Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I’m so vain, I probably think this song is about me.

This time, I really meant it. I buckled down beginning January 15, and I finally lost the “baby weight.” I lost so much I am embarrassed to give a number because I can’t believe I had so much to lose. Oh, I should mention that my babies are 4 and 5 years old. I would still like to lose some more, but I am now wearing most of my pre-baby clothes. Well, those jeans with the high waists with pleated fronts and tapered legs are now my “gardening jeans,” but I can fit my body into them. My body is distributed quite differently around my frame, but there is considerably less of it than there was at the beginning of the year.

What started with a weight-loss competition on a friend’s blog and continued with the encouraging progress I made has now blossomed into a full blown lifestyle. A lot of the loss was related to healthy eating, but once I reached a certain point I began doing what I told myself was “training for a 5K.” My 5K is this Saturday, and today I finally broke my 11-minute-mile training plateau. I do feel good about it and I feel ready for the race, but I am already looking for the next one. Why? Because I hate to run. I need a race to run so I keep dragging myself out there. I need to be “training” for something. A friend recently asked why I can’t just walk. Then I wouldn’t have to wrap my knees and take joint supplements. Well, if you think running is boring, consider the time it takes to walk four miles. Making the time to run is already difficult. Gentler exercise would be even tougher to accommodate. Someday my body will decide that my running days are over, but until then I plan to keep on keeping on.

If you ask my children they will tell you that I run because it’s good for my body. They will tell you that Mommy wants to be healthy and strong. They know that exercise is fun (No, they think I like running, really!) and we try to do it whenever we can. What they don’t know, and won’t know, is the full truth. The real reason I run: I like the way it makes my body look. I know; I’m so vain, I probably think this song is about me. Is this so wrong? Hmm…nah, I don’t think so. I’ll save my metaphor about the reason(s) many people choose to go to church/temple, and I will just say that I think the amazing health benefits my body is getting are a wonderful side effect of me wanting to look good. I do look so much better, and I feel far better about myself. I wish there was not a correlation, but there it is. Oh, I still need to wear a swim skirt at the beach, but I do need to shop for one that’s a few sizes smaller than the one I wore last year.

Still, I never mention weight loss or calories around the kids. I do not criticize my body or theirs. While I can’t control my internal dialogue about my own shape, I spare them the issues. We have a lot of conversations about healthy eating and making choices about food that are good for your body, but we don’t really discuss weight in a negative context. I want my daughter to exercise because it makes her feel strong and healthy, but I also want her to appreciate her body no matter the shape it takes. I do appreciate my body and understand that pregnancy, childbirth and nursing have altered it forever. My body has done incredible things for me throughout my life. I do appreciate it, but I wish I were more accepting and even loving toward it. I owe it to myself to keep trying to improve in this area.