A New Definition of Fluffy

Photo from BarbaricThoughts.Blogspot.com

Welcome to More Cowbell! Today is Thoughty Thursday when we examine whatever topic is kicking around in my brain for the week.

Today I’m thinking about fluffiness. Not cute fluffy bunnies or puppies, or even fluffy writing. Nope. I’m thinking about THE BOD.

Look at that ginormous bundle of fluffy at the top of this post. I realized that’s how I’m seeing myself in the mirror. Just a butterball of big. I’m not seeing sweet little toes or a twitchy nose. I’m completely missing the shiny hair and the lovely background.

I’m not taking the time to notice the good stuff.

A note about the origin of “FLUFFY”:

Back in 2005, I got blood clots. LOTS and lots of blood clots. The kind where the doctors say, “You’re so lucky to be alive, now get your a$$ in bed!”

I was in bed for about four months.

My BOMB honey moved everything I would need into the bed with me. I had my computer, phone and snacks. I had pens and paper, books to read and my drugs. I was allowed to get up to go to the potty and, for the first month I was in bed, the scale was next to  the potty. As the numbers crept up, I banished it to the office.

But I KNEW. . .and I worried. I felt ungrateful as hell. Here I’d sideswiped Death and I was freaking about my thighs.

During a visit from one of my besties, I finally voiced my worry:

Me: None of my clothes fit anymore!
Her: They’ll start fitting soon. You just went through a lot. It’s going to take a while.
Me: But I’m so. . .fat. (This last came out in a whisper.)
Without a pause, she said: You’re not fat, Boo-boo. You’re just fluffy.

She wanted to make me laugh, and she did. Plus, I’ve never forgotten her words. Fluffy sounds a hell of a lot kinder than fat.

This brings me to the point of my Thoughty Thursday question…

Why are we all so freaking hard on ourselves?

We use words when we speak to ourselves that we’d NEVER say to someone we loved. We think things and do things to ourself that we’d never think of or do to others.

I always say “this is the blog about MORE.” So I’m calling myself on the carpet, and I’m taking you with me. In this month of love, I say we take a vow to extend that love to ourselves first.

I say we take a vow to SHOWER ourselves with:

  • More kindness
  • More patience
  • More compassion
  • More friendship

I’ll bet you bust your butt to extend those things to others. I know I do.

What about taking time to give these gifts to yourself? When was the last time you took a moment to practice a positive affirmation or give yourself a compliment? I’m betting it’s been a while.

I’m in the position again where I’m getting kind of fluffy. It’s been worrying me and I’m working hard to find a solution. Obesity can cause blood clots so the extra weight has to GO.

My latest effort is to go gluten-free. As of Fat Tuesday, I gave gluten up for Lent. I’m feeling a teensy  bit guilty (because I did it for my a$$ rather than for God) but I’m betting I get over that if the needle on the scale starts moving to the left. (I’m kind of shallow that way.)

However, I’m going to be more kind and patient with myself while I look for the solution. If the gluten-free business doesn’t work, I’ll try something else. But I’ll do it with kindness.

I’m embracing my new attitude until my view of that Fluffy Babe in the mirror changes from the photo at the top of this post to THIS one:

Photo: http://thelastminute. typepad.com

What do you think? Can you commit to giving yourself a little MORE? Do you have areas of your life where a change in your perception would help your self-esteem? Enquiring minds always  want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Triberr Contest Update

We have our final three winners (last line – in red)! Below are all the winners of the Triberr webinar. We currently are batting around March 3rd for the webinar, but we can move it back to accommodate our new members if need be.

All 15 of you need to hurry up and join the tribe. If you don’t know where your invite is, leave me a comment here and I’ll send a new one. CONGRATULATIONS!

Part 1′s winners were: Nicole Basaraba, Sheila Seabrook and Raelyn Barclay.
Part 2′s winners are: Jessica O’Neal, Marcy Kennedy and Fabio Bueno.
Part 3′s winners are: Leanne Shirtliffe, Gloria Richard and Kate Wood.
Part 4′s winners are: Elena Aitken, Stacy Green and Suzan Isik.
Part 5′s winners are: Karen RoughtPatricia Sands and Renee Shuls-Jacobson.

