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.

Traditional Use

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.

Non-Traditional Use

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.

My creative interpretation of a photo challenge prompt. Something she wore.

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.

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