I got so many e-mails, comments, and PMs on “It’s Not Working Out” I feel like a follow-up should be written. Hold on. I’ve got to suck the lime salt from my Hint of Lime Tostitos off of my fingers. Oh poo…there are crumbs on the cat sitting in my lap too. Ah well.
Here has been the general word from many gorgeous women:
“I know exactly how you feel. I hate what I see in the mirror too.”
“I feel ya all the way. I am that girl that amazes people by running a marathon because my body does not tell the same story.”
“I too resent that I have to work out.”
“You are beautiful!”
“You are never more beautiful than when you are confident in that silky smooth skin of yours.”
“I can totally relate. I have been stuck at my current weight for a while. I analyze everything I eat. I force myself to eat carrots and then beat myself up for losing control and eating the whole bag of Lindt chocolate.”
“Thank you for your honesty.” (There is no other way to be. Everytime I’m honest with others I just find out that they think/feel the same way.)
The above were spoken by beautiful women of various shapes and sizes. Some bigger than me. Many smaller. They are in better shape than me and still feel they struggle with their weight.
Sometimes that tics me off. It’s annoying when a skinny person tells you that they have got to lose weight “Oh, but not you.” What? But I realize too that I am that person to someone else. I am their skinny.
To be clear, this journey began for health reasons. My doctor said that I am pre-diabetic and to ward off full on diabetes I needed to lose 10-15 lbs. That seemed very do-able and something that I would like to see happen anyway. I weighed myself 3-4 times a day to see if anything had changed for me. I deprived myself of food. I sporadically worked out.
I had hoped the nutritionist would hand me a diet to follow and *wa-la* I’d be fixed. Instead I found out that (though I have weaknesses, i.e. Tostito Lime Chips) I generally ate pretty well. This was discouraging. That should mean I am healthy and fit. Instead I look in the mirror and I see back fat coming out of my bra strap. The Pitty Titty over flow in my arm pits. A double chin and something that looks like jowls beginning to appear… I have no butt so…that’s not really large so much as flat and a little droopy. Then there are my “fabulous” DDD’s. Oh yeah. They are working for me. I know that if I lose weight they will at least go down to DD’s which sounds reasonable and somewhat normal.
This morning I donned my work out gear, similar to but not the same as what I wore yesterday. Yesterday I looked amazing and fit. I did not feel far from my goal despite my 2 lb set back. Today I looked gross and fat.
What in the world? Why do I do this? Why do WOMEN do this?
Then I put my shoes on and walked into the bathroom to pull my hair back and put in my contacts. This mirror had a different reflection. This woman looked natural, beautiful, fit and dare I say, sexy.
So which is it? Which is the real me? I want it to be this one. Keep this image in your head today. Be this woman.
I don’t know why in the matter of minutes my perception of myself changed. Maybe it was the lighting. Maybe it’s because the mirror in my bedroom is full length and the mirror in the bathroom only shows me from the waist up.
At the gym I purposely chose a treadmill next to the middle-aged slothy looking woman. She was bigger than me. Softer than me. Pastier. I was NOT going to run next to the younger, tanner, thinner lady whose legs were rippling with muscle. This slothy woman and I are at least both beginners in this exercise thing. I popped in my ear buds and cranked up the music on my “running” playlist.
As I ran I pictured myself in my Grasshopper Pie Dress:
I pictured myself as Chikara (Which means force or strength in Japanese):
I remembered the me that I saw in the mirror this morning.
After running 3 miles (in about 40 min.) I began my cool down.
Done! Not done. Sure I am. That was a good run. A superhero has muscle. Hit the weights.
And I did. I walked out rubbery armed and wobbly legged.
Oh yeah. I feel awesome. I thought this was supposed to give me more energy. I just want to take a nap. Well, first a shower because I smell like an elephant habitat.
