Specific goals for this month:

Not weigh myself – I’ve really struggled with the number on the scale, which hasn’t moved despite my best efforts. I know that I’m getting more fit, but it can be very demeaning to see the exact same range of weight again and again and again, especially when you KNOW the effort you are putting into it. So, for this month, I’m not worrying about that number. I weighed in today and I’ll probably weigh in again on 9/1 but not before that.

Be content with measurements – Joe and I started measuring ourselves when we started with crossfit. That right there was my proof that even if my weight was staying the same, I’m bettering my body because I’ve lost inches. Tonight, we plan to measure ourselves again and update our numbers and I’ll be content with that.

Be mindful of how and what I eat – I’ve been focusing on eating “primally” in case that hasn’t been picked up with the recipes I’ve been posting. It’s a concept I’ve been aware of for a few years and have done once before. To put it simply, this is what makes me feel the best, gives me the most energy and keeps me from feeling hungry. I know that when I don’t eat properly, I do not feel well. I want to make a concentrated effort to eat in a way that makes my body feel best 90% of the time. With an occasional treat thrown in there now and then.

Write down what I eat – I want to do this for a couple of reasons. I do want to lose weight and the best way for me to know I’m making the right choices over a period of time longer then a day is to have a record. And, because when I crossfit, I need to know that I have supplied my body with what it needs so that I feel great going through a workout.

Menu Plan & Grocery Shop on the weekends – I’m typically really good at this, but we recently went through a month where we didn’t do any big grocery trips. Just little stops here and there to get dinner. If I’m going to be more mindful of what I eat, I have to plan ahead and prep properly. To achieve the two steps above this, I have to do this.

Walk Everyday – I crossfit pretty consistently, which is really great. But, I want to add in a little more movement. It’s very easy for me to be lazy in the evenings. However, I always feel better when I go for a walk, it is always beneficial to me. So, my goal is to walk most days, especially the ones where it isn’t raining. I think I should get a pass for walking in the rain because it just won’t happen.

Continue to Crossfit – I’m addicted, so that shouldn’t be a problem. But it should be said anyways

Take time to Pamper myself – The more time I take to take care of myself, the more appreciation I will have for myself. I don’t need to take this time every day, but I definitely need to spend more time taking care of “me” then I do.

Surround myself with positive thoughts – By this I mean, remove anything from my life that brings negativity as it relates to how people look (or rather, most things). Read things that boost esteem rather than tear it down. Find positive role models in people who are amazing regardless of how they look or their size.

So, that’s everything, I think. It’s nice that this month I have real things I can track as opposed to last month where it was more of my thoughts and actions.

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