Hope Wissel, Recovery, Weigh to Goal

Jiggle Thighs and Acceptance

Once a month, I am doing a “me blog post”.  Basically, sharing my strength, hope and experience about something.  I looked back on past blog posts for inspiration when I stumbled on one I did in April 2013.

I am learning to accept me for me.  Not easy since I have had a negative self image for as long as I can remember.  Why is it the negative is easier to remember with my MS than the positive things?  A post for another time….

For as long as I can remember, I have had “bumps” on the top of my thighs and my thighs jiggled.  Yes, they got smaller with the loss of 105 pounds but they are still there!  There was even a time when I was working at WAWA where I think they were not as obvious – at least to me.  I mean standing on your feet and doing lots of walking (15,000 steps a day) had some benefits even though I usually felt like a MAC truck hit me.  As my MS reared its ugly head, I struggled with walking long distances.  I struggled with being on my feet a lot so of course working was no long an option. What is a girl to do?  I ride a stationary bike at least 3 times a week, I walk when I can but probably not nearly as much as I should. Opps, there is that word “should”.  I hate wearing my brace on walks because I am forced to accept my limitations due to my MS.

Since COVID and the move, I have been living in yoga/leggings.  I have maintained my BIG weight loss and am about 10 pounds from my original goal weight yet the “jiggle thighs” seem to still be there.  Of course, to me they are really obvious because my waist shrinks (the first place I lose weight) and nothing is in proportion.  So maybe this isn’t your problem area, maybe it is the “jiggle arms” or the muffin top or the roll our bra creates – no matter what we all seem to judge ourselves when we look in the mirror.

How about this thought….My jiggle thighs (or your problem area) are evidence of God’s goodness in my life! Sounds crazy, right? Mind you I never notice this or any other problem area on other people, just on myself.  Most people don’t mention it – okay maybe an occasional child who is curious but why wouldn’t they be – I’m curious as to know why God has blessed me with these wonderful thighs.  LOL.

 
I read something awhile ago by Jen Wilken who wrote The expectation of physical perfection hits modern females early and often”.  Expectations, OMG!  I have learned in my recovery journey, expectations are not good.   She goes on to say Increasingly, physical perfection is the legacy of womanhood in our culture, handed down with meticulous care from mother to daughter, with more faithful instruction in word and deed than we can trouble to devote to cultivating kindness, peacemaking, and acceptance that characterize unfading, inner beauty.”
 
I say all this to say – let’s not torture ourselves with lies about the need to have a perfect body or to be an ideal weight.  I am not saying – don’t be healthy, what I am saying is strive for a goal that is reachable for you.  I am learning to accept me for me – jiggle thighs and all – knowing I am beautifully made by God.  I am not less than because it has taken me a “LONG” time to reach my goal weight.  I am not less than because my body is not a perfect size 10.  There will be ups and downs in my weight loss journey just like there is in life.  Consider those “downs” as blessings where we learn more about ourselves and our relationship with our Higher Power. Learning to love myself is one of the hardest things I have ever done!  
 
Today, I am living in the hope, security and the arms of a Higher Power who loves me unconditionally.  Give yourself a break today and know as long as you are trying your best – that is all that God is asking of you.
 
For tips on healthy weight loss check out – Weight Watchers. This is the program I lost all of my weight on.  It took me longer than I expected. There are those “expectations” again.  I compared myself to others (guess that is a character defect I will need to deal with, LOL) and still do in many areas of my life.  Just for today, I looked in the mirror and actual like the person I am.  Give yourself a break.  If you can’t love yourself totally, find at least ONE area you can love (great smile, pretty eyes, great personality) and count your blessings.  Have patience, and think positive thoughts.
 
Have ThirtyOne-derful day.
Feel Good Friday

How To Boost Your Confidence

16427227_10158289271390220_6884375809304761406_nHappy Friday!  I’m excited because today I am picking my mom and my step dad up from the airport.  They have been in Florida soaking up the sunshine for about 2 weeks and are headed home.

It seems my Friday blogs have been centered on feeling good – about ourselves, our life and our businesses so I am going to call them “Feel Good Fridays”.

I don’t know about you but I have LOTS of inner gremlins.  Those negative thoughts which smack me alongside the head and send me into a tailspin.  The ones who make me doubt EVERYTHING.

Everyday we are hit with the way we should look, the things we should have, and what we should be doing by a certain age.  Body shaming has hit both those who are skinny and those who are “pleasing plump” as my grandfather would say.  As I get close to 60 (yes, this year), I have been doing a lot of reflecting about how these feelings have ebbed and flowed in my life.  There are days when I no longer feel the pressure to look or be a certain way. It takes work (I know I am still looking for the magic wand too!).  Then there are days when those inner gremlins win.

