Be Seen

Good morning blogging world! I have a question for you – have you ever come across something that touches you or resonates with you at exactly the moment that you need it? Something happens and you feel as though the Universe itself is speaking to you? I had exactly that experience yesterday and I’d like to share what it was I came across with you.

Good morning blogging world! I have a question for you – have you ever come across something that touches you or resonates with you at exactly the moment that you need it? Something happens and you feel as though the Universe itself is speaking to you? I had exactly that experience yesterday and I’d like to share what it was I came across with you.

Ever since I lost my husband, 5 years ago now, I have almost been hiding from the World. I don’t mean that I’ve been living like a hermit in a cave but I have stopped myself from making meaningful connections with the world at large. I have my friends but, beyond that, I find it extremely difficult to engage with strangers, I don’t like meeting new people and I don’t like going to places, especially new places, on my own. I always put it down to being shy or unsociable but, last night, I realised it’s because I haven’t wanted to be seen. I haven’t wanted to open myself up to people, be vulnerable in front of them, so I put on a mask and hide behind it. That way I don’t have to engage with other people and, although my mask is only in my mind, it’s also meant that other people haven’t engaged with me and that’s meant that I’ve felt lonely for a very long time. Obviously there was something in me that wanted to try because I have opened up with you guys on occasion but, then again,  I can’t see you and, more importantly, you can’t see me.

I have also, since I was a child, struggled with the idea of not being ‘good enough’. I’ve always tried my best and by no means have I failed at the things I’ve attempted in life but I’ve always felt second rate. I have often put on a veneer of confidence but one word of criticism, one negative judgement and the whole thing would fall apart leaving me feeling ashamed and inadequate. What that does for the psyche is to give me another brick to put in the wall that I’ve surrounded myself with, another excuse not to engage with people and ‘proof’ that I am right not to do so.

This isn’t an idea that I’ve come up with; it was explained to me by a woman called Brene Brown in a YouTube video that I came across last night and it had a profound effect on me. More accurately, there were two things she said that tore away the blinkers from my eyes and made me view my world entirely differently:

Have the courage to be imperfect

Have the courage to be seen

Over 10 million people have watched this 20 minute video – now I understand why. If you haven’t seen it already, I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I did and, if you have a spare minute, I’d love it if you’d share something that’s had this kind of profound effect on you.

The last thing I want to say is: I am not perfect and I do, finally, want to be seen.

Lisa

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How Do You Tell If You’re Too Fat?

The Western World’s obsession with obesity and how to ‘fix it’ continues with, seemingly, very few positive results but how do we know if the statistics which tell us that pretty much everyone will be too fat in 50 years time are accurate? So, how do you know if you’re obese?

The Western World’s obsession with obesity and how to ‘fix it’ continues with, seemingly, very few positive results but how do we know if the statistics which tell us that pretty much everyone will be too fat in 50 years time are accurate? So, how do you know if you’re obese? The standard test is BMI (Body Mass Index) which involves dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared to deliver a number which we then view on a scale with ‘healthy’ being between 18 and 25. However, this doesn’t really take muscle mass into account; body builders for instance could easily find themselves shoved into the overweight category despite having very little body fat so how can you tell??

Forget the science for a moment, as there are loads of complicated ways to calculate your ideal weight, and think about how you feel. Our bodies, if we listen to them, are surprisingly helpful in telling us when there’s something wrong:

  1. Do you feel a heaviness in your body when you move?
  2. Do you feel that your legs easily support you or do you find that you often have aches and pains, especially after exercise
  3. Do you notice your breathing when you’re walking? Do you find that it becomes laboured after a walk of more than 10 minutes?
  4. When you sit down, can you feel your stomach resting on your thighs?
  5. Do you find that the skin on your inner thighs becomes chaffed and uncomfortable when you wear shorts in the summer?
  6. Do you find that the area underneath your breasts (men and women) becomes sweaty and itchy when you’re too warm?
  7. Does the skin under your arms become chaffed and uncomfortable after exercise or in warm weather
  8. Do you find that you often have pain in your knees and/or lower back?
  9. Do you find that you feel very tired even after a small amount of exercise?
  10. Do you eat even when your body is telling you that you are not hungry?

As well as ‘listening’ to our bodies, we should also be looking at them – really looking; not with any preconceived ideas or prejudices. You have known your own body your whole life and you know if what you see looks ‘right’ to you.

There are certain areas of our bodies which are more prone to carry excess fat than others and one of those is the tummy area. It’s widely accepted that it’s dangerous for our health to have too much belly fat but how much is too much? Well, have a look at these two pictures:

Both women are around a UK size 14/16 and would be considered ‘plus size’. However, the lady on the left is beautifully in proportion and obviously takes care of her body as it looks toned and healthy, while the one on the right is carrying all her excess fat around her mid-section which would indicate that she doesn’t have a healthy diet or lifestyle. Their BMI’s would probably be very similar but only one looks ‘fat’ and it’s likely that only one will be at risks of the health problems associated with obesity.

These two images illustrate the same thing but probably even more clearly:

These women both have pretty big arms but one has developed muscle through hours and hours of workouts, the other has stored an excess of fat in her upper arm area. As the woman on the left is so muscular it’s possible that her BMI would be similar to the young lady on the right despite them having very different body shapes.

Heavy Fit

You can have a higher BMI and still be fit and healthy (see stunning lady to your left) BUT only if you are carrying excess muscle and not excess fat. A truly good indicator is how much of you wobbles when you jump up and down – if it’s your arms, bum, stomach and thighs then, chances are, you have too much fat on your body. I know it sounds simple but would you prefer that or trying to work out your weight in pounds, height in inches squared and percentage body fat???

At the end of the day, you know your body far better than any man in a white coat……..unless you’re married to a doctor of course ;o)

Lisa

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