Beauty as an Inside Job
Don't stop at doing things to your outsides in hopes they'll “make” you beautiful but be sure to do things to your insides that guarantee you’ll FEEL beautiful. That feeling will carry you much farther than looks alone.
Here are my simple takes on how to amp up that foundation of inner beauty...
1. Drink more water (there’s an ap for that, lol. Example: Water Your Body) – While there is a lot of debate as to how much water you should be drinking, there’s very little about why you SHOULDN’T be drinking those sugary, useless calorie laden beverages the majority of us are fond of. I was a lemonade/ginger-ale mix junkie. There wasn’t a meal that went down my gullet that wasn’t backed up by a serving of the sweet mix. I've since made the conscious decision to honor my body by consuming more water. I'm up to a minimum of 48 ozs daily. I won’t say all of these miraculous things happened to my “look” since the switch, but I will say I FEEL as if I’m doing a massive amount of good for my body, which in turn, makes me FEEL better overall.
2. Move Your Body (a.k.a. exercise) – most people I know dread the idea of going to the gym, or doing any kind of movement that can be remotely described as exercise. I get that. I used to feel that way myself. Until I made this critical shift in my thinking. I stopped thinking of movement in terms of losing weight so I could fit into my skinny jeans and instead thought more about building a body strong enough to be disease resistant or treatment resilient.
Cancer has become a major concern - my father died from it, my mom is a 16 year breast cancer survivor, and my sister just had major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her abdomen. I want to be strong enough, healthy enough to either avoid getting cancer altogether or to at least be strong enough to live through the treatments should I develop it in any form.
I’m 54 years old and give less of a damn about looking good than I do about BEING well as I age, i.e. maintaining strong bones, a steady heart beat, normal blood pressure, etc. "Beauty" marketing campaigns aside, when you are HEALTHY, you LOOK good no matter your age or body shape. But, if the word “exercise” still makes you grimace, then ditch the “exercise programs” and instead, find some ways to move your body for 15 minutes as many times a day as you can squeeze it in. Set the timer on your phone then get to moving - dance like a mad person in your living room, walk the dog, play “catch the string” with the cat while standing, engage your toddler in a vigorous game of tag, stop by the gym and walk on the treadmill…DO SOMETHING that gets your body moving for that 15 minutes.
If you have any type of physical boundaries that make it difficult, painful, or dangerous for you to move, consult with your doctor and or physical / occupational therapist. Then come back and share what you do to incorporate movement into your day.
3. Eat to Live – There are just as many debates going on about what you should and should not be eating as there are about how much water to drink. Unless you have some medical restrictions to what you eat, I believe the basics are still valid. More fruits and veggies, fewer processed foods, and avoid those blatantly fatty foods that are heart attacks just waiting to happen.
Mind you, the marketing gurus will do everything they can to get you to follow their advice, but your body knows what’s good for it – trust your instincts. It took me a month or two to distinguish between a legitimate craving and one that is not. For example, after a work out, I crave beef. My body is screaming for protein to replenish itself. On the flip side, when I'm sitting around feeling bored, suddenly I'm craving french fries or potato chips. Guess which craving is NOT legit. Food diaries are helpful here in that you can log how you feel when you eat certain foods, how they affect you emotionally and or physically. Armed with that information, you can determine what the legit cravings are and how to satisfy them in a health inducing manner along with developing strategies to deal with the others.
Feeling Good ——–> Looking Good
No matter how many articles I read about what makes a woman beautiful, I can’t help but come back to my experience and how I see beauty in myself and others. It’s rarely, if ever, based on her looks. It’s more about how she comes across to me – does she radiate confidence; is she polite, kind, quick with a smile and encouraging words? Was that genuine laughter I heard? Is she bold, daring; demonstrating healthy boundaries? Working to foster those things in myself is the best and only way I’ve found to think of myself as beautiful. As I’ve written, if I FEEL beautiful on the inside, I am beautiful. And when it comes right down to it, beauty is an inside job.
I think Dr. Angelou put it best in her poem, Phenomenal Woman – that poem reminds me that beauty comes from ALL of the things that make up who we are, from the inside out :-).
Hi there and welcome to January 2022 on the blog. All this year I'm bringing my fiction to life via a series of monthly challenges where I pick a character from the books I've written and incorporate certain of their traits, behaviors, and such into my day to day living. This month, I'm embodying Dominique from the first book I self-published, Satin Sheet Memoirs, Vol 1. (<---- Click to purchase).
She's a confident, mature, woman who believes in sensual pleasure. One of the traits I really admire about her is her body love and how she honors her physical form.
When I thought about how I was going to bring that particular trait to life, I remembered a couple of pieces I'd written back in the day for August McGlaughlin's Beauty of a Woman Blog Fest on Wordpress. The articles gave just what I needed. So of course, I wanted to share.
This one is from 2015 and is the second of the two. Read the first HERE. In the meantime, to learn more about the monthly challenge, click HERE for a free info sheet that comes with a sample of how I'm meeting the challenge and a blank form for you to use should you have a fictional character in mind you'd like to channel for 30 days.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I'll see you back here next week. Until then,
Sending light & inspiration,