Monday, January 20, 2014

On Learning to Love My Body

Yes, I'm here to talk body image issues again. Is it getting old yet? Keep reading because what I have to say is going to


If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I (like scores of women around me) struggle with body images. I could point out every single dimple, wrinkle, stretch mark, gray hair, odd colored mark, birthmark in a wrong place......blah blah blah. Every compliment you give me will be returned by a self-administered insult.

"You look pretty," you'd say.
"Thanks but you must not see these bags under my eyes," I'd say.

"Your hair looks great," you'd say.
"Except for this gray streak I haven't covered," I'd say.

So on and so forth. . .

Trust me, I have a list of things I think are wrong with the way I look.



I am harboring a secret and when I realized it, I was ashamed! I felt guilty. I have sat on the knowledge of this secret for about two weeks before getting the courage to tell you. . . As a matter of fact, I'm ready to chicken out now.

Here it is....

I'm sexy and I know it. (wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah....sorry had to). 

Deep breath, my secret is out. 

Here it guilty secret....

I spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, especially with all my recent weight loss. I look in the mirror in the bathroom, my full length mirror by my closet, and even my reflection in windows if it catches my attention.

And I like what I see.

The other day, I stood in my bra and panties in front of my full length mirror and admired my curves. Yes, you read it right. I was admiring the heck out of those curves. Glad I have them. And my other parts look pretty good too. I have nice shaped legs, a decent rear-end, and I really like my shoulders and collarbones. My wrists and hands are sort of graceful and taper nicely. My waist goes in a little and then my hips go out a little and it's a pretty good combination if you ask me. I'm a little soft and curvy and I really really like it. As a matter of fact, I stood the other day in matching black bra and panties and thought to myself that I was looking pretty sexy and I certainly wouldn't kick me out of bed. My legs are nice and shapely. Actually for my height (I'm short), my legs are a little longer than most (yes, it's possible, my torso is a little shorter and my legs are longer than someone else who's 5'5").

(oh and since we're sharing secrets here.....I suddenly have a fascination with lingerie because I look dang good in it. I don't care if no one will see it, actually maybe that's better. it's all for me. I want garters and stockings and pretty tights and bras in every color and a drawer full of pretty panties. . .I love it).

go ahead and gasp now. . . there's more....

I like my face better than I did at 18. I'm beautiful. I have gorgeous skin and pretty eyes. My lips are definitely my favorite facial feature; although I like my nose too. My skin glows. I have some cute little freckles across my nose and cheeks. I have a smile that will make you smile too....seriously, the one compliment I get over and over is my smile. I have nice cheekbones. And really great hair (thanks mom). It's thick, soft, and straight.

What am I saying?

I'm hot. I'm sexy. I'm beautiful. I'm kind of cute in a grownup way.  

So you're probably thinking that this is me practicing the power of positive thinking, right?

You're wrong. I really truly think that about myself.

And now you think I'm conceited and full of myself, don't you?

You're wrong.

And there's my aha moment....

We are programmed to find fault in ourselves. As women, we're told we should have confidence but we're also told to not be conceited or think too highly of ourselves. There's a list of "rules" - don't spend too much time in front of the mirror or we're vain. Focus more on our inner strengths (a good one too but then society tells us how important looks are so we must find balance).

Rules rules rules....and all it adds up to is someone like me.

Someone who stands in the mirror liking what she sees and then remembers she's not supposed to feel like that, so she begins pointing out her flaws.

Instead of seeing great curves she sees a stomach that sticks out too far for a bikini
Instead of seeing beautiful skin, she sees stretch marks, veins in the wrong places or scars
Instead of seeing graceful limbs, she sees fat
Instead of seeing bright eyes and a terrific smile, she sees wrinkles at her eyes and the corners of her lips
Instead of seeing a head of gorgeous hair, she sees the streak of gray at the front

because she's been raised to.

And instead of saying thanks to your compliment, she worries she's vain so she points out something that's wrong.

And instead of appreciating herself for herself, she compares. "I don't look like her, or her, or her."  Pretty soon she wishes for someone else's haircolor, skin color, waist size, thigh size, breast size, and on and on and on. And pretty soon, she's envying other women instead of celebrating her own beauty.

And pretty soon, it's become a habit. And as quickly as the "damn you look good" pops in her head, then the "but look at that extra bulge on that thigh" pops in and that leads to "and if only you didn't have that stretch mark right there" and then that leads to "if only my thighs didn't touch" and it just continues. . .

So there's the truth of it. . . 

I actually think I'm beautiful......

It's not vain. It's not egotistical. I'm not arrogant. I don't think I'm "all that." I don't think I'm prettier than you. I don't think looks are everything. I don't think I'm "God's gift" to anyone. 

I'm me. I'm beautiful. I'm hot. I'm pretty. I'm cute. I'm sexy and I know it. . . 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nate Turns Ten!

Ten years ago today, Nate entered the world and instantly became my favorite youngest son. It had been Marc and I for nearly 8 years (oh and of course Chad for two of those 8) and now Marc was a big brother and I was mom of two beautiful boys.