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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94 Responses to A New Definition of Fluffy

  1. I’ve been trying to work on this this year. I tend to be very self-conscious. My biggest issues is my weight. I gained a lot through 9 years on and off fertility drugs (with very little in terms of results). I tend to associate the weight with my inability to conceive/carry to term, which doesn’t help. I am working hard to take it off, but it definitely a slow process.
    Still, I have some amazing friends and an awesome husband who have been doing a lot to help my self-confidence. They realized that what I see when I look in the mirror is a lot different than what they see when they look at me, and have been helping me to overcome that. 🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I feel for you. To do all those shots and spend all that time worrying (with no baby) is about the most dreadful thing in the world. I’ve been there, I have a cousin and a very dear friend who are there RIGHT now. I know there’s no words to make that feel better.

      Still, you have love in your life, and other kinds of ideas and projects that you will birth, and that makes me happy that you’re blessed. Good luck on that mirror – she’s a bitch some days.🙂

      Like

  2. You had me at “Do you say things to yourself you would never say to anyone else?”

    All the freaking time! Why am I capable of being a confidence booster for others, yet freak myself out with “I’m not worthy/good enough/focused enough.” I didn’t included “smart enough” b/c I know I’m intelligent. And, now I feel like a braggart for saying that! However, I turn that positive into a negative with, “How can someone with my energy and optimism and intelligence…[insert current self-worth crisis here].”

    I LOVE your idea. Why? Well, other than it’s brilliant, I face a new challenge at the moment. One that’s holding me back. I switched WIPs b/c I have a Middle Grade light fantasy in need of a rewrite before my granddaughter gets too old to enjoy it. She’s asked me about it numerous times. I know my voice fits for the story. I have defined the character arc, antagonist, turning points, yadda, yadda. I had age-appropriate beta readers validate the story before the rewrite. But, this time the Yebbits hold me back. Why? Because my next beta reader is the Single Most Important Person who will read this manuscript. Time to stop worrying that I’m not good enough. I can do this!

    Thanks, Jenny! YOU ARE THE BEST!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      See, and I think YOU’RE the best, Gloria…and I’m delighted that you pulled that book out for your granddaughter. I’ll bet the fact that it’s for her is making you braver than you might have been for yourself. You’re going to get all kinds of glory from your Single Most Important Person and it’s gonna be grand.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Like

  3. K.B. Owen says:

    Girlfriend! While you’re saying be kind to yourself, then you go and call yourself shallow because you gave up gluten for your keester more than for God??! What the heck?

    First of all, that’s WAY unkind to yourself, and second of all, I’ve got a newsflash for you: God’s existence isn’t improved one tiny bit by you being gluten-free, LOL. Doing things “for God” really means living our lives in a way that honors God’s gifts (for example, one’s body) or helps others. So you’ve been doing it right all along! Major kudos for going gluten-free, hon! I don’t think I could manage that…I LOVE bread.

    I love this post, too – you are so right about each of us being hard on ourselves, and running a script of negative messages through our heads. I read somewhere that your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what you tell yourself and what is really true, and one’s subconscious is running the show a lot of the time. Yet another reason to give up those negatives for Lent! (and always).

    Thanks for the shot in the arm!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OK, point to you…I could’ve left that sentence out. Of course, now that you’ve called me on it here in the comments, I’ve got to keep it in!

      Thanks for the lovely comment. Now me and my gluten-free headache are going back to bed….🙂

      Like

  4. To be hard on yourself is to be human. Everyone needs a reminder to step back and do unto yourself as you do unto others … a sort of golden rule reversal.
    As I was mulling over your thoughts and got to the end of your post, I suddenly saw my name in the lucky list of winners. WOOHOO! Thanks so much O Triberr Goddess! And yes, I do need a resend of the invite. Now go and be good to yourself today!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Woo-hoo is right! Welcome to the More Cowbell tribe, Patricia. (It’s not like you weren’t already in the posse.🙂 ) I’ll send those invites tomorrow…promise.

      I really like your Golden Rule to self. That rocks!!

      Like

  5. OMG I love this. This is the hardest thing for a woman to do and yet it is the most necessary. May we all become Fluffy, Destroyer of Worlds. Awesome!

    Like

  6. Julie Glover says:

    I have it on good authority that God is very much in favor of kindness, compassion, patience, and friendship, so I think you’re on the right track.🙂

    I feel like a broken record (are you even old enough for that to make sense?) because I keep saying, “mono, mono, mono” but that’s my current reality. I’m hard on myself on those days when I just feel like crap, have to call my husband, and together brainstorm what fast food drive-through he can hit on the way home. My family is getting crumbs right now and that stinks. Thankfully, my husband reminds me to lighten up on myself, take this in stride, it will pass, blah, blah, blah. I’m going to my happy place now.

    (And it’s not my thighs. It’s my tummy pooch that drives me crazy. I’m a petite gal overall carrying a punch bowl of jello in my abdomen. Who ever coined the stupid phrase “flat abs”?)

