Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What you say can actually hurt.

So I had an epiphany a few weeks ago. My day started out as a really bad body day, which surprised me because I have honestly been doing so good about what I have been telling myself. Either way, it started out as a bad body day, as well as, a bad hair day! Combine the two and it apparently sends me into a downward spiral, that even with the tools I have been strengthening, it couldn't pull me out of it. Now, I don't write about these things to make anyone feel sorry for me, this blog is to journal my journey the good, the bad, the ugly, and all the growth in between and that means being completely genuine with how things are going.

I went into work in kinda a bum mood. As my day began I threw myself into my projects and tried to focus on other things, however, I had a visitor that I hadn't seen for probably 6 months. I immediately thought to myself, "Oh they must think I've totally let myself go"... amongst other things. See, I realized, I'm doing really good, except, when I see someone that hasn't seen me for a while or saw me when I fit into smaller clothes, which just make me realize that I have a lot of work to still do. I fear their judgment still. I'm thinking this is probably normal for those of us that attach our self-worth with our body size, however, I don't know that for sure, so it kinda gut punched me that I fell back into the hole so easily.

I do what I always do when I'm feeling perplexed and down, I go to "my people" and I vent. I spew everything out in my mind into their laps and they sit and listen. Then an epiphany comes in one of these conversations and I realize I am so afraid of judgement from those I know because I have seen them place judgement (maybe not intentionally) on others while I have been around. If they are saying those things about others in my presence then, in my mind, they are saying those things out of my earshot. I believe whole-heartedly the people I am closest to have the most beautiful hearts, minds, and spirits. I have done a lot of filtering of the negative, including people, in my life and so I want to make sure you understand I'm not saying this to judge them in anyway, believe me, that would be hypocritical of me. It was just a realization that it wasn't just in my mind that people would judge me for my size but an understanding that they WOULD in actuality judge me whether I gained weight or lost weight. I know they will say something about my shape or size because I have seen and heard them do it to others while I have been around.  They did it not realizing that what they were saying was pricking my insecurities about myself. I am also at fault of doing this very thing while in the presence of others with no idea of how that affected them internally.

And there in lies the problem... doesn't it? We have all made a negative comment at some point within others earshot of someone else's body. If we changed our view on bodies (at any size), then the comments, negativity, and focus surrounding bodies that don't fit into medias version of perfect wouldn't be criticized so much. This would help us worry less about our outward appearance and we would have more time to focus on our minds and internal workings of our bodies mechanics and what is right for it to function at a healthy pace to enjoy life to it's fullest.

That is individual.

What works for my body isn't going to work for every body because we are all built to have an individual and unique stamp. We aren't supposed to fit one mold or one size or one shape. We have to find out what works best for us and no one can design an eating plan or exercise plan that is best for me... except me, as long as I stay in tune to what my body is telling me. The way I do that is focus on how my body responds to different exercises and different foods...I have to be intuitive. This takes time and patience. Loving our body no matter it's shape and size will help us stay the course. Yes, people will place judgement about us and about others around us but we have to let that go or it will continue to halt our progress.

So my goal is to remember my value outside of my shape and size because those who truly love me and value me, and whom I want in my life, will see and love me whether I'm wearing the slimmer than I am now Shelle or the curvier Shelle. Those that can't? Well... their loss.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Bout time to link up!

Things that have helped me in my journey.


Okay, here is the thing...I listen to the podcasts because it helps me stay the course and I'm learning some pretty awesome things, however, just a warning...some of the episodes get political and I don't agree with their views on politics and they all have the explicit warning, but when they keep it real with #haes and #intuitiveeating and #bodypositivity these podcasts are worth the skipping over the messages that don't resonate with me.

1. First podcast I ever listened to! This woman is such a force of good for finding that love for your body, or all bodies in general. Her podcast is called, "Fearless Rebelle Radio" with Summer Innanen. Lot's of her episodes are good and worth looking into.

2. Food Psych with Christy Harrison is so so so good because of the different and interesting perspectives of the people she brings in to interview, some are scientific, religious, and people that have gone from a bad relationship with food to a positive one. She does have strong political views but the content aside from those are so great.

3. Oprah Super Soul Conversations Podcast this one isn't necessarily dedicated to body positivity, but the first two episodes with Brene Brown are amazing and those are the ones I wanted to mention. Your mind and healing it to help move in the right direction is vital and I feel messages like those that Brene puts forth in her books and in this podcast help with my journey overall.

I'm sure I will dig into more, but for right now, this is enough for me and I'm content just bouncing between the top two.  When I've finished listening and am current with their episodes I'll find more.


