The belly, the boobs, and the butt…

I looked in the mirror the other day and wanted to cry. 

I have what feels like a zillion injuries that I’ve managed through the years via exercise and physical therapy exercises.  I’ve always been a huge proponent of owning the beauty of your body.  I believe and tell people that little extra weight ain’t no thang… but sigh I struggle with feeling it about myself.  I say things to myself that I’d never in a million years say to someone else. I actually had a great aunt that held her boobs up with her belt.  A huge part of me admires Aunt Ruth for living life on her terms but still I don’t want to hold em up with a belt. I just don’t.  At this point I just want to be able to move pain free and live my life in an active way.  I think that it’s time for us as women to be real.  Am I overweight? Yep!  Is it damaging to my health?  Mmmm maybe a little bit.  So my question to all of us is how can we gain control of our self image and still be caring of our body.  I think it’s mental conditioning.  Just as we lift weights regularly you must fight the poor self image regularly. 

My background

I was raised in the 80’s, where jeans were tight and shirts were cropped.  I also developed early… as in I had boobs my 7th grade that were a B… and the darn things kept growing.  I was also skinny.  Like 5’9” and 120 lbs skinny with lots of muscles.  I remember watching my friends reading the fashion magazines and wanting to be thin and I was looking at them saying, ‘I just want to look like everyone else’. The reality is, I was built like an awkward barbie doll. I was blessed with a fast metabolism and ate ridiculous amounts of food to maintain the skinny build at 15.  But I was vulnerable to influences.  My dear pops mentioned ONE time that 151 lbs was heavy and I suddenly wasn’t hungry and dropped 7lbs that week before I realized it was unhealthy.  Mind you his frame of reference was my mom who was five inches shorter and couldn’t bench press the amount I could. Oh and I had a 13% body fat. I weigh more than most women who look exactly the same size, I’m muscly and long ago stopped worrying about the scale.  Then I started dating this one guy. We dated some in high school, and through the later half of college.  Let me preface this with the fact that I think he’s a good guy.  However, his body image issues didn’t coincide well with mine.  He got self conscious cause he had a lean runners build and I was self conscious because I was the definition of curvy with broad shoulders from all the sports.  I have actually hulked out and ripped the shoulders out of a blouse…. Sigh and it was a favorite too. He made comments… he followed the pattern that we have all heard about.  He said I was beautiful but then mentioned I’d gained weight when we were snuggling.  I ate only ramen for a week. That sort of thing.  That self image stayed until I was in my mid twenties.  I thought I was fat when I had a six pack… I would love to have a six pack now.  I spent time in therapy redesigning how I looked at myself.  I spent hours trying to change my self perception and yet in my mid-40’s the idea that I’m hugely overweight and unattractive sneaks in when I’m not paying attention. I’ve married an amazing man who not only thinks I’m beautiful and appealing but mentions it and shows me.  He will say things like ‘I love your body, you gave us three beautiful kids’ I may have cried a bit.  I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and it sucks.  Realistically I’ve had some significant physical issues over the last year.  From major knee pain to shoulder surgery I’ve struggled to remain active and it shows. I must change it.  I will change.

Moving forward

I’m going to try and reinforce the idea that my body is a powerful wonderful thing.  Every time I look at myself in the mirror and think urgh gross! Or omfg do I need to loose weight or daymn lady your boobs are past heading south and are about to land in South America.  I’m going to force myself to say something body positive.  I’m vowing to make a conscious decision to love myself as much as I love my family and friends.  I grew three beautiful babies in this body, went through numerous miscarriages, fertility treatments.  It’s a powerful thing this body o’ mine. 

More Active 

I’m also making a promise to myself to be more active.  To pursue options where I can be outside and moving.  To not let the frustration of a busted body prevent me from doing the things I love. 

Meditation

I’m going to try and meditate regularly.  I found a really cool app and it’s been taking me through guided meditation and IT’S SO DAMN GOOD!  Seriously its a random thing that feeds my soul so I’m going for it. 

Morning! ouch…? but need to get up earlier

Did you know that most of the highly productive and peaceful people I’ve learned about get up early and do something to get the day started right. So.. I’m going for it. I’m going to try and wake up earlier.  I’m not setting a time because well… life.  Three kids.  Today was the first day in two weeks someone hasn’t woken me up needing something.  And it ranges from cleaning up puke to finding a needed stuffy.  On nights where I am woken up several times I’m going to give myself grace in the morning because it’s important to give yourself the grace you’d give others. 

Not doing it… it wouldn’t be prudent

But seriously don’t do it!

Here’s what I’m not doing.  I refuse to set weight goals or size goals… that way lies danger.  I am not setting hard goals.  I am going to be gentle with my life changes.  I am not going to give up.  I know that I’ll fall off the wagon and not wake up early some days or even weeks but then I’ll just lady up and get it done the next time. I vow to be as kind to myself as I am kind to my kids and family. 

What about you? how are you going to improve yourself in a kind way? Because you are important

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