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Julie, I’m speaking from experience on this one: sometimes you’ve just got to go to bed and rest. When I had blood clots (in both legs + 50 pulmonary emboli), just standing for more than 5-10 minutes was awful. I HAD to sit down and put my feet up.

      I think it’s almost harder with something like mono because you’re “just tired” but after a while, nothing feels as chronically bad. You still need to rest and let your body heal. It’s easier said than done.🙂

      I hate that extra tummy business too. I started losing my waist when I was on Coumadin and pregnancy and the Lovenox shots just clinched it. But, I’m alive and this too shall pass…

      Like

      • Julie Glover says:

        Thanks, Jenny. You’re a good mom.🙂 As to the tummy, yes, we should give ourselves a break. My husband thinks I look pretty a-okay as is. And that tummy got us two healthy kids. Not a bad trade-off.

        Like

  7. Kait Nolan says:

    Oh this was a marvelous post J. Exactly what I know a LOT of people needed to hear, myself included. I think for me, I need to accept that I cannot ALWAYS Do All The Things, that sometimes I need to ask for help–and that’s okay. I’m incredibly self sufficient and independent, so asking anybody to do anything for me is HARD.
    Anyway, if you need any help with the GF transition, let me know. I’ve been at it for over a year now, and I’ve got oodles of recipes over at my food blog Pots and Plots (http://potsandplots.wordpress.com)

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Is it supposed to give you a stupid massive headache?? That’s what I want to know. I can’t figure out if it’s the diet change or something else, but it’s been killing me for two days.

      Like

      • Ask Kristen about it. She’s been GF ever since I’ve known her. Used to get violently ill from gluten before she was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant. I think she may have headaches, but I’m not sure.

        Like

      • Rick says:

        Could be what’s sometimes referred to as the “low-carb flu.” Gluten-free (depending on how you do it) can be very low carbohydrate. Some people, like my wife, had a hard time switching from a relatively standard diet to a gluten-free diet that was also low in carbohydrates. A couple of ways to work through it: (1) eat whole fruit to increase your blood sugar or (2) increase your intake of healthy fats like coconut oil and keep your blood sugar low. I dropped about 30# of fluffy by first eliminating processed sugar for a summer, then experimenting with going fully gluten-free, dairy-free. According to myfitnesspal, about 50% of my calorie intake comes from fat. Feeling better, skin cleared up, and off medications. Inconvenient and totally worth it. Good for you for trying it out.

        Like

  8. Laura Drake says:

    Oh Jen, I’m SO with you here. I do the exact same thing — which, aside from being counter beneficial, just feels bad.

    There’s more to beauty than bones.

    Love you.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Hey, Laura! Thanks for the comment – you’re the best. I love you to pieces so here’s a poem for you:

      Roses are red.
      Violets are blue.
      I am bootylicious,
      and you are too.

      Ha! Killing myself here…

      Like

  9. Jenny this is so true…🙂 You are such an awesome chicky doodle.. I was feeling like hell the other day which prompted me to write a flash fiction piece that will be up on my blog tomorrow.. it’s called “Reflection.”

    Like

  10. I totally understand the fear you must have felt, not being able to do more than lie in bed. I’m a fitness freak/health nut. Whatever you want to call me. Part of it is due to the eating disorders I had not so long ago…well, probably most of it. I obsess over calories ingested and calories expended. I’m constantly looking for new healthy recipes and foods, new crazy workouts to challenge me…this was a great post and a great reminder to love ourselves. Too often, we don’t. Thank you.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      April, have you been over to August McLaughlin’s blog? She has so many posts that I know would really resonate with you. I’ve seen your photo and you’re gorgeous JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.🙂

      Like

  11. Jess Witkins says:

    Um, you have leopard pants, that’s SASSY is what that is! Come on now Miss Cowbell, play that thing for you too!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, I’m definitely sassy, but the pants ain’t gonna help my sass if they don’t fit. I haven’t tried them on since I was pregnant cause I’m scared. When I’m done with my first 6 weeks of gluten-free life, I’ll try them on. Deal?

      Like

  12. amyshojai says:

    Wow–just, wow. You made me cry.

    Like

  13. I love this post. My clothes are tighter than they’ve been for a while, so for Lent, I’ve committed to walking for at least 20 min a day. I know that that won’t do a ton for my clothing issue, but it’ll get me to commit to me for 40 days, regardless of weather. It will get me noticing details, something I always do when I go for solo walks. I also am using MyFitnessPal, which I am loving!

