Keeping The Tag Moving!

My blogger pal Mike, over at Run Till you Drop recently “tagged” me in a sort of blogging game (kinda like blogging awards).   He tagged me and asked me a question that I’m to answer here on my blog.  (So I will totes do just that).

mike, a former footballer now trainer, blogs about fitness and all that healthy stuff (and marriage and his cute kids) over at ‘run till you drop’ – an awesome and fun blog!

And then, I’m to pass the tag along! I’ll link your blog in this post + ask you a question; you answer the question and then keep the tag moving!

I don’t think there’s a set number of how many tags to pass on.  But yesterday I made a little list of some people who I hope will participate and actually write back. If you’re tagged here – come on back to the comments section and link us to your reply (I can always edit the post to include you answer link right on in the post body itself; technology is so fancy).

Mike tagged me over here.He wrote:

Secondly, I think it would be rude not to bring ‘happyhippierose‘ to the party! Rose is such a sweet girl who has just moved away from very different weather to what ‘bearrunner‘ experiences. After reading her posts about life in Hawaii, I get very jealous from time to time, BUT sadly she has recently moved and I’d like to know a little more as I’ve not seen many blogs from her recently. So Rose, how did the move go and are you settled now? Also, as Rose likes her exercise too, I’d like to know what you’ve done recently to keep yourself in shape whilst moving from one home to another?

Hey Mike! Thanks for thinking of me and for the kind words.  Well, at the time you actually tagged me, I hadn’t mentioned much about the move – but now I think I’ve actually gone overkill and I’ve given the play-by-play all up on here.  I have stories, photos, posts and what not (just scroll through my May posts, they’re almost all about moving – so it seems – sorry y’all, it was pretty consuming). I don’t want to be too redundant and bore you to tears, so I’ll say this:

  • moving always sucks, it’s always a pain, it’s always stressful
  • that considered, this one went REALLY well
  • we turned part of it into a short road trip through NY state and that was wonderful, we met up with fam and friends we hadn’t seen in years!
  • we’re nicely settled in now, and so far just LOVING it here!!

My cousin Nick’s home is great, he’s been a generous and gracious host – doing more for us than any one cousin should do for another; he is wonderful and his hospitality right now is one of the biggest blessings on our lives.  So we’re living with him, probably will for a year or so.  We get along well, it’s been super fun so far, lots of joking around and good times.

my cousin nicky, he’s a great fella

Also, we arrived at a great time of year – we live in an amazing small town near Lake Erie with SO MUCH to do. Because of said lake, there’s all kinds of water stuff to do: boating, fishing, tubing, swimming, sun bathing, etc., so on.  New York state is gorgeous, has mountains, and in the warmer months there’s a festival or something every durn weekend.

having fun out on lake erie, memorial day

smooching my hubs, aww!

On my health during this move: I was bad Mike. Like downright evil – I hadn’t worked out in a good, long time.  The house mold in Hawaii had really taken hold of me before we left, and my last couple months there I was just soooo sick.  I didn’t do much of anything. It took moving and getting a few weeks out of the moldy house to actually realize how sick I’d become – slowly, during the move, I started feeling better, regaining energy, and it was just dawning on me how really ill I had become.  This move has been wonderful in that sense and to feel like myself again is such a treasure. So I’m easing back into a better, active, healthy lifestyle…

Since arriving here I’ve been running again!

me, out for a an evening jog with the pooches a couple nights ago

Stretching, yoga and some abs work too. Pretty fancy, huh?  I’m slowly trying to get back into it.  I think after being so ill and not doing much of anything, all the fuss and movement of actually leaving and traveling felt like a workout at first.  Now that we’re settled – it’s back to running, jogging, the kind of exercise I can do for free and in my house.  The best kind!

post workout: i’m slowly getting back into fightin’ shape

So, I think that should have MORE than answered your questions, right?  Thanks for thinking of me, Mike!  You rock! And to my readers who’ve never checked out Mike’s blog before: it’s an awesome resource for fitness info, workout ideas, training motivation and wonderful photos of England, his adorable family and the fun stuff they get into on the weekends.

Now: I’ll Keep The Tag Moving!!!

Oh I have so many friends with blogs and blogs I’m friends with… I feel like I coould be here all day.  So if you’re someone I love and I didn’t pick you, please don’t be cross with me.  These kinds of blogging games always come around and get passed about – so I’m sure there will be others down the road, and when that happens I’ll mix up the participants for sure.

In no particular order:

1. Cult Fit – tag, you’re it!  A real game of tag would totally count as random fitness, right? Cult Fit is a wacky, eccentric, brilliant blog written for the fitness-seeker with a speedy mind.  They crack me up and offer a good wake up call to get off my rear and go out and sweat, they also write daily workouts of the random fitness variety – fun stuff, motivation, love the humor and style.

“cult fit” – the header from their blog, i don’t think they post pics of themselves, and i wouldn’t even know how many photos to look for!

My question to Cult Fit: How many authors do y’all have?  It always feels like there’s a whole mess of you penning blogs and you’re always referring to Uncle so-and-so, and this guy and that gal… but really, how many different writers are there?

UPDATE: Cult Fit already passed the tag – check out their post right here. So rad!

2.  Sleep & Salami is a blog I got connected with during my feeble attempt at 30 Days of Blogging Honesty (which I hardly made it halfway through)… Sleep and Salami is a funny, happy blog that covers all kinds of topics and I’ve been a subscriber ever since the 30 Day event.

