Super Woman is not real!

I know a lot of women whom I have never seen in the same room as Super Woman. Okay, so I have never seen Super Woman (she’s not real), but that is besides the point. What I have noticed is that these women put too much pressure on themselves. I admit, I am likely one of these women – and this is probably why we are such great friends and have such immense love for one another. But lately, I have been hearing a lot of negativity, hurt, and pain. Having self expectations are good up until the point when they becoming self harming.

For some women I know, I would attribute some of the negativity to physical and emotional burnout. Others, physical overtraining and burnout. You know who you are and yes I am writing to you! I hear: 

I am a bad mom!

I am a bad friend!

I do not have time for me! or anything!

I do not workout enough! or I did not run far enough! or I do not run often enough!

And what I am hearing are all of the things that she did not do and I am hearing nothing about all of the things that she DID do!

There are no Super Women

Super Woman was a comic book hero – she is not real. There are no real Super Women – hiding capes. You may sometimes feel like the world, your family, and your friends are asking you to be Super Woman, but they are not. More often than not – everyone would appreciate seeing that you are human. So breathe. Take time to enjoy the day. And do not put so much pressure on yourself to be everything to everyone all of the time.

It is okay to miss a workout – No one ever died from an acute lack of exercise. However, individuals have died as the result of excessive exercise. Use that as food for thought.

Teenage children –– will ‘hate’ you regardless. Do not worry about bending over backwards to be the ‘best’ mother in their eyes.

Maintain boundaries – Most women I know need to practice using the response, “NO!” This is easier said than done. However, the more we say it, the easier it becomes. And ultimately, we will gain more respect from others when doing so.

Social support – More than anything, we need support. Spouses, running pals, mentors, mental health professionals, book clubs – wherever you may get it. We all need someone to simply listen at times – not necessarily provide feedback or advice. Have a safe social support system in your back pocket.

Some of my closest friends are the women I run with. We became amazingly close after a 200-mile relay adventure in 2011. Each year the group grows – and our support grows. While I hate running, I love my Fit Chix with Quick Stix! At times, I believe that each one of these woman are Super Woman – business owners, cancer survivor, mothers, coaches, educators, chefs, bakers, crafters, shoppers, chauffeurs, singers, stupid human tricksters, etc. But I know better — Super Woman is not real.

The bottomline

I initially thought this post would be about ways to avoid burnout. But we know how – we have heard it all a million times. The hard part is applying it. So my final thought is simply this – be kind to yourself. And remember all the things that you have done and do and focus less on what you have not done.

I wish that I had something super enlightening to share with you, but I do not. But to all my ‘Super Woman’ out there – you inspire me daily!

 

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Finding more on a weight loss journey

A dear friend shares her journey and her heart.

To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. 
If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now. – Alan Cohen

Often times, when we discuss love, it is in relation to our connections with others.  We give love anthropomorphic tendencies, describing its ability to create harmony, whether through our own personal connections or a universal exchange (that links all persons in a global community).  Discussions regarding self-love are relegated to conversations relating its pertinence in the face of limited self-worth.  The implicit necessity of loving one’s self is paramount in establishing worthwhile connections with others. 

Since this blog is about health & fitness, I will tailor this entry, relating self-love to my weight loss journey.   

Last summer I began a journey towards health & fitness, though my immediate goal revolved around losing a tremendous amount of excess weight, my exigent goal was to learn to love myself.  My excess weight was a reflection of my inner turmoil, my struggle to find acceptance (a struggle I presumed to be externally founded…. thereby, extrinsically resolved).  I assumed that loving myself would be a natural effect of changing the way I looked physically.  By changing my appearance, I would become more acceptable to others, allowing me to become more acceptable to myself.  This change would provide an avenue for me to establish connections with others (at that point I was socially isolated, spending tremendous amounts of time alone with limited social interactions) and increase my self-efficacy (believing I could accomplish the many goals I had set for myself).  To a degree these presumptions were accurate.  I have changed the way I look, I am more appealing to others and have a greater sense of comfort in my physique, but that has not translated itself into increased self-worth. 

