Well, it’s summer again and here I am, not looking like a bikini model. I mean, I started the year with good intentions and a resolution. I was going to to eat 1500 calories per day, work out religiously and I was going to be in the better shape than before I had babies. Now I’m learning to love my body, even though it doesn’t feel like mine.
This is me on our honeymoon. It’s nearly nine years ago since I stood in front of those Mayan ruins. Almost nine years since my thighs had some breathing room and I could fit in “smalls.” Nine years, three kids, a bout with serious OCD and some really, really good food and I’m not that shape anymore.
And that’s okay.
But why is it not okay in my head?
Is it because everywhere I turn, people are tauting their weightloss, skin tightening, clean-eating products that are going to shrink my belly, reduce my thighs or define my arms with little-to-no work?
That’s not the way life works. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat well and get exercise.
It’s impossible to think that I can be at the gym every other night because it means leaving my kids and shouldering my husband with the responsibility of the bedtime routine several times a week. Sure, I could go later when they are in bed, but then I’d be cutting in to my sleep time. I’ve recently learned that is a big no-no. I could get up earlier, but the sleep thing again.
I could eat 1500 calories per day. But then I couldn’t enjoy ice cream with my kids during the summer time. Selfish, I know. But I don’t want to starve myself.
What can I do?
I can put on that bathing suit I hate so much and get in the pool with my kids. It’s not like they care. We can swim. Swimming burns calories.
I can ride my bike with them, visiting the local park, where we get more exercise.
We can eat grilled food rather than going out.
We can use whole grain pasta in our spaghetti salad.
We can use less sugar in our lemonade.
We can get more fresh air.
I can garden and move mulch, strengthening my muscles and burning some calories.
We can make lifestyle changes that don’t require me to give up those precious moments with the kids. Changes that don’t require me to have no job or responsibilities. Changes that become part of my life and not just a quick way to shed a few pounds that will come right back the second I take a break.
It’s all easily said. It’s a lot harder to actually do it.
Here I am, on the verge of summer. In my head, it’s going to be awesome. The only thing standing in the way of me and summer-time happiness are my own self-conscious thoughts. I’m going to figure this out and I’m certainly open to suggestions.