“sleep and salami” never posts pics of herself, but here’s the image on her gravatar

Question: I really loved your happy go lucky postings of “Merry May” – what a fun idea. I’m sorry you had a crummy April and you were in need of a pick me up – what have you found to be the best way to pull oneself out of a funk and into happiness?  Do you think your focus on gratitude has been a big help?  (I’m a huge advocate of focusing on gratitude for sure).  How are you feeling now, emotionally?  What’s in store for June?

3. Nourish. Nature. Love.  Carlita!  Heya Carly, how’s it going in Florida?  Carly is a personal friend of mine who writes an incredibly educational blog about lifestyle, fitness, nutrition and health – she posts juicing recipes, all kinds of recipe, workout stuff, yoga stuff, just all kinds of holistic lifestyle good choices stuff.

carly, from “nourish.nature.love.”

carly, gettin’ her workout on!

I would like to ask Carly: Are you so stoked about your new job teaching/training Kosama? What about Kosama excites you? What all will you be doing as part of this new job?  (Congrats btw, I’m super excited for you!)  And if you want to get into Jordan’s new job, can you touch on what you’ll be doing to stay busy over the next year (other than working your tail feather off??)

yogi extraordinaire.

4. I am Rose’s Keeper.  Are you EVER going to write your own blog again?  C’mon pleeeeeeeeeease.  (That’s my hubby’s blog, I want him to keep it up!)

oh duggs – so handsome in his new civilian look, the guy who blogs at “i am rose’s keeper” (and my hubby)

the pic duggs has of himself on his blog

5. Ear-Sword-Miracle.  Why are you so incredibly awesome?? Seriously Miles, you rock.  You’ve become such a “mentor” to me – and you always inspire me and offer so much support and love.  I think you and Sharon are so so rad!  So I know I’m supposed to ask you some kind of question that you’re actually able to blog about… so let’s see:  Can you tell me more about the roots of your faith?  I know an awful lot about how you view things now, but I’d love to know more about the journey that got you there.  And then – how did you and Sharon come to love tie dye so much?  The whole 70’s thing, or is it just because tie dye is so fun and happy and bright, just like y’all are?

miles, from “ear-sword-miracle,” the texan cowboy!

6.  Twirling Girl.  Oh Victoria, I love your blog!  I think your writing is beautiful and inspirational.  You’re really an excellent writer – is this blog your first foray into writing, or do you have some other experience that’s given you such a talented, solid voice and wonderful skill with words?

“twirling girl” pretty victoria

Where does your inspiration for your posts come from?  And how on earth do you find the time to do so much reading?? You’re really an impressive lady, and I just want you to know that I love your blog and find beauty in everything you post.

7.  Hiking in Paradise. Goodness you make me miss Hawaii!  SO MUCH!  I’m glad you’re trying to include more photos with your posts (I know at some point you mentioned getting a camera to bring on dives, and how it can be a bit clumsy to use – or at least it was at first, right?).  Your adventures are always exciting and the enthusiasm with which you’ve jumped into SCUBA makes me wish I’d given diving a chance.  Did you like that pun back there?  I have ear drama though, so actually I’d probably not do well with diving, I can never go too deep when I’m snorkeling or swimming.

“hiking in paradise” is lovely and happy =)

My question for you:  What’s your most favorite hike in Hawaii?  If you ever leave the island, what will you miss the most?  And what adventure have you been on that’s your proudest accomplishment – ya know, what dive or hike was the toughest and left you feeling so great about yourself for getting through it?

8. Through The Tunnel.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  I saw on Fb it was your birthday, so I just had to give you a shout out.  Doing anything fun for your b-day?  For the average person, what’s the most important thing we should know about PPD and those going through it?  Like the top bit of advice you’d suggest for being supportive or the top bits of info to know for the sake of having awareness awareness, can you give us a surface level little bit, and “intro” to PPD if you will.

esther, lovely mama and encourager of many at “through the tunnel.”

PPD, btw, is Post-Partum Depression, and my pal Esther writes a lovely encouraging blog about PPD and getting through to the light at the end of the tunnel.  She’s a smart, sweet, and loving mama who helps reach out to many through her blog and social media.  Again, Happy Birthday!! Love to you, Corny Esther =)

(fun fact: Ear-Sword-Miracle is Through The Tunnel’s Dad, so cool!)

Alrighty – I think that’s plenty of folks for now – right?

Now y’all have to Keep The Tag Moving!  So, write and publish a post on your own blog, in which you answer the question I’ve asked you.  Then “tag” some other blogs by linking to them in that same post and ask a question or two of them, thus passing the tag on to them.  Cool? Cool!

Have fun!

And as always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

*pics stolen from other blogs and in one case, facebook, totally without permission because i’m totally rude like that.

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Happy Mom’s Day, Catching Up, and Other Bloggy Stuffs

I know most of my posts have been about our big move.  It’s been pretty consuming.  Don’t think the ole wheels upstairs aren’t turning though!

After staying in so many different households over the past couple weeks, I’m excited to work on some posts about my happy hippie ways that have saved us money and helped to run our home in an eco-friendly way.  I’ve been passing on my tips to our gracious hosts along the way, and it made me think that I should do a post with a bunch of my household tips and tricks!  So that’s on my mind.   Of course I want to show off all the photos from the trip (from the nice camera, I haven’t posted any of those yet) and I want to show off Fredonia and what we’ve been up to here.

Oh, and the climate change has inspired me to keep track of my outfits.  Hehe… it’s not the same style that I could get away with in Hawaii.  So it’s been fun dressing in layers and changing my daily garb.  So there’s that too!

in pottersville on a dreary day- i’m wearing jeans, boots, and long sleeves. i can’t remember the last time i had all this on at the same time. it’s fun!

In good time, once I have more magical interwebs power I will post lots of fun and exciting happy hippie idears and posts (I know I always say that, but really I’ve been on the ball the past several days – Idk if it’s getting away from the moldy house or just moving in general, but man has my energy and motivation been coming back to me.  I’ve been incredible industrious since we’ve arrived in Fredonia – it’s outstanding!).

For now though, it’s great just to say hi!  I hope everyone is doing well.

To all the mothers out there, I hope y’all had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!! We spent the afternoon at my Aunt Patty’s house and had a lovely family dinner.  It was great.  I hope all the mommies out there spent time with your loved ones and were able to feel the love and appreciation that so many have for you!

aunt patty and nick, yesterday at dinner celebrating mother’s day and us being up here finally!

…I have to admit, it’s a holiday that’s a bit bittersweet for me… I can’t wait to be a mom someday and get to enjoy the celebration in a different way.  It’s certainly a day that made me wistful.

But I know things all happen for a reason, and that God’s got us covered.  So when the time is right, I know our family will grow.  And until then, I’m all about make the best of the millions of blessings we sure do have!  There’s a lot of exploring to do in our new home, so much to see and do, so many new places to check out.

Even though Mother’s Day made me a teensy bit sad, it’s a very exciting and happy time for us.  And sharing in that positive energy is so fun for me.  So keep your fingers crossed that we’re able to get some decent high speed and then I’ll be back up and running in full effect!

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

We’re Here, We made it to our New Home!

Hi everyone!

here i am, at my new “working station,” the breakfast nook of nick’s house

I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted an update.  Things have been busy and we’ve been getting settled, of course – but the main reason I’ve been an absentee blogger is to do mostly with the Internet connection.  And the lack of a decent one here.

Turns out we’re a bit more off the beaten path than anticipated and getting a high speed set up has been a tough challenge so far.  We have a temporary solution (a Verizon MiFi mobile hotspot), but it doesn’t get us very far and bigger files like photos and movies are painstakingly slow to move about, and usually end up getting dropped before completion.

posted this on instagram this past weekend – it’s a collage of our first weekend in fredonia. love it!

So, I wanted to jump in and say hi, even if I do it without all the bells and whistles of oodles of photos and all that jazz.

here’s the front view of nick’s house – it’s lovely!

We’ve been getting settled in, trying to get a feel for the area and see what all we got ourselves into.  The first couple days we were tired from all the traveling and feeling a bit overwhelmed at all we had to do.  But now that the anxiety of such a move has faded and reality is setting in, I’m just pleasantly surprised at how quickly I’ve acclimated, how comfy I already I am.

Our room is set up and we’re all unpacked.  We’re settled in and we’ve been able to visit with family in the area.  And, it’s lovely.  The weather has been perfect so far!  A pleasant change, I’m really loving it (even though my lips are all kinds of chapped).   My cousin Nick’s house is very comfortable and I really feel at home here already.  I’ve always gotten along well with Nicky, so I wasn’t worried about that.  But it’s just nice to now actually be here and to feel so at ease.

our room! i love it, it’s bright, clean, cozy and nice. it makes me happy to be all moved in.

Nick’s house is very nice.  He’s worked really hard to make all of this happen, and we’re just grateful to have such a great place to stay.  Not to mention that being with him, Austin and Rocky is just super fun!

nick’s kitchen, it’s plenty big and very nice

the breakfast nook, where i’m actually sitting right now. i love working here, it’s an awesome set up.

here’s a bigger shot of the living room (with sick duggs, aww)… i can and should take some better pics when the lighting is better and with the real camera, not the iphone.

the laundry room, aka: my dungeon! it’s only one part of the epic basement, and i already whipped into shape and got it all set up, organized, and ready to keep this family in clean clothes and linens. (i’m tellin ya, i’ve been on my a-game ever since we got here, it’s awesome).

I was sick, before we packed up in Hawaii… in the hotel in Hawaii, once we got to Long Island and then throughout our whole time in this state.  But now, just now, I’m FINALLY getting to feeling better.  And what happens?  Duggs gets my cold!  Gah.  Poor guy.  He went all this time being around me and my germs and it didn’t get him at all.  I guess it was bound to catch up to him at some point.  I hope he feels better asap.

duggs finally caught my cold, so he’s not feeling so great – on the couch with our little one

Other than Duggs having my cold, everything is just wonderful.  Moving here, so far, is feeling like the best thing ever.  I’m just loving it. It’s been a big change, no doubt.  But it feels like the world is our oyster now… we have so many choices on what to do!

I’ll tell ya the whole story…

My cousin Nick offered for us to come stay with him, in a small town – Fredonia – just outside of Buffalo, NY.  This area is interesting.  A lot of people wouldn’t see the appeal… but for me, I felt something calling me here.  My mom and her siblings grew up in Fredonia.  It’s that side of family’s “home base.”  Out Patriarch, my Great Uncle John, still lives here, as well as a mix of cousins, aunts, uncles, and other extended family.

The winter weather is intense.  Yes. I know.  I’m not sure how I’ll handle my first winter – but you never know until you try, right?

As for spring and summer, I couldn’t think of a more lovely place to live!  The festivals – there’s something going on every single weekend it seems, the weather, the hiking, camping, Lake Erie, Darian Lake (the amusement park, water park, with weekly concerts in the summer), being so close to the city (Buffalo has a lot going on ya know!) as well as the mountains, the countryside, the Finger Lakes, wine country, Canada, Niagra Falls… every which way there is so much to do.

