Saturday, August 23, 2014

More than a Jean Size

In my blog a few weeks ago, I mentioned another blog post that really touched me. This  Bridgette Tales blog post got me thinking. You see, I've been struggling lately with body image...again. I've always been on the chubby side and my love of all food and aversion to exercise and the gym contributed to my chubbiness. I was the typical yo-yo dieter, I'd go a few weeks eating perfectly and hitting the gym hard on a regular basis. I'd get frustrated I wasn't seeing results, then I'd give up. Or I would give up when I didn't eat perfectly or skipped the gym for a few days and then in my mind I would think I failed. I repeated this cycle for many years.

As I turned 30, I finally made peace with my body, I allowed myself to feel comfortable in my skin. I was ok with the fact that I was never going to wear a size in the single digits. I would exercise when I felt like it, eat what I wanted within reason (thankfully I enjoy healthy foods) and tried to live an active life. I felt good and thought I looked good.

When I got pregnant with E, I did lots of walking and Zumba during the first few weeks of my pregnancy. But then the tiredness hit and the belly grew and I stopped and never looked back. And I still haven't looked back. It has been a good two years since I've really been to the gym or exercised besides walking.

Now here I am, 33 years old, married and mother of two and I'm back to having insecurities about weight. I thought I was done with this crap. After having two kids in two years in addition to my love of food and aversion to exercise, I am at my heaviest ever. I didn't lose all my baby weight with E, but enough easily came off. I was able to wear my pre-baby jeans by the time I went back to work. When I went back to work after having Cora, I had to buy new jeans because none of mine fit. That's never a fun experience.

But this time it's more than about my jean size, it's about how I feel. I no longer can say I feel comfortable in my skin. I no longer look in the mirror and think I look like my best self. I'm considering my health this time too, I have two amazing kids that I want to be around for. I want to be healthy for them. Yes, this time it's so much more than about the jean size and even the number on the scale. It's about feeling good physically and mentally.

So how do I rid myself of these insecurities? I don't really know but I do know that it will take baby steps and the first step is getting back to a place of acceptance. Accepting the fact that it takes nine months to grow a baby and gain the baby weight so it should take at least that much to lose the weight. I also have to lose the "all or none" mentality. The reality is, I'm not going to go to the gym five days a week. I'm just not so I need to stop thinking I will. In fact, there might be some weeks I don't go at all. But that doesn't mean I throw in the towel and drop my gym membership. I'm lucky we found a really great gym that's through the community center. It's more Average Joe's vs. Globo Gym if you know what I mean. It's very family oriented as well which I love. For the past month I've been enjoying taking spin class and Barre Fusion class. I've only gone six times in the past month, but that's more than in the past two years. The key is, I don't dread going. I wouldn't call myself a lover of exercise but I wouldn't say I have an aversion anymore.

I need the same mentality for my eating. I'm not going to live life without ice cream, chocolate and all other things delicious. So again, accept the fact that I'm going to eat these things and enjoy them in moderation. I could go on and on about moderation blah blah blah. But I'm not a health professional/blogger/enthusiast so I won't. I'm a wife, mother, daughter, friend, working professional and the size of my jeans doesn't impact any of those roles, I'm accepted for who I am. So on those days I don't make it to the gym or I have that second scoop of ice cream, I will not beat myself up, I will accept it and continue to challenge myself to exercise and be healthy because I have a lot in life to live for.

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