    Here’s to loving ourselves, fluffy or not.🙂

    Hugs from Canada!

    Like

    • The walks will do a lot more for you first thing in the morning. They get your metabolism stirred up. No such benefit for evening walks.

      Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Leanne! I’ll take your hug and raise you one.🙂

      I say 20 minutes a day (whenever you do it) is better than not taking 20 minutes a day. Good for you – 800 minutes of fitness can never hurt you, right?

      I’ve never heard of MyFitnessPal, but now I’m going to go Google it!! (Oooh, just looked it up and they had me at “FREE.”)

      Like

      • David, I’ve done 4 mornings in a row…at 6 a.m.! Gasp. I love it though. Mind you, Monday morning it’s forecasted to be -18 C. Brr. But I’ve got some good Canadian gear. If you don’t hear from me, send the sun.

        Like

  14. Love this post Jenny!!! It’s all about showering yourself with love and devotion isn’t it?! When we focus on the good, the wonderful, the LUV…well that’s what grows and blossoms in our eyes. And we all deserve that – to see ourselves in the best light, to love ourselves unconditionally, to be amazed at our own beauty and empowered by our passion and adoration for the self!
    Thanks for the FAB reminder. I think I can do MORE to show me…how much I rock!!! Here’s to you rocking it out to the luv….
    Keep us posted on how gluten free works for you!!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I will absolutely keep you posted on the gluten-free, especially now that I’m in withdrawals. If that doesn’t make fodder for a post, I’m going to be shocked. Very, very interesting stuff!

      My chat with you yesterday was part of what made me write this post, so thanks! I’m going to be working on the love and devotion to self. I forget sometimes and it always bites me on the ass.

      Like

  15. Fabio Bueno says:

    I need to hear this today, Jenny. Our writer’s life is a balancing act, and sometimes I feel very clumsy. And I blame myself.
    Thanks for the perspective🙂

    Like

  16. Spot on. It’s so easy to be nasty to ourselves in ways we’d never dream of being to anybody else. I had the same epiphany earlier this year. Choosing to be good to yourself, to love yourself is such a freeing thing. And I think that when we are good to ourselves, it makes it easier to be good to others, because we’re approaching them from a place of fulfillment in our own lives.

    Very, very glad you survived your health ordeal!! *hugs*

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Yep, I survived it and I feel blessed. The blood clot thang is why pregnancy was such an ordeal for me. I’m so glad you’re sailing through (well, so to speak) – we’re all very excited about Alice!

      Like

  17. Emma says:

    You’re so right about how we always think and say to things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying aloud to people we love. I’m really bad for putting myself down so I need to stop this and next time I catch myself doing it, I’m going to pause and think something positive instead.

    Like

  18. Catherine Johnson says:

    Brilliant post! I was going to go on teh treadmill everyday for lent but I thought the same as you does that count. I’d better hurry up and decide we’re already on day 2.

    Like

  19. I can’t believe that happened to you! A friend of mine had that happen with the blood clots. Thank God you’re alive! Must say, I got off birth control right after that happened to my friend, since it ended up being the reason for the clots.

    Great post. Indeed we must love ALL of ourselves. Not just in parts.🙂 And it’s sad that we are the hardest on ourselves but I’m finally learning to treat myself and body with the utmost reverence. We may not be perfect but our bodies do the most amazing things to keep us alive. For that fact alone they deserve our unconditional love.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Ingrid, I was on Yasmin when I got the blood clots and that’s part of what set me off. I have a blood clotting disorder but it never kicked into high gear before my time on Yasmin. I can never take any sort of hormones again, and I am very, very lucky to be alive.

      I will always be grateful to Kristen for pointing out that gluten intolerance might be something that doesn’t just happen to other people.🙂

      Like

  20. Jenny, I can’t believe that you are so unkind to yourself when you are always so enthusiastic to everyone else. Girl, I am so proud of you for shouting this out to the world. I found it helpful to read all those “Beauty of a Woman” posts from August McLaughlin’s blogfest. Wow, what brave and honest woman. They’ve made me cry. Sometimes I think that we all need an emotional cleanse from time to time. And just so you know, you are not alone. LOL! No really. I try to eat gluten free. Here’s why. A doctor told me that the new hybred wheat has more gluten in it than in the past, thus we are all eating way too much gluten and out bodies can’t handle it. I’ve thought it’s funny how there is so many people with gluten problems now. Hmm. And also, he told me that if you eat foods that you are allergic to, it will make you gain weight along with diet drinks. Go figure. I’m just passing along the info girlfriend. I’m not making this up as I go along. I may not be techie saavy, aka Triberr, oh lord, but I do know something about this subject. If you have anymore questions you know where to find me.🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Those Beauty of a Woman posts were part of what got me thinking about this. Plus, Kristen Lamb gave me the gluten talk the other day after she heard that I’ve been having unexplained weight issues SINCE I gave birth.