1. Release the pressure you put on yourself 

I have been told for years, “you are your own worst enemy“.  Yup, I (and countless others) put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves.  Perfection was replaced by progress.  Always striving for more.  The constant battle to be the best. This is when we get burnt out and it leads to us to being EXHAUSTED.  The end result is zero motivation.

The key is to block out time for yourself in your schedule no matter how busy a person you are.  The minute you make time for yourself (even 15 minutes of quiet time), you’ll feel better.  You will feel refreshed and inspired by taking a break.  You will get back your energy and believe in yourself.  Positive thinking is a very powerful tool to help you in all areas of your life.

2. Have a self-care day

I see the eyes rolling…. who has time for this, right?  Believe me, once you try it – you won’t want to live without it.  What makes you happy? Is it reading a book? Is it pampering yourself with face masks, wine and a bubble bath? Or how about spending some alone time at the park or somewhere quiet?  Whatever it is you enjoy, block out a day and do it. Turn off your phone (YIKES) and focus on yourself. It’s hard, I know. Full-time jobs/commitments make your time precious.

But remember you are precious too. Doing this will help you re-evaluate your needs and goals, rather than focusing on what others think.

3. Just say “No”

I feel like the anti-drug commercial of the the 70’s. but the truth is being a people pleaser, saying NO is hard for me.  I know I am not alone.  I would say yes to pretty much anything ignoring my own needs and wants.  As I learned to say no, I did it gradually.  I starting saying no to little things like choices in restaurants when going out to eat or an even bigger leap was saying no when I didn’t like an idea someone suggested.  Over time it becomes easier to say no more confidently. This is one of those things you need to practice to get better at….

4. Be whoever and whatever you want to be

Scrolling through social media, we find we can do pretty much anything we put our mind to. The internet makes everything possible which can be a blessing and a curse, right?  We begin to play the comparison game.  I could say stop looking at Facebook, Instagram or any other source of media source you are obsessed with but the truth is, it isn’t going to happen.

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If you struggle with your own inner gremlins, remember you can be whoever you wish to be because you are enough!   Think about and spend time on what makes you happy and you will improve your confidence and believe in yourself.  Set some goals and reward yourself when you reach them.  Gaining self-worth is something to be nurtured in order for it to grow and blossom.

5. The Inner Beauty Glow 

When you are not happy with yourself, how motivated are you to do anything?  If you feel ugly and hate yourself, you’re going to think very poorly of yourself. When you are feeling good about yourself, you are strong and confident, right?  Been there, done it and got the tee shirt.  It’s not easy believing in yourself and it takes a long time to reach a point at which you’re happy.

I heard for years, it is what is on the inside which counts – not what the outside looks like.  This was hard to swallow BUT when I started believing it, things happened. Your voice is important. Your personality is important. Your strength and resilience are so so important.  When you believe in yourself, your sparkle will begin to show on the outside.

keep calm and sparkle onSo, what do you think? Is boosting your self-confidence something you need to work on? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Woohoo Wednesday

How To Boost Your Self-Confidence

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Do you know what day it is???? If it is Wednesday, it is HUMP day which means that it is WOOHOO Wednesday.  A day where we talk about YOU!   We are going to CELEBRATE you!

My word for this year is CONFIDENCE but some days it is more about self-confidence then it is about confidence in my business journey.  For years, my confidence wained because of other people or things or society constantly reminding me that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, stylish enough, or whatever enough.

I’m done with all that.

Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with my insecurities but the difference is that I know how to overcome the bad days.  I have never felt more confident in my life.  So, if you are struggling with “self-confidence” here are some tips:

1. Let go of people that are not positive influences in your life.

We all know that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes, right?  I love this analogy by Valerie Burton:

If you are not being treated with the love and respect you deserve, check your price tag. Perhaps you’ve marked yourself down. It’s you that determines your worth by what you accept from others. Get off the clearance rack and get behind that glass case where the valuables are kept. Value yourself, and accept nothing less.

It’s really hard to walk away from people, or cut people off – especially if you love them. But you have to recognize that they are negative influences in your life. LET THEM GO (yes, I am singing FROZEN, again).  You deserve better, and you’ll find the strength to walk away.