Where we are now, at my cousin’s house, is a bit off the beaten path.  We’re surrounded by vineyards, it’s quiet and peaceful.  Just a couple minutes up the road though and it’s everything you need – grocery, gas, every fast food and chain restaurant, etc.   So for me, it’s a good way to get the best of many worlds.  A new place, a new climate, a new area to explore – the calm and quiet country life with a busy world not too far away.  Lots of family in the area, and just knowing my roots are here is neat.  Matthew’s family is nearby too, and now my sister is as well.  If we want stuff to do, we just have to look around.

And come winter, even though it’ll be cold and snowy – there’s so much to do!  Sledding, skiing, ice fishing, snow mobiling, hunting, etc.  We chose this area because all year round there’s a lot to do outdoors.  Chautauqua County is an interesting place, full of its own culture and color, and we’re excited to learn more about this place.  Besides, if you’re going to live where it gets cold, you may as well live where there’s enough snow to have fun with it, right?  (that’s what we’re telling ourselves anyways!)

So, we’re here!

It’ll still be a little while before all the details are taken care of and we have our whole lives set in stone and mapped out.  Our car and all of our household goods are in transit, we’re not sure how long we’ll live with Nick, etc.  But for now, for our first week here – things couldn’t be any better.

Thanks for following along with the journey and for all the nice and supportive comments and emails I’ve gotten.  It means so much!

Later this week I’ll put up a HUGE photo post – with all the nice and fancy pics we’ve taken here with the good camera.  It’ll be nice and you’ll be able to get an even better idea of what I’m talking about in regards to the area and all that.

At least now you have an idea of where I am and what our new life is starting to look like.

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

 

This is Dedicated To The Ones We Love: Valentines To Our Bodies

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! 

Lately, I’ve been posting about some of my body image issues, Being down and out on the way I look… and I’ve seen a lot of replies come in letting me know that I’m not alone. 

A lot of us are hard on ourselves – over the way we look, the size of our bodies, over not fitting into this perfect image we think we should match up to.  

I want to change the way I see myself.  I want to break the patterns of being critical, sometimes self-hating, and getting so discouraged over my appearance… Instead, I want to use words of love to describe myself, having a focus of appreciation, wonder, and gratefulness towards my body. 

Instead of going it alone, I asked my friends to join in.  

What better timing than to do something like this on Valentine’s Day?  We can make our bodies the object of our affections. Now – I know there are lots of other projects out there that are like-minded.  I think that’s rad!  I didn’t mean to emulate or copy anyone with my effort here; the fact that lots of us are trying to embrace an air of positive body image is an awesome, good thing.  So if you know of another project or movement – link us to it!  Let’s share in the love. 

Reading these letters makes me smile, laugh, and even tear up a little bit.  There is so much beauty in this post, it’s overwhelming.  THANK YOU EVERYONE for your participation.  And for showing us all your real loveliness! 

Now, without further adieu…  Valentines To Our Bodies

Adam Avitable

adam avitable, showing us his best side? while the avitable is about joking around, adam is quite the dashing, charming, good looking guy!

Adam’s post is a little tongue-in-cheek.  He is an online humorist, and he’s great. Here are some excerpts – to check out his whole post, go here.

Dear Body, I love you. I knew that a steady diet of cheeseburgers, french fries, pizza, and butter would make you into an object of desire and affection. Your hair still covers every inch of you, except on the top of your head, but that’s okay. I enjoy being able to explore fashion trends with different types of hats. Being the size of six normal people just means that you are six times as awesome! Being able to ride in solace in an elevator because you meet the weight limit alone is gratifying. Bringing your own titanium chair to restaurants allows you to protect the environment, and buying four seats on an airplane before you board gives you the comfort that none of those other passengers will ever experience.

Andrew N.

andrew is a handsome gent - and look at the awesome TIE DYE!!!

So you wanna a love letter huh?

I love my body…

Your Statistics

Height 5’8″
Weight 215 lbs
Age 43 years
Gender male

Your Results

BMI 32.69 More info
BMR 2038.95 More info

I love my body so much I think its off the charts!  “BMI is between 30-34.99 (Obese Class 1) Individuals with a BMI of 30-34.99 are in a physically unhealthy condition”

I do love my body!

I hear walking is good exercise, so I tried this summer.  I also like to fish…it can be so relaxing.  Maybe I need to learn to fix healthier meals or something?   

This is fun. 

Ashley Tanner

ashley's pretty faceashley all va-va-voom at the navy day ball!

My sweet friend  Rose wrote a post about body image recently, and then extended the invite to write a love letter to our bodies!  I have struggled with body image issues in the past, mostly centering around my nose from elementary school through college, and more recently with my weight.  The weight was the hardest because I felt like it was something I could control, so when I first gained while my amazing husband (boyfriend at the time) and I were dealing with our first combat deployment, I used food as comfort.  That resulted in me going from my all time low of 125 to my all time high of 145-150.  I ran myself so hard (literally) I hurt my knee, I had to switch to swimming.  Then in 2011 I hurt my foot badly.  When I got off crutches after a month it hurt to walk 1/4 of a mile.  Now I can walk a full 9 miles, but my knees and hips pay for it because of the remaining scar tissue on the ball of my foot.  At the height of this injury, none of my clothes fit.  Not even the clothes that fit when i was 145-150.  That was devastating, and I refused to step of a scale.  I have since lost some of it, but my new aversion to scales has kept me from knowing how much.  I still hover around 140, my husband swears up and down I am the most beautiful woman he knows, and my body is amazing.  I seriously would be a mess sometimes without him.  
 
