Kiss my muffin top: A study in self-image

by Dandy

Ah, the holiday indulgence!  Yes, the past six weeks I’ve allowed myself ample amounts of fudge, cookies, cocktails, white chocolate chex mix (oh, baby), brownies, fancy hor dourves, the list goes on and on.  So all the work I put into last summer and fall to lose the 10 pounds that had really been bothering me was thrown out the window.  I had been so proud of myself when I got to my ideal weight.  I felt so good that I had really started to take great care of myself.  I have never been an exercise person, so I really took myself out of my comfort zone when I walked into a gym for the first time in my life and purchased a membership.  The exercise made my self-esteem soar.  I had no idea that exercise could do this for me.  I just wanted to whittle my waist a little.  I had more energy and stamina.  My mind felt clearer and sharper.  All these good feelings motivated me to eat healthier.  I had no more interest in the high fat, high calorie diet I had most of my life.  I bought a juicer and was pouring down the fruits and veggies.  My skin was glowing and my finger nails were really strong.  I started drinking green smoothies and made vegan lasagna all the time.  I discovered that healthy eating was delicious eating. 

So now that I’ve allowed myself to really indulge,  my 10 pounds is back on and my clothes are really uncomfortable.  I spent two weeks traveling around seeing relatives over Christmas and New Years, so my exercise routine fell to the wayside.  The goodies and cocktails were everywhere.  I hear myself making negative comments to myself why did I let myself eat so much?  Why did I make all those brownies?  Why didn’t I exercise anyway?  You don’t need a gym to do sit ups.  Did I really have to eat a second portion of everything?  I won’t even repeat what I’ve said to myself undressed, in front of a mirror.  These thoughts are so insidious.  So I’ve made a promise to myself to knock it off and be consistent about it.

Consistency is the key to negative self-talk.  It is useful in predicting our responses to upcoming situation.  For example, when I put my ill-fitting jeans on I must say to myself that it is ok.  The muffin top isn’t hideous.  The description is.  My body has done everything I’ve needed it to do.  I’m strong and healthy, and I always have been.  I feel better by being back on track with my exercise and healthy eating.  This is a temporary thing.  I’ve lost 10 pounds before, I will do it again.  Which means I will get to feel the success and pride of getting to my ideal weight all over again!

I don’t want my self-image to be only wrapped around my appearance.  Positive self-image needs to be founded on character.  All the wonderful things that make me loveable are still there.  I am not my negative thoughts.  My body is still strong and healthy.  My gratitude is stronger than my vanity.  So the negative thoughts can just kiss my muffin top!  My truth is not in my waist line and it never will be.  It’s in my heart.

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62 Comments to “Kiss my muffin top: A study in self-image”

  1. Love it love it Dandy! I’m with you. Even with staying fairly active during the holiday season, I managed to make all my favorite jeans tight.

    “I am not my negative talk.” This is such a good reminder! I also love your line about getting to feel the success of losing the weight all over again! That is a great way to look at it.
    But my favorite: “So my negative thoughts can just kiss my muffin top!”

    That is going to be my mantra this week!
    Thanks, Dandy, for the good read!

    Love,
    Jen (Little Lessons Under the Big Sky)

    • Hey Jen!
      Yes, I was feeling a bit sassy when I wrote this:) I think we all need a little sas and humor in our lives. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog Jen! That means alot to me!

      • 🙂 Wonderful article 🙂 You shouldn’t have had the sensation of “sassiness” as this is a great read 🙂 I will use your posts in my personal growth trainings and will try to connect with you as much as possible.

      • Hi,
        Thanks so much for the compliment. I’m so happy you liked my post. I wanted people to know that they are not alone in the struggle to find balance. Taking care of our physical health is one of the greatest forms of self-love, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. I wanted people to know that it is ok to slip up. It happens to us all. The important thing is using it as an opportunity to realign ourselves and our values. Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I hope to hear from you again!
        ~Dandy

  2. Hi Dandy,

    You have some golden nuggets all throughout this post. I have to grab a pen to write them down, so I won’t forget them. I especially love your closing line, “My truth is not in my waste line and it never will be. It’s in my heart.”

