Friday, November 7, 2008

My Body Story

Looking back over my “pre-baby” years, I feel so stupid. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was fat. A tummy that was flabby, legs the size of tree trunks, and arms that resembled jello’s infamous jiggle. In those days, I went to any lengths to see the digits on the scale drop. I ran miles upon miles a week, worked out late at night, chugged water to chase away the resounding growls that rumbled in my stomach.

It didn’t help that my friends were the size of twigs, yet ate anything they wanted. I continually compared myself to them. I wanted to be them, and was willing to do anything to achieve my ideal perfection. In those days, my idea of perfection was 110 pounds on my 5’ 7” frame.

Now, I realize the utter stupidity of my youth. First and foremost, the image I saw in the mirror was far from reality. I was tiny in those days, almost to the point of looking frail. The numbers I fixated upon were not worth the trouble. Sure, maybe I did weigh a little bit more than my best friend, but it was purely muscle. I was running, playing soccer, and exercising excessively, there was no fat to be seen.

After graduating high school, I got healthier. I focused much less on numbers, no staring at a scale hoping it would suddenly drop, no counting calories, no calculating energy consumed versus energy spent. I ate healthy, worked out, and gained a few pounds, but that was okay. In retrospect, it also helped that I was in my first healthy relationship with a man, after several detrimental attempts at love. This man (now my husband) had a passion for cooking and eating. We spent hours in the kitchen cooking up wonderful meals that made my taste buds come to life. But, we always found ways to burn off those excess amounts of calories as well.

Then, I found out I was pregnant. At first, I struggled with the idea of my growing belly. I was just becoming unreservedly comfortable about my body and myself, and without warning, it was all changing again, only this time I was not the one in control. But, seeing my son’s heartbeat on the screen at the doctor’s office washed away any reservations I had. In that one moment, I didn’t care what I looked like, I just wanted a healthy little one, and realized I was willing to give whatever it took to achieve that. In total, I gained almost 50 pounds throughout my pregnancy.

Since, giving birth, over 4 years ago, I can’t say that I have striven to return to my pre-pregnancy size. I have tried various weight loss strategies, products that “guarantee” results, and plans that require more time, or energy, than I have to offer. Pilates classes were deemed to expensive after I decided to forgo returning to work full time. Tae Bo required turning off Elmo or Blue’s Clues, causing a scene so monumental that I most likely burned more calories calming my rugrat than I did during the DVD. Yoga necessitated a level of calmness and serenity that no longer exists within the walls of my home.

But, I'm finally getting myself motivated to workout, at my own pace, and see what the results may be. I plan to watch what I eat, but not obsess over my meals. I want to be healthy, not only for myself, but for my family. I've also found a way to hold myself accountable to my goals, by participating in the developing Think Thin Thursday over at The Not-So-Blog Blog. I have to say, I'm getting myself excited to start working out and eating better, maybe those old jeans will finally fit again too.


CMP said...

i am so with you on this one. i just told my husband today, "i'll be fat in my thirties and fit in my forties." i'm not even worrying about it right now while the kids are young. i can't obsess like i used to. i look back at pictures even just 5 years ago when i thought i was so "fat". pa-leeze!

Cat@3KidsandUs said...

I could have wrote that post myself. I can't join ya in the fun but I'll be here to cheer you on!

Bloggymommy said...

I totally get where you're coming from! I think as women we'll never be 100% happy with our bodies, image, finances or whatever life throws our way. I always tell my hubs, 'It's a woman wouldn't understand!' lol

I have been trying to watch what I eat for a couple of months now and have already gone down 2 pant sizes! YEAH!!! I'm with ya! If you need support or anything call on me! I'll be here for ya! ;)

Kim @ What's That Smell said...

Right before I got pregnant with my daughter (she is almost 1) I had just lost all the weight - and then some - I gained with my son. I need to find the motivation to lose the weight all over again!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you are using those other blogs as motivation. I recently started working out - wanting to reach my prebaby weight and joined the Cincinnati Losers. It's 7 of us gals in Cincinnati working together to motivate each other to lose weight. It's totally worked for me.

Feel free to check it out. Its

Jess NBP said...

I don't have much of an issue with my weight. I do have a pudgy belly but MY HIPS is what really grew for me to have to wear that size bigger pair of jeans than when I was in HS.

HUGS hope all goes well with it.

Princess Hairstyles said...

That's great that you're wanting to do this to be more healthy for yourself and your family. Maybe someday I'll get motivated to do the same :)

Unknown said...

I am so impressed with you writing this post and being so forthright. Weight is such a difficult issue for so many people, myself included. I had to laugh when you described what happened when you tried TaiBo...oh so true at my house as well and my Mommy heart could totally appreciate the yoga problesm as well. And while we wouldn't change a thing regarding our homes I will totally cheer you on with Think Thin Thursday...heck, I might even join ya.:) Go you!

Lisa said...

I'm with ya. My current strategy, which seems to be working, is to just aim for the next pound lower. So if I am at 165.2 one day, my new goal is 164.9 (or lower.) 164.9 and my next goal is 163.9. And so on. It seems to work better for me than saying "I need to lose 20 lbs". I'm down 10 lbs in two months this way.