Now for the love letter… I love my legs.  They are long and gorgeous, and have carried me on runs and swims for distances I never knew I could achieve, and they remained faithful to me as I recovered by regaining enough strength to do basic exercises fairly quickly.  I love my size 10 hips, they are gorgeous and curvy, and I know they will serve me well some day when I have kids!  I love my back and shoulders, when I was swimming a lot I felt the changes in them and the strength, even though I do not swim like I used to, I still feel like they are stronger than they were before I was swimming a lot. I love my nose, if it was any smaller it would look strange on my long angular face.  It is also the most obvious feature I have gained from my Lebanese heritage and I am proud of it!  
 
I love you Rose!!  I think what you’re doing is amazing! 

 
Becky Cooper 

beautiful becky cooper

Becky wrote an entire blog post about today’s subject – check her out at Beautiful DIsaster.   Here’s a snippet of what Becky wrote:

I’d like to send a thank you out to every person in the world who takes a moment of their day to tell someone they’re beautiful!  One simple comment can be the difference between a smile or a frown for the day. A huge thank you to Happy Hippie Rose and her amazing blog for inspiring me to be comfortable in my body, and for always being there when I think I’m going crazy!

Claire Williams

the williams fam, claire with her hubs and two lovely children

Dearest one and only body, 
You are a precious gift from God and a temple to be cherished! You’ve allowed me to do so many amazing things throughout my life so far. But there is no doubt that the greatest gifts of my entire life are my husband and two beautiful children. And you, my magnificent body are the beautiful, strong, patient, safe and healthy environment that helped bring my children into this world! I love you for your strength that made both their births 100% drug free and for the ability to just make, grow and deliver them! What a miracle. I have more respect for you now than ever before. I’m grateful to God for you..I vow to protect and love you and teach my children to love and respect their bodies as well. Thank you!
 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
 
All my love and respect,
Claire Helena Williams

Heather Lyman 

heather – my pretty, inspiring, strong, wonderful cousin!

What a cool idea!  

 
Media has stripped away our ability to see beauty for what it really is…

 
I love my arms because they allow me to hug those in need of affection.
I love my mouth because I am able to lift the spirits of those around me, to praise their efforts, give them reassurance, profess my love and let them know I care.
I love my ears for they allow me to listen to those that need an ear to bend.
I love my stretch marks (most the time) because they remind me of the beautiful children I have and how much they have changed my life for the better and made me a better person.
I love my shoulders, for they let the weight of the world rest on them at times.
 
Most of all, I love my whole body, for it encompasses who I am; my spirit, my love, my heart, and no other person is me (no matter how hard they try to be 😉 ) !
 
Love ya Rose!
Leigh Palmer

leigh, doing what she does best - being happy, lovely, and awesome!

Dear Leigh’s Body –
 
I’m so amazed at the places you’ve gone – from sun, to sand to snow. From childhood to motherhood. You’ve gone up, you’ve gone down, but you always share your thoughts with me. When I’ve been bad and stayed out late – you told me. When I’ve been good and gone to the gym- you thanked me. Thanks for always letting me know what’s going on. I promise to always take care of and treasure you.
Libby Felts James

libby is a gorgeous girl, happy, honest and free!

Dear Lib’s Bod: You are amazing and I love you because you allow me to feel pleasure. Pleasure with a friend, pleasure on my own, pleasure when I taste something delicious, pleasure when I take a hot bath, pleasure when the sun shines on my skin, pleasure when I hear beautiful music, pleasure when I see beauty in my environment, pleasure when I get a little high after riding my mountain bike, pleasure when my husband smiles at me—I owe all of this to the marvelously formed miracle that is you. You fucking rock.

Awesome project, Rose! It is so great that you’re doing this!  

Check out Libby’s blog here.

Sara Stewart

sweet sar smiling - i love it! sar is smart, funny, and as you can see: beautiful!

Dear Me, 

After Careful consideration, thank you for all the things you have let me accomplish over the years, and most of all thank you for teaching me despite insecurities, that large, or small, overweight or thin that it doesn’t change what I am capable of, and best of all even with all the changes over the years, that it’s learning how to smile and laugh even when faced with tight situations (pants or otherwise) that is best lesson of all. 

Cheers, Sarah. 

Shannon Johnson Thomas

shannon dances with grace, her body is an expression of beauty

Dear Body,

 

Although you are quite vertically challenged (I am 5 foot small), you make up for it with your strength and agility.  My muscular physic allows me to express myself through the art of dance.  Because of this, I cherish you and always will.   :):):)

 

Love,

Shannie

And now it’s my turn.
Rose Duggan – the happy hippie rose

taken just now - me and pooch.no sucking in, no photo editing.100% authentic me - and i'm learning to love every inch!

