On Cultivating A Loving and Healthy Attitude Toward Your Body

honeyloves
Here’s  excerpt from article I wrote, published on Honey Loves , about how I cultivated a healthy attitude toward my body after years of struggling with an altered view of myself.  Find the entire article, including the 5 ways to re-wire your thinking, at HoneyLoves.org Feedback and comments are welcome!

 

My body and I have had a tumultuous relationship on our journey together (I’ll share my own personal “body story” one day soon).

For about 15 years of my life, I struggled with disordered eating and an altered view of what I looked like. It was a terribly lonely struggle and, still to this day, I’ve never spoken about it to ANYONE – so you, Honey Loves, are the first people I will ever speak to about the years of darkness and loneliness that tortured and clawed at my sense of self; the demons that chewed away at the very core of who I was.

It’s been an incredibly long and lonely road to get to where I am now in regards to the love I have for my body. I say “lonely,” because, well…it was! I never spoke about my pain and self-torture to anyone – even now, as I write this, I’m finding it difficult. I held everything inside and sometimes I think it’s a miracle that I even survived it. I can’t believe I’ve gone from the person I was to the person I am today; and I did it all alone. But, you don’t need to do it alone! (And in fact, I DO NOT recommend doing it alone – I just didn’t know the resources available to me.)

Today, I am grateful for my struggle because it has allowed me to reflect and learn to love and appreciate my body. It’s given me the opportunity to do what I wish someone did for me and REACH OUT to help those around me struggling with the same thing. I will say again: You don’t need to go through this alone, beautiful girls. The hate I had for myself permeated every single area of my life – and when I say I was at rock bottom, believe me. So, also, when I say there is hope for you, Honey Loves, you have to believe me. You have to have faith. I am proof that you CAN heal. You can be a person who loves and respects your mind, body, and soul. You don’t always have to live with this heavy weight of self-hatred on your spirit.

While I wish I had, I never sought professional counseling for what I was going through. Though I don’t recommend this (and I can help you find resources to get help), it did force me to come up with little tricks to re-wire my brain that over time, really and truly worked. I figured that if my brain could trick my eyes into seeing fat that wasn’t there when I looked in the mirror, I could certainly make that work to my advantage – and slowly but surely, a new and beautiful girl started to show up whenever I looked in the mirror.

I want to share my tricks for body love with you, and I hope you’ll try them and they’ll start to work for you, too. Be patient with your journey. This isn’t a change that happens overnight. It takes consistent re-working and re-directing of negative thoughts.

 

 

 

Head on over to HoneyLoves.org to read the rest of my article!

– A

When I’m Driving In a Beautiful Place and See Someone Doing “The Ugly Face”

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Yesterday morning, as I drove along the winding Pacific Coast Highway singing my lungs out and smiling like a fool on my way to spend a relaxing solo day / night in Malibu, I pulled up next to a brand new silver Mercedes SUV at a stop light.

“Beautiful car,” I thought, as I shook my shoulders and wagged my head back and forth, dancing in my seat.

I inched forward to see if maybe it was anyone I’d recognize ( * True story: On this very same section of road, I once glanced to my left at the same stop light, and there in the SUV next to me was Julia Roberts. Seriously. Now you understand why I was behaving slightly creepy. * )

So, I glanced at the driver. She was a beautiful lady, I’d say in her mid-30’s, with brown shoulder-length hair styled to perfection. Beautiful earrings sparkled in her ears. Diamonds crusted her delicate wrist. But, something didn’t fit.

This beautiful woman…

she was sobbing.

And I don’t mean crying daintily and dabbing at her doe eyes with a tissue – I mean she was what I call “ugly face crying.” Face contorted, jaw quivering, mouth turned down at the sides, hand to her lips; her chest rising up and down quickly with her uneven breathing. The kind of crying you do when you’ve reached an emotional point of “I can’t contain what I’m feeling anymore,” and unleash because your heart aches too much to hold it in. The kind of crying where your soul is screaming louder than your voice. The kind of crying we usually only feel like we can do when we’re alone.

Only, she wasn’t alone. I could see her.

I quickly turned my radio down, the loud and happy noise now seeming cruel – and looked at her again. “Gosh,” I thought to myself, “this poor lady! What could possibly be making her so sad?!” I mean, maybe it was because I wasn’t in a sad place, but this woman – her sadness was profoundly affecting me! I mean, I REALLY felt for her. I could feel her desperation. I suddenly had the urge to smile at her, to offer her any kind of comfort I could. I wanted to reach out to her in case no one else did. When people cry alone in cars, it’s usually because they have to be brave and keep it together for the rest of their world. It’s a lonely cry.

