Charting life's circuitous path


Fighting through the fitting room jungle

“That looks really good on you!”

Was that a comment I made to myself while I tried on my fifth swimsuit top in a spacious, but invariably cluttered fitting room?

Nope, it came from a daughter to her mother a few doors down, but it was a comment that made me beam all the same. 😀

I just love compliments – especially when they’re given naturally and spontaneously.    I try to tell people that I love their shoes or their top when it strikes me, but I’m ashamed to say that I fail more often than not.  I had many moments at the mall where I loved an outfit someone was wearing but didn’t mention it.  These were lost moments not only to speak out and possibly make someone’s day, but to see the beauty in people and pointing it out.

It also turned into a failed lesson as I quickly turned my gaze back at myself, squeezed into an obviously too tight top, and continued in my negativity. 😦

What could have been a great moment where I realized that we are beautiful and that clothes are just bits of clothe stitched together turned into an agonizing two hours spent cramming into swimsuits and noting all the bits that “didn’t fit”.

At the end of the day, I did walk away with a suit, and I think what I picked out says a lot about where I am.

Let’s get right to the “bottom”:

I knew exactly what I wanted – something that covered me even when I was in the water and would still allow for movement.  When I saw these boardshorts at Everything But Water by LaBlanca, I knew I had just the thing.  They’re made from a sturdy fabric and they fit very nicely across the front.

My top was a bit more difficult due to my size, but I had luck with a tankini that fit a size up from my normal size.  Did I feel bad about this? No.  Because swimwear makers are the spawn of the devil and are out to make all women feel bad about their bodies.

Well, okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration. Maybe some women love the way they look in a bikini.

Kudos to the wonderfully helpful shop assistant at Everything But Water.  I had the frazzled lady climbing ladders and rifling through hundreds of tops trying to find something that matched my shape.  After 5 misses, I went back to Macy’s and found one that didn’t make me cringe (or cost nearly $100!).  It’s a tankini from Captiva.  The colors are a bit brighter and more varied than I’m used to, but I love it.  It “pops” paired with my shorts and the round rings are a cute addition.

Source: via iscribbler on Pinterest

While I’m nowhere near string bikini level of confidence, I was at least buying a suit.  Sure, I looked like I was going for a leisurely walk along the shorefront, but it was for swimming.  Considering how the last time I had worn a suit was when I was 10, that says a lot about how far I’ve come.  A year ago would have seen me scorning swimwear.  Now, I can’t wait to get out of the house with my suit!  That’s a level of confidence that I’m quite proud of.

We have a lovely pool at our apartment complex that we’ve yet to use, and I’m actually looking forward to it.  Hubby has also promised to teach me how to swim. 😮

Speaking of hubby, can I just say that it’s horribly unfair how easy it was to buy him swim gear?

I found and bought him a great pair of swim shorts from Nike for $15.  Let’s compare, shall we?

Him:  30 seconds to find shorts, Cost: $15.

Me: 2 hours of horrible contortions, Cost: $80.

Is it just me, or is that unfair?  👿


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Well, I do have a Congo African Grey…

Think being a vegetarian, exercising at least 6 days a week and eating healthy meals 90% of the time will keep you safe from colds and viruses?

I wish!

A summer cold hit me square in the nose this Sunday.  Saturday I was just fine – seeing my cute nephews, running their daschund up and down the driveway and playing with our new laptop.  Sunday morning sunshine found me with a very sore throat and a tired feeling that weighed me down to my bones.

Plus, it’s making me hungry.  I’ve gravitated towards toast, buns, and more toast the last two days.  I feel guilty eating it, but for some reason I keep reaching for the bread bag.

These are every bit as delicious as you can imagine. And only about a 100 calories per bagel!

Just another wobble in life’s cycle.  Hopefully in a couple of days I can lay off the Airborne and chamomile tea.

And the bread.

I know I should be thankful that eating too much marmalade is the height of my troubles.  Especially given the fact that with my BMI, I’m like someone from DR Congo.

I came across this nifty tool on the BBC news site that lets you see how your BMI compares to those in your country and around the world.  (I’m trying to ignore the horrible title they’ve given this tool. Seriously, Global Fat Scale??)

It was amazing to see how I compared to other women in the US (apparently I have a lower BMI than 89% of my fellow 30 something females) and, apparently, DR Congo.

Sadly, I know very little about DR Congo, let alone their perception of body image.  I know that they’ve suffered heavily from various wars and genocides.  I know that my African Grey comes from the jungles in the region.  If they aren’t suffering under food shortages, they’re cuisine looks inventive and flavorful.

The tool puts my whinging into perspective.   Here I am, worried about how resting for a few days will affect my pant’s size, when others might wish they could have a safe place to sleep.

Of course, according to this article where “Inactivity ‘kills more than smoking’,” there are many of us who might be resting a bit too much.

But that’s for another post.

Go on, check out how you compare to others in your country and the world.  Perhaps it will remind you, as it did me, of reality.

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If you want to be happy, be.

I know that a few weeks is only a drop in the bucket compared to what lies ahead, but these last few weeks have been a great exercise regimen for my brain.

 Get ready for it . . .

I’ve been complimenting myself! 😯

Source: via Barbara on Pinterest


So I know that perfectly sane and normal people do this all the time.

“I love my hair!” Someone might say after going to get it cut.  Or, gasp, even:  “I love how I look in this outfit!”

For me, the thoughts are typically of the self-assessment type where I’m critiquing what could change and bemoaning my bad luck.

What seems like a wallow in narcissism is actually a massive step forward for me.  There were times this week where I actually felt proud for what I’ve done with my health and weight this past year and a half.

I’ve had a few notable moments where I actually felt comfy in my own skin and that, for me, is a wonderful, glorious thing!  The thoughts weren’t always so clearly stated, but they showed up as a contented feeling when I observed myself by chance.  A “Hm, my arms look nice” here or an “Okay, I can take those calves – they’re quite smaller than I thought” there.

Sure, these happy moments were framed by a few negative, but to actually look down at my legs and not mind them even 10% of the time is like finally loving brussel sprouts after a lifetime of disdain.  It’s unbelievable and I can’t believe how empowering it makes me feel, if even only for that moment. (Btw, I find it unbelievable that I actually like my legs MORE than brussel sprouts.  I mean, who’d have thunk? 😐 )

That, folks, makes me feel much more powerful in my seemingly endless fight with my brain and food.

I’ve had a lot of battles this week with the temptation of food.  There were many days where we could have eaten out.  I came this close to doing a late night run on Friday and a donut run this morning, but I held out.  I stuck with my normal routine and ate at home.  This left me a bit cranky for a short time, but afterwards I was extremely proud of myself.  (I’ve also found that promising myself something special later has helped.  Looking forward to a treat keeps me from indulging in something in-between times. Hopefully this little technique works for me for a while longer.)

I’ve also been focusing heavily on the good thoughts that have surprised me to reinforce the “good” behavior.  It’s helped to a degree because I know that if I falter too often, I’ll be back to where I was and that wasn’t a good place.  By focusing on the few positives, I’m hoping to make thinking them more natural.  Hating myself and bashing parts of me with criticism has been my “way” for so long, that I know it won’t be an overnight success.  Still, one step at a time.

Source: via iscribbler on Pinterest

Title quote by Leo Tolstoy