Again, I've only just begun my journey but the two books I am reading are, "Health at Every Size" by Linda Bacon and "Intuitive Eating" by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. The science, research, and messages in each of these books I find fascinating and it keeps me determined. I'm also learning so much about how my body works and how incredibly smart it is.


I just use two apps. The first one was Headspace and the second one and the one I currently use is Insight Timer. It really starts your day off right and helps you control those wandering thoughts that may be detrimental to your mental health. It's like lifting weights for your mind.


Blogging, insta stories, instagram, facebook, and journaling are helping me in there own way. Sharing and talking about it makes me stay focused and continues to remind me that I'm not alone.

Hope these links help for any of you looking for some great material to start out your very own body esteem journey!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Everybody needs a Klay

I got that phrase, "Everybody needs a Klay" from a friend of mine that I follow on social media and we danced together in high school. She always posts the cutest things about her husband and she hashtags on there #everyoneneedsajare" it's adorable and I stole it because it relates so much to how I have been feeling about my husband and my journey.

Everyone needs someone like my husband on a journey to loving their body. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

1.  Klay in all 17 almost 18 years of marriage has never ONCE said a derogatory thing about my body, not once, with all of the changes and diets I have put my body through...this is a big feat. 
2. Klay is always loving my body by touch and telling me how much he loves the way I feel. Even while I have hated my body he is patient and kind and always tries to counter what I'm telling myself by showing me through his actions how much he loves the stretch marks and extra fluff because it is a part of me, and he loves me.
3. Klay is supportive of any journey I have taken my body on, whether he has agreed with it or not, he has always tried to support it. Even with this journey, when I break down and cry, he consoles me and tries to remind me of why I started the journey in the first place
4. Klay has never given me doubt that my body means anything more to him than attraction and worship. Even with the ups and downs of marriage, even through the arguments, he has always made me feel beautiful and attractive. He has never used my weakness of attached worth to my body shape and size as a weapon to hurt me in the heat of the moment, even knowing how deep of a wound he could make.
5. Klay is proud to be with me no matter what I look like. I have tested those waters many times and he always tells me he prefers me in my most natural state (which in all honesty can be pretty scary), seriously, how can you not "awwww" at that.

If you don't have this kind of support system from the one that is supposed to love you the most and the deepest, then you need to re-think who you surround yourself with. As much as loving one's body comes from within first, it is necessary to have someone blocking the holes of doubt temporarily until you have the strength and the tools to cover it yourself.

I know, without a doubt, I'd be a lot worse off if I hadn't had Klay around all of those years to offset the negative thoughts in my head. I don't know what I do without him by my side as I slowly start to see myself in the way he always has. I realize more and more that I am extremely lucky to have him around. Plus, he's really fun to look at!

Everyone needs a Klay.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

A letter to my family and friends

Dear family and friends,

A few months ago, well around April, I decided I was tired. Am I too young to be tired? Maybe... or maybe I'm too old to finally be realizing it, but I am. I am tired. I am so tired of trying to change me, be thinner, skinnier, more toned, weigh less... etcetera. I was tired of worrying about what others thought of me. Tired of hating my body. Loving everything about me, but not my body, it has never been good enough, thick or thin, I have always seen it as something that needed to be changed. And as I have said before in this blog somewhere... I have tried every diet out there... everything... besides surgery! All in the name of being thin. All in the name of changing my body to please others because then I would be loved more or of worth or be able to get that promotion I want. Everything will be better just if I was skinnier. So I would restrict, diet, go on the next new eating plan, try different exercise plans and shortly after I would mess up... I would eat something I shouldn't, I would miss a few days of exercise... and I would give up and I would be ashamed and hate myself for it. Then guilt kicks in, because this body grew two beautiful beings inside of it, working a miracle twice over, and I'm ashamed that I'm so ashamed and hateful of my body! It's an aggressive continuous circle and I have become tired of running it.

So I decided I was going to start working on the inside. Not to lose weight but to love me no matter my size, because then, and only then, will I be able to breathe. So I stopped dieting, that was step one. But then what? Besides weight gain... then what? I had no idea, I was in this foreign territory and I didn't know what to do with myself. My whole life, well the parts that I remember, has been filled with my plans of losing weight... that's all I remember. Sad right!? Maybe...but it's true. So I did what every person does when they don't know something nowadays... I googled, "How do I love my body?". There is a whole movement out there of body love and esteem. So I stopped running and took my first step to loving me on the inside. I started listening to podcasts! These podcasts pointed me to meditation to guide and control my negative thoughts and directed me to look for activity and movement that my body enjoyed instead of trying to punish the sweat out of every time I couldn't stick to my eating plan or felt my body wasn't changing how it "should" fast enough. Listening to these podcasts also helped me realize I wasn't alone, that many many women (and men) feel the same way that I do and have gone through the same things I am going through and two books kept coming up as ones that helped them on their journey to their inner happiness ... so I bought them and am reading them. (The podcasts and books I will share in a later blog post).

