Mom Life

Accepting the Mom Body

So, friends.  I struggle putting this one out there.  But I just can’t hold it in any longer.  You know, that Holy Spirit conviction thing…it’s going strong right here with this.  I ask that you be kind to me as I step out in faith.  This is hard, but I do this in hopes that one of you feels encouraged.  That is purely my motivation.  I don’t do this to elicit compliments or any focus on myself.  I only wish to let you know that you aren’t alone in this.

Here it goes.

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with my body.  The love part consists of the head knowledge that God loves me and created me perfectly as I am.  The hate part comes from the, “I wish I was…” comparison game us women play.  Ugh!  Why do we do this to ourselves?

This 41 year old body {cat’s out of the bag!} is something that I should be proud of.  Yeah, she’s given me a little trouble here and there, but really, she is pretty magnificent.  She has given birth to three babies.  She has seen her share of surgeries and pain.  She gets up in the middle of the night with sick kiddos.  She prepares three meals a day for her family.  She wipes the tears from sad little eyes.  She works the ground and plants seeds.  She reaches up and throws her arms around her dear husband.  She walks alongside friends in grief and joy.  She throws her head back in laughter as she gathers around a holiday meal with her brothers and parents.

What’s not to love?  Can I start with two phrases?  How about “muffin top”?  Ummm…”back fat” much?  Yup, I went there!  And my husband rolls his eyes and asks why we women make up words to describe the things that don’t matter.  Did you hear that?  He doesn’t care about my soft or jiggly parts.  So why do I?  Really, why do I nitpick about what our society calls imperfections?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve bought into a little of what Hollywood says is the body that I should have.  But, I don’t see Hollywood funding a personal trainer or a “Whole 30” chef for me.  That means I need to get off that crazy train of comparison.

And I’m in the process of jumping off that train.  It is taking time, but I’ve found what is key to making a lasting change: what is my motivation?  Really, that’s it.  Why do I want to get into shape?  Do I want to lose weight so I think that I look prettier?  Do I want to drop a few inches so that I can fit more comfortably into my clothing?  Do I perceive that I am not good enough as I am?  Do I want to gain muscle?  Is it so that I will fit the mold of “skinny” that the media portrays?  Am I longing to be accepted?  Do I want to impress others with my physique?

I can honestly say that all of the above has been my motivation at some point.  I wish that some of those didn’t ever apply to me.  But, I won’t lie to you.

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I will tell you that whenever I have begun some type of fitness regime or “diet” and the motivation was for others, I failed.  I was making a change in my life for someone else.  And that only lasts for so long…sometimes a few days and sometimes even a few weeks.  But then it ends.  I quit.  I just can’t keep up with what I perceive to be someone else’s expectations.

And then there is the lifestyle changes that come from deep within my heart.  The one that recognizes the lie of Satan that my body must be of a certain size in order to be loved.  It is then that I have learned to accept my body as unique, beautiful and “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  God created me to be me.  Not the model on the cover of a magazine.  Not the movie star on the big screen {who spends countless hours and money perfecting her body image}.  I am me.  And that is perfectly enough.

I’ve noticed something since I began encroaching upon my 40’s.  My body keeps changing.  I cannot have that slim body that walked down the aisle in her wedding gown 16 years ago.  That beauty is gone, but she has been replaced with a woman who has more wisdom, grace, and even love than she had when she wore a size 2.

After grumbling to myself over the past year about not being satisfied with my current body shape and overall health, I told myself to do something about it.  You know, the Nike motto: Just Do It.

Friends, I turned a corner three months ago.  I decided that I wasn’t going to let a false self-image dictate my thoughts.  I decided that I was going to do something about it.  For myself.  Forgetting what I perceive others think, I am getting healthy for me.  I want to keep up with my kiddos better.  My personal goal is that by this spring I can take them on hikes and not get winded.  I want to feel strong.  I want to feel healthy.

And that is what I am doing.  I jumped off the skinny train and hopped onto the cardio train.  Does that mean that I am training for a marathon?  Heck, no!  I will tell you one thing: If you see my running, you had better run too because something is chasing me!  Ha!  I’ve tried the running thing and I will be upfront.  It is not for me.  I did it for years and have come to the conclusion that I just don’t like to run.  And that’s okay.  Do you hate running too?  Great!  We’ll be best friends now!

I also have not joined a gym.  I live in the boonies.  Literally.  I think the closest gym is 30 minutes away.  Yeah, that’s not happening.

I prefer to exercise alone.  All by myself.  {That means I get some alone time!  Yipee!}

So, three months ago I woke up one day and said this is it.  Today is the day.  And ever since then {even through the holiday’s…I should get bonus points for that!} I have put in my 30 minutes, 5-6 days a week.  No elaborate work-out.  I’ve just been hanging out with my trainer…Jillian Michaels.  For a small investment of $10, I am increasing my strength and stamina.

That first day was rough.  Actually, the first two weeks were pretty grueling.  I began with Jillian’s workout 1 of  her “30 Day Shred” and after the very first work-out, I think that I literally crawled out of our family room.  My body was done for the day.  And that didn’t go so well considering it was only 8:00am!  I really struggled.  My family had to carry the laundry baskets up and down the stairs for me.  I was sore.  Every single muscle in my body ached.  I pushed past the pain.  And I am so glad that I did.  It took me 19 work-outs to get up to level 2. But I did it.  And three months later, I have worked through all 3 levels.

I’m a sweaty mess when I finish the work-out and I still get sore, but I keep pushing myself a little harder.  Squat lower.  Jump higher.  Move stronger.

Have I lost all the pounds that I was hoping to?  Nah.  And that’s okay because I have gained even greater things: strength, balance, stamina, muscle, and confidence that I can push past my perceived limits.

So, tell me.  Can you relate to any of this?  Please help a girl out and tell me that I’ve not been alone on the crazy train!

And if you are wanting to make some changes to your body, my advice: do it!  Today is the day!

xo,

Leigh

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I can relate SO much! Thank you for being open and transparent about something I think we ALL struggle with. After four years of losing weight for all the *wrong* reasons, just his past year I’ve decided I’m doing it for me- and for some of this same reasons you mentioned here- to keep up with my kids and to just be able to DO life with more physical ease. Thank you for speaking truth, sweet friend!! Also, your blog is beautiful. 😉🤗

    1. Leigh

      You don’t know how much I appreciate this, Sarah! You know how it’s a little “scary” to put yourself out there. But finding out that other women can relate makes it totally worth it! Back to my work-out now! 😉

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