July 21, 2024

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Learning to Love My Body

I have a confession to make: I’m not entirely in love with my body.  We tend to have a love/hate relationship.

There are times I love my body.  I look at where I was in 2013, and I’m amazed at the progress I’ve seen.  I can’t believe that I no longer fit into those huge pants I have in my drawer as a reminder to “Never go back.”  Who would have believed that this body, who always struggled to do the 1.5 mile in 15 minutes back in high school, was able to run more than 6 miles in under an hour?  I can put on a new pair of jeans that are a size I’ve NEVER worn and feel great!  At those times, I love my body!

Then there are other times.

There are times I’ll be doing a Zumba song on my Wii.  I’m feeling really good as I dance to the music, and then I see it out of the corner of my eye – the arm jiggle.  The extra skin/fat that is still around my triceps.  It seems that no matter how many push-ups or tricep workouts I do, they just aren’t going away.  I then start feeling glad I work out at home so no one can see my arms jiggle as I work the upper body or do dance movements with my arms.

There are times I’m putting in a good workout.  Then I hear that dreaded word – mountain climbers.  When I do mountain climbers, my focus isn’t on the sweat dripping off my face.  It’s on the sound I hear every time the extra skin around my abs jiggles as I pull my knees in.  I feel like no matter how hard I suck it in, that sound will always be there.

There are times I’ll look in the mirror.  I’ll stand sideways and see a little pooch that makes me feel like I haven’t made any progress.  Though I’ve gone down in size, I compare it to other sideways pictures and can’t see a difference.  I start to feel that no matter how many ab workouts I do, that pooch is permanent and will not shrink.

There are times I feel like a hypocrite.  Here I sit, writing posts or creating pictures to motivate and uplift others, when I still struggle with things myself.  How can I tell others to love themselves when I don’t always love myself?

There are times I don’t feel “skinny”.  I’ll have people talk about how great I look, and it makes me feel good, but then I don’t see it.  I’ll see others who are one or two sizes smaller than me and wish I was them.

It’s hard to explain.  There are moments I am ecstatic with where I am, and then there are moments I wish I was different.  These moments don’t happen all the time, but they happen enough.

It has taken almost 18 months to correct a lifetime of bad eating and exercise habits.  I just need to realize it’s also going to take time to correct a lifetime of bad thoughts about myself.

I am not perfect, and I am trying to learn to accept that.  I am trying to learn that I may always have that arm and tummy jiggle.  I am trying to learn that it’s ok to not be a size 0 or 2 (despite what the media says).  I am trying to learn to accept myself, and always love myself, for who I am.

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