      Mind you, I only gained 7 pounds with the baby – all that blood clot weight finally left me with pregnancy. Then all of a sudden I got 20 pounds and I couldn’t figure out why.

      Like

  21. I got teary-eyed reading this one, Jen. You really know how to bring it home, eh?

    I have an auto-immune disorder called Sarcoidosis. It’s a “disease” (I put that in quotes ’cause that’s technically what it’s called, but that word isn’t really an accurate description) that can affect one or more organs/bones/joints at any given time and there is no cure. It’s effected my lungs, my joints, my skin. It makes it difficult to breath, to walk, and I suspect it is the root cause of my adult acne.

    The acne flared up right around the time my Sarcoidosis kicked into high gear. I have open sores, pustules, pits, bumps, and scars all over my face. I’ve tried everything (I thought) over the years to make it go away and nothing had worked – it’s just gotten steadily worse.

    In the last 6 months I’ve stopped wearing make-up completely…I stopped really looking at myself in the mirror, because what was the point? I’m ugly. The picture on my blog, FB & Twitter shows me with several pounds of foundation on LOL

    About 2 weeks ago, I decided that enough was enough. I’m healthy in all other respects: I eat well, I go to the gym every night, I’m connected spiritually, and make an effort every day to be kind, courteous and thoughtful to those around me (I’m not always successful with the last, however lol). There’s NO reason why I can’t find a way to get past this too. I signed up for Proactiv and after several days of intense burning pain, my face seems to finally be clearing up. YAY!

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that we can never give up, no matter what. “Incurable Disease” means nothing when you have faith, and are true and loving to yourself. You are absolutely right, Jen, we need to love and be kind to ourselves. Putting ourselves down or finding and obsessing over our flaws only serves to keep us down.

    Stay strong sister! You have TONS of us here for you any time you need it!! =)

    ~ Kate

    Like

    • K.B. Owen says:

      Oh, wow, Kate – you just never know what people are going through, do you? My heart just went out to you when I read this. You poor hunny, I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with that. For sure, be KIND to yourself!

      BTW, our oldest had a really hard time with teenage acne (already had allergies and ezcema) and only Accutane worked for him. I don’t know if that’s okay along with your condition, but if it’s allowed for you, it usually takes 3 months of pills – and then the acne is GONE.

      Hang in there,
      Kathy

      Like

      • Thank you for your support, Kathy.

        I’ve put off trying Accutane because I’ve heard it could cause internal problems, and I’m not a huge fan of pills…comes from years of having to take a gagillion Tylenol or Advil for headaches & Migraines. BUT! If this Proactiv doesn’t work out, you better believe I’ll be rethinking my decision LOL

        ~ Kate

        Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m with Kathy…you totally got me with this comment, Kate! I think YOU need a post on it. This is great stuff. I think everyone can sympathize with feeling like something that causes them pain is beyond their control to fix. It’s scary.

      I’m SO glad the Proactiv is working for you. And you know what is funny? I met you and chatted with you for an hour and didn’t notice you had any of this business going on.

      It sounds like you have the same problem with the mirror that I do. It’s easy to get your head turned around when you don’t look like you’re used to looking. I’m trying to remember that this too shall pass and that I’m certainly working on the inner stuff, so I need to apply some of that positive energy to the outer stuff.

      Like

      • That is SO funny, Jen! The whole time we were talking I was VERY aware of my face. I’d had a fairly bad breakout the day before. It’s weird and yet reassuring to know you didn’t even notice😉

        Hmm…well, since I’ve finished with my Fear series, maybe I should do a post on something like this. Wish I took a “before” pic… *wheels turning* Maybe I can find one…

        Like

        • Jenny Hansen says:

          Remember too that I was fresh out of eye surgery with the NO MAKEUP rule going on. It was very distracting for me to be in a room of 100 women, speaking from the freaking podium, without a stitch of make-up on my face.

          But no, I just thought you looked like every other mom not wearing make-up. You looked completely normal so I had to read your comment a few times because my first thought was, “REALLY?? Shut the front door, I had no idea!”