Dear Body,
I love you.  Yes sometimes, you give me aches and pains.  Sometimes, it seems that you’re in a massive revolt against every intention I have.  Oftentimes, I feel out of control when it comes to you. 
Despite it all, though, I LOVE YOU. 
You have never failed me.  
My strong legs have always carried me.  Running mile after mile, rising up to a challenge, walking gracefully through the various phases of life – sometimes even skipping.  I love you long, strong stems.
My arms, though not strong by many standards have served me well.  They carry enough for me, they’ve learned to hug (hey, I haven’t always been a “hugger,” ya know).
My hands make art and type words that mean a lot.  They paint, craft, cook, and sometimes they fly out of control trying to illustrate a point I’m making.  Best of all – they hold the hands of Duggs. 
My eyes see the best in people.  
My hair has always done its own thing, and for that I have the utmost respect! 
Oh body, we have so much fun together.  We explore, travel, snuggle, stretch.  We’re at our best in water – I think maybe you are part fish.  (And I’m totally cool with that).  
Body, I am mean to you.  I call you names, and I feed you junk food.  I look at photos of other bodies and then I get mad at you.  I have an impossible standard for you, and it’s not fair.  For this, I am sorry.  I would like to be much nicer to you; I want to show you how much I love you. 
I thank God for making you just the way He did.  Exactly. 
Through every challenge we’ve gone through, I’ve learned much.  Every scar has a story and has helped shape who I am.  I love myself, and thus – I do love you too, dear body of mine. 
XOXO, Rose 
 

Let’s Make Our Bodies Our Valentines

First of all: I am so blown away by the responses to yesterday’s post.  Just, REALLY.

The comments, emails, and messages that have come in are just so comforting.  Hearing my fellow womenkind tell me about their own issues, their own struggles:  I feel comfort knowing I’m not crazy, I’m not alone with my body image issues; but I’m sad that SO MANY of us feel this way.

We should feel comfortable in our skin.  We should strive to be healthy.  But how?

After our conversation yesterday, do you want to find a way to be comfy in your skin? How can you become happy with your appearance?

We should be loving our bodies, for reals.  

Oh, and to the guys who gave me feedback too: thank you.  I know that body image struggle is NOT a woman-only thing.  It’s an all of us thing.  And then, hearing men speak up about the aesthetics they like, the reassurance – it’s just so nice. 

I feel like yesterday I exposed a big part of myself, and instead of being mocked or hurt, the Internet just gave me a big ole hug.  I cannot tell you how amazing that is.

THANK YOU.

this is me right now, working on this post, basking in the love y'all have shown me. what an awesome feeling!

So after my post, there was an epic guest post by Carly about respecting her body, her motivation for being healthy.  And then, my friend Sydney posted this amazing blog about why she loves her body.  Not only was it this bold and encouraging declaration, it was a call for all of us to do the same:

I encourage you to make a post, or just write down all the reasons you love your body you don’t have to publish it, the most important part is that you recognize that you are beautiful and that you remind yourself of all the amazing features you have, no one else has to know. So here I go, all the reasons why I love my body…

such a cute photo of sydney

Go read her blog to see her reasons (to give you an idea, it reads like a love letter to all of the amazing things her body can do – her strong legs that take her on runs, and etc.).

It reminds me of the attitude my friend Libby has.  One time when I was all down on my looks, she talked to me about how amazing our bodies are – oh the things they can do!  She explained how she’s so happy for the faculties she has, talking, walking, running, etc.  Our bodies are these complex high functioning machines, and well, they’re incredible.

Our bodies deserve our love.  So, i have an idea on where we can start, a way to love our bodies.  Valentine’s!

oooh! i have an idea!! oh yeah! i'm up to something, for sure...

This year: make your body your Valentine! 

I want to change my understanding of what a beautiful body is.  I want to be happy and grateful for what I have.

So, is anyone else interested?

Here’s where you, dear reader, come in:

I’m going to write a love letter to myself, and with it, I’ll include some honest photos of myself. It’s going to be a Valentine to my body!

I don’t want to do it alone, though.  Stand with me, post with me.  Please?!

1. Send in a brief love letter to your body, a couple sentences.  If you’d like to publish a longer letter somewhere else – go for it!  Give us a link along with your abridged version. Send what you got to happyhippierose (at) gmail dot com 

2. Include a photo of yourself.  It can be as honest as you’d like, it can be as cloistered as you feel comfy with.  Just have a headshot of your pretty smile? That’s fine too.  The photo is at your discretion and comfort level, and well – keeping in mind this is a family-friendly blog (for the most part), and WordPress has TOS. 

3. Mean what you say.  There’s no way to enforce this one, but maybe collectively, we can all help each other come to a better concept of body image.  And maybe this idea will spread all pay-it-forward style?  A paradigm shift starts with one person. 

And then, I will compile and post for V-day, a special ode to our bodies!

email pics and love letters to: happyhippierose @ gmail . com ; or just reply here on this post if you’d like.

Who’s coming with me?  Who’s in? 

On the photos: Yesterday I mentioned that I’m very picky about what photos I post.  I pose purposefully, I know what angles flatter the most.  I suck it in or put something in front of me, like a prop to hide a part that embarrasses me.

But right now, I don’t feel like hiding under a bulky sweatshirt.  I feel like loving who I am, really.  God has given me SO MUCH.   I live such an amazing life, chock full of abundant blessings, good times, wonderful people.

Even if you’re not in, thank you for reading and for all the love that’s poured in.   I’m so excited to help us all get a more positive self image.  I really am.

xoxo, hhr 

The Real Me Is Thin, I Swear!

I’ve always been a bit pre-disposed to obsessing over my weight.  It’s still something I struggle with now.  Now as in, age 28 and right now – late Tuesday night as I’m typing this.

Oh oy… should I even post this?  Maybe someone else out there knows how I feel? Maybe you can help me, tell me – how do I change my self identity?  Where is the line between needing to try harder on a physical level and needing to release delusions on an intellectual level? 

My first run in with an eating disorder was in high school.  A couple relapses happened later on, one in college and then another in my mid-20s.   And while I do have a history with ED, one that I’m not afraid to talk about – I really meant this post to center more on identity than obsession.

Looking back, I have no idea why I was so desperate to lose weight in high school. I was skinny as a rail my entire young life, from childhood until I first became sick (age 19).

age 16 rose. (i think!)

