To say I have struggled with my weight for most of my life would be an understatement. I have been at war with it. There is a a discrepancy between the person I want to be and the person who keeps a little more junk in the truck than I would like.
The first time I remember feeling "fat" was at the age of ten. I was running down the soccer field and could feel my once knobby knees, now fleshier, rubbing together. I consciously thought "huh. This must mean I am fat".
The kids on the bus noticed this around the same time.
Through middle and high school my weight fluctuated from dangerously low to equally high. I was either gaunt and sickly looking in my yearbook pictures or drowning in so much excess I am barely recognizable.
I thought I found health in university when I finally was able to maintain a healthy weight. this was achieved through exercise. This is where the war begins. I needed to be down and dirty, in the trenches to be there. It was a fight. A six day a week, two hour a day fight to maintain. But holly minestrone I felt awesome and dare I say didn't look half bad either. I felt, for the first time like myself. I developed a degree of confidence I didn't have previously, a sense of worth and general feeling of wellness, SUPER wellness even. I was happy. And I was in love. Life was pretty near perfect.
The day before my wedding I stepped on to the elliptical machine to do my daily 2 hour work out. I left glowing, sipping my protein drink and jogged to the car, adrenaline still flowing.
I never went back.
Jon and I got married, moved into together, went on a two week honeymoon, I started a new job and then within months I was pregnant. Somewhere in there my routine was lost and with that I lost that person.
I miss her.
I am still happy, still in love and life is still pretty near perfect. But to say that a woman's quality of life isn't just a little bit tied to the size of her jeans would be a lie.
This week I signed back up at that same gym. It is time to get it back, get me back.
I hit rock bottom when I had to go to a specialty plus size store to buy work out clothes. I admit, I hesitated to open the door.
The cashier smiled at me as she folded my purchases.
"Do you have your store card?"
"oh, here. Sign up today and you can save 10% on today's purchase". She tried to hand me the forms to sign.
"Oh no thank you".
"Are you sure? It's a good savings, you just have to sign here..."
"-No. Really, but thank you".
I had to bite my lip from explaining...
"you see I don't really belong here. This is simply an unfortunate TEMPORARY condition. This is a glitch, not in the plan. What you see in front of you? This is not me. I don't hesitate to play with my son on the floor because it will be a struggle to jump up again. I am not exhausted by 4 in the afternoon. I don't eat kit kats while watching The Biggest Loser. I don't avoid going out to my favorite places in fear of running into someone I know who has to hide the flicker of surprise when they see how i have let myself go. I don't have to lock the bathroom door when I shower in fear that J may open the door and discover back boobs that I otherwise hope to have hidden successfully if only with my own denial of such hellaciousness. I don't wear maternity clothes until my baby is walking. I don't have headaches and backaches and feel perpetually cranky at this state. This was a mistake. So you see, I won't be needing your card."
Then I went to the gym.
The last time I was there I ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill, did 30 minutes of weight training and topped it off with an easy 45 on the elliptical.
Last night I did fifteen minutes on the eliptical...while dripping sweat I did fifteen more minutes of weights and then came home to do floor work because I was too ashamed to struggle through it with an audience. I was able to do two of Jon's kung fu sit ups (which I believe were invented in a torture camp). Yes. Two.
It was a wake up call. I needed it. And I can do this.
I have three pretty darn good reasons to suck it up and do it, even though I can't move most of my upper body today, it s hard, and I don't want to go through the motions of the process right now, they are reason enough. And more.
My boys deserve a mother. They deserve a mother who loves them enough to love herself; to take care of herself like she takes care of them. They deserve a mother who is energetic, fit, healthy and living what she teaches them.
My husband deserves a wife who is happy, enthusiastic, without complaint, able to keep up with him, and without back boobs. Darnit.
So here I go.