Vanity

Dear readers
I am guilty. I confess. I admit I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. First, it began as a quest to get healthy, strengthen my bones due to the aging process. It felt good to stick to a regular routine and stay discipline. I slept better, had amazing energy, my skin glowed and I was on top of the world. It was all in vain. I worked out five days a week, hired a trainer attended yoga and spin class all for the wrong reasons. My main objective wasn’t to prevent heart decease or high blood. I worked out because I wanted to attrack a mate. I am guilty of falling into the trap of the beauty myth set forth by the male gaze. I am gulity of believing that if I developed and sustained the ideal body that I would have no problems attracting and keeping a partner. I never believed that men are attracted to women of various body types. The reason for my skepticism every beauty magazine, female actress, singer or public figure is presented as the perfect body size and judge on being the ” It girl”. I don’t know when and where I got the idea that having the ” perfect body” meant that I won’t be alone. There is a flaw to my stinkin thinkin, its my vanity and being overweight in my mind is considered unattractive. For years I watched the scale, and measured my waist. I stopped enjoying food and I developed a love hate relationship with anything that I deemed would ” go straight to my hips, thighs and buttocks”.  for years I didn’t look at myself in a full lenght mirror. when I am forced to try on clothing in a dressing room, I feel intimated by all the mirrors watching me from every angle.
Slowly I started to loose my battle to remain a perfect size 8. Little by little life got in the way and I  stopped working out and doing yoga. I let my guards down and began to nibble on the greasy fried foods that I denied myself for years. I gave into my sweettooth and now I can stop. The constant snacking is out of control. I feel ashame and weak. I failed me. When I look in the mirror I see an old body, sagging breast, wide hips, and untamed thighs. I want it back. I want it all back from the right reasons. Diabetes and high blood pressure runs in my family, so far I’ve been lucky. I want my body back for all the right reasons. I want to be as healthy as I can be at the age of 55. I need to eat cleaner, cut back on the sweets, I have a new work out plan thats reasonable and I have set small reachable goals. I will celebration to keep me motivated each time I achieve a goal. first one, rid myself of the extra 15 pounds. I want to feel good in my clothes, sleep better, have more energy, and get back to running my 3 miles and playing tennis. I need to love and except myself and work with what I have. The vain side of me will always be with me, but I won’t allow my vainty to persuade me that I am not good enough. And as far a s my future her mate, what you see is what you get. me

Vacation Reflection

Dear Readers,

While on vacation in California between touring the sites of Los Angeles, Beverley Hills, and Santa Monica and chilling on Venice beach, I allowed myself time for reflection. As your reading this you might ask yourself who goes on vacation for reflection? The purpose of a vacation is to take a mental break from the troubles of reality; and to escape into a temporary world where all things are possible.

A vacation means downtime from the regular routine, grind and mental chaos. I ask you to take moment and think about what would happen if you scheduled a little time for quiet reflection.
Reflection isn’t a difficult task versus the task of thinking about all the unsolved situations you left at home. Instead, reflect on certain areas of your life or perform a quick check list of where you are spiritually, emotionally, are your relationships serving a positive purpose in your life, how is your health, finances, career, what does your golden years look like ? Are you living up to your full potential , or stuck in a rut of going through the motions just to get through each day?

How many of us go on vacation to far exotic places only to do a count down of the days until you have to return to ” that life”. You secretly wish that you can remain in the mode of vacation because decision-making is easy, you eat, play, sleep, more fun, eat, play and sleep. On vacation relax time is in abundance there is no rushing to meet deadlines, solve family problems while trying to make time to get to the ” To Do List”.

Here is the truth of the situations. If your on vacation running around trying to cram as many activities you can in a short amount of time; you wake up early, rush to get to the places you want to see. And if your traveling with children you will find yourself trying to solve their problems by keeping them busy. The conflict between you and your spouse because he or she wants to be left alone, but you insist they join in on the fun. Stop. Isn’t this the same chaos you planned a vacation to get away from? If you return home more exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained than when you left for your vacation, it is time for reflection. Vacations don’t have to be jammed packed with ” fun things” to do everyday. What happened to the down time?

Vacations can be perfect time to reflect on why there seems to be too much chaos, and not enough balance between relax time and the busy hectic days of worrying about life. Before my trip to Los Angeles, I planned my days. I traveled with a friend who felt that he too could benefit from a different scene and time for reflection. It was our first time in California, we stayed in a comfortable Airbnb. First full day, we spent the entire day at Venice Beach. The second day we woke late, walked to a coffee spot and enjoyed sitting, talking, and taking our time. We spent the remaining of the day exploring downtime Los Angeles. The third day we woke late and stayed In and did our separate work, I am a teacher, blogger, writer and public speaker. My travel partner is a social worker and he is designing a new website dedicated to social issues. He said the vacation allowed him the time he needed to relax and to focus on his new career. Day four we took a two hour bus tour, dinner and walked the three miles back to our Airbnb.

We both agreed that we where going back to New York City relaxed and in a clearer state of mine. I look forward to my next mini vacation the last week in August before the fall school semester begins. I have reserved a cottage in Virginia Beach.

When was the last time you had downtime for deep reflection?

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Making the List

Dear Santa,

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I want a bestfriend I can sleep with, make love to, travel with, shop with, dream with, and live with. I want a life partner, someone that I can laugh with and build with. Somebody that I can trust with my heart, my money, and my life. Somebody I’m not afraid to lose because I know they’ll Always be there.  A relationship with love and loyalty, I’ll take that.

Thank you Santa.

What Say You?