Enough

Enough.

You know how sometimes, you feel like life is good, everything is moving along with minimal bumps in the road and you feel good about the direction your life is headed. Then there are other times when you feel like God is throwing nearly everything at you to see how you handle it? We are in one of those times, the not so good times. The times that really make you wonder what could possibly be coming your way after all of this crap to make it necessary to go through and even still, knowing in your head and heart that the things you’re going through right now are not nearly as bad as another persons journey is right now. That brings me to today’s topic that’s on my heart and mind.

I know I’ve talked a little bit before of my husband’s job, he works in a level 1 trauma unit in Phoenix. It keeps him busy and he sees all the usual things you’d think he would see working in a busy ER in a big city like Phoenix. He sees the really minor stuff like your average cold and flu type stuff to the really big intense stuff like heart attacks, car accident victims, gunshots, stabbings, domestic violence victims, and drownings. He has days that are longer and more intense physically, mentally, and emotionally than most of us can possibly fathom. He’s been physically attacked, scratched, hit, kicked, bitten; he’s had to wrestle, tackle, and fight off patients who are attacking him and other staff. He’s sat at the bedside of old people as they took their last breath so they wouldn’t die alone and he’s done chest compressions on patients long after there was no hope of bringing them back to life so their family would know they did everything they possibly could have to save them. He has cradled the bodies of babies who’ve died so their parents would know that their baby was being loved and cared for in that deep dark moment of their worst nightmare.

This week was one of those weeks. The ones that make you question why would anyone do that job? So many traumas. So many codes. So many mentally ill who had to be wrestled into restraints so they wouldn’t hurt themselves or others in the ER. That was just one day. He came home weary, just totally spent from his 12 hour shift. His body was tired and sore from wrestling a few patients into restraints, from doing loads of chest compressions, his feet sore from running from one room to another to take care of whatever was needed in that moment. But he got up the next day and donned his teal scrubs and headed back to the ER to do it all again…whatever the universe was going to throw their way. Just so happened that another trauma code came in, but this one was hard. Kids are always hard for people in EMS. Ask any cop, firefighter/medic/emt, or the staff in an ER. After 90 minutes of trying to save this child, they just couldn’t save him.

And then that team who fought to save that child and lost, had to carry on and go about the rest of their day treating countless other patients who don’t generally stop to think about what happens in other rooms in the ER. They have to wait in the waiting room for longer than what they think is right, so they cop and attitude with the staff…the techs, nurses, and doctors who are doing everything they know how to bring people back from the dead and you there with your cough, you think you have the right to curse, yell, demean, degrade, in some cases, get physical, or even in some other cases threaten the life of one of these people who are doing everything they can to hold it together and treat you and make you well….

So, tonight is going to be one of those nights when my husband comes home weary, with tears in his eyes and heaviness in his heart because they couldn’t bring back a little child to his mama. That mama obviously has it so much worse, but I hope she knows that my husband did everything he could and that his heart broke along with hers that he couldn’t save her baby today. So I’m asking you, please be kind and be patient the next time you find yourself waiting in the emergency room for whatever reason…be kind to the techs, nurses, doctors…you don’t know what their last patient was or what that outcome was, just know that if it were you or your loved one, they would be fighting their hardest to keep you alive too.

Bikini Bodies

Bear with me guys, this might get a little rambly and off path a little, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weight. Not necessarily weight…more like (mainly) women’s unhealthy obsession with weight. But I don’t even really think weight is the issue…it’s more what we look like, how big or small we are…why is there such an emphasis on our size? Why is this a thing? Like at what point did women start deciding that their value comes from how they look on the outside instead of the content of their character?

“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t think I fit the societal norms here, to be honest. I am big, plus size, overweight, obese, morbidly obese, fat, whatever term you use for describing my size…however, I have NEVER seen myself as big as I actually am. I am confident in my body. Is it harder to do some things physically because of my size, I’m sure it is, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been the super tiny girl. I’ve always ‘had some meat on my bones’. Was it harder when I was dating, to be bigger than other girls my age? Nope, I never had trouble getting asked out or getting male attention. Do I have low self-esteem or self confidence because of my size? No, not really. I don’t find my self-worth in my dress size…sorry, not sorry that I don’t see myself as less than because I don’t fit what society has deemed as attractive and worthy all because the scale is a higher number than you are comfortable seeing.

Is this to say that I don’t place value on taking care of myself or eating healthy and moving? Heck no! What I am saying is that I don’t think it’s healthy for one to be so consumed with eating healthy and exercising for the sole purpose of losing weight as opposed to eating healthy and exercising because it’s good for you, no matter your size or the number on the scale. I’m pretty healthy, I have no medical issues that are typically attributed to being overweight (high bp, diabetes, circulation issues, high cholesterol) but people don’t see our medical records when they look at us, do they? They just look at me and see how big I am and automatically assume I must consume all the unhealthiest of foods and do nothing but sit on my butt.

weight does not determine worth

As I’ve scrolled through each of my social media accounts lately, it has struck me that even the most ‘healthy’ and fit, the thinnest people I know still aren’t happy with their bodies. Why? Who is telling you that you aren’t good enough? Why are you letting them? This isn’t even about body positivity to me right now. I do want every body to feel good about themselves, but when I think about it, I want everyone to feel good about themselves because they are happy in their life and relationships and career. I am definitely not trying to knock people who are proud of themselves for being the healthiest, most fit, strongest they have ever been because they are taking the time to work and push to accomplish things physically to test themselves. I think that is amazing and awesome! I just worry about the women who are out there killing themselves to attain a smaller size or smaller number on the scale just because they think that will make them happy or make other people happy.

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it” – Katie Goulet

I have many friends who have expressed feelings of not being confident to even wear a swimsuit, let a lone a bikini, because they have a belly, or thick thighs, or are just bigger than what society has told them is the appropriate size to be right now. Each time, the thing that comes to mind is how to get a bikini body….have a body, put a bikini on it, now you have a bikini body. I recently took this to heart and purchased a bikini. Not a tankini like has been my go to for the last 10ish years…but an actual bikini. And I love it. I feel confident in it. It makes me happy to wear it. And I hope that when my daughter sees me in it, she sees that she too can wear whatever makes her feel confident and beautiful and doesn’t let other peoples opinions get into her head and ruin her self image.

For a really long time, I followed the crowd – must lose weight so I can be more acceptable to everyone around me, must hide my body because no one wants to see a plus size woman in anything that shows any skin, must perpetuate the cycle of self hate because that’s what society tells women is normal behavior…I thought I was so fat, I thought I was unattractive, I thought I was unhealthy, I thought my value was tied into the number on the scale. In all of these old pictures of me, I thought I was so huge compared to my friends…what the hell was I on?! Looking at them now, I see a beautiful woman who was healthy and was the same size as all of her friends! All those years I spent hating myself, my body, because why?…I don’t even know at this point.

Do I say all of this to say that I never have moments of weakness now when I see a picture of myself and think, wow am I really that big? No, I totally have those moments but they don’t define me. The number on the scale doesn’t define me. I don’t have a single desire to lose weight so that people will find me easier to look at, or more worthy of their attention. I have a desire to be healthy and to work on loving all of myself, flaws and imperfections included. I’m not willing to hide for anyone anymore. My wish for every woman I know, is that she would see herself and love herself, as is. Stop the self hate, start loving yourself so we can stop the cycle of teaching our children to hate themselves if they don’t fit whatever society has deemed acceptable. <3