    I think you really enjoyed your vegan lasagna. 🙂 Thanks for connecting to the post.

    Have a wonderful year in 2011!

    Take care!

    Evelyn

    • Hi Evelyn,
      I’m so glad you could take away from my post! I do love that vegan lasagna! I’ll be making it tonight:) Even my carnivorous sweetheart loves it! Take care!

  3. Love the Blog post. First one of the new years ( if i’m correct and i love it) It’s great that you indulged yourself in all the chocolaty goodness before the near years. Now you can shape up or ship out… lol. Keep that self talk optimistic. Its the only way to function properly in this world.

    • Jonathan!
      I couldn’t agree with you more! It is the only way to function properly. The optimistic self-talk pulls me through always! Take care Jonathan!

  4. Dandy, I love this! I’ve been feeling the same way about allllllll the food I ate during the holidays and definitely needed to read this.

    It’s perfect, as always! 🙂

    • Michelle!
      Thanks for the compliment on my post! Yes, it is good to know we aren’t alone in our struggles. Positive self-talk is everything. When I work out I say to myself – I have all the energy I need. It pulls me through everytime. Throughout the whole circuit I only say great things to myself. It makes me want to work out again! Take care Michelle. It’s great to hear from you!

  5. I love the name! Made me smile and want to read the blog.

    I have exercised consistently for 20 years..through two pregnancies right up until the day of birth. I used to do it for vanity.

    Most recently it has helped me to fully recover from a brain injury. It is also the best antidepressant around. It makes me feel strong, capable and surely boosts my self esteem….and lets me indulge during the holidays!

    I see it as being kind and loving to myself. It also helps to curtail the negative self talk because no muffin top!

    • Hi Debbie!
      Welcome. I’m glad you liked this post. We definatley are not alone in trying to balance out taking care of ourselves. We musn’t beat ourselves up because we slip. It is just an opportunity to get back up and be stronger. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you come back again!

      ~Dandy

  6. Wow. Love the thought. I’ve been in the trap of associating appearance with self-image, so I know exactly how you must feel after gaining back the lost pounds.
    Great job on ending the post on such an optimistic note. 🙂

    • Thank you Sudeep! The past few days I’ve been doing so much better in taking care of myself and feel alot better! As I write this I’m sipping a big glass of yummy vegatable juice:) It’s not about beating ourselves up when we slip, but being positive that we will get back on track because we believe we are worth the effort!

  7. Oh, and I have to say I love your expression. The way you’ve said some of the things–perfect. “My truth is not in my waist line and it never will be. It’s in my heart.”

  8. Ah man, all that chocolate talk at the start of the post, not good for the discipline 😉

    Seriously, thanks for sharing Dandy, I can understand the struggles that you’ve experienced. I used to weigh 13 stone (178kg) before I started exercising, now I’ve got myself down to just under 12 stone (165kg) by jogging and weight training. It’s helped my self-confidence, and definitely worth it 🙂

    • Hi Stuart,
      Congratulations on your weight loss and weight maintance. Thanks wonderful! Taking care of ourselves does increase our self-confidence! It is so much more than toning muscles. It is about knowing that we are doing something tremendously positive for ourselves! It is telling ourselves that we are worth it! Thanks so much Stuart and again Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Dandy,
    Your last line there, that’s where it is at. It is in your heart!

    And your heart shines through here so beautifully, and especially today, as you share, personally, what these last few weeks have been like.

    I, too, can relate. While I’ve still been exercising, it has certainly been reduced. And that, coupled with all sorts of goodies…and it’s time for me to put some extra focus back onto my own health.

    Be fit and healthy truly is so good for more that just our physical health…and it’s so good to read here today, and know you are on that journey…

    Keep shining, my friend!

    • Hi Lance!
      It’s always wonderful to recieve a compliment from you. Thanks! We definatley aren’t alone in trying to figure out a balance to self-care. I’m glad you see that exercising isn’t just about whittling the waist, but doing something to gain self-esteeem. It’s great to hear from you Lance! Take care!

