Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love-Hate or Embrace

I admit it, I’m curious to see how this (admittedly media-driven and unscientific) survey by Today Moms goes. They've asked (women, I assume), "Do you love your body?"

My journey through life in this body has definitely been a love-hate relationship. Right now, I love what my body does, though I'm not crazy about how it looks, especially post-kids. More on that here.

I’ve had a kind of miraculous discovery lately. My body likes training and eating well. This has become my default setting. For someone who has always struggled to exercise, this is a revelation. Kind of like pulling myself up a rope and over a wall made me realize, “I can do this.”

It’s more profound than that, even. I’ve always believed my body to be defective, sub-par. I am blown away by the realization that if I follow the formula that everyone else follows, if I do the training, I get the results. My body isn’t broken!

As far as looks go... I’m one of those people who weigh themselves twice a day. I don’t take it seriously—I know the weight will fluctuate and I don’t get worked up if I eat something salty and gain two pounds of water weight. I need to know what the weight is, though. Why? Because otherwise I will have NO idea how I look. Here’s a little illustration.

We took the kids to a fall festival two years ago and I had on a black shirt. When I glanced through the pictures, I saw a woman in a black shirt and assumed it was me. Here’s one of the pictures:

 Here’s a picture of me from that same day:

Can you see what I mean? I have never had ANY idea how I look without objective measurements. The other lady and I both look fine—just different. And, from the inside, I had NO IDEA which one was me. Incidentally, it was really hard to find a full-length shot for comparison—I was hiding behind a child in nearly every picture, reflexively covering myself.

I may be lost about how I look, but I’m starting to get an idea of how I work. I like to run, especially distances. When it comes to upper body, I like to use my pulling muscles better than my pushing muscles. I don’t start anything fast, but I do enjoy good, hard sprints or sets once I’m warmed up. I have very strong thighs. My lower abs, not so much.

Most of all, I can DO things.

And I think I'm going to focus on that for now. I embrace that!

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