I finally have cleared some time on my schedule to blog ... Pay no attention to the fact it is 3:07 am and I should be sleeping! Who needs sleep anyways???!!!
I am actually kind of thankful to have some quiet, uninterrupted time to lay out some things that have been rattling around in my head.
I'm about 2 1/2 weeks from another birthday and birthdays are special to me. During the weeks before and after my birthday, I spend time thinking about past birthdays and where the different cycles of my life have led me. I think about what I had set out to accomplish "before my next one" and the things that I do ... or don't. One of the things that was on my list since my last birthday was to see my "goal weight" on the scale ... even if it was just once ... but that's not going to happen ... and surprisingly enough --- I AM NOT EVEN UPSET ABOUT IT!
I've spent time this month really thinking about my body ... my new body ... and processing why I don't love my physical body even with all the hard work I've put into it. So here's my letter to myself:
The reasons I don't love my body:
1. The scale doesn't say what I want it to say.
2. Every magazine I pick up - fitness, nutrition or otherwise - always portrays "healthy" as thin ... usually very thin ....
3. I have focused all of my "mirror time" on 1 or 2 areas of attention on my body ... my keester and my tummy.
4. I see myself as FAT and blonde in my mind's eye still, no matter what the mirror says to me.
So here's what I say to myself in response to these "reasons" that I "can't" love my body:
1. The scale has been an anchor around your neck since you joined the Army in 1984. In a very short time, your weight became a measure of whether the Army "wanted" you or not. The scale has never and will never be a true measure of who you are, physically or mentally. As you continue to do more strength training, it is quite possible that the "goal weight" you set will never be something you read in flashing red numbers .... However, your new compact and strong body is something that you can continue to sculpt, continue to strengthen and learn to love. Your shape is changing every week now ... Grab onto to the new "strong" you and dump that stupid scale!
2. Advertisements are meant to be enticing ... persuasive ... tantalizing ... and the people who are in those photo shoots work out WAY harder than you and usually that is their line of work. If you had all day long to work out, you'd look alot different too. I think that juggling a full time + stressful career, marriage, being a mom, being a great friend and a caretaker for your mother is pretty admirable. It's a full plate ... You make time to squeeze in between 7-8 hours of working out every single week. Pretty much ... that rocks! PLUS you have done a great job of transitioning to eating very clean! That takes hours of prep to make your week GREAT!
3. Here's the deal, girl. You were blessed with an hour glass shape whether you like it or not. You are never going to be willowy, never going to look statuesque and never going to be tall. You are changing the shape of your body with weight training and cardio ... it will take time ... and it will take a continued commitment to stay at a certain level of fitness when you finally get where you think you "need" to be ... but in truth, WOW ... give yourself a break! So what that you don't have a little tiny keester??? So what that your tummy isn't flat??? After not exercising for years, eating terribly, birthing two babies and having multiple abdominal surgeries, frankly, you look pretty good for the wear and tear now that you've got your head on straight and you've figured out what you DON't want in your future! You are getting biceps, you've found your triceps and your calves look phenomenal! Change your focus from the negatives to the positives!
4. The crazy lady who lives in your head and your inner 4 year old who lives in your body both need to be cast out ... completely! You are not FAT because your scale hasn't read the "magic number" and you aren't worthless because you don't wear a single digit size. You are actually in the most stable condition in your life RIGHT NOW, physically, mentally and spiritually, that you've EVER been in. Grasp happiness with both hands and HANG ON! Don't let the ghost of your past failures, mistakes and laziness clutter up what your journey is or what this LIFE is about.
In closing I'd like to remind you that the past TWO DAYS in a row you have received completely unexpected compliments from old friends you haven't seen in YEARS! The praise was like sweet honey and should be enough to counter those little nagging fears that continue to ride on your shoulder .... Rest in the fact that you are enough ... right now ... today ... and keep moving towards the true goal ... to be healthy, happy and enjoy the second act of your life!
You can't change one thing about the past ... but you are in charge of the future. Keep going ... you can do this!