Happy Valentine’s Day! It seemed rather appropriate to write about the heart today. Heart health is important and should not be ignored. This post is not going to be one which is full of facts, spouting all the do and don’t guidelines for the organ’s health. Consequently, you are wondering, what am I going to write about?
The heart for me is a complicated topic. As a creative, I am very in tune with my emotions, which also relate to my heart. Every single beat of my heart wants to spread love and positivity far and wide. I have a strong heart, I am lucky. It can take a lot of use in its various functions, traditional and non-traditional. Let’s explore what I am writing about.
The heart pumps blood to every cell in your body and back in an impressively short amount of time. Constantly. When your heart is physically healthy, it is powerful. I like to think of mine as strong. I have had concerns, especially since I am morbidly obese. As a result of my concerns, I do have it checked when something feels wrong. I have been assured that my heart is not the source of any medical concern when I do get it checked. This tells me it is strong, physically.
Regular exercise is something I have been slack – a- lacking on in the last few months. Several, if I am being totally honest with you. I used to go to Zumba on a regular schedule, twice a week. The location has moved, and with my previous work schedules, it wasn’t always possible to make it in time for the class. The summer was very hot and humid, the price of gas was another reason, and I just stopped going. Once in a blue moon, I would have all the stars align to allow me to go, but it was painfully clear that I am now really out of shape again. I may be in the worst shape of my life as I write this.
It’s not like I don’t know what I have to do. I have to actually do it.
I have to stop making excuses, and just exercise. Last week a good friend encouraged me to walk 20 minutes a day. I countered with a plan to dance in my living room instead. Then I didn’t take action. That is on me. I let one excuse become two and then I had seven days of excuses, with maybe five minutes of dancing in the bathroom the other day. I play music when I am in the shower. It helps to keep me on track, and starts my day off a little happier because I add in music. My feet don’t move when I dance in the tub, for safety reasons. Before I get into the shower, however, I may be moved to dance to a whole song.
My husband even gave me a deadline to get the living room cleaned, which I have held in my mind but not really acted on yet. I have started. I have puttered at it. But it is still an excuse. So I need to take action on this also. Any movement at all counts right now. I know it is important. It is time to change the tune inside my head, to maintain the healthy heart I have. It works hard, so I need to honour it by taking better care of it.
The emotional side of me is all heart. I want to help people, I want people around me to be happy. When I am working on this and focusing on the needs of others, rather than on my own, it can be exhausting. This is the type of person I am, and I am learning that I need to also be a protector of my own heart, so it stays strong, emotionally. It might sound odd from a scientific point of view, but it is my truth. My heart is connected to me, and to everything around me.
I have been known to go above and beyond what is required on a project. I am an overachiever. It is in my nature to put the needs of others ahead of my own. This is a common issue for me and for many other people. We want to make sure everyone else is taken care of before taking care of ourselves. This can cause me to lose sleep, and become difficult to be around if you are not the person I am working on the project for. When this happens, I should stop and take a break. If there is a deadline, even a self – imposed one, I am not always able to stop.
I need to be more aware of this so I am giving my best all of the time, instead of focusing it on one project and letting the other areas of my life fall aside; as if they are not important. As if I am not important.
She wears her heart on her sleeve
One thing about being in touch with your emotions and embracing them means that if you are a heart-centered person like myself, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. I took red lipstick and black eyeliner to drew the heart on my arm to give a visual representation to what I know is my truth. I successfully completed the challenge, and have some remarkable photos I am very proud of taking as a result of participating.
This leads me to my final thoughts, back to emotions. I have been working on myself, and I am starting to see some positive results from the changes I am making. From the very heart of my being, I know I need to do more. It isn’t easy. If it was, we would all be healthy, active, emotionally balanced people. I embrace all of my emotions, and I need the full spectrum of what that means. I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
People look at me and assume that because I am morbidly obese, I am eating all the time, and lazy. I will admit to the laziness, I am working on overcoming it, in relation to my physical activity levels. This doesn’t mean I am not a hard worker, though. I give my all to everything I do work on.
Morbidly obese people who have issues don’t eat all of the time, however, we can eat our feelings.