          Like

    • Stacy Green says:

      Oh my goodness. My heart goes out to you. I had wicked staph infection right after Christmas, and that’s how my face looked. It was awful, but only lasted a couple of weeks. I can’t imagine having to deal with it all the time. And you definitely can get past it. I’m so glad you tried ProActive and it works for you. So inspired that you didn’t give up. Hang in there:)

      Like

      • My daughter had a staph infection when she was a baby…my god, 12 years ago now! Anyway, that was pretty scary – as I remember it – not a fun time for you.

        I think the Proactiv is working…my fingers are crossed! My face definitely looks healthier…but I can’t tell if its because its clearing up or because all of the blood has rushed to the surface from all of the burning! LOL The dryness and flaking aren’t so great either, but I’m gonna stay on this rollercoaster to the end😉

        Like

  22. tomwisk says:

    Okay. first things first. Check out the Gabriel inglasis special “Hot and Fluffy” . That’s fluffy. I know I bounce up to fluffy and am on a constant diet. Second, giving up gluren for Lent for your health is what needs to be done. God wants you around for a long while, you’ve got stuff to do. If giving up gluten aids in keeping you healthy, it’s okay with God. Because if wanting to look and feel healthy teed off the Big G, I’d been gone a long time ago.

    Like

  23. tomwisk says:

    One thing WTF is that white hairy thing, looks like a rabbit.

    Like

  24. I don’t know all of you, but I feel like I know most of you through blogs and Twitter, and you’re awesome people. Anytime you need someone to tell you how fantastic you are, let me know.

    This hasn’t been an issue with me since I realized I was created in the image of God and that He loves me. I do make self-deprecating statements at times – but never self-condemning.

    And Jenny, you’re one of the most awesome people I know. Instead of looking in your mirror, if you don’t like what you see, re-read some of the comments people make to your blogs.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awwww, David…you know I feel the same about you. (Plus, now I’ve heard that dreamy Texas accent of yours!)🙂 I appreciate the pep talk. I was kind of shocked when I realized how I was seeing myself in the mirror and how much it was bothering me. It was good for me to take stock of that and decide to do something positive.

      Like

  25. Emma Burcart says:

    Oh, girl, you are so right! We are so hard on ourselves in a way we would never be to someone else. Even someone we hate. If someone talked to one of my friends the way I sometimes catch myself doing, I would go off on that person. Yet, I consider it mandatory to do to me. That doesn’t make any sense. Luckily for me, I let go of the weight thing as soon as I stopped judging myself and others based on what is attractive to the media. I actually think curvy is beautiful and most models just look hungry and boney. Not a good look. But I am cruel to myself about other things, like not having the right answer to a question I don’t even care about, leaving the kitchen a mess, or sleeping in on a weekend. We definitely need to stop beating up on ourselves. Thanks for the reminder. We all need it.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m with you on the hungry and bony thing. It seems like such a terribly hard life to me. All of my friends who’ve modeled or acted said it hard to keep your head on straight. It’s why so many of them step back and move on to other things.

      Yep – I love my peeps here at More Cowbell and I thought we all could use a little self-love memo.🙂

      Like

  26. I read a self-help book years ago that likened our negativity toward ourselves as a deep riverbed. Our thoughts are so used to flowing down this riverbed that we don’t even notice we are hurting ourselves. The solution is to portage the thoughts to the riverbed where the positive thoughts flow. The more thoughts flow down the positivity stream, the deeper it will become and more likely we are to treat ourselves kindly.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Fascinating, Patricia! Thanks for sharing that. I love imagery stuff like that.

      Like

      • Eden says:

        I agree. Thank you for that lovely image, Patricia. Though, sometimes, it seems impossibly hard to start that portage…. There isn’t a single clear path (though many start out looking that way) and almost all of them have rascals and wild bears along the way threatening to steal your lunch money.

        Like

  27. Great post Sista’!

    In loving support I’ve been gluten free since fat Tuesday as well. I picked up some new gluten free products at the store and have been experimenting. We made awesome artichoke marinara on gluten free veggie pasta and I found rice crackers I may need to hide from my hubby they are so good🙂

    I’m excited to learn more great recipes and have an excuse to wander the aisles of Whole Foods.
    Let the Gluten free challenge begin!!!

    Kudos to my hubby for his culinary skills because I’m also on a 90 day vegan challenge at work and he is supporting me in this process. I think he about puked when I told him I was going gluten free as well as vegan, poor dude. Plus it is Lent so no alcohol until Easter… Again poor dude😦

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I can’t believe you’re going Gluten-free AND alcohol-free AND vegan for Lent. I think you might be the over-achiever in the family. And I’m sure your hubby did throw up a little in his mouth at the thought of accommodating all that for the next 6 weeks. Yikes, you’re brave.