  10. Dandy,

    I totally get what you’re saying here. It is important to care for our bodies as best we can, they are a gift after all. I also believe life is about balance. We do need consistent discipline, for that is the path to success in any endeavor. I also believe that there are times when we need to say “The hell with it!” and splurge just a bit. I don’t mean go buck-wild or anything, just indulge a bit. I know I do this for me because I push myself relentlessly. My inner drive seldom takes a day off, so sometimes, just so I don’t burn out, I take a step back, relax and I’ll have that beer or perhaps dessert. It’s ok, just so long as we come back to the discpline.

    You nailed the most important part. Your truth is in your heart, and that is what defines who Dandy is!

    • Hi Keith!
      Thanks for your great comment! It is all about balance. It is positive to take care of ourselves and to splurge a little. We deserve both! Balancing it out takes maturity, self-esteem, disipline, and self-love!

      ~Dandy

  11. Hi Dandy,

    I am happy to read that you managed to get to your ideal weight once. If you could do it once, it means you can do it again. Being aware of our negative thoughts is important to keeping them in check. As long as we focus on the solutions and not the problem, we can channel our energy to more productive uses.

    Like you, I am not really an exercise person although I know the value of exercise. In fact, I am so lazy I hit the gym twice a week and try to cram all my exercises into 2 hours. I do not relish going to the gym, but once I get started and hit the zone it is pretty easy for me, unless I have a lot on my mind then I end up resting too long.

    But you are right, exercise is only part of the equation. The other part is to watch our diet. That means keeping sinful food out of our lives so we will not yield to temptation. But even bodybuilders have cheat days where they indulge their cravings. It might be good to cheat in moderation so that you will not indulge like crazy because you have deprived yourself. A hungry person is likelier to gorge themselves on food after all than someone who eats regularly. I personally have a weakness for chocolate and ice cream. Since depriving myself is not the answer, I have substituted chocolate and ice cream for yogurt. This helps to satisfy my cravings with a healthier alternative.

    Thank you for sharing this article, I am sure you can get back to the weight you want again! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Hi Irving,
      Thanks for your positivity. Yep, it’s hard to find a balance when it comes to diet and exercise. I too have a weakness for chocolate and ice cream, but I too find substitutions (Skinny Cow ice cream is sooo good). Really we are very blessed to have so many alternatives for diet. There are alot of delicious low fat items out there! We are blessed to have acess to all kinds of information concerning health. All we have to do is google. When I go to the gym I make a point of saying nice things about myself throughout the entire circuit I do. It is 35 minutes of self-love. I walk out of that gym a different person than when I walked in. The self-esteem by far outweighs the toned thighs. In fact I go for the self-esteem mostly. The toning is just a bonus! Taking care of myself is one of the best forms of self-love I can offer myself! Thanks for your thoughtful comment Irving!

  12. I love your forthrightness, Dandy. When we veer from our path and make a mistake it is important to acknowledge and allow it to be… then we must be willing to allow the pendulum of thoughts to swing in both directions.
    In such moments I tell myself…”I am willing to allow my doubting thoughts to have their say as much as they do … and I am willing to think positively as much as I can.” Beating ourselves up will only give more energy to what we DONT want.

    • Hi Rob,
      Thanks so much for your comment! I couldn’t agree with you more about letting our doubting thoughts have their say. I always give respect to my fears, doubt, and anxiety and let her voice herself, but I will make the choice that is right for me. I don’t allow the inner negative talk to make decissions. I let my bravery, positivity, and healthy spritit to guide me. Thanks for your compliment Rob! Take care!

  13. hello dandy
    how are you?
    happy new year!!!
    thanks for sharing this post and also for being so frank and sincere
    it’s great to know i wasnt the only one indulging in some festive eating over the holidays lol!!!
    on a serious note you’ve made important points with reference to gratitude being stronger than vanity and our positive self image enhanced by our good character.
    i start my daily exercise routine tomorrow and it’s going to be a struggle at the start but i am going to stay committed.
    take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day

    • Hi Ayo,
      It’s great to hear from you! It’s good to know that we aren’t alone in balancing dicipline and indulgence. Deprivation is negative. Self-acceptance is positive. Take care Ayo!

