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j. pinkofsky sedares

It all just happened.

This is the first time I have ever consciously stopped and reflected over the past year. Maybe it’s because I feel safe enough to do so since this past year has been one of my best. Nothing life altering happened. It was just peaceful.

What made it so peaceful? Looking back I realize I had let go of a whole lot of expectations from others. I stopped caring what others opinions of me were, stopped trying to make everyone like me and stopped saying yes. I just kinda let-go.

Even bigger than that I let go of a whole lot of expectations on MYSELF. I stopped following all my self-imposed rules. Rule #1. I must workout every day. Rule #2. I must only eat organic healthy foods. Rule #3. I must be productive. And so on….I had lots of rules.

So now thinking back on this year I realize days went by without me exercising. In the past I would have beat myself up for missing even one day, never mind multiple days, but I guess it didn’t bother me. Looks like I broke rule #1.

And I was eating what I wanted without punishment. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t binging or eating a bag of chocolate chip cookies everyday, but if I wanted an ice cream I got an ice cream. If I wanted pizza, I ate pizza. Rule #2 just went out the window.

And on top of that I remember more than 1 day where I sat in for hours and binge watched Game of Thrones or read an entire book without even changing out of my pajamas. Say goodbye to rule #3. And so on. Let’s remember none of this was intentional. It all just happened.

I let go of control. Didn’t make the decision to do it. It all just happened. And you know what, It made for the most blissful, pleasant year I think I’ve ever had.

will-i-still-matter

One Big Conundrum

buddha on window sill

For over 35 years I was an exercise instructor, or as I called it The Entertainer. It was a great career for me and I have never regretted it, however it was exhausting and I don’t mean physically. Looking back I realize now I was living 2 lives, one outside of the house when I was ON and one inside the house when I was alone and I would literally collapse from fatigue. My social network consisted of people who either took my class or people I worked with. Because of that The Entertainer was always on. I was a caricature of myself.   High energy! Upbeat! Positive! Whoop whoop! Ugh, drainnnnningggggg…..

As time went on my fatigue became debilitating. My joints were so tender it hurt to brush my teeth. Chronic headaches, restlessness, weight gain, rashes that appeared out of nowhere and more absurd symptoms. From doctor to doctor I journeyed looking for an answer. All sorts of different drugs were prescribed.   Being poked and prodded, blood work drawn and diagnoses of this disease and that disease were given. Here is some of the list as best as I can remember.

  • Mononucleosis
  • Epstein Barr Virus
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus and then back to
  • Fibromayalgia and so on.

Talk about discouraging! That was about 2 years ago and that is when the decision to quit teaching group classes was made. What I didn’t realize then was that letting go of the group classes also meant letting go of The Entertainer.

With so much more time on my hands I had nothing to do but become introspective so the last 2 years were spent nurturing my heart and soul and discovering my authenticity. What I discovered was enlightening. I learned I am an introvert in an extroverted career. I am a leader who prefers to stay invisible. I am a social organizer who prefers to be alone. I love social media but prefer little human interaction. I encourage others friendships but have very few friends of my own. I have a lot to say but hate small talk and basically I am conundrum.

Oh yes, and physically? I felt great. Hmmmmm….

The Entertainer was gone and so was the dis-ease. Coincidence? I think not. I do think living an inauthentic life is taxing and will catch up with you one way or another. I think living in harmony with your spirit will bring peace to your mind and body, and I think that I am one big conundrum and THAT’S OK because I feel great. 🙂

fuck off

Fire

I’m a wild woman living in a tame world.
Sometimes I feel like I’m going to burst.
Completely internally combust.
Escape.
Waving my arms frantically in the air.
Screaming like I’m running from a fire.

But there is no fire.

 

 

 

The Woman Without a Face

covering face

This really all came clear when I committed to do a photo shoot w/ Dorothy Salvatori.  I love my body and felt comfortable enough with her to have her take some nude photos of me.  But then this happened.  This photo right here.

My face. And all came clear.

May 9, 2016 marked 1 full year without my period. I’ve moved into the final phase in my journey of life. Pre-menopause = youth and fertility. Post menopause = old and barren? There’s plumpness to my curves and a loosening to my face.  I’ve never felt more beautiful, or hideous, more sensual or insecure, more fulfilled yet hungry.

Fear and confusion. Will I now become invisible? Do I still matter? Am I still appealing? Being an exercise instructor, my entire career has been based on my physical appearance. I have literally entered competitions to be judged on how fantastic my appearance was. I was the role model. The one women achieved to be …no matter the cost. I’ve binged and purged. I’ve over exercised and under ate. Free from fat, free from sugar, free from gluten, free from carbs. Free from self-worth. True self-worth.   For years my level of self-esteem was dependent upon my level of fat percentage.

Then, about a decade ago, after some self-reflection and a whole lot of work the heavy shadow of self loathing lifted and I clearly saw that I am not my body. Without any conscious decision making as I began to love myself, my choices of exercise went from beating up my body w/ BOOT CAMP, SPINNING, RUNNING etc. to more gentle self-loving exercise like yoga, pilates and dance. Food became enjoyable. No more restrictions, control or rules. No more obsessing. As my mind softened, my body softened and I loved every bit of both of them. I felt sensual and feminine. And for almost 10 solid years I believed I was most the beautiful woman I could be.

Until May 9, 2016.

My face.

It’s as if my face and my period joined forces and ran off together. And here I go again, self-reflection and a whole lot of work. Where do I start?

Being constantly bombarded w/ young models pushing magic lotions that will take away my wrinkles and add plumpness to my face, young actresses pushing miracle makeup so I will look younger and in turn feel better has been making it really challenging for me to find my beauty. Photoshop is now readily available for me to download on my phone so I don’t have to show the world how old I look in real life, ads flashing in front of me for Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, facials, microdermabrasion, “Anti-Aging Tips”, “Secrets To Staying Young”, “9 Ways to Keep Collagen and Skin Looking Young”. No matter where I turn I’m reminded I’m not beautiful unless I’m young. Young is the new thin. And I’m neither young nor thin.

Will I spend the next half of my life hating my face like the first half hating my body? Absolutely not. Societies acceptance or not, it is up to me to accept myself and I will get through this. I will come out the other end feeling beautiful and proud again. I am a natural woman who is going to resist all temptation to hold onto my youth. I spent the first half of my life being a role model for those women who want to change who they are, now I will be a role model for those women who want to accept who they are.

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