Tuesday, April 1, 2014

That Awkward Moment When...

I've seen a lot of funny/interesting things on the internet lately - mostly on Facebook - that begin with the title of this post. In fact, I just posted one myself on Facebook today.  After I posted it, I got to thinking of the nature of embarrassment and imperfections.  That awkward moment I had today and joked about on the internet for the whole world to see, is the sort of thing I never would have admitted to at one time in my life. 

I find it interesting that as I've gotten older, I make fun of myself much more readily than I did before.  And not in the same self-deprecating way of my youth, desperately attempting to hide my insecurities behind a coping mechanism of humor.  But now it's in more of an honest, vulnerable, "this is me; love me (or hate me) as I am" sort of way.  I won't pretend that I don't do it at all, but these days I spend a lot less time trying to cover up my imperfections.  And you know what?  It's very freeing.

I think that most of this openness has come just in the last few years, as a result of my entrance into the world of 12-step recovery.  There are secrets that haunted me from my early teens into adulthood, and it wasn't until I found a safe place to confess them that I began to have freedom from the hold they had over me.  I finally began to learn that everyone has their own struggles, and I don't have to pretend to have it all together all the time.  It's unbelievably exhausting trying to please other people, and when I first started attending Celebrate Recovery meetings, I was barely hanging on by a thread.  I watched a movie recently where some 1950's housewife ended up in a mental hospital after a nervous breakdown; while watching, I found myself thinking that I could so easily have ended up in the same situation. I did my best to hide it, but I had all but given up on life, and I was quickly losing my grip on reality.

I am so thankful that I found a support system when I did.  I now have the most amazing friends that keep me encouraged and help to hold me accountable for the commitments that I make to God and to myself.  Life still has its ups and downs, but I have the perspective and tools needed to hang on and trust that the One who started this work in me isn't going to give up on me.  I always knew that God loved and forgave me when I messed up, but it wasn't until I confessed my hurts and struggles to another person and gave up my secrets, that I began to know what true freedom feels like.  Healing comes in community with other people.

In so many ways, I'm still just as clumsy, awkward, and hopelessly flawed as I've ever been.  But owning my imperfections gets me closer every day to becoming the woman God created me to be.  If you have secrets that are holding you prisoner from the peace and freedom you deserve, please find someone you can talk to.  It can change your life in a way you never knew possible.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Elf for Health 2013 - Day One!

Last week I found out about the Elf for Health Challenge, thanks to one of my favorite blogs, The Lean Green Bean, and I immediately decided to join. It basically involves daily challenges improve physical, mental and emotional health, while keeping in touch with an "Elf" - essentially an accountability partner. Today is day one! I just sent my first email to my elf, and told her a little about myself and what made me decide to take this challenge. I hope I haven't scared her off, but I thought it was important that she know where I'm coming from.

It is difficult for me to admit and verbalize to myself how far off track I've gotten with my health, let alone to admit it to another person. But I believe I'm going to need to be transparent and vulnerable if I want to overcome the denial that has allowed me to continue on this path for so long. So it is in that spirit that I am sharing with you the message I just sent to my Elf:
Good morning! My name is Sarah Hushbeck, and I am your match in the Elf4Health Challenge! Let me just start by saying that I am excited, and a little apprehensive about beginning this challenge. A little about me and why I'm doing this...

I am 33 years old, and in the worst shape of my life. I've wanted for a long time to try to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but have struggled with finding the motivation and discipline to put it into practice. Since my early teens, I've never been "slender", but I started to really put on some serious weight after a divorce in 2008. Last year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and this year I've been struggling with a lot of back pain, due to some bulging discs and arthritis. I'm now at least 100 pounds overweight and find simple activities like walking through the grocery store to be painful and difficult.

I'm so tired of being sick and in pain all the time, and I know I've got to do something about it. So when I found out about the Elf4Health Challenge last week, I decided it's exactly what I need to jump start a change in my life.

From visiting your website, it looks like you are light years ahead of me in fitness and health, so I don't know how much help I'll be to you, but I believe that being albe to check in with you and share with you the changes I'm trying to make will help me to stick with this commitment. I work full time and have a pretty busy schedule, so apart from the regular challenges of motivation & discipline, I have to find ways to work around that.

So for Meatless Monday...I'm going to try out a couple of salad recipes I found online. For lunch I'm going to have this Chickpea, Cherry Tomato & Feta Salad, over a bed of baby spinach. I work in a tiny town where the only places to get anything to eat are either a gas station across the street, or junk food from the office vending machine. A big part of getting healthy at work is going to involve planning ahead. I've never been very good at packing a lunch, but I'm going to have to start if I want to be successful. Starting now, I will eat no more gas station pizza! :)

Well, I'll shut up now, but I hope you have a great day! I'm on Facebook if you want to find me at facebook.com/semily1980.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Sarah

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"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion:

So, those of you that keep up with me on Facebook may have seen my note the other day that a couple more of the mugs I designed had sold.  They were mugs I designed for my family a few years ago as Christmas gifts, and they were posted on the Zazzle.com online store.  I've been pleasantly surprised that since then, over thirty more have sold!  So I finally decided the other day that it was time to actually put a little effort into selling them.  And I even called this effort "shameless self-promotion".  So inspiration struck, and my new online store has been born.

I have added a link in the Right margin to the SSP:Gear page.  Here you can read any news about the store, and see the link to "Shop Now!"  I'll gradually be adding new products, so keep watch!


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Sarah
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson