The Stuff of Champions

As someone who has struggled with body image issues (I counted calories like an accountant in high school and dabbled with starving myself to lose weight in college), I could not pass up this opportunity. When I saw Lady Gaga performing at the Super Bowl on Sunday, I got teary eyed because, well, I’m a crier, but mostly because she owned it. She owned everything that is her, unapologetically. In that moment, I realized that is what I hope for myself. You see, I have fallen prey (being the recovering perfectionist that I am) to a distorted “ideal” image for my body (and life). Luckily, I have a sister who set me straight on the body issue by looking at me very matter of factly one day and saying, “Carly, that is skin. How would you bend if you didn’t have skin?”. For some reason, that stuck. I then found myself repeating these same words to countless numbers of clients and friends. I was so internally infuriated with the realization that I was not alone in my self critical, self defeating thoughts. I wanted to be alone. I wanted my clients to see their beauty as I did and apparently Gaga wants the same.

She posted this caption on her Instagram: “I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga”

What I noticed from her quote is that she doesn’t even address or acknowledge the cynics. She sticks to her way and how she defines herself. She is unaffected by the cynics. This got me thinking about my cynics, who they are and how much time or energy I give them and if they define me. Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear who my cynics are. They are my own self defeating, negative thoughts. They could potentially come from people in my past or just my own dark thoughts. How many times in my own life have I let my negative self talk about my body, or a mistake I made with my kids, or my feelings of inadequacy at my lack of ability to do you name it define me? I remember the day I realized how nasty I was to myself in my brain, it was sad (self compassion quiz). It’s like I wanted to wrap myself up in my own arms and rock myself, like I would to one of my babies. Why did I do this to myself? Why did I let the negative imperfections be my main focus and be what defined me?  Why did I focus on the one thing that was imperfect on me or in my day and not the umpteen positive things going on?!

Do you know who Lady Gaga does address in this quote? Her fans, the people that love her! Those are the people she gives her attention to, the people that see her beauty and who she really is. She claims the good and the positive. I will do the same. I will continue to battle those cynics in my head, but I will claim the light. I will be me, all that is me, unapologetically. I will leave no room for the cynics and the negative voices, but instead, I will focus on the beauty that is in me and that I see in others because “that’s the stuff of champions.”

These are the two books that helped me Gifts of Imperfections by Brene Brown  and Lord, I Want To Be Whole by Stormie Omartian

Girls’ Getaway

Recently, I was able to get away for the night. I wish I could say that I looked this happy and refreshed when I arrived, but that wasn’t the case. I couldn’t sleep the night before we left. My head was spinning with thoughts like, was everything going to go ok without me?, were all my preparations going to pan out?, did I forget to sign my son’s folder? I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the guilty feelings nagging at me. I mean, who did I think I was getting away to do something entirely for myself? Maybe this is the exact reason I needed to get away for a night. To realize that I’m just not that big of a deal and one night is not that big of a deal. I was taking myself way too seriously. The kids were fine. It’s not like I’m the president -ha! A night away is just what I needed!

Just in case you are in need of a night away in Houston, I have the perfect spot for you- the newly renovated Four Seasons in downtown Houston!  If you ask me, Houston was in desperate need of an updated, modern, chic hotel by a service oriented brand, such as the Four Seasons. I love staycations just as much as anyone, and this will be my new spot. You’ll see why…

Houston Four Seasons Lobby

Here’s a sneak peek at the new lobby. It’s so cozy and chic for a lobby, no?

Houston Four Seasons Lobby

Yucking it up with the girls in the lobby. Apparently I think Georgia is hilarious. My sister? Not so much- ha!

Houston Four Seasons Bayou and Bottle Lounge

The Bayou and Bottle Lounge. Clearly I could never be a bartender, since it appears all I can do is point at empty decanters? Pretty cool bar though.

Houston Four Seasons Top Golf Simulator

Just off the bar and restaurant are two Top Golf Simulator rooms. You can reserve them for a fun activity while you stay at the hotel or just for a fun night out in Houston. Your friends hang out on the sofa and chairs and chat while…

Houston Four Seasons Top Golf Simulator

…you take turns playing Top Golf. We thought it was so fun, we reserved one of the rooms that weekend to bring all of our friends back for a fun night out!

Ok. I’m sorry, but I can’t help myself… I have to show y’all the bathrooms. I always love it when you go to a new restaurant and someone says, “You have to check out the bathrooms.” This is exactly how I felt, so I have to show them to you.

Houston Four Seasons Women's Restroom

The womens… Now, can I renovate my bathroom at home and make it look exactly like this? Ha!Houston Four Seasons Men's Restroom The mens… They each have their own tv!

The fun pictures:

Houston Four Seasons Lounge Area

The outdoor area beyond the Lounge. It was so clean and pretty! I wanted to transport the entire seating area straight to my backyard.Houston Four Seasons Spa

I didn’t get a pedicure because you know I couldn’t possibly part with my high tops -hahaha! I swear, I do have other shoes. Houston Four Seasons Spa

I stared at this piece of art outside The Spa for way too long, and then my sister walked up and did the same. I want it in my house.

Houston Four Seasons

Even the elevators were cool! Leave it to Traci Ling to take the best elevator picture and then…Houston Four Seasons Spa

The Spa locker room picture.

Houston Four Seasons Spa

This is me trying to portray how relaxed felt after getting a treatment at The Spa, but I just ended up looking I’m like I’m toasting my sister with my eyes closed.  HA!
Houston Four Seasons Top Golf Simulator

This is a picture of the next weekend when we went back to the Top Golf Simulator room! It was so fun!

Outfit 1 Links: Dress- J. Crew;  Top- J.crew; Shoes- Vince (Similar here)

Outfit 2 Links: Dress- Similar here or here; Jacket- Similar here; Shoes- Vince (Similar here)

If you are looking for a place to stay in Houston, the Four Season’s Houston will not disappoint!

Pictures by Traci Ling (except for the last one).

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