2. Do, wear, try, anything that makes you feel beautiful.

Get dressed up (or at least out of the jammies or sweats) and go out dancing with your friends. Put makeup on and do your hair. Curl or straighten your hair just because.  I was trying hard to embrace my curls over the last few months but I wasn’t feeling it.  I actually felt like a hot mess so my confidence level started to slide.  Out came the flat iron and my straight hair – POOF!  I am feeling better about me.  I’m a jeans girl with a simple top but I am learning how to accessorize so that I feel PRETTY!  Was the first song you thought of “I feel pretty, oh so pretty”?

3. Book a ticket somewhere and just GO.

For those of us on a budget or who have a family, this may be a little tougher.  How about a mini trip ANYWHERE just to get away…  Have a slumber party with a girlfriend.  Go out and meet new people.  I am going to attend a “meet up” tonight at a local restaurant/bar just for something different.  A quick getaway may not SOLVE your problems, but it will help you to change how you VIEW your problems.

4. Laugh, a lot.

Laughter is healing – even when tears are streaming – laughter heals. There’s someone in your life that can make you laugh while you’re crying. If it’s not your mom/dad, brother/sister, or best friend – it can be your favorite comedian.  Watch a comedy stand-up, silly TV shows or sitcoms.  It’s a wonderful way to get yourself smiling.  Happiness is contagious – laughter, especially.  The more you laugh, the happier you’ll be, and the happier you are, the more happiness you’ll attract.  Remember the Law of Attraction?

laughing-baby

5. Discover a new passion, hobby, and work really, really hard at it.

Do you have a hobby? If so, make some time to practice so you get better. If you don’t have one – or aren’t sure what you want to do yet, try anything and everything.  The results will be that you’ll find what you DON’T like – so you will get you closer to finding out what you do like.  The feeling of accomplishment is like no other feeling in the world.

6. Put yourself first.

This is one that was the most difficult for me but it is the one that got me on a track to self-love, self-acceptance and self-confidence.  Reinvest the energy you used to spend thinking about other people into YOURSELF.  I see the eyes rolling and the thoughts of “I’m being selfish” flashing in your mind.  Believe it or not, when you put energy into yourself and become your first priority, you will be able to inspire and care for others.  I know it sounds crazy but it is true, trust me.

So, when those inner gremlins start to raise their nasty heads and have you doubting yourself – pick up your sword and FIGHT!  What are your best tips for gaining and keeping your self-confidence?

slaying IG

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Jiggle Thighs – A new way to look at them…

I read an email/ blog posting on Women Living Well about learning to accept things “in the Opposite World” which really made to stop to think that I need to look at my “jiggle thighs” in a different way..

For as long as I can remember, I have had “bumps” on the top of my thighs.  Yes, they have gotten smaller with the loss of 105 pounds but they are still there!  I walk, maybe not as much as I could but you would figure loosing 105 pounds would have helped to get rid of them, right?  I wear clothes that conceal them but I still know they are there.  Of course you can really notice them because my waist continues to shrink and nothing is in proportion.  So maybe this isn’t your problem area, maybe it is the “jiggle arms” or the muffin top or the roll our bra creates – no matter what we all seem to judge ourselves when we look in the mirror..

How about this thought….My jiggle thighs are evidence of God’s goodness in my life! Sounds crazy, right? Mind you I never notice this or any other problem area on other people, just on myself.  Most people don’t mention it – okay maybe an occasional child who is curious but why wouldn’t they be – I’m curious as to know why God has blessed me with these wonderful thighs.  


In the article I read, Jen Wilken was noted on several occasions.  One of the key statements she wrote was The expectation of physical perfection hits modern females early and often. In middle school, girls cut themselves to deal with the pressures of conforming to the ideal. In middle age, women do, too—but allow the surgeon to hold the knife.”  WOW! She then goes on to say We carve the record of our self-loathing into the very flesh of our bodies—a self-marring, a literal carving of an idol. Increasingly, physical perfection is the legacy of womanhood in our culture, handed down with meticulous care from mother to daughter, with more faithful instruction in word and deed than we can trouble to devote to cultivating kindness, peacemaking, and acceptance that characterize unfading, inner beauty.”

I say all this to say – let’s not torture ourselves with lies about the need to have a perfect body or to be an ideal weight.  I am not saying – don’t be healthy, what I am saying is strive for a goal that is reachable for you.  I am learning to accept me for me – jiggle thighs and all – knowing that I am beautifully made by God.  I am not less than because it has taken me a “LONG” time to reach my goal weight.  I am not less than because my body is not a perfect size 10.  

Today, I am living in the hope, security and the arms of Higher Power who loves me unconditionally.  Give yourself a break today and know that as long as you are trying your best – that is all that God is asking of you.

For tips on healthy weight loss check out – Weight Watchers.

Have ThirtyOne-derful day.