When I was a little girl, my dad told me that I could do anything that I set my mind to. And he said you're stubborn enough to follow through with anything. You're listening to the ideas in motion podcast, a journey of self discovery. Unapologetic confidence and setting intentions for every season in your life.
This episode is all about body talk. You know, when I was little, I was pretty convinced that I'd grow up to be a movie star, a singer, a dancer. So of course, mom signed me up for ballet class. And the first thing we did was go to Eaton's for a belly outfit. I stepped out of the fitting room in my little pink tights.
And the sales lady goes. Oh, isn't she pretty, she's just a little under tall. Look at those chubby cheeks. She'll grow out of that. You'll see. Mom says, I don't know. She has your father's frame. When I got to ballet class. And I saw my reflection in the mirror side by side with the other girls. I could see my dad's frame too.
One of the girls whispered you're too fat to be here. All the girls giggled. I quit ballet. In fourth grade, we had just moved to a new city. And it was my first day of school and I entered the portable and I saw all the kids. I was looking for my first new friend. Now I see this pretty blonde girl and she starts coming towards me. I'm just about to open my mouth to say hello. And she jabs me in the belly with her sharpened HB pencil, and she yells you're fat.
Everybody laughed. Boys teased me all the time. But I'd get back at them. You see, my dad taught me how to beat every single one of them in an arm muscle. You know, I'd lean in. I weight into it. I was a good sport.
I 22, I became a mom when Jake was born, I finally had purpose. I was even more joyful, but still the fat girl. Couple of years later, we'll shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding. I slipped on this Emerald green floor link dress and the sales lady goes. Oh, it's very slimming. That night I did my hair up and curls and I felt pretty and excited.
I ate dinner in that slimming dress. And then I had seconds. I ate wedding cake had seconds. I danced. I drank wine, lots of wine. The next morning. As soon as I entered the restaurant for breakfast, I could smell the layers of Greece, eggs, coffee, still alcohol on my breath. Excuse me guys. Bathroom.
Probably shouldn't have done that just two weeks after gallbladder surgery. I just had my gallbladder taken out. I was so sick. I thought I was going to die. I could see the headline girl dies in bathroom stall. We've behind two year old son. Such a tragedy. I can't die on Jake. I prayed for my life in that stall. That day made a promise to God. I do better if I was allowed to live.
I can hear my mom's voice saying Karen. Just go for a walk every day and you'll begin to feel better. And so it was, I began walking everywhere. I thought I D dreamed. I felt my body getting smaller. As I became fitter, I walked faster. Then I got a second job in a department store where I had to run up and down the stairs all day long to get stopped, to bring to the customers.
I work one day I was hustling from department to department. And I spotted a woman. She looked familiar. Wow. She's pretty. I halted in my tracks. I took a couple steps back to look again.
It's a mirror. So, of course I turned to one side, check out my, but then not the other way to go my buddy again. And damn I'm thinking. Can I take this mirror home? My mirrors don't look like this. This is the same time that people are starting to see things like holy crap. It looks like you lost a whole person.
If you only knew. I noticed it's easier to get promoted, easier to exceed my sales quarters, easier to get almost everything that I want guys are asking me out, like crazy.
I'm living a dream. I'm having nightmares. Then I'm going to lose it all. If only everybody knew I'm counting individual blueberries. To make sure that I don't exceed my calorie count. When the compliments stop a worry. Am I doing enough? One night after a bunch of beers with my neighbor. I opened God home hungry. I opened the freezer and I pulled out this I'm opened Costco.
Size cookies. You know, those smarty cookies.
I had them like in the freezer for the next cheat day. I can just have one. Well before I knew it, there was none left. What did I do? I raced to the, my bathroom. I stuck my finger in my throat. Nothing. I grabbed my toothbrush, stuck that down my throat. Seriously. I can't even throw up. I have to throw up or I'm going to be stuck with all these calories.
How can you be so stupid, Karen? I mean, I can hear myself getting fatter by the second. I began jamming my finger down my throat. One more time.
And that's when they see it. I'm all hunched over the sink.
I see my reflection in the mirror.
I know what ugly really looks like. And I know what I want. I want to go back to the start. Where my only expectation was to feel better, not to look better. I have to get out of this place where enough is never going to be enough.
That's a story I wrote. A couple of years ago. I've rejected. It. From the outside, looking in, I was a huge success.
Girl grows up. Obese girl runs into all kinds of health problems. Girl decides to change her lifestyle, eats more healthfully and begins walking everywhere. Girl becomes lean for the first time in her life without the help of anyone else. Making small changes gradually over time with no expectations.
Every pound loss and inch loss, who is a police. She had never encountered before that moment. No, one's more surprised than her. Girl suddenly has life. She'd only dreamed of. What an inspiration. What an accomplishment. But it wasn't the whole story. It took me a little, most 20 years to finally like who I am inside and out.
And if I'm honest, I can still find many faults. When I look in a mirror. But I'm grateful for the strength. Loyalty and experiences that my body has provided. And I also see my courage, discipline and compassion.
With every year that passes, I have more compassion and grace for my body. It makes me cringe. When I look at how diet culture has shaped our perception of beauty. I see the change is being implemented yet. It's still there. Every time we scroll through media. Turn on the TV. And even look in the mirror.
The desire to be leaner. To be prettier to be taller. To have curls. To have straight hair, no matter who you are, where you are. Your life. Your body is your home. This is a really good time. For one of Megan Abel's. Original tunes. Are you over it? Listen in.
There's a recipe to feeling better about yourself today. Now I'm a firm believer in doing your best of taking care of yourself without punishment. It's foolish to ignore the cries your body and mind are making to you. It's not easy, but it's simple. Take care of that mindset self-awareness is key. I mean, in order to find out who you are and what makes you sparkle, you have to get quiet.
Ask yourself questions only, you know, the answers to. Answer the questions with love and acceptance, not judgment. If it helps picture yourself having this conversation with your five-year-old self. Close your eyes and ask her. Who do you want to be? Listen to the response with curiosity. What do you like to do?
This is your ticket that helps you find joy beyond your body image. And through your soul. It ignites the creative side in you. Which is part of a recipe to your personal wellness journey. The next piece is to begin to move in a way that brings you joy. That makes you check out of everything else that gives you energy and does not zap it.
How do you know if you're working out too hard? Ask your body. Are you drained? Or is there energy? That's the same way to measure your food choices. Does it feed you energy or take it away? The last piece is practice consistency with practice. Doing this over and over again is what will make the habit stick.
That and the time you spend in one and two. You will not get anywhere. If you load what you're doing to get there. There's so much emphasis in the health and fitness industry on workout and eat well. There is a recipe for each individual. The only plan that works is a plan that you can stick to. You are an ecosystem. Don't put a bandaid on what you think the problem is. Go to the source of where your happiness is. That includes you and only you.
That you could enjoy forever. Lose track of time without substances. Other people or anything. Really. It's just yours.
Be grateful for your body. It's the only home you have.
It deserves. The compassion. Right. I know, you know this, but sometimes it's great to hear this. Thank you for the listening to the show today, if it was helpful to you, make sure that you subscribe and share it out to someone that you feel would benefit from hearing it. Also the links below the shown in the show notes, you'll find the ideas in motion day, planner and journal, which is the sponsor for the ideas in motion show.
Also, if you haven't before check out the ideas in mershin workshop. And the links in the blog before to find past episodes and things that can help serve you on your journey to wellness and beyond. Bye for now. We'll talk soon.