Shoes, Beauty and Flipping the Ship

Everything is falling off of me. Absolutely everything. It’s kind of awesome, I have to admit. Even my shoes. Did you know when you lose weight and exercise, even your feet get smaller? I mean, I’m still Sasquatch, but instead of being tight, now I need to go find some of the little grippy things to keep my heels from slipping. I had shoes stashed in my closet that were like Drusilla trying to shove on the glass slipper, and now- whooosh, right in, baby.

In this picture, the shirt and jeans are Mo’s old ones. It feels so good. I’m down a whole human being since my divorce. Now, here’s where you’re gonna want to kick me: It hasn’t been hard. What I mean by that is I stopped focusing on food as my problem- because it never was- food was a symptom. When I tried dieting, counting calories or measuring what I ate, all of my focus was still on food. What I needed was to forget using food as currency, and learn to pay attention to what my body needed. This was finally how I figured out the gluten allergy- something that had effected me all of my life, and has now been confirmed medically- but was nearly hospitalizing me. My gluten allergy had me taking nebulized albuterol three times a day and still not being able to breathe. Since I cut out all gluten, I have not taken my asthma medicine. Not once. This from a lifetime asthmatic who has been hospitalized before. Turns out it was the mother of all allergies.

This was the beginning of my figuring out how to listen to my body.

I no longer use food to soothe hurt feelings or painful emotions. Sure, sometimes I still eat too much- but since medicating with a bag of Oreos is no longer an option without several epipens on hand and ready to go, I HAD to find and face what was hurting me and deal with it. The ironic thing is, once I let go and started truly taking care of myself, the weight issues kind of solved themselves.  Yeah, I exercise now. Not fanatically, I don’t even go to the YMCA anymore, with gas prices being what they are. I jog around the block a couple of times a week and have some 5 lb weights in my room that I play with. That’s it. It’s moderate.

It’s also about putting myself on the priority list. Yeah, I’m a single mama to three busy kids, and a fulltime student. Some days are horrific, but I make sure I take a few minutes to do things for that make me feel good. It’s not about trying to impress anyone- a lot of days I don’t see anyone besides my kids- but I feel better when I take the 20 minutes to do my hair, put some makeup on and get out of a my workout clothes.

It’s a fine balancing act, and it kind of feels like that part in Pirates of the Caribbean, where they have to flip the Pearl over to get back to the land of the living. Everything looked one way, but it just wasn’t. It’s a fine line. I make myself look nice because I already like myself, not because looking nice is where I get my value. Does that makes sense? So rock the boat, ladies. Take a look around, and figure out if you’re in the land of the living, or if somehow you lost yourself somewhere. Maybe it’s time to flip the ship.

13 thoughts on “Shoes, Beauty and Flipping the Ship

  1. love you and love reading your writing. You give me a new perspective so often on how I have been looking at my own life. love you and so glad I found your blog through MMW. Have a fantastic weekend!

  2. you are a great example Tracy! I was just talking about why I get ready every single day regardless of what I have going on to my sister the other day. I do it for ME. I am trying to add in the work out to better my health also. Your awesome!

  3. I am in the middle of flippin’ my ship at the moment, actually. The man who I thought was my Forever – turns out he wasn’t – and I are splitting. It has been HARD. Really hard. I have awful days, some OK days, and increasingly some rather self-empowered days. I haven’t been single in years and am for the first time in a long time facing life on my own. I am both scared and hopeful/excited. It’s a strange dichotomy. The good, which is really the only thing to focus on, as I am slowly learning, is that I do have a solid career, an exciting and growing freelance makeup company, and a small but good group of folks who genuinely care about me and want to enjoy my single-dom with me. As a wise young friend said to me, “You need to date Christina for a while.” I think I will, thank you very much! I am facing for the first time in my life, Christina. Me. I have been taking care of others for so long and always put others in front of myself, and now? Now I have only little ol’ me. But it’s good, and I am looking forward to the time in the not-too-distant future when the ship’s done flipped and I am seeing life from a whole new vantage point.

  4. This is so great to read. I love the flipping the ship idea. I’ve noticed, too, when I listen to my body and what it needs I’m better able to take care of myself and in turn feel better physically and emotionally. How did I not know this before!? That’s an awesome bonus with your clothes and shoes. You look fantastic, Tracy, and I’m happy you’re finding more happiness and peace with yourself. Hurrah!

  5. Love the idea of “flipping the ship”. We need to start a movement or something :P It is amazing how sometimes the most obvious and easy way of doing things is actually the right way and what works best. Listening to your body and doing what is good for you, all in moderation …. a novel idea, isn’t it?!?

  6. Does this ‘Flip The Ship’ slogan come on a t-shirt. Because if it does then I want one. What a great visual and mantra. Well timed, Mama. I needed a peptalk of this nature to get me back into taking care of myself and running again. Now if I get courage enough to lace up my shoes tomorrow, I shall come back and thank you again. :)

  7. “I make myself look nice because I already like myself, not because looking nice is where I get my value.”

    My favorite line. You look awesome, btw. You must really like yourself! ;)

  8. Thanks Tracy. I’m in “mid-flip” right now and though it feels like it takes more courage than I have some days, your perspective gives me hope.

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