There is still a sense of lacking and deficiency.  As I strive towards attaining what I believe to be the “perfect body” (for myself), I constantly have to face the impact of my limited self-worth. I am faced with the unhealthy habits I’ve developed, as I strive to love myself . . .. having formerly “loved” myself with food.  I developed a reliance on food to cope.  In the absence of self-acceptance and social relationships, food became an ally.  In losing weight, the foods I formerly relied on for comfort have become an enemy.  They no longer provide me with the same semblance of peace or “happiness”.  I have come to realize that my perception of myself is highly correlated to all of my struggles, I have to resolve my intrinsic feelings of worth, so that I may find the acceptance I long for.  The lack of connectedness I feel with others is greatly attributed to the lack of connection I feel with myself.  Changing my physiognomy has not changed the pertinence of answering these issues. 

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I have to learn to love myself, to be comfortable in my own skin, to appreciate who I am.  I have to become whole.  I have to learn to live, because I’m tired of feeling dead to myself . . .. not knowing or appreciating the characteristics that make me a worthwhile individual.  It’s exciting, this concept of self-discovery.  But this undertaking is by no means easy.  This process has been laden with valleys and peaks.  It requires changing my mind, literally.  Reframing thoughts, addressing hurts, and examining fears.  Exchanging unhealthy behaviors that were once associated with loving myself for behaviors that truly reflect love for myself.  In doing so, I am hoping to experience the tranquility that comes with loving one’s self.  Partaking in the ubiquity of love, as it connects me to those I care for. 

I am grateful for those who are willing to love me along the way, as I learn to love myself.

What has your journey shown you that you did not expect?

Who AM I?

I have been working very hard at developing materials and have compiled information for my Possible Selves Workbook. As a result, I have been thinking about where I have been, what I have done, where I am today, and where I want to be. WHO I want to be. And you know what? I want to be me. My life has not been full of incredible moments and accomplishments. But my life hasn’t been all that bad, either. And I love my mission. I love the individuals I interact with every day. I am thankful for the relationships and for the AMAZING individuals who are in my life, have been in my life, and those who have yet to be in my life.

I am devoted to always bettering myself – ultimately for the betterment of others. It is my hope that my love and humility shine for the betterment of this world. I am passionate about health, fitness, and wellness because I have lived on both sides – ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ and I know how much better LIFE is on the healthy side. I have taken risks to build my foundation in education and experience. And I am forever thankful that I took those risks because I would not change my experiences for anything!

What defines me?

SINCERE. I am sincere at heart, thoughtful, genuine, and compassionate.

FAITHFUL. Loyal, committed, and trustworthy – and I expect the same in return.

GOAL SETTER. Achiever, accomplished, and driven. My sights are focused on what I want and my goals help me define my path.

COMPETENT. Able, willing to put forth effort, and possess the know-how.

ORGANIZED. I like order, systems, and structure. If it is not there, I will make it – whether it makes sense to you or not!

Visit www.flagpage.com to discover what makes you YOU!

That bad a$$ chick

I know I have a presence about me. In the past, have been labeled ‘bad a$$ chick’ at the gym. My very first lifting partner will tell you that it took two years before I would make any conversation in the weightroom. I have heard that I am intimidating and unapproachable – to women and men alike. Women who do not take the opportunity to get to know me perceive me as threatening – when my heart is one of the kindest I know! As a friend, I will be the first to be honest with you and I can sometimes be too blunt…

Perceptions of who I am

I come across old photos now and again and it’s a reality check. There are days I feel out of shape and weak. Really??? Let’s rewind ten years and then maybe I could talk about being out of shape. There are days when I feel like I can do ANYTHING. But most days, I just am. I am just me. I am not superwoman. I am not infallible.

In the last few years, I have heard many things, others’ comments of who and what I am linger in my mind. Here are a few that come to mind:

  1. You sound like a walrus.
  2. You are wearing makeup; I thought you were someone else.
  3. You are a vicious b___.
  4. You are really skinny – and that’s a compliment (from the mouth of a child).
  5. You have taught me that you don’t have to be thin to be attractive.
  6. Those shoes don’t look like you.
  7. It’s inspiring to see a woman who’s not afraid to wear muscle.
  8. You look great – you look GIRLY!!

Who am I? I am not 100% sure. I wish that I saw myself the way that others see me. How is it I only see the flaws and others see so much more? I do know for certain that I am not superwoman, but I am strong and I work hard. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.

SO, I’m reflecting. And refueling. And I encourage others to reflect and refuel as well!

Who are you,

who do you want to be,

and what are you doing to get there?