on self acceptance and forgiveness (leg edition)

confession: i do not like my legs. correction: i did not like my legs.

the earliest i remember noticing they were different was in middle school. oh middle school, what a disastrous event you were in my life. the beautiful, tall girls (with busts of course) were getting all the attention. the girls that played volleyball with their super short booty shorts and the cheerleaders with their non existent skirts. i could never wear something like that. luckily, puberty hadn't hit yet so even though my legs were short, so was my torso, thus i sauntered around evenly proportioned.

after puberty, which happened at an age that is hilariously late, i had a long torso, a chest (finally!) and short legs. short, stumpy legs. ugh. but, i was in soccer again and track and so even though i wasn't kind to them or liked them, they were always there and got me to a lot of great places. you always feel like you fit in in soccer with big thighs.

then i majored in Ballet in college. yikes. if i had a nickel for every time someone guessed 8 times what my dance emphasis was only to tell them "ballet" and see their face change, well, i probably wouldn't be trying to make money by writing on a blog. laugh out loud.

after college, a wonderful friend named CHARLOTTE DUNNE! (how are you? we never talk anymore!) taught me how to run for fun, and thus my next 8 years of marriage running would be my main cardio. even in running and teaching zumba for 4 years, my legs still fell short of my delusional idea of perfection. At this point i blame BARBIE and the media.

the point of all this mumbo jumbo is this, this morning i slapped together a sandwich for ty's work lunch, stumbled back into my room and got dressed to work out. i sat down on the rowing machine to warm up (i know, so incredibly spoiled to get to use one) and looked down at my legs. what?
those are not my legs! they are strong! and beautiful! i suddenly was aware that i do not despise my legs anymore. and it's not because they look semi ok in this picture (my cottage cheese is on the underside don't worry)  it's because they are amazing! they have always been there and carried me throughout every crazy thing i wanted to do. cliff jumping, running half marathons, snowboarding, hiking, relay races, dancing for hours and hours and hours, carrying 4 babies around, running after toddlers, and for the last year and a half, squatting lots of weight on my back.

even though i can't wear jeans in the fall with boots over top (there is just no way i could walk without circulation, i've tried) and even though i will always look like an orange on a toothpick in high heels at church, and even though i have beautiful big dimpled thighs, i LOVE MY LEGS. I LOVE MY BODY. I am so incredibly grateful they forgive me for always wishing them to be different. i am so grateful I have this body for forever. what an amazing gift i have been given. it's such a freeing feeling, to actually want what you already have. i suggest trying it sometime.

i love this shirt from here, its so liberating to find out how strong you can be. my birthday is coming up for anyone who is behind on gifts: hint hint


weeds in my garden

as i walked out the trash the other day i looked up and enjoyed the beautiful view of our canopy of oleanders, cottonwoods and green grass we are blessed with (believe me, green grass around here is unique). as i walked down the broken sidewalk (that needs to be repaired) to the front door i looked over at my roses. OH! my poor neglected babies. this is what they looked like.

choked out by weeds, too much water and no one had pruned them this fall. i blame that on my mom not here, she always kept me on task with my roses. i did fertilize though mom! i promise! so i put on my adult mom pants and went to work on the task. i estimated it would take between 1-2 hours to de-weed, relay a liner and pour new mulch. and true to form, i underestimated the task by about 5 hours. go me.

i got to work on the first weeds. good gracious they are pernicious little devils. they were EVERYWHERE. they had grown right into the "weed barrier" liner and their roots were wrapped around my rose bushes and drip system. they were strong, like, my huge muscles had a hard time ripping them out strong. i finally evolved to a system of the spade in one hand hacking at the deepest root while i pulled with the other with all my might. i am 2/3rds of the way done at this moment.

this question ran through my head with each and every devilish weed root i hacked away at: how did it get this bad? i started to backtrack in my mind (not an easy task mind you) and i realized that i have seriously neglected this rose bed. when i would weed,it would be after it got really, really bad and even then i would just pull out the tops and didn't even worry about the roots. obviously the weeds themselves enjoyed this immensely as they grew an entire 6 ft substructure under my roses.

as usual, i automatically applied this as a life lesson because that's just what weird people like me do.

 in my personal life, how often have i just tried to address only the part of the problem that was showing? how often have i taken the time and effort to keep digging and get to the roots so i can be rid of it forever?  how often have i tried to lay down a "barrier" only to find that it yes, it did hide the problem but also encouraged unseen rampant growth?

for me, all of these questions are answered with an astounding, ALL THE TIME. my self deprecating thoughts, self-abuse with food, self defeating behaviors and family issues have all been addressed with a mere barrier or plucking of the green shoots coming out of the ground. it's almost scary to try and think about addressing the real problems underneath, but it's coming to the point where i just may have to. it's affecting my day to day life now and affecting my spouse and children so it's time to dig a little deeper. oh, i have a feeling it will be worth it but extremely painful in the meantime.

for now, i will keep pondering this issue and this weekend  i will be working on my rose bed and hope to put up a beautiful picture of my hard work. let's stress the word "hope".

i will keep weeding, and i will keep addressing my personal "issues" every darn day.

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