It had been a rough road. In two years, I'd had many many miscarriages. Just 11 months before Nate entered the world, I'd had an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured, sending me to emergency surgery and a few nights in the hospital. I left with one less ovary and one less fallopian tube and a heavy heavy heart. Here's a confession: I was convinced God was punishing me for having two abortions in my early 20s. I was convinced I would never have more children. 

Just two months after my surgery, I discovered I was pregnant again. I braced myself for the worst. I made it through my first trimester and was on cloud 9. 

Right away, I knew this baby would challenge me. When I was pregnant with Marc, I craved fruits and vegetables and literally only had morning sickness one time. Pregnant with Nate...I had morning sickness, afternoon sickness, night sickness. . . there wasn't a time I wasn't sick. I got car sick driving two blocks to work. And boy did I crave junk food!! We won't discuss how many whoppers and french fries I ate during those nine months. But it was all worth it....I was going to have another baby. 

I argued with the doctors who set my due date as the first part of February. They obviously couldn't count....this baby would be born in January. The first week in January, they discovered that he weighed 8 lbs and they decided they should induce labor. And that's when Nate's stubborness began to show....for five days they tried and still he wouldn't come. 

And then at 7:30 pm on the 15th, my beautiful baby boy entered the world. They took him to clean him up and he screamed....his lungs definitely worked. Weighing in at 8 lbs 12 oz. 

It was amazing at first to me how different he was from Marc. Marc was calm, slept through the night at a month old. Nate cried, slept an hour or so here and there, and ate ALL the time! 

And now that little baby is turning 10! He surprises and challenges me. Where Marc is just like me, Nate is my opposite. He's loud, outgoing, energetic, analytical, and organized. He loves routine. He loves to entertain. He'll dance for you, act for you, and make goofy faces. He has the most amazing imagination. He says funny things. He has a memory like an elephant. He's moody and can be a little grumpy. He is witty. 

But then there's times I think he's just like me. He loves time alone. He loves to write. He loves to read. He loves to create. He has a heart as big as the sun. He's smart. 

But mostly, he's his own person. A beautiful person. A wonderful person. And I love him to pieces for all of it. Happy birthday Nate!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Remembering a Friend

What do Salon Selectives hairspray, Aussie Sprunch Spray, 2Live Crew, and pineapple juice have in common? They all remind me of Tracy and that's what filled my mind at midnight last night as I cried in bed, heartbroken to lose one of my best friends.

She had an asthma attack on Christmas Day and never recovered. This week, her family removed life support and yesterday at 5 p.m. she passed. Leaving behind a young son, a heartbroken husband, and parents who adored her and treated her like a princess.

She wasn't a friend I talked to often. We talked three or four times a year but when I needed her, she was there and vice versa. I haven't seen her in person in several years just always seemed like we were too busy. We always said some day, and maybe in a few months, and maybe next year. Stupid really....considering we're about 4 hours apart.

Her mom is my mom's best friend. I've known her forever and I almost mean that literally. But we became fast friends in 8th grade. My parents divorced and mom moved us to Oregon. Tracy was a freshman, I was an 8th grader. She was short, sassy, and tons of long red hair. She was a cheerleader and the boys LOVED her. I wanted to be JUST like her.

I'd go to her house on Fridays. We'd put on the 2 Live Crew cassette (mom would have KILLED me) and fix our hair....she showed me how to really make it big. Salon Selectives and Aussie Sprunch smelled better than Aquanet and that was important because guys liked the smell.

Then we'd sneak out. Tracy was so cool, she always dated the Seniors or the guys who had just graduated. (Yes, as an adult and a mother, I find this appalling now but back then I was convinced that these older boys saw something special in me).

She was "experienced" if you know what I mean. I was naive. She was sooooo cool. As I entered my first marriage, I turned to Tracy for advice. At that time, she'd been married a year or two. She gave me the best friend advice on birth control, pleasing your husband, and a trick about pineapple juice that we still laugh about to this day.

When I started this post, I had every intention of sharing some stories but now as I start writing, I feel somehow I'm betraying her. We had some wild and crazy times. Some times that I hold near and dear. Some times that make me cry. Some times that defined who I am. Some tragic. Some wonderful. Some funny. Over the years, our stupid 8th grade friendship based on my desire to be desired by boys and our friendship based on me idolizing her changed. She was kind, loving, and wanted the most from life. I could go a year or more without talking to her and we'd pick up like we'd never left off. I knew without a doubt if I needed something, she'd be there. She loved me through every bad decision. She didn't judge. She was a beautiful person. Her life ended too soon.

Life's too short for some days. I expected us to be crazy old ladies together, laughing, creating havoc, surprising people with inappropriate jokes when we were 80. Hug your loved ones!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fit with Heather

I've created a new blog to focus on my weight loss and fitness tips, recipes, that sort of'll leave this one free to focus on my annual bucket list.

I've actually turned my 39 before 39 list into a 40 by 39 - I've agreed to complete five 5ks and one 10k with my good friend Stacy. We started things off with a warmup.....we did the Hangover Handicap on New Year's Day. Now to find the most interesting run/walks in the area......

My new blog if you want to follow along is

Hope your year is starting off right.