In Which Old Ladies Run….

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We ran for 16 minutes today, this fat little 5-year old dachshund and I. Actually, the 4-month old golden retriever ran with us too, but she was hiding from me by the time I took this picture, because she tried to kill me 72 times in sixteen minutes tripping me.

Why, you ask, would a 52 year old woman suddenly decide to go out on a cold day when the streets are icy and I imagined the neighbors coming to their windows to laugh at the old lady wheezing down the street?

Because it’s fun.

Because my body is healthy enough to at least shuffle along, and I wanted to celebrate that fact.

Because everybody starts somewhere.

Because the fresh air stinging my cheeks was a rush after a long hard day at work today.

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P.S. Don’t worry. The golden and I made up. Sort of.

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Define “Beauty” For Me

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I started pursuing photography, very recently. More specifically, I started pursuing “mobile photography”, which means taking pictures with my smart phone camera. There is an entire universe of incredible mobile photography and one of my idols and inspirations was this guy.

As I did so, and as I started posted my photos and oohinh abdominal ahhing over the photos of others, I became aware that “beautiful” means a lot of different things to different people.

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Me, I am enthralled by colors: the richer and more vibrant the better. They enliven and brighten me. They make me happy.

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Other people dig sky shots and naturals, and linear, orderly things.

My interest in photography gave way to an interest in clothing and fashion as another way to express my moods and my creativity. And looking at fashion photos led me to the same conclusion.

There is SO MUCH beauty swirling around us all day every day. People come in all of these beautiful and endless configurations of size, shape, and color. One is dressed classically, and the next in an artist’s palette of colors. One is tall and curvy, while the next is slim and ethereal.

I no longer buy into the childish teaching that THIS is beautiful, and therefore all else is not. I did that for years of my life, and the lack of self acceptance played itself out in all kinds of destructive ways.

YOU don’t have to agree with my definition of beautiful: that’s OK. But I’ll be damned if I’ll believe anymore that your belief is right and mine is wrong.

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I AM beautiful. And so are you. Because the beauty is IN the differences, and not in spite of them.

Here’s the Thing About Dieting…

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It has the weirdest effect on me. Basically, whenever I try to “diet”, I develop an unholy craving for whatever it is I’m not supposed to eat.

I know all the thoughts about “food is just fuel”, meaning that we have unnaturally linked food to things like rewards, love, celebrations, comfort, and so on. But to me, LONG before we had an obesity epidemic, food was ALWAYS part of celebratory events. I mean, we even offered foods to the gods since time began!

In the last month or so, since I gave up hating and waging war against my own body, I’ve made peace with the fact that food can be a beautiful thing! A hot mug of thick and hearty soup in a cold and snowy night IS comforting. A beautiful candlelight dinner of pasta – yes, pasta! – with a glass of wine IS a wonderful celebration.

And it doesn’t have to be re-engineered to be low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie or anything else.

I think the point is to eat and enjoy wonderful REAL food with gratitude, and then to get up from the table and move on! Emphasis on the “move”. As in, walk two blocks to the video store rather than jumping in the car. Clean, paint, go visit friends rather than veg out on the couch all night. LIVE rather than reading about it, watching it, or trying to recreate it in a gym.

Are YOU “so over” dieting, or is it just me?