I've said this before, but I struggle with sharing personal things. This blog is all about being up close and personal, and that's something I need to overcome. 

So let's get personal, shall we?

My girlfriend's car got repossessed in the early hours of Sunday morning while we sat up watching the X-Files. Our entire family -- the both of us and my husband -- rely on this car to go anywhere (to work, to the grocery store, and so on). It's our family's only car.

At the time of the repossession, the payment was two days behind, and all other payments had been made in full and on time. It's apparent that the dealership is doing their end-of-year accounting.

The dealership we're working with wasn't open on Sunday, leaving us an entire day to panic and stew about the car before we could contact them on Monday morning (this morning). When we called at 10 a.m. (when they opened), we were told that the person who deals with recoveries wouldn't be available until 11 a.m.

My girlfriend called at 11 a.m. and was told that they are busier than normal this morning and that her name had been added to a list, which they would call in order. 

Some research I've done indicates that the fees to recover the car for us are going to be in the vicinity of $750 we cannot currently afford to pay. We've asked for a lot of help from friends and family because my husband lost his job back in October (and is now working again) and my girlfriend lost her job in December, two weeks before Christmas (and is anticipating a call from a likely employer today).

I have a tough time handling life issues such as this. My family has struggled with financial trouble due to poor choices of our own and we had thought that we were past this. Unfortunately they just keep coming.

It's important for me to bite off only what I can chew, but life keeps feeding me more than I can handle at one time. I'm dealing with this issue before I move on to the next.

I want to allow my readers to get to know me as a person and not see me as an expert. I'm an expert at a few things, but weight loss and body image are things I'm sharing with you as I learn about them. This blog is about my journey, and the things that encompasses -- including life issues such as this one. 

My main purpose here is to talk to you about weight loss, but of course that will also include things like recipes, mental health topics, matters of faith (I'm reverting to the pagan path I was on for most of my life, and it's taking some doing to get there again!) and family, writing, holidays, and pets. 

If you don't want to read about MY journey and get to know me, then I apologize: I'd rather speak to you from a personal perspective than dump information on you that I've gathered from various sites (which you could do yourself).

I'll be posting more regularly after this, partially in my attempt to handle things a little bit at a time. 

Thank you for reading! If you can help us out with our car situation, I've set up a GoFundMe page here: Help Michelle Get Her Car Back.
You're never going to learn to love your body unless you make the decision to love it. I compare this to the way that I felt for years while other people pressured me to quit smoking. It took until I wanted to quit and had a powerful incentive to do it. After that, it was easy.

After that, I also gained seventy pounds. But that's a story for another time!

It was the same way with my weight-loss journey. I had to love my body in its current state before I could find the motivation that I needed in order to lose the weight. I'm not there yet (as you'll see tomorrow when I post my Weigh-In Wednesday blog post), but I've made forty pounds worth of progress! 

I wanted to share with you about learning to love your body in its current condition, because this is an important and powerful motivator to help you to work at losing the weight and becoming more fit.

You can learn how to love your body today, and if you treat it right, it will love you back!

Love Your Body Today, Not in the Mysterious "When I..."

Many of us women -- in particular those of us who are a bit bigger and trying to alter our physique -- dream of the mystical "When I." 

"When I lose the weight..."
"When I can wear a size 2..."
"When I feel comfortable in a bikini..."
"When I can run a 5k..."
"When I can bench press 200 pounds..."

I have a secret for you: You're never going to meet that magical goal, because there's always going to be some new reason for you to criticize yourself. 

It's like the person who puts off for tomorrow what they can do today: When tomorrow gets here, it becomes today. In this way, tomorrow never comes

The magical "when I" isn't going to come either. You have to learn to love your body today, in its current condition, and without reservation. You're never going to be perfect, and you're never going to have the "perfect" body. No matter how great you look, there's always going to be something more to strive for. If there isn't, then you've given up (and that's what we're trying to avoid here).

You have to learn to love your body today.

Be Kind to Yourself

Treat yourself the way that you would want other people to treat you, and the way that you would expect yourself to treat other people. Kindness is a lifestyle we should extend to ourselves as well as others!

Many of us, in an effort to motivate ourselves, use negative self-talk that drives us to eat more as the result of emotional eating. I frequently point out that I was svelte as a young teen, but hit puberty younger than any of my peers. People bullied me by calling me fat, and I gave up on trying to maintain activity and nutrition. As a result, I gained weight. 

For years, I've run on a continued loop of "I can't" in my mind. "I can't quit smoking" and "I can't go for walks any more, it hurts too much," and "I can't lose weight without surgery." 

Nothing is going to hold you back more than negative self-talk, the "I can't" mindset, and the attitude that you're not doing well enough. 

Most people respond best to positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement because it carries a higher value. If we remind ourselves of all of the things that our bodies are doing right, then we shift the focus off of the things that they are doing wrong, and we become motivated to keep doing the things that make our bodies function better!

If you can learn to love your body today, you send the message to your brain that you deserve to feel better.

Tell Yourself what Your Body does Right

This is the most important step that I took which helped me to lose that first forty pounds. It came (well) after realizing that I had been cruel to my body by forcing unhealthy food and lifestyle onto it, but before the real weight loss happened.

I now keep a daily inventory on my body. Every single day, I look for pain. What's hurting? Today it's:
  • My right ear, probably a minor infection, garlic oil should help.
  • My tailbone from where it's still healing in large part due to a sedentary lifestyle.
  • My stomach because I ate on the go last night when there wasn't much time to sit down and eat.
This list offers me an opportunity. I can either consider what I did wrong that caused these issues (such as chastising myself for not sitting down for a healthy dinner instead of grabbing pizza), or I can look for opportunities.

For example: When I choose healthier food over fattening food, I experience less stomach pain and heartburn.

In particular when you choose to use this "When I.... then my body" type of format, you remind yourself that your body functions the way that it's supposed to when you cultivate healthier habits.

Listen to Your Body

When I learned to love my body, the first thing that I started doing was listening to it. If something hurt, I looked for the reasons why it hurt. Had I strained something? Worked out hard enough to feel the burn? Eaten something I shouldn't have?

One of the most important things about loving your body is learning how it communicates with you. Pain, in general, means that something is wrong. (See above.)