So I'm writing this letter to help you understand...and know how to support me... in finding me whomever that is...in whatever body that is.

  • So please, I'd appreciate, if you don't tell me about a new eating plan you've done or are doing just because you feel it would "help" me.  
  • Please don't ask me why I'm not still on the last eating plan I tried where I lost weight.
  • Please don't ask me the next time I'm going to work out because I looked so good then
  • Please don't bring up "back when" stories where I looked so cute (when I was thinner).
Instead, let's chat about "back when" I did something good for someone or where we laughed really hard at something or where we enjoyed something to eat without worrying what was in it before we ate it, where we experienced the food. 

I may gain weight during this journey, I may stay the same, and I may even lose weight, but please try not to focus on the outside appearance, try to focus on the inside, because that is what I will be doing.  Some days are going to be rough for me because I have to retrain 25 plus years of hate, negativity, and attached worth around my body. I will have really good and positive days and I'm also going to have days where I won't be able to control the negative thoughts inside my head and I may cry, and feel bad about myself, and doubt everything I'm doing. That is when I will need your love, support, and encouragement to stay the course.

I know with every fiber of my being that if I stay the course of this journey, I WILL have more positive than negative days, eventually, and will have retrained my thoughts to assist me. How am I so sure of this? Because I've tried everything else. Through this, my hope is to love my body and the miracle of it, regardless of its size, and be less judgemental of others bodies.

Here is my plan... I plan on figuring out when my body is hungry and when it is satisfied, what foods feel good after eating them and what foods my body naturally doesn't like by how I feel after I eat them which will help me know the consequence of the foods I eat. So I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, but will be more attuned with how those foods will make me feel after.  I plan on finding what my body loves to do to keep it active and functioning with different movement and exercise that I enjoy and want to continue to do. This will be done with never restricting myself again with foods, movement, or by giving myself rules.

I'm not going to lie, I'm scared. My whole worth and what I've felt equates to beauty has been wrapped up in my body size. I never knew how to judge those things any other way. I've always felt I was "letting myself go" if I wasn't dieting or exercising in a restrictive and punishing manner.

However, with the few months I have dedicated so far to this journey I am realizing...I'm not letting myself go, I'm loving myself more.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

One year...

Today it's been one year.  One year since my world was flipped upside down. One year since my sister, Lisa Stoddard, passed away.

I remember the day as if it was yesterday, cliche, but true.  I remember getting ready for work so I could go train the person that was taking my old position and hoping that for once I could be on time.  I remember looking at my phone as I was heading to the car and seeing that my mom had called a few times and had text me and I had thought to myself, "I'll just call her when I get Jami all set and ready to work for the day".

I remember my husband had to take me into work, I don't remember why he did, but I remember he drove me to work.  I remember thinking how dirty my van was and that "FOR SURE" this weekend I would clean it, just like I had told myself every Monday for months.

I remember walking into work and getting my things situated when I look up to  see my new boss walking towards me.

I jokingly said, "What are you doing on this side of the block?"... his face was grim and he asked me if I had talked with my Mom.  I remember still not being worried.  I was happy, I was in a good mood, I had NO intuition that something was off.

I said, "Funny thing you say that, she has tried to call me but I've been trying to hurry to get ready to get here and so I haven't called her back yet, she must really be desperate to hunt you down to find me!"

He said, "I think you should call her".

I was like, "uh... okay."

He said, "Do you want to call her somewhere more private?" Why would I? I was smack dab in the middle of a room full of cubicles...

I said, "No, I'm good, I'll just call her and tell her I'll call her back".

So I called my Mom.  I thought it was weird that my boss was just waiting at the end of the cubicles... watching me as I called her. I remember my mom answering the phone and yelling, crying, screaming, uncontrollable, trying to tell me something, but I couldn't understand.

I said, "MOM, what are you saying? I can't understand you? What happened?"

The next words that came out of her mouth were jargled but I got, "Lisa... accident... dead".

Of course I had heard her wrong and I asked again, "MOM... what? Who got in an accident?"

Then again, "Lisa... accident... dead... my baby, my baby is dead."

I guess I screamed, my knees buckled and standing seemed so difficult, I groaned and moaned and instantly tears were at my eyes and rolling down my cheeks... I didn't hear my cries and moans and groans, but the only thing I remember after that, is getting rushed into a more private room by my boss and an incredible co-worker and being left in there as I said over and over, "NO MOM, not Lisa, you have to be wrong, it can't be Lisa! I can't live without Lisa! Anybody but her... NO MOM... NO MOM... no mom." Lamenting, crying, groaning, my mind going a million miles a minute.  I kept thinking, Maybe if I can get to her I can help her... How do I help, how can I undo this, how do I wake up, this isn't real! All the while saying out loud, "No MOM, not LISA... no mom NOT Lisa!!!" while my mom is saying, "My baby Shelle, my baby... my baby is dead... not my baby... my baby is dead."

