Good posture is what made me feel more confident in a large body. If I sat up straight my rolls weren't exaggerated. It's why we sit up straight when getting our photos taken. I tried to do that as often as possible since I always wanted to look my best.
But I still have the same issue, as my belly is still the fattest part of me. I have little legs and arms that have always been small in relation to the rest of me. The trade off is that I carry all that fat in my belly and so, naturally, that's the part I dislike the greatest. Luckily I don't hate my body anymore. It's not perfect, but it never would have been any other way. There's always something. I do like myself this way more than I liked being obese. Things work better inside and it reflects on the outside. I love that I can feel my rib cage in there. Like, there's REALLY a skeleton in there, you guys! ooOOOOOoo creepy!
To give a visual aide on how my posture has been, see the image below. My posture tends to be the one labeled "Thoracic Kyphosis" aka the "deez boobies too heavy" stance.
I've begun the process of focusing more on my posture and making adjustments to help remind me to straighten up.
One thing I've done is sit comfortably tall in the car and then adjust my rear view mirror to that height. That way if I can't see well out of the mirror I know I'm not sitting up straight. Whenever I think about my posture at all, I roll my shoulders a few times, sit my spine up straight and relax my shoulders. It's not at all uncomfortable - and in many ways it's making my back feel better. I've noticed that my back muscles are pretty weak since I've slacked on keeping a good posture. It's going to take some time to build them back up. I think doing holds on the pullup bar and pushups every day can only help, as well.
Another thing I've noticed is that my posture is particularly bad when my bra is ill fitted. Throughout this process I've noticed that every time I shrank out of a bra size my upper back (shoulder blade area) gets really sore, like I need an adjustment. However, even after I've had an adjustment from my mom it will still feel off. So it makes me think it's more related to muscles and the weight of my chest isn't being supported properly. A few hours after purchasing a smaller bra is like a godsend and I would often feel a sudden burst of energy with my new found back pain relief.
I do find that everything works better when I do things in this order:
Get an adjustment (once a month if I can swing it)
Maintain good posture
Stretch every day
Sleep on my back
This routine is not something I have down yet, but I've noticed that the benefits all lead me toward less body aches/pains and more energy for being active. The adjustments helps line everything up as it should be (which came in handy when I knocked a rib out of place while jumping into the foam pit at the trampoline park...). Stretching seems to really help reduce knots in my neck, shoulders and back - where I carry a lot of my stress. I have been doing it daily for about 2 weeks. Sleeping on my back is difficult to get used to, but I can do it and when I do my neck feels amazing. I have one of those concave pillows with the hole in the middle and it helped me to stop sleeping on my stomach, which was killing my neck and causing a lot of headaches. I'm trying to make side sleeping work, but the reality is that I don't think it's comfortable as a thinner person. It was great when I had a big belly to lean my weight into. I got used to sleeping that way for decades and now I'm trying to replace that belly with bunched up blankets and a pillow between my knees. It's not the same and I end up flopping around and having to readjust everything so that I have the ideal conditions again.
I'd like to continue working toward these goals so that every day is just a little better than yesterday. It's already happened so much since 2015 began. I think this final push happened because a lot of really great things started happening in my life and my circle of people and it really inspired me to try things from another angle.
This summer was the best summer of my life, and so far this is the best Autumn. Not because I'm "thin" now and all my dreams came true - but because it really hit me that life is about the journey. Enjoy the now because it's all anyone is ever promised. I may not reach my goal of being 100+ years old, but in the meantime I'm going to pretend that I am going to make it that long and I certainly don't want to be super unhealthy when I get there. Good gravy, my body is already less forgiving at 32 than it was when I was 12 - I can't imagine what my 80's and 90's would be like if I kept eating candy for every meal.
It also really sank in that no one is going to do it for me. Like, really, this is it. There's not much we can control in life - but I can control this part. I don't want to get Type 2 Diabetes or die of heart disease. Both were terrifyingly possible for me on my old path. Both are also completely preventable. But some company trying to make a buck from my lack of willpower isn't going to be the one to save me from those illnesses.
Keep on keepin' on!
Last night I made a chicken soup. Recipe below!
Ventilation (make sure there's air flow or prepare for the plastic to come off of your windows!)
Slotted spoon (one of those spoons with holes in it)
Large plate or baking dish (for de-boning the chicken)
Fork and knife
1 whole chicken
Seasonings (I used fresh rosemary, oregano, basil and ground pepper)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
6-7 stalks of celery, chopped
6-7 carrots, peeled and chopped
4-6 potatoes, chopped (I prefer the yellow ones that don't have a rough skin, as I like to keep the skin on them)
- Put the whole chicken into the pot and fill about 2/3 of the pot with water. You don't have to remove the gizzard (neck), in fact I find it adds even more flavor.
- Put some salt into the water, flip the on switch of your vents and SLOWLY bring the chicken to a boil. Start at a medium heat. If you put the burner on high the chicken has a tendency to get burned as it rests on the bottom. Stir the chicken around a little every few minutes while monitoring the boiling process.
- Let the chicken boil for at least an hour. You can test it's doneness with a thermometer or just grab a wing or drummy with tongs and if the meat is falling off of the bone, it's done.
- Wash and chop (and peel if you prefer peeled carrots) celery, carrots, onion and garlic into bite size pieces and put them in a large bowl.
- Carefully use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot onto a dish/plate whatever is big enough for it to fit on. Use a fork and knife (or two forks) to pull the meat from the bones and discard the bones and skin. Once you're done with that, make sure to shred up the chicken into small enough strips/pieces to be eaten in the soup.
- Put chicken and bowl of chopped vegetables into the pot. If the water is not boiling, raise the temp. If the water level is low, add more - always keeping the pot at about 2/3 full. Stir.
- Chop up the potatoes - remembering to keep things bite size and add to the pot.
- Let boil for another 20-30 minutes or so for the veggies and potatoes to soften. Use this time to wash and chop up the kale into small pieces. Stir occasionally.
- Now begins the taste testing portion. Add in your seasonings and, more than likely, more salt. Stir it around for a bit and then take a spoonful and test it. If it's too bland, add small amounts of salt until it tastes more palatable to you. If you overdo it on salt, add more water to dilute it. Give it time to cook after adding more salt to avoid over-salting.
- Once it tastes yummy, add the kale and watch it get super green. Give it another 10 minutes or so and it should be good to go!