The light turned green. I sped off, and she turned onto another road – only I couldn’t leave her behind.

Seeing the woman in such dire pain really got me thinking.

I’ve done the same thing many times: Cried and sobbed my eyes out in the safety and isolation of my car. (What is it about cars? Have you done this, too?) I’ve wiped my eyes, controlled my breathing, gotten myself together again, and continued on with my day – no one the wiser to my emotional breakdown. I’ve put on my braveface and made the world think I was fine. But, God, what I wouldn’t have given for someone to reach out. For someone, in my moment of complete isolation, to offer a kind word. A smile. To see that, despite how I held it together in public, I wasn’t okay. To acknowledge the suffering I was feeling. To be kind.

I wondered where this woman was going, did she have someone to talk to, why was she crying? I wondered how she’d behave when she reached her destination. Would she feign happiness and try to convince herself that she wasn’t just “ugly-face crying?” I wondered what her life looks like.

Though I’ll never get a chance to offer this woman comfort, I wanted to tell you about her. This woman was a great reminder. She reminded me that, even if people seem okay, we are ALL fighting battles that the rest of the world may know nothing about. So many of us put on a brave front, when inside, we’re crumbling. This is why it is SO important to BE NICE to each other. There have been days when I’ve been so broken and sad and lonely that the simple kindness of the cashier at the grocery store has brought me to tears.

Just because someone isn’t calling for attention and telling the world they’re sad, does not mean they aren’t suffering.

So today, I just want to extend this to you:

Sometimes we all get a little caught up in our own weird little worlds, but take notice and be gentle and be kind with the people around you, because we are all in the midst of fighting battles invisible to those around us.

– A

The Secret to Life

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I have a secret.

And I want to share it with you.

But proceed with caution, because once you know a secret, you can’t un-know it.

You can try to pretend you never heard it, but it’ll always sit there below the surface, bubbling; causing ripples in your life.

This secret is wonderful and terrifying at the same time, because it is the one answer to every question you’re afraid to ask, and you already have all the tools to work with you could ever need…
                               but it involves a tricky little devil with an angels face called free will.

I felt like I should give you fair warning, because what I have to say could drastically change your life.

Picture cannon-balling into a pool. It’s like that.
It creates a real scene.

I know it did (and continues to do so) for me.

If you’re still with me, here goes. Here’s the biggest secret I’ve ever been privy to:
Continue reading

This Is Me – And I Am Worthy

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“I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t think of you at all.” -Coco Chanel

Sometimes, the people we trust enough to invite into our lives turn out to not have our best interests at heart. I used to allow these people to stay in my life in some capacity because I was too nice to cut them loose – always making excuses for them. Getting a point in my life where I feel strong enough to say, “You’re not welcome anymore,” has been so freeing and feels so liberating.

I don’t need to be liked or loved by everyone.

I am me.

I can wake up every morning and look at myself in the mirror with respect and love.

If those around me don’t offer me these things I know I deserve, they’re not welcome.

Take control of your life and tell people who don’t make you feel good to BEAT IT! You are amazing, and you are worthy of love and respect!

Patience, Kindness, and Love…Practice on Yourself First.

From my perspective, it's all fine, fine, fine...

From my perspective, it’s all fine, fine, fine…

I was not at peace today and couldn’t find my center. After wandering around aimlessly all morning, I dragged myself, exhausted, back to my apartment. I curled up in a ball, watched a movie, and took a nap. When I woke up, I put on my sneakers, and took a beautiful hike through Runyan Canyon in Hollywood. It always makes me feel tiny and infinite at the same time and it was just what I needed. Whenever I’d visit LA before I moved here, and frequently, whenever I’m in need of a reason to stay here…I return to it. Something about seeing the city, cloaked in fog, and the Hollywood sign protruding from the Hills makes me feel alive with possibilities. Now, my body hurts from pushing it so hard, but my soul feels quieter…less unsettled. The moral? It’s okay to feel down and out. It’s okay to cry and wander. But, once you’ve given yourself time to do that (which is VERY important) get up, get dressed, and sweat.

Today, I really gave myself some lovin.’ Be nice to YOU.

Peace today.