Okay, okay – I know that EDs aren’t always about being “skinny” more than they are about control.  My family life was a little off the rails during my high school years.  Through family fighting, financial issues, stress, tension, craziness, etc. – the little world that I could keep a tight leash on was the world of what I ate.  And thus, I closely and obsessively guarded every calorie.

Oh, and… I also began puking.

Our swim coach used to encourage us to puke if we “felt” heavy in the water.  After school, we’d wolf down ten pounds of Burger King and then show up for swim practice.  So yeah, vomming felt better than not vomming.  I think that had more to do with performance and me being a silly teenager, than it EVER did with my actual appearance.  Who eats so much right before hours of intense training? Doh. (My coach never ever called me fat, no one did, I was a size zero).

At 5’8, with a small frame (the whole teeny wrists and teeny neck thing), I carry weight incredibly well.  I’m all legs, I tend to be muscular, and at pretty “high” weights, I still fit in to surprisingly tiny sizes.  In high school I was 5’8 by senior year, and weighed 117 lbs.

I cherished that number: 117.

I came home on a break during college, after I’d quit swimming, and my BFF Mark told me I looked “good” now that I had added a couple pounds.  At his compliment, the others we were with that night all chimed in about how I had reached skeletor status during senior year and that this healthy look, a few pounds heavier, suited me.   It felt good to hear that, but part of me kinda hated it too.

I identify with being skinny.  Super skinny.

The ironic part about me having an eating disorder is how unnecessary it usually is (as far as having to be ana/mia to achieve thinness).  Whilst blessed with a frame that holds weight well, and being tall-ish – I am one of those super high metabolism people.  I always think I’d be great at professional eating because of how much I can throw down my gullet.  It’s a long standing family joke about being prepared if I come visit – Rose can clear out an entire pantry in one sitting.  (really, I kinda can).

It’s relative to point out how much I used to work out.  When I was a hardcore swimmer, we’re talking 20-30 hours a week in the pool.  Maybe more?  Lifeguarding could be very active too.  I did dance in middle and high school, track, lifting.  All I did was burn calories.

Then, I got sick.  At age 19, my sophomore year of college, I went into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.  It was then that I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  Treatment with steroids began, and I honestly don’t think I’ve looked the same since.

During that year my GI tract worsened and worsened.  I became super duper ill, landing in the hospital for 10-ish days in the spring, and having to move back home for a few weeks after that. I had a MAJOR surgery on April 17, 2003  – a small bowel resection.

I was on a super high dose of IV steroids all during my hospital stay.  I would end up spending almost 18 months on some form of oral or IV steroid throughout this time.

I ballooned.

I swelled.

This is when I reached my all-time high weight.  In the hospital, I was in the 160s.  Afterwards, I was still damn near close.

My clothes didn’t fit.  My friends called me “Drew Barrymore face.”  It was pretty crappy.  But, I had escaped the whole ordeal in far better shape than statistics would have implied (I had a full bowel obstruction and I didn’t have to get an ostomy of any kind, THANK GOD).

drew, who is gorgeous. but friends can be mean!

I was focusing on getting better.  I had a lot going on – college, my family (my parents were divorcing), all my extra curriculars, and my health.  I wasn’t so worried about my size, I knew that it was temporary.

Besides, in my mind I was still skinny.  The real me IS thin.  Right?  This heavier me was only because of the steroids.  I knew that, and I assumed everyone knew that. 

I worked the weight off, the old fashioned way.  I was exercising and eating okay.  A year later I was diagnosed with cancer and up went the steroids again.  This time, I got to be bald too. Great!

(side note – i remember running in a 5k right before i was DX’ed, and i had a really slow time.  i couldn’t figure out why my body was all wack.  it’s totes because i had lymphoma, stage III.  oopsies!  but you see, i was active in between being super duper sick).

When you have cancer, you don’t spend so much time whining about your looks, ya know? You just deal with it. Living > Vanity.

And on and on it goes… when I finally am able to get into a way of life that’s free of meds, and medical complications, and it’s just me – I’m thin.

2007: probably about 130. a very natural and low maintenance weight for me! still lots of working out, running. gymming it up, protein shakes, etc. i was in good shape in 07/08!

So, I just continue to see myself as a thin person in general.  In 2009 I weighed as little as 119lbs.  I was so close to my high school weight, eight years later!  I loved the way I looked.  And I ate like a beast.  I literally had ice cream sundaes every night.  Drive-thru meals.  I was awful (I blame nursing school stress).

nyc in 2009... (me = on the left).

But that’s just how my body can work.  When healthy, I’m a super active person.  Bouncing around from here to there, and I just burn, burn, burn.

The problem is that, in adulthood, I probably have an average weight of somewhere in the 130s- but I only base my self understanding of my appearance based on the best, healthiest years.  (I’m a real optimist, huh? LOL).

So, thus… there’s this crack in my self-image and how others perceive me.  Or rather, my self image vs. my reality.

In my brain I am a skinny little thing, in real life, I think others see me differently.  I’m scared to know the truth.  But I’m tired of feeling like an idiot.  The way people treat me now, it speaks volumes to me about how I’m seen.

I’m not sure what words to use exactly.  And I know now more than ever there’s all kinds of dramz over size identifiers; one gal’s chubby is another gal’s thin, healthy is healthy and that’s all that matters, I shouldn’t care about size.  But as “true” as I know all of this to be (I mean, I’m a licensed RN and I’ve been a serious athlete for more years than not: I know a thing or two about nutrition, health, weight, etc.) I do care about size in many ways.