  14. Hi Dandy,

    Know not matter what you do, you are a unique person who is beautiful and true gift to the world. The key is to love and accept ourselves at all times in life. Being thankful for what we are and who we are is crucial to our self image. Thanks for sharing

  15. Dandy, I’m a little late to the game, but I love how transparent you are. Good for you that you let yourself enjoy the goods of the holidays. Everyone else did too, and if they say they didn’t, I don’t believe them.

    Have a wonderful 2011. You’re off to a great start!

    • Hi Bryan,
      I don’t believe them either:) We slip up sometimes and that’s ok. It’s an opportunity for us to get back on track even stronger! A healthy diet and exercize program is the best way to improve our sellf-esteem. It’s a way to say I love you to ourselves! Thanks Bryan. I hope to hear from you again!
      ~Dandy

  16. these are the correct foundations for self confidence, i do agree, thank you for the post :))

  17. Dandy,

    I agree! Your truth is in your heart, not in your waistline. This is so beautifully expressed. I’m glad you found so much joy in exercise and I know you will find it again.

    Great new look on your blog!

    • Hi Sanda!
      Thank you for your compliment. I’m glad you like the new look on my blog! This past week I’ve done so much better with my exercise! It makes me feel great! Take care Sandra!

  18. Dandy: I like the new look on your blog too 🙂 I thought this was a great post because it really went to the heart of an important issue … what is the story you are feeding yourself? We can really do some damage if we characterize things in ways that don’t motivate us and as soon as we catch ourselves, we can change the story and change the way we feel. I really appreciated what you said about the negative thoughts being able to kiss your muffin top … hilarious and definitely the right perspective 🙂

    • Thanks Sibyl. I’m glad you liked my post! You are right – it is about the story we feed to ourselves! We can change the story in a manner that will have us feel good about ourselves and accept ourselves. We deserve positive thoughts….all the time! Thanks for your support Sibyl. It’s always great to hear from you!

  19. Hi Dandy! I love your headline. I also indulge during special occasions such as holidays and birthdays. No worries about the weight gained or lost, I enjoyed the moment. The point is that mostly I eat healthy and I work out so if once in a while I allow myself to enjoy small pleasures, it’s all good. You’re right that the only thing that prevents us from enjoying these simple moments, or any moment for that matter, and who we are is our negative thoughts.
    Thanks for this reminder. Loving blessings!

    • Hi Andrea,
      It sounds like you have a very healthy outlook! You are so right about taking enjoyment from the small pleasures and letting any negative thoughts go. As long as we take care of ourselves we can let ourselves have the small indulgences and then not worry about it after that. Thanks so much for the comment Andrea! Take care!

  20. Hi Dandy,

    The right attitude makes all the difference in the world. My hubby is in the same situation you are in. We are back to him taking off those extra 10 pounds. He say, “I did it once and I can do it again.” I tell him good attitude and I’ll do what I can to help. No worries.

    Enjoying the moment is what counts, so much in life. Thanks for the reminder and may you be blessed with happiness.
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie,
      Yes, so many of us are in the same boat and it’s all about a positive attitude! Saying nice things to ourselves and encouraging others is the way to do it! I’m already on the right track! May you be blessed with happiness too! Take care!

  21. I know it is devastating to completely go backwards after meeting our fitness and weight loss goals. Forget about all the “why didn’t I” and “I should have” etc from the holidays. Start fresh now, it’s a new year. Get back on the wagon – you did it once, you can do it again! Go get it girl! There’s no reason why you can’t or shouldn’t! And let me know how I can help.

    • Hi Susan,
      Thansks so much for your positivity! It’s amazing how that alone can be hugely helpful. Thanks so much for checking out my blog! I’ll be sure to have a looksies at yours! Take care!

      ~Dandy

  22. Dandy, I love the way that you allowed yourself some life indulgence for a while. Always makes me think – who is the healthier? The person who is at the gym each day pushing their body on to more and more exercise and exertion? Or the one who simply enjoys life; eats treats now and again, relaxes and lets go, and has the odd bit of natural exercise like a brisk walk outdoors? For me it’s the latter for sure. You make life sound fun without any guilt or reason. Good on you – got any brownies left?????