The rest of that week and the weeks following are a blur and yet certain feelings are crystal clear.

I was just sad.  I had a constant stream of tears from the time that I found out to what seemed like forever.  I cried when my husband picked me up to take me to my parents house.  I cried with my family at my parents house... (both my Mom and Dad were crying like little kids... completely grief stricken... I have never seen my Mom cry like that, and most assuredly have NEVER seen my Dad cry that way). I cried on the plane ride up to be with her husband and kids.  I cried when I held each of her children.  I cried when I sat with her husband, on his bed, as he lamented and moaned and groaned and asked "why" over and over and over again.  I cried that night as I went in and out of sleep dreaming that it was all a dream and then waking up over and over again realizing it was not.  I cried at the funeral home.  I cried when I saw her for the first time after her death. I cried as we did her make up and dressed her for her casket. I cried reading each and every post people had stuck up on social media and blogs.  I cried at every beautiful gathering put together for her honor.  I cried at the viewing.  I cried at the funeral.  I cried at the graveside. I cried talking with my family.  I cried more than I ever remember crying in my life.  I have never felt such soul wrenching grief.  I had lost one of the most influential and important people in my life.  I was sad and it sucked.

But I would have brief moments of reprieve where I would laugh at the most ridiculous things!  It was strange.

Another stage I went through was like a numbing stage and it happened in between the sad stage.  I remember at the viewing hugging people and consoling them, saying, "It will be okay, we will see her again."  It was the oddest thing, more like an out of body experience.  People would come up to me, some old friends, some I've never met before, hugging me and crying on my shoulder, I would pat them on the back and console them, going through the motions, understanding their sadness, yet wanting to make them feel better at the same time.

Then I went through this "Fake it until you make it" stage.  I got home from everything and went back to work and I had people constantly telling me how sorry they were and I would say things like, "Thank you" and "I'm as good as can be expected" and "Oddly, I'm feeling okay about it all.  I know I'll see her again, so I am okay, I'm doing really well." And I fooled myself into thinking I was absolutely fine.  I think I found out I wasn't doing "fine" when one day, about 5 or 6 months after Lisa's accident my hair dresser had cut my bangs... they looked just fine, but to me it was shorter than I had wanted, so I walked into my boss's office and sat down and said, "My hair girl cut my bangs too short..." and I started bawling... I mean like huge tears of sadness, over my bangs... being too short.  My boss looked at me and said, "I think this is bigger than your bangs".

So after talking to her I went back to my desk and made an appointment to speak with a counselor... and the last six months I have seen a counselor and read the most life changing book by Brene Brown entitled, "The Gifts of Imperfection". (Seriously, that book is amazing). I also have recently gotten my hormone's balanced and I finally... actually... feel like me.  I feel my life again... light and happiness and beauty.

Grief is an unwanted guest.  It stays with you until you do something about it.  Coming out of that dark hole can't be done alone.  I had my Father in Heaven, I had my faith and knowledge that I will see Lisa again, no doubt, no question. I had my family and my friends.  I had an army to help me grieve and help me climb slowly back to myself.

Sidenote: It's odd, you're life stops after something like this, and for me, I climbed inside of myself, I felt frozen and unsure and I questioned everything I ever believed in... but everyone else's life continued on.  I remember thinking, "STOP, everything just slow down and stop, please don't move on, don't forget her... don't keep moving forward... stay here with me, with us..." and I felt like I was at a standstill... moving through life, but not being a part of it, because what was life without our Lisa?

One of the greatest things my counselor said to me was this, "Lisa would want you to honor her by living your life". So simple and so true.

Lisa was selfless, compassionate, funny, easy to be around, a peacemaker, spiritual, a good role model, an incredible teacher, a perfect listener, the best big sister, a wonderful and endearing second mom, and one of my bestest friends.  I believe that there were many people there to greet her in Heaven, I believe she was embraced by our Savior, I believe she is happy and working hard.  I have had special and sacred moments where I know she is and has been with me...and...I miss her... everyday I miss her... still.

I will always have moments of sadness, I will embrace them, and then let them go.

I'm probably going to cry today (and probably laugh too)... I'm going to remember who she was to me.

Then tomorrow... I'm going to continue living.  I'm going to continue working at being the kind of person that will be able to live with her again...alongside my family, Brother Jesus Christ, and my Father in Heaven.

Nothing else matters.

Here you Go SciFi Dad