      I ain’t giving up the alcohol, or the caffeine (or the meat). My current withdrawals are bad enough!

      Like

  28. Yay! I am excited for a webinar! Just tell me when and I’ll be parked in front of my ‘puter.😉 Thanks Jenny!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Yep, Renee…I’ve got to get my act together AND make sure it doesn’t fall across any major holidays for anybody. I’m working on it. Final invites go out tomorrow after i buy more bones!!

      Like

  29. Also, if I joined through David Walker does that mean I’m in — somewhere? Lord, was there a password? I’m in there. Maybe you can find me: Renee Schuls-Jacobson.

    And so long as you can find me, I’m willing to shower you.

    IYKWIM.

    Like

  30. All I have to say is that I’m definitely on the fluffy side. There’s a comedian on YouTube who calls himself “fluffy.” I think his name is Gabriel Igeasias (probably wrong spelling), but you might find some humor there.🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL, Nicole. I’ve seen your photos and I think you’re gorgeous. Someone else in the comments recommended that comedian – I believe I added a link to him up above. He sounds fabulous. I think it rocks that you’ve heard of him over in Brussels too.🙂

      Like

  31. Stacy Green says:

    Jenny, sorry I’m late to this. I haven’t gotten my invite yet😦

    As for the post, LOVE IT. Fluffy is something I battle constantly. I lost 65 pounds last year and thought I would have no trouble keeping it off with moderation and exercise. Yeah, right. Apparently every carb goes to my gut, even “good” carbs like apples and bananas. Any kind of cheat puts weight on me, and I’ve put on about 13 pounds since summer. Not a huge amount, but enough some of my clothes don’t fit, and I feel like a fat failure. So I’m going back on the strict diet for a few weeks and resetting. I think now I understand better how to keep it off, and I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that I put on weight easier than others. It’s just going to be a lifetime battle. So in short, I guess I need to allow myself more patience and understanding. And more love. That’s always a hard one for me.

    Great post:)

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, Stacy…you must be so frustrated. You’ve been working your ass off on the weight thing. It’s really tiring when you realize something is a lifetime gig. I feel that way about my blood clotting disorder! I just had to run in and get a chest CAT scan today to rule out a pulmonary embolism. It gets OLD.

      Like

  32. Sharla Rae says:

    Jen, I have a wedding to go. I tried on the little Chinese dress I wore at conference 2 years ago. You know the one. Well, my behind wouldn’t fit! I bawled, called myself a hog and threw a real hissy fit. Hubby stood looking at me, helpless and said, “um, so a buy a new dress.” He didn’t get the point or maybe I didn’t get his. I’ve been glutten free for years do to food intolerance but after months in Houston as care-giver to my son who was receiving treatments for 4th stage cancer, hours waiting in the hospital, hours with no exercise in a small apartment, I could “feel” by bottom expanding. At the time, I didn’t care but now I have to. My son is in remission (thank the Lord) and it’s time to take care of mama.🙂 After the gigantic pity party, I started exercising harder and longer and I trashed sweet treats. So far, no results. But I feel better just doing it. Good luck with your quest, but remember, not to deny yourself too much or you’ll give up before the goal is reached.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Char, I’m still in awe of how hard you fought for Alan. If the only casualty in that war was a dress size, I’d say you’re doing GREAT. But I’m sure that doesn’t make you feel any better when you try zipping up your dress.😦

      I think you’re gorgeous. Truly.

      Like

  33. Catie Rhodes says:

    I’m totally guilty of beating myself up. Growing up, my Dad was the meter by which I measured myself. He was unrelentingly critical of everything I did. I realize now it was to make me tough, to make me try harder.

    It had a second effect, though. I became extremely self-conscious and I tend to have pretty low self-esteem. I hold myself to the highest measure possible. I must look like a model. I must be the best as whatever I do. Neither of these are possible. Somebody will always be prettier; somebody will always do what I do better.

    Even though I know this, I have a hard time loving myself. I tell myself things I’d never say to another person, and I don’t think my about it. I just keep saying, “try harder, try harder.” After reading your post, I’ve written down on my “to do” list to say nicer things to myself.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Boy, some of those parents of ours sure set a wacky self-image in place, don’t they? I think it’s great that you’ve recognized it and made yourself a list to work on it. Good for you, Catie!! I’d love to hear how it works for you. You know I think you’re amazing!!