People don’t make “skinny” or “little” comments towards me.  When you’ve grown accustomed to being referred to as one way, you learn to like it.  To own it.  I’ve been the brunt of plenty of skinny-hating and skinny bashing.  I’ve had circulation and nerve issues from being too bony (my butt bone used to cut off the circulation to my legs if I sat for too long – skinny girl risk!)

But now, the past 18 months have been the heaviest of my life (save for when I had the bowel surgery in ’03).

  • I got married – comfort gain!
  • I moved to Hawaii – epic local food gain!
  • Quit smoking.  big gain.
  • Then got knocked up.
  • and then, after the MC, I was put on meds that cause weight gain (Lyrica, amongst others). I’v been on meds for more than a year now.

In real life, I’m not really fitting into my entire (and amazing) size 2-4 wardrobe.  In real life, my face looks round, my legs thick.

In my brain though: I’m still a svelte ballerina!

A reality check came not too long ago.  I made a joke about wanting to be a ballerina, actually, and I was shut down.  On the premise that ballerinas have super strict body standards, it was implied that I could not meet such criteria. OUCH.   That one really stung.

I’m accepting and trying to understand: Others don’t see me the way I think of myself. 

And then when I do this pleading, this whole no really, I used to be skinny and now there’s a situational reason for why I’m not thing, they just smile and nod.  They don’t believe me!  People who know me from Hawaii, they’ve never known the “skinny” Rose in real life.  They’ve only seen her in photos.   They probably think I’m crazy and delusional.

And PLEASE, don’t go get up in arms with me.  I know that I am not “fat.”  I may be bordering on overweight based on BMI.  But if you take my muscle % into consideration, I know I’m not.

I don’t think I’m fat.  I’m not mocking the plight of others to lose weight.

Actually, I’m having a dreadfully difficult time losing weight. So it’s my plight too, now. If anything, I’m claiming solidarity in the struggle.

***

But I don’t feel like myself.  And well, I’m starting to become really embarrassed over my appearance.  For someone pretty outgoing like me, this is hard.  Very hard. I grew up a swimmer and a beach guard; to say I lived in bathing suits is an understatement.  Now, I feel self conscious.  I find myself layering.  Wearing pants when it’s hot out.  And so on.

I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin (and I know I’ve griped about this before).

It scares me – how much of this is legit?  How much is that old ED-mentality coming back in?  And because I have a history of eating disorder, if I do have a valid point right now – will people not see that and just lump me in as irrational-due-to-ED?

4th of july in 2009 on left - super sunday (a few days ago) feb 2012, on right . i know the pic on the right is hard to see, but those are the same shorts. just not so well fitting these days.

I like opening up about this, venting here.  I also worry about how this post will be perceived.  Will you see me as vapid? Bratty? Someone who clearly doesn’t have real problems?

If this is the kind of stuff I worry about, yeah, by comparison my life is great.  I already know my life is great though, and I try to be super grateful for all the blessings I do have.

Perhaps in an effort to illuminate my frustration, I’ll add: I take really good care of my body these days.  My stress levels are at an all-time low.  I’m laid back and breezy.  I run, do yoga, eat well.  I take care of myself and I do so love myself – in a good, healthy way.  I hardly ever drink booze.  No drugs.  Lots of stretching and core work, I play outside.

SIGH.

I guess I should actually see this as an epic thank you letter.  I am glad that this is the worst of what’s bothering me right now.

Oh, and before you can suggest that I “talk to someone” about it, I already do.  She says that I do have a ballerina body.  But I think she’s just being nice.  Hahaha.  She doesn’t really seem to validate my concerns about my appearance, and she thinks that I’m hard on myself.

I know for a fact though, that a modeling agency would tell me to lose 30 lbs.  ON the island of Manhattan, I’d be “plus size.”  Getting past your personal opinions on size labels, and who should call what to who…. my point is that, it’s just DIFFERENT for me.

What I am now, doesn’t feel like what I’m used to being. 

Maybe it’s a phase.  A little slump in my pretty rad efforts to stay healthy and workout and be fit.  Maybe I want to see results come in faster than they are, and that’s a why I gripe?

 

So engage me here – seriously, if you’re reading this.  Actually comment.  Have a conversation with me.

I need you to tell me I’m crazy!  Or not crazy?  I don’t know which one is better here. Be brave and you tell me.

  • Do you have any hang-ups like this?
  • Some aspect of self-identifying that you cling to, while everyone around you long stopped seeing you that way?
  • Or are you trying to escape the identifier of your younger days, and it won’t leave you be?
  • Are you slightly delusional about anything?
  • Body hang-ups?
  • Size labeling makes you sad, or happy or what?

I know I can’t be the only one who thinks about this kinda stuff or has a hard time.

It was recently suggested to me that perhaps my problem is that it’s “my age.”  

  • So, if you’re almost thirty *shudders at typing that* does this apply to you too?
  • Is it all over for us now, or what?

I’m sorry for yet another self absorbed blog.  I was just feeling all crappy about this, and down on myself.  This is something really bothering me right now.  In an effort to be honest, and present the full picture – I feel like I gotta sometimes post about the doubt, the hang ups, the weaknesses, I gotta be selfish or weird, sometimes.

I do blow a lot of rainbows out my bottom.  I know that is true.  And my rainbows are real, too.  I love optimism, perkiness, happiness.  But even I know that 100% HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY isn’t realistic.

 

If you read this, you’re a REAL GEM.  I love you! Really!

Now. Answer my questions and talk at me!!!!

as always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr