The Daily Five:
1. I am grateful for my smile! I know, my teeth are less than perfect and for years I didn't want to smile. I went to a few different dentists, orthodontists and even oral surgeons to discuss correcting my bite and straightening my teeth - but with no dental insurance, needing surgery on my jaw which wouldn't be covered by my health insurance, the bottom line was more than I was willing to spend! My choppers aren't real pretty - but they get the job done! I have learned that smiling is more than flashing your teeth to someone! I smile with my whole face! My eyes get squinchy, my cheeks puff up and yes, my teeth are uncovered. That little action of smiling makes me feel good! It makes others feel a little bit better too! I like to smile - and to feel good!
2. My lungs. Gee the lungs have come up a few times. I walked the dog in the woods the other day. I did it right after I ate dinner. I must admit my body felt more like taking a nap than taking a walk. Climbing the hills in the neighborhood (even the smaller ones) had me huffing and puffing - but I huffed and puffed my way through it. I am hoping as I continue on this path my lungs won't have to work so hard and won't be so encumbered by the extra fat I am carrying around! Grateful to be able to treat them to some fresh air!
3. My ankles, or my cankles. I always feel they are far to large and out of proportion with the rest of my leg - but regardless - they do a pretty good job of carrying me around! I was at an art fair with a friend this weekend. I am always envious of her body which is smaller than mine and I think, much better looking. However after taking in some of the art fair she felt the need to sit because of ankle pain. My cankles do an awesome job even with all the extra weight I have loaded on. Geesh - they are strong! Can you believe I am identifying a part of me as strong? Whoa - that is growth!
4. My ears. Not that my ears are pretty - but dang they bring me the gift of listening - to children laughing, music, sirens, the songs of birds, barking dogs and even cries for help. I can't imagine a life without the gift of hearing.
5. My granny belly. Not sure why I am putting this in here - I am not really thankful for it and I don't really like it. In fact I dislike it so much I'd almost say I hate it. However, it is motivating me to take better care of myself so I can someday see it smaller!
Which brings me to this - do you think that wearing stretchy pants adds to developing a granny belly? I noticed that when the legging/yoga pant thing started, I quit wearing confining pants with waistbands, zippers and buttons. My body could just expand to any size it wanted to. I no longer tried to suck it in, hold it in place, or even notice when additional inches were sneaking on. Yikes! So now I am working on that - as I sit here in my stretch pants, I take the time to contract some muscles and hold them in place! Perhaps sucking it in once in a while is a good thing!
And as one thing leads to another - it brings me to this - this weekend was mother's day. My son spent the weekend at my house. Sunday my daughter and her family (minus one granddaughter) took us to nearby Holland to take in the Tulip Festival. This seems to have become a tradition the last few years. We went to Windmill Island this year. My son-in-law got the idea we should take a photo of the three of us (my son, daughter and me) in front of one of the small windmills. I wanted to hide in the back row, but instead we stood with our arms around each other. When I saw the photo, I cringed. That body shame was right there. As many reasons as I can come up with to be proud of, happy with, and even thankful for my body - all those things went right out the window.
It took me a while to become accepting of the photo. Really, it's not about the body, but the spirit inside the body. As I type this, my mind is already saying "that's what all fat people say". However I am going to tell that mean girl within to shut the hell up. My body isn't the prettiest, but it is mine and I am going to do what I can to reshape it, to take better care of it and to cherish it. My body deserves that. I am going to defend my body to that mean girl!
So here is my Mother's Day photo which was just one moment of a lovely day. i had a wonderful time with my kids and grandkids. Yes, I am blessed - with loving people and many things including a strong body. I am grateful!