who is influencing you?

Several of my twitter friends have shared a New York Times article over the last couple of weeks. I hadn’t had time to read it, but so many people I respect kept commenting on it. So I saved it in my handy Instapaper to read later. Having now read it, I can see why it’s so popular. So today, instead of writing about my ups and downs, I’d like the share the article with YOU and to also make some comments.

First off, it’s an opinion piece by a novelist that I really like, Jessica Knoll. I read her book “Luckiest Girl Alive” a while back. If you like suspense books, give it a go. Anyway, her piece in the Times is called “Smash the Wellness Industry.” I’m going to put several excerpts here, but I’d really encourage you to follow the link and read the whole thing.

In sum, the entire piece is about the fallacy we are all being fed about “wellness” in our society. I like how she said it in this paragraph:

The wellness industry is the diet industry, and the diet industry is a function of the patriarchal beauty standard under which women either punish themselves to become smaller or are punished for failing to comply, and the stress of this hurts our health too. I am a thin white woman, and the shame and derision I have experienced for failing to be even thinner is nothing compared with what women in less compliant bodies bear. Wellness is a largely white, privileged enterprise catering to largely white, privileged, already thin and able-bodied women, promoting exercise only they have the time to do and Tuscan kale only they have the resources to buy.

Jessica Knoll, NY Times, “Smash the Wellness Industry”

All day long we see “influencers” on Instagram. Thin, barely-clothed, tan women pawning us shakes, or waist-trainers, supplements, or workout programming. They are telling us what we need to do to inherently be happy and feel good. Or trying anyway. Because, as she says in another part of the article, wellness equal thin and thin equals wellness.

I liked this quote as well:

I no longer define food as whole or clean or sinful or a cheat. It has no moral value. Neither should my weight, though I’m still trying to separate my worth from my appearance. They are two necklaces that have gotten tangled over the course of my 35 years, their thin metal chains tied up in thin metal knots. Eventually, I will pry them apart.

Most days, I feel good in my skin. That said, I am probably never going to love my body, and that’s O.K. I think loving our bodies is not only an unrealistic goal in our appearance-obsessed society but also a limiting one. No one is telling men that they need to love their bodies to live full and meaningful lives. We don’t need to love our bodies to respect them.

Jessica Knoll, NY Times, “Smash the Wellness Industry”

I don’t love my body right now. I’m not comfortable in it. But I’ll be honest, this has given me pause to ask myself if I’m uncomfortable for the right reasons. Am I healthy? Yep, I just had a whole bunch of blood tests that tell me so. I can run and strength train. So is it all about being thin?

Anyway, go read the piece and give me your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. I think we all need to strive to be healthy and WELL, but are we really doing in society today? And how do you define it now that our measuring stick is so very skewed?

TODAY I LOVE: thought-provoking discussion
SONG OF THE DAY: “Killing You, Killing Me” by Jamestown Revival

green grapes and gray water

This *might* end up being the most random post I’ve ever written. Then again, I write a lot of random stuff all the time so who knows. Hang on for the ride.

On Wednesday of last week I flew to California to visit my fella. First off, it was so, so great to see him. Even though I just saw him in April, it felt like forever. We spent the fourth of July in Napa, and OHMYGOSH. It is like heaven. The hills were green, the grapes were green and growing, and the wine was very red. There were flowers EVERYWHERE. Everything was bright and vibrant. We also went to Monterey so that I could see the sea otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium. We took a behind the scenes tour of the otter stuff and I just giggled like a five-year-old the whole time. It was pathetic but I was in love. I should have tried to stuff that baby otter into my bag. I KNOW George would love a friend. The rest of the time there we just hung out in each other’s company. And I might have loved that just as much.

The downside of last week was that I was/felt sick pretty much the entire time. And I’m still sick. Something is going on with my insides and I don’t know what it is. Gallbladder? Ucler? Hernia? Pretty much any time I eat, I’m crazy nauseous for forever. My diet change hasn’t really fixed it. So off to the doctor I go.

Sooooo right now I’m eating a lot of carbs. It seems to be the only thing that upsets me the least. And let me tell ya, when you already have body image issues and THEN you eat a lot of carbs…it’s not good. Just call me Sarah McBloaty. Sarah McBloaty likes to eat bread, pretzels, and crackers. She really hates skinny jeans and swimsuits. She’s a barrel of fun (when she doesn’t want to vomit.)

