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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Doin' What Comes Natr'ally

I had a dream last night that I was back in high school.  You will all be excited to hear that I got asked to the dance that I was hoping I would get asked to. Along with this high school experience came the awkward feelings of constantly being judged.  Now, I didn't have a sucky high school experience in REAL life, in fact, I dare say it was pretty normal.  Although I didn't have a specific group of friends that I "hung out" with, I did have many friends that I felt comfortable around.  Like most people, I did my fair share of gossiping, and I am sure that I received my fair share of gossip and drama. Unlike my dream, I was actually only asked to ONE dance during my whole ENTIRE high school experience.  I choose to attribute this to two things: 1) As I said before, I didn't have a specific group of friends that I hung out with and therefore, I didn't have friends that promised to go with me, and 2) I like to think that I was such a hot tamale that all of the boys thought that I had already been asked!  Overall, I enjoyed my time served in the high school institution, and, like most people I couldn't WAIT for graduation.

Today, this dream made me think about my life SINCE high school.  Well, I'll sum it up. I graduated, went to college, did theatre at various levels, went on a mission for my church, did some more college, met my husband, got married, tried to have children, actually HAD children, and am currently trying to not screw them up.

My life since high school can be summed up in a paragraph. Perhaps this is why I am still dreaming of high school!  I haven't changed a lot, and yet I have changed enough that I feel like a totally different person since those days of gossip, drama, and perfume fights in a store. One thing that has NOT changed is my insecurity about my body.

The skirt looked like this.
Mine was green. 
My Senior year, I was in a play for the theatre class that I was in.  It was a Broadway Review. In one number particular, there were four girls (myself included,) that were singing the song "Doin' What Comes Natr'ally" from the muscial Annie Get Your Gun. (That's funny because I just got done writing a HUGE post about doing what comes naturally to us! LOL!) ANYWAY, We had to wear these short skirts that about 4 inches above the knee, but they might have well been just long enough to cover my tush because I FELT SO UNCOMFORTABLE.  I looked at the other girls, and they had these skinny, tan, legs.  Mine were....shapely.  I wasn't over weight, I just have German legs.  I felt that I didn't look as good as THEY did in their skirts.  I took my concerns to the director (a student teacher from the local University that is still a dear friend of mine today,) and he sat me down and said.  "Cindy, I think that you look the BEST in this costume.  You look great! I won't let you be embarrassed."  I realize that in today's world, he could have gotten himself in a lot of trouble by saying that, (which is ridiculous, but that is for another time.) But to me, an insecure teenager that just wanted to be liked by EVERYONE, those words meant the world to me, and I wore the costume with confidence. I still hate the song though.

Today, I remembered about my very first post as The Healthy Redhead. I was SO SCARED!  I had put my "Before" pictures up on the internet and I was FREAKING OUT!  Now, I am HAPPILY married, but what if the cute boy from HIGH SCHOOL saw these pictures!  What would HE think?  What about the boy from college that I had a crush on?  What about my friends from high school.  Then, I remembered a conversation that I had with one particular friend.

We were in the mall and I saw a lady that was quite overweight. Her clothes were too tight and she was riding up the escalator.  I turned to my friend, and in the tone of a true, hurtful, teenager, I said "If I ever get like THAT, shoot me."  We laughed and laughed and she told me that she would not let me get that way. Off we went to try on our cute little clothes with some cute little shoes and eat our cute little pretzel bites and go on our cute little way. Friends.  I BECAME that lady.  Every day, I wish that I could go back to that lady in the mall and say "You don't know me, but I was really mean to you!  I'm sorry.  I UNDERSTAND now."

I have read blogs that are HATEFUL towards overweight people.  I see comments all the time. I'm sure that you all remember THIS.

How many have seen this?

Is it really the case that ALL OF US don't progress past high school?  Can we all sum up our life SINCE then in just one paragraph and therefore spend our time fulfilling our lives by STILL putting others down?  I walked into a room today at church where one of the ladies there said to me "You were a topic of conversation a minute ago." I know what was being said was not mean or hurtful.  But when she said that to me, my heart skipped a beat.  I was scared and nervous that not-so-nice words were being said about me.  HOW CRAZY IS THAT?  HOW TEENAGER IS THAT?

I am SO SICK of that!  All of this contributed to my starting The Healthy Redhead.  I wanted a place where I could go and feel comfortable. I wanted others to feel comfortable sharing their stories. Not only did I want to feel healthier physically, I wanted to feel healthier emotionally and spiritually as well. I needed confidence, friendship, and positive people in my life. And, I got it!  BOY, did I get it!

I have been on an amazing journey over the past four months. So many of you have shared your stories with me via Facebook message or email, or in person.  I am inspired by this.  I am inspired by all of you that are looking to better your life.  Whether you are looking to be healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, you all inspire me.

 Give me a little bit of time and I will be able to write paragraph after paragraph of my life SINCE high school. I have almost 1,000 friends on my personal Facebook Page.  Just over 100 of them "Like" The Healthy Redhead page.  Then, there are those of you whom I have never met, but still follow the blog or the Facebook page.  Right now, we are almost at 150 "likes."  It doesn't seem like much, but it really IS. PEOPLE THAT I DON'T KNOW READ THIS!!!  AND, THEY LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE!!  HOLY COW!!  That is awesome! Well, it is to me. You are my posse! I am comfortable and secure knowing that I have friends that are here to climb this mountain with me.  Thanks for your support. I hope that I can return the favor some day.  You are true friends. I don't expect you to tell me how cute I look in my dress, or how cute my shoes are. I actually don't care, and I don't know what to say when you DO say things like that.  Nope, I just want the "good job" pat on the back, the smile, or the comments here or on the page.

Let all of US help YOU.  Invite friends and family members to join the page and don't be afraid to post.  I WANT to hear what you are doing every day to become healthier in some way.  Ask questions!  There are a ton of us around that could answer! This isn't high school.  This isn't a click.  We don't judge here. We just smile, laugh, and support each other.  This journey is no longer just about me, I get embarrassed being the only one that ever posts anything! ;)  And, you don't have to be a redhead to be a part of our group!  ;)

It's natural to be insecure. It's natural to compare yourself to others. It's natural to worry about what others will think. I'm just not so sure that it's healthy. What IS healthy is to build your self esteem, support others in their endeavors and be truly happy for them, and genuinely build your friendships.  The best friendships that you will build in your life are those from people that climb the mountains with you, not the ones that tell you whether you look good doing it or tell you how. Nope, true friendships are made through shared experiences.

We are not in high school anymore! Woo Hoo!!

Much love to all!

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