Wednesday, April 1, 2015

40 pounds and 40 inches: hope, regret, perspective.

My husband and I, Walking Dead theme party one year ago!

It's been a year since I started working out. In that time I have dropped 40 pounds, 40 inches, four clothing sizes (or more), and a whole mess of bad habits. What I have gained is perspective. For example, I know I need to push this body four or five times a week, every week, in order to keep this fitness cycle going. I know I need to eat WAY more vegetation than I ever figured on. I know I need to remember that it can't be about what the scale says, or the mirror says, or even how people tell me I look. My perspective is, I have to feel it from the inside and see how it goes.

The big regret I have on the fitness journey so far is that I didn't learn soon enough how good it feels to have muscular tone. I wish someone who I trusted had taken me aside in the 1990's and let me know that feeling strong is awesome, that muscles not properly trained will be lost, and how good it feels from the inside to have a body I can trust. Being tall and awkward as a teen, it would have been a huge asset to me to train my muscles and know their strengths and limitations. I might have been braver about my choices, more daring in how I moved, and less concerned about how people thought or felt about me.

So the perspective now becomes a gift to my future. Not for my boys, because I think guys instinctively understand their muscular physicality, but for my daughter. 

Hopefully I will be enough to combat society in her fight about her own body image and body consciousness. Hopefully I can build her up to the knowledge that her beauty comes from strength, and that strength can translate to character, integrