Lately I have been avoiding looking in the mirror at all costs because frankly I don’t recognize the body that is reflected back at me. In my mind I am still that fit 20-something year-old – however my reflection boasts a different and more well-seasoned story. Frankly it screams out “Hi I am over 40, have three kids, work full time, and have very little time for myself!!!” Please note that this post is in no way meant to come off as shallow or superficial; but rather to highlight my own personal struggle with body changes I am having difficulty accepting and am trying to work on so that I can feel my best mentally and physically. This post is not to claim that “I am fat” or “overweight” because if you were to look at me you would call me crazy and ask “who is this whiney bitch?” For me my struggle is with the extra 10+ pounds I cannot seem to shed and how that 10+ pounds proportionally has altered my physicality enough to change the way my clothes fit, change the way my brain processes my physical image, leave me feeling sluggish and leave me feeling less than desirable sexually. The bottom line is that I am not looking to be some “Skinny Minnie” but rather I want to get healthy. I want to get in shape, get toned, and in the process of doing all of this – lose some of the weight that I have gained over the years. I know this is completely relatable to so many of you….
I was always an active person with an active metabolism. In high school and college I played sports and during my young adult life (pre-children) I biked and walked regularly. I admit I didn’t always watch what I ate, but then I was fortunate enough that my young metabolism was kind to my indulgences. With my first two pregnancies I was sick as a dog so afterwards there wasn’t a lot of weight to lose. Some might call this lucky and maybe in a way I was. However, my first pregnancy left me with some pretty gnarly abdominal stretch marks that from a body image standpoint greatly impacted my self-image. Stupid and superficial, maybe…. yet none-the-less it was to me significant enough on my inner psyche that to this day it still bares an impact my physical perception.
Fast-forward some years and the timeline went as follows: I got divorced, changed jobs, entered into a long term relationship and then exited that relationship 2 years later. It was at the end of that relationship that I decided it was time to kick the “let’s get in shape” into high gear. And I did. I started walking 5+ miles a day, eating healthy and doing strength training. The results majorly boosted my self-confidence. I not only felt as if I were in the best shape of my life but I looked it. I was toned (which helped my stretch mark issue), at a healthy weight for my height, and looked how I wanted to look physically. Then I met my husband. We met, got married and I got pregnant with our daughter. I ate donuts like they were going out of style, packed on the pregnancy weight and never lost it. After her birth I went back to work full time and life with three kids hit an all-time fevered pitch. Factor in the stressors of our marriage and hitting 40+, selling/buying our house and moving, and it was as if my body rebelled and shut down. My clothes got tight and nothing fit right proportionally (I refuse to buy new clothes because I know that if I lose even 5 pounds it will be a game changer). I was and am at the heaviest weight I have ever been which has aggravated my stretch marks and amplified how my brain was processing my image. It was and has been very discouraging, if not depressing. No amount of salads or occasional walking helped and I have been left feeling how this post started – disgusted and desiring a change.
Present day – as in today….. Last week I made a conscious decision to put me first. I found some women to walk with and dragged out my bike out of the garage so that I can start mixing up my work-outs. I started my strength training again and am even doing some core work-outs. I still trying to eat healthy and have kicked up my water intake. I don’t expect an overnight miracle but I have noticed that I am down a few pounds. This in itself has been huge on my self-confidence. I am hoping this is what I need to get myself where I want to be. And where I want to be is comfortable with me. More to come in future posts…..