      Like

  34. Suzan Isik says:

    Oh, wow, a webinar. I hadn’t realized all that. But then again, I hadn’t realized I would get anything either by commenting. I just wanted to say something. LOL

    Anyway, I’ve been battling the fluffy for months, since all the stress kicked up in my life, as well as illnesses every month. I hated the school I was going to, I hated the fact that I had no job and couldn’t do the fun things, I hated that all my bills were piling up, I got rejections on my book submissions, and all kinds of other things. Now that things are normalizing, the weight has started falling off on its own, little bit by little bit.

    It’s amazing the evil things that stress does to your body. I’m working hard on me now, getting myself to a point where stress won’t eat me alive anymore.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL…don’t you love it when you get surprise somethings? I know I do.🙂

      I agree that stress and no sleep are the two biggest “Weight-Ons” there are. Certainly, it’s hard to get motivated when you’re in the middle of either of them. I’m delighted to hear that your stress is lowering, and your weight is too. WOW!

      Like

  35. Welcome to the new members of the More Cowbell tribe. I can’t wait to meet the three of you!

    Like

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  37. Wow, Jenny–your post and the comments hit very close to home for me. A perfectionist dad who found straight A’s (well, one A-) unacceptable as well as a mother who told me I had better be smart because I certainly wasn’t pretty set me up for low self-esteem and some major negative self-talk.

    I suffer from osteomalacia (rickets) and broke 16 bones in 15 years–the casts, confinement to wheelchairs, and the depression gave me a huge weight gain. A couple of years ago, I started walking, losing 50 pounds in 2 years. I have about 50 to go, sigh. Far worse, though, is my inability to look in a mirror or to stop saying horrible things to myself. I’m working on it, baby steps. Thanks for posting; thanks to the commenters. While I haven’t met any of you, my impressions of all of you I’ve met online is that you are all beautiful, strong women and men.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OMG, Elizabeth! YOU are a rockstar! 16 bones in 15 years? My mother went through severe bone porousness (I don’t know the word – her bones got spongy) due to a long-term condition and it’s horrifying to break bones so easily. She could cough and break two ribs. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m glad you’re walking – I imagine that helps strengthen muscles that support your bones.

      You’d “better be smart because weren’t pretty??!” Are you freaking kidding me? Who needs enemies when they’ve got family saying crap like that? It’s said that there is a tape that plays in all our heads (and yes, unfortunately our parents record the first session) and one of the most important things to do is to change the tape.

      Everytime I look at your picture with your pretty smile and your swing of gorgeous hair, I think you’re VERY pretty. I don’t know if that helps with your mirror, but it’s my opinion. Good for you on working to change yours.

      Like

      • Oh, Jenny, I feel for your mother! I was never quite that fragile. I’ve known people like that, and I cannot imagine dealing with it.

        I definitely need to change the tape in my head. Family can be so destructive in that they can get in under the radar to carpet bomb the ego. And thank you for the compliment.🙂 It does help to hear that my friends don’t agree with my mother. I am considering putting the mirror on my dresser in the new house, which is a big step for me.

        And btw, you don’t look fluffy to me at all!

        Like

        • Eden says:

          Elizabeth, as someone who also heard the dreaded “you’re fat” and got beaten by her father when the grades weren’t “acceptable” (granted, by the time the hitting ensued it was because I’d stopped caring as started getting Bs and the occasional C due to the yelling and groundings)… Anyway… I know how hard that tape is to change. And really, sometimes I wish there was a way to record over it, not change it. Changing it means that the crap is still there, waiting to be rediscovered. I vote for a big magnetic field to wipe out all those horrid words and thoughts from our heads… Then a new recording that–

          Hmm, no. That’s no good either. For good or ill, the recordings of our childhood are what made us who we are. And saying “this is horrible, lets destroy it” doesn’t sound much like treating ourselves with respect.

          Doesn’t mean the tapes can’t be boxed away onto a dusty shelf in the closet of the back room though. 😉

          Like

  38. Fluffy. I love that. Yep, we are way too hard on ourselves. Interesting what you say, though ~ we wouldn’t dare say the things we tell ourselves to our friends and loved ones. Yikes. Reminds me of Nicole’s post about the French and being more in the moment. I’m going to be in the moment and more in love with myself from now on. Sounds weird, but you know what I mean. I’m a little tired of being fluffy, I think I’d rather be sleek and elegantly coifed.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Tameri, you are so, so pretty. I was looking at those photos of you from the San Diego conference and envying those big blue eyes of yours. Plus, you radiate joy, which makes everyone 10x more gorgeous. ALWAYS.

      Like

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