    • Hi John,
      It’s the latter for me too. I think it’s the healthiest and the most positive. I love my veggies and green shakes, but I also moderately indulge in the yummy stuff too. It just so happens I do have some brownies on hand! I’m never ever without chocoloate:) Thanks John!

  23. > Consistency is the key to negative self-talk. It is useful in predicting our responses to upcoming situation.
    Beautiful insight and so true.

    Martin Seligman says the most important thing we can do is work on our explanatory style — it’s the difference whether we spiral up or spiral down. The spiral down pattern is when we make something permanent, personal, and pervasive (why does this always happen? why me? why is everything going wrong?)

    • Hi J.D.
      Great comment! Thanks. Yes, consistency is the main ingredient for the positive self-talk recipe. Knowing our triggers gives us empowerment. I definately want to spiral up! Very nice hearing from you J.D.

  24. Howdy Dandy!

    Looks like I might get under the wire with this comment.

    I can’t begin to tell you of all the friends and adventure that have come my way because I choose an active exercise life style for the better part of my life.

    It is no coincidence that a good deal of my job is physical…love to revel in it…stagehands have to push and lift some pretty heavy stuff.

    Even when I have down time from work I’m either kyaking, running, walking, biking, surf fishing.

    The computer does inhibit good health, so that is in it self alone one big reason to make even some time during the week for working up a sweat. The sweat has a whole bunch of antitoxants that are leaving the body.

    When I’m running it offers a good time for sorting out an issue sometimes.

    And then it can be just a time for no thoughts…just to listen to the rhythmic cadnence of my stride.

    Isn’t nice to know you can indulge a bit because know you are commited to an exercise life style?

    Thanks for this…

    • Hi Rand,
      Thanks so much for commenting on this post! I’m glad you live an active, healthy life. I’ve got to try surf fishing!!! I love my gym time! It is everything positive. I like how you describe what running does for you. That’s wonderful! Thanks so much Rand! Take care!

      ~Dandy

  25. Yes you should try surf fishing!

    I pump Ghost Shrimp out of the bay then go to the ocean to fish with light tackle. I use a fresh water pole with 10 to 6 lb line and a size 10 hook. It is amazing the size of some of the fish one can catch from only 2 to 6 foot deep of water! Some times I might even hook up to a Surfer!

    I next want to try Fly Fishing in the surf…much like fly fishing in a river or stream. What is so great about surf fishing is that I don’t just stand on the beach, but I will go into the waves to about chest high and throw out my line…then retreat back to a shallow depth. It is such a rush when I hook up to something fast and strong that can bring me up and down the beach!

    The cool water feels so good on the body after a physical period of work + the evening sunsets and peacefulness tells me that this is what so much of life needs to be about…

    • Hi Rand,
      It sounds like we have alot in common. I fly fish and tie flies. It brings me such joy. It sounds like you found something that really feeds your soul. Keep it up! Take care Rand.

      ~Dandy

  26. My gratitude is stronger than my vanity. Love this. You seem as though you are truly living from your heart space. This is what brings about such positive experiences, and positive people in your life always.

  27. “My truth is not in my waist line and it never will be. It’s in my heart.”

    –Your last statement.

    “There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart is the mediator”.

    –Last caption from the silent movie Metropolis.

    Montana? Perhaps you noticed the quote from ‘A River Runs Through It’ that I used before?

    Your last name does not happen to be Maclean? You look like a Scot…I am one. No wonder I love fishing so much!

    I’ll trade you fishing the Southern California Surf for the Big Sky River any day!

  28. I love thereflectiveself.com! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thanks you for your work.
    Webmaster of http://loveepicentre.com and http://movieszone.eu
    Best regards

  29. I am going to purchase a juicer this month. It’s amazing how much your self esteem will soar when you take care of yourself.

    • Hi there,
      Yes, it’s true our self-esteem soars when we focus positive energy on ourselves. We send ourselves a message that we are worth being happy and healthy. I’m so happy you’re purchasing a juicer! My favorite drink is apples, beets, carrots, and a small peice of ginger. It’s like drinking a vitamin pill, only healthier! Thanks so much for you comment!

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