It is not healthy, and I have done this to avoid facing my feelings. This is one very real thing that has contributed to my weight. It is not the defining factor, though. For me, it comes down to choices. I choose whether or not to be active. Choosing to eat a whole box of chocolates or a large bag of chips to eat my feelings away, instead of facing them. As a result of that choice, I may feel full, or even not well because of it, but I am not facing what is really going on in my life. Choosing fast food instead of taking an hour to cook. These choices add up. To one very important realization.
I am choosing the easy way because I do not feel like I am important enough to choose the better option. It is easier to avoid the issue rather than face feelings and deal with them. Choosing to do better is something I am working on. It is hard. There are so many choices available to me now that I am going to make the wrong ones sometimes. What do I need to do? Start taking action, by making better choices. This is truly the heart of the matter.
Let’s help each other to make better choices. How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? How are you showing yourself that you are important? Please, let me know in the comments.
Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues. It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on. Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real. The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale. If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog. I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.
The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.
Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 26
Struggling with a weight issue is hard. It is hard to stay motivated all of the time. It is hard to commit to making the changes needed to see results. The results don’t happen overnight, and there is no quick and easy fix.
Words matter. Whether they are good to hear and provide encouragement or not, a person that is struggling with weight issues has deep rooted insecurities that can make a little comment pack a punch that hurts so bad that you want to give up.
I am writing this week to tell you to keep going. I am writing to tell myself the same thing. Sometimes the little monster inside is making the biggest racket and causing you to doubt yourself. Other times the damage is done from someone that you would least expect it from, and when you are blindsided by hurtful words, it can cause a setback in your progress.
It is easier to give up. It is easy to blame someone else. Neither option is the right one, though. I am working on choosing my battles carefully right now. There will always be petty, jealous, mean people out there. I need to choose to be the bigger person. Yeah, I just wrote that, but it is how I am supposed to say it. I don’t mean physically, of course. If it was that easy, I would just eat so much that I would sit on the people that hurt me. Oh, that would be nasty. Fun to think about, but not very realistic.
I guess I could rephrase that into being the more mature person. Fat or old. I don’t think there is a real winner here.
Being practical about what I choose to believe is something I am working on. I am an emotional, hormonal, creative, over the top, learning to believe in my own skills woman. That is a lot to deal with, and it can all happen in five minutes or less. If my hair is frazzled, it is expressing what is going on inside. If I am quiet, I may be mulling something over in my mind, or too angry to speak without a filter. That brain to mouth filter gets a little less effective as I am getting older. Sometimes it is a good thing. Other times it is not.
As a creative person, I embrace my emotions. ALL OF THEM. Which means that sometimes when someone is mean, I OVERREACT. I over think, over analyze, and get overly upset. If it is something that is mean, I may focus on it for a really long time. This is not healthy and it is not helpful.
There will always be people who think they know more than I do and think that they are experts because of their own education, opinion, or life experiences. I am confident that I am unique and a one of a kind. If I am not an expert on me in my own life, well there is just no way that I can accept someone else’s opinion about what I am doing to better myself. I am living my life, not just existing in it. I am making changes, and not just letting things happen. I am not perfect so I will make mistakes along the way. But they are mine to make, and I am going to own them. All I can do is admit when I am wrong, and learn from the mistakes. That is all anyone can really do about it.
Tackle something with me this week. Let the inner glow out of the cage. Shine as bright as you can from the outside in. Believe in yourself, and prove to yourself that you are worth it because you can take one thing that is hindering you and just let it go. Release it.
I once did a group relaxation exercise in university. We were to go to our happy place inside our mind. Check. Then we were to imagine taking all of the negative and stress causing issues we have and put them inside something so we could leave them locked up and not worry about them anymore. I am sure it was supposed to be an imaginary box or trunk or something that we could close, lock, and throw away the key for.
I shoved it all in a blender and turned it on. Man, that felt good. It made me giggle, and that was the point. To make it all go away.
Find your blender, and pulverize the negativity out of your life. Theoretically, of course. Then dump it out and clean it so it is ready for your next concoction. If it is nasty enough, flush that negative smoothie down the imaginary toilet.
It works for me. How do you make the things that are weighing you down leave your mind to be clear?
Trust Your Gut. It knows you want to shine. Have a bright and glowing week!