Back to real life. With no wineries and no sea otters and no boyfriend. But I still want to puke. So…I guess I didn’t leave everything in California. So far 2019 is The Year of Nausea. I started the year with the flu and it’s still goin..

TODAY I LOVE: peppermint
SONG OF THE DAY: “Hold You Now” by Vampire Weekend

I really like your dress!

Does anyone else out there struggle receiving compliments? Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing them in my soul. They make me feel so good. It’s almost like every one you get, it is a helium balloon tied to your thoughts…it just keeps lifting them up. And when you’re not used to hearing compliments in a while, it’s like 5 balloons at once. It is the best feeling.

But nevertheless, after someone gives me a compliment I almost always say something self-deprecating and then I convince myself they only told it to me to be nice. I mean, they couldn’t possibly mean it.

I mean, why do we do this to ourselves? I read a tweet the other day that said, “Rejecting a compliment is like asking for it twice.” WHOA. It’s kinda right. So then you have to ask, why do we do that to the people giving you the compliment?!

On Friday a co-worker complimented my dress and instead of just saying “thank you” and smiling, I replied with “Thanks, it’s not flattering at all and makes me look huge with the stripes, but it’s comfy.” To which, she had to say, “No, I think it’s cute!” WHY DO I DO THAT?! I was not nice to myself and then I made her say it twice. Bleh.

I have to get better at this. There should be some kind of training on being better at receiving compliments without attaching strings and conditions.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this week. 🙂

TODAY I LOVE: cucumbers from the farmer’s market
SONG OF THE DAY: “Movement” by Hozier

peace like welcome rain

Good morning, friends and Happy Sunday! It’s raining here in Missouri, again. I’m pretty sure it’s been raining for the last 6 months. It has been the weirdest year here in the midwest. Lately I’ve been so grumpy when it rains. Now that I’m living alone and yard duties are mine, every time it rains the very first thought that goes through my mind is “That damn yard is just gonna grow faster.” But today, well, today I’m pretty amazingly content.

Lots of happenings this week and for once I’m sitting here on a Sunday looking at all of them positively! I haven’t felt well for quite some time but haven’t been able to put my finger on what it might be. After a lengthy visit with my chiropractor (but they are basically my everything doctor because they fix everything and I trust them with my life) I think he might be on a path to figuring out what’s going on. I won’t go into it all here, because I’m likely to type it up all wrong and some of you real medical professionals will yell at me for misinterpretation. So – let’s just leave it at I’m changing some things from my diet and eliminating others. I also need less stress, but if any of you have more ideas on how to fix that I’m open. All that to say, I’m not fixed, but maybe I’m now on a path to an answer. Make sense?

I was also super brave this week and left the Sarah Cave. And guess what!? I met new people. And it was amazing. I want to talk more about that but it’s still fresh and special and new and like a little bird I’m going to foster my new peeps quietly for a bit.

So, I’m sitting here this rainy Sunday in a great state of peace. I’ve got Gregory Alan Isakov crooning me from my record player, I just put chicken in the crockpot to eat on the for the week, I’ve got a mug of hot tea, all the lamps on….NEED I KEEP GOING!?

This is me you guys. No makeup. No contacts. Bedhead. A Colorado mug because I GET TO GO SEE GREGORY AT RED ROCKS IN A MONTH. This is me with a happy smile, enjoying where I am in this minute at this time.

I just thought you should know that I’m not always doom and gloom and sad. I’m just getting better and recognizing sometimes happiness is in the small things.

(Total transparency, there is a filter on this photo. It’s called “I Am Enough.” So I just had to use it.) 🙂

TODAY I LOVE: the sound of rolling thunder outside
SONG OF THE DAY: “The Universe” by Gregory Alan Isakov

you enjoy YOU.

by Craig Groeschel

Hello everyone! Happy Sunday! I thought I’d check in and say “yo!” First off, thanks to all of you lovelies for being so real with me after my post last week. Because of your words I decided not to delete it.

I saw this quote the other day and decided to share it because it really stuck with me. (See above.) Isn’t it the truth?! And it applies to a whole lot of things…we can be perfectly content and happy with our lot…until we see our neighbor next door. BAM! What we have, or what we were overjoyed to be having, suddenly isn’t good enough.

This week I had some happies and I had some sads. And both are perfectly ok. I had some victories at work and I spent some quality time with my family yesterday celebrating Father’s Day. I’m also battling allergies that are going to be the death of me and my former wedding anniversary snuck up and bit me in the butt. Week #3 of counting my macros and I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained.

Up and down. High and low. Win and loss. It’s life, folks. I’m happy to report that this week I (for the most part) kept my emotions riding right down the middle between the two extremes.

If I can offer any kind of word for this week, it’s remember the quote above. You enjoy your YOU. YOUR LIFE. Everyone else is doing their own thing and probably comparing themselves to someone else too. Maybe even you. Skip all that and just take the joy. (I’m taping this up in my office this week, as a reminder for me too.)

TODAY I LOVE: my polaroid camera…I got a few photos of me and my brother yesterday that make me laugh SO HARD.
SONG OF THE DAY: “Sound and Color” by Alabama Shakes

two sides of the same coin

Change is good and change is hard. My therapist once told me that every relationship (especially marriage) is a contract that has to constantly be renegotiated. We are human and we change. Because of those changes, negotiation has to happen or the relationship breaks. I think that can happen to your relationship with yourself too.

I’m in this weird season of life where it feels like everything, once again, is changing. If it were just one or two things, I probably wouldn’t feel it so hard. But it’s a lot of things. My home is changing, my job environment is changing, all my relationships are changing. And in the process of all of that, I’m trying to change me too.

I’m 38 years old and it feels like everything in my life is sand on the beach; unstable and constantly shifting.

Yesterday I posted a selfie. And bless ALL OF YOUR HEARTS, you showered me with compliments. I promise you, the intent of posting it was not to be fishing for compliments. The intent was for me. I felt good in that moment and rather than letting it pass, I wanted to acknowledge it.

It is no secret if you follow me on social media that I LOVE the new The Head and the Heart album. I’m so obsessed right now that I probably listen to the whole thing at least once a day. Here is one line in the first track that has stuck with me for a week. I sing it over and over.

Until you learn to love yourself
the door is locked to someone else

“See You Through My Eyes” by The Head and the Heart

So. That. I’ve got a long way to go. I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but here goes. It wasn’t 3 hours after I took the original photo I was proud of, where I felt pretty, that I turned into this: a sobbing, snotty, wet, mess. It is a tale of two Sarahs. The Sarah on the right is insecurity, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and poor self-worth. The Sarah on the right is the one that I need to get smaller and smaller. And she’s taking all my energy among all the other change.

I’m likely going to regret posting this and I hope that I can retain my nerve and not delete it later. It is hard to be so open. But I can’t do this alone. And so far, being so raw and open, has brought me a community. And maybe someone out there needs to see that not every pretty picture you see is the whole truth, that there might be a sobbing, snotting one right behind it. If you’re that person too….you are not alone. And together we can get though this.

TODAY I LOVE: Watermelon!
SONG OF THE DAY: “Fix You” by Coldplay

there is an upside

I’ve had one of those days today where my emotions have been up/down/up/down/up/down. REPEAT TIMES 1,000. I’ve been so “up” that I’ve giggled with satisfaction of a big win, and I’ve been so “down” that I literally almost passed out because my adrenaline dropped from anxiety/stress over other news. Yeah, it’s been a day. But it reminded me of one thing I’ve failed to tell you all lately. There is an upside.

I’ve written a lot over the last few weeks about how I’m struggling. It is no secret, I’m still struggling. I probably WILL be struggling for a while. You can’t fix years of emotional conditioning in just a few weeks. But I don’t want this home to just be a negative space. I’m not really sure why it seems easier to talk about the ugly stuff, but it is. In a way a success seems…braggy?

In the last 6 weeks I have seen and felt change in me. Maybe not in outward appearances, but inside. I’m smiling more. I’m talking more. I’ve intentionally taken myself out of my comfort zone time and time again and it hasn’t hurt me yet. I’ve even let a few people see the real Sarah and they haven’t run away. They’ve run toward. I’ve given up control in some areas and it’s helped immensely.

I think once I accepted that I’m at the bottom, I realized that everything I do that brings a smile to my face or helps me sleep at night, can be considered a win. Every win brings me closer to not carrying around the backpack of anxiety, to being ashamed to look in the mirror, and to feeling unworthy.

In a day full of ups and downs, I’m going to celebrate my ups. I’m also going to celebrate that recovered from the downs (and didn’t just live there! And didn’t eat a pint of ice cream in the process.)

To all of you who have been interacting with me privately, I hope you’re celebrating today too. Find something to celebrate. All these little wins add up.

TODAY I LOVE: the smell of honeysuckle
SONG OF THE DAY: “Below My Feet” by Mumford & Sons