But first was the grocery store. This is never good because I am famished after a run. I wanted everything. I focused on my little list and then…
We have to make better choices but not feel like we are punishing ourselves. Instead of Starbucks a hot mug of water at home is just as nice. To me. I know I have the nay sayers in regard to the hot mug of water but for me it’s not about a caffeine fix or even the sweet caramel and whipped cream on the top of my decaf coffee but about the comfort of a warm mug. I love the way warm drinks make my innards feel like they just had a nice long hot bath. Tea would also be a better choice.
Instead of a bag of Lindt chocolates (you know who you are) set 2 chocolates on a pretty plate. Maybe drizzle some chocolate syrup on the plate and garnish it with a strawberry to make it feel like a special treat and while you eat those carrots at lunch (and really, darling, you must eat more than just carrots) remember that in the evening you will be rewarding yourself with that beautifully presented plate of Lindt. I like to allow myself 5 chocolate dipped strawberries. The number 5 seems lavish. The amount of chocolate on the strawberries would probably not even add up to ONE Lindt chocolate. I save them until my kids are in bed and I’m on the coach watching my show and the whole thing feels quite decadent! In fact I rarely eat fruit that is not dipped in chocolate or nutella.
That may be a problem…
This whole issue of distorted self-image and twisted relationship with food seems to be predominately female. Maybe I’m wrong on that. Man does not have a weight issue. He has the same size waist as he did in highschool. It’s smaller than mine. He is thin but I would not call him skinny as there is toned muscle all over him. He works out 2-3 times a week and eats all of the things that I do. When he wants to get “ripped” he works out for one week and sees immediate results. I work out religiously for a month and gain 2 lbs.
“Muscle weighs more than fat. You gained muscle.”
True. Muscle weighs more than fat. So what should have happened was that I lost 5 lbs of fat and gained 3 lbs of muscle showing a 2 lb. weight LOSS. It could’ve been the salty food from the night before. It could’ve been that I didn’t weigh in until afternoon so my breakfast was on the scale. Who knows. I feel good and I have to hold on to that.
I am loving the new ads out like this:
Strong. Not skinny. Fit. That is our goal. We also have to be realistic. If you are trying to weigh what you did in highschool you are a fool. Sorry. I call it like it is. I recently met a woman who is 72 and she was lamenting that she did not weigh the 118 she once weighed.
“When did you weigh 118?”
OK, no. As we get older we weigh more. This woman now currently weighs 130 and she looks fabulous. That’s less than me. And she’s older by nearly 30 years. I know I will never weigh my highschool weight of 125 ever, ever again. I don’t hope for it. I would love to weigh what I weighed after my kids were born: 135. Even though, for a woman with a height deficit, that is still on the rather “thick” side, I would still like to be there again. When I was there I had muscle tone and confidence. I’ve tried to grow taller instead of losing weight and found that to be much harder so…must work out.
Women are curvy:
Not all but many. Because we have boobs and hips and butts. Because we have what Caren calls a “Cookie Pouch” which is actually there to keep babies warm and safe. I can see Marilyn Monroe’s Cookie Pouch in that pic. So we (I especially) need to embrace our lovely lady lumps. The men would certainly love to!
We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) His workmanship is marvelous! How dare we think or say otherwise! It’s time we women, flip the mind games. Stop telling ourselves that we are ugly, fat or not right, believe the positive things people tell us and “take captive our thoughts” (2Cor 10:5) when they are negative.
So who’s with me?! Tell me your goals! Are you being realistic with what you are seeing and what you can accomplish? I have very good friends who call me out on my B.S. Do you have that? Do you want it? I’ll tell you. Lets be determined to be strong; not skinny.
And lets love are bodies whether they be tall, short, curvy, linear, skinny or thick. Let’s also have healthy perspective. If your weight is your biggest worry/concern (like mine is) your life is lookin’ pretty freakin’ good. This is another First World Prolblem. Third World countries are looking for food to eat while we lament that we are having to eat salad. Shame on us! Love healthy foods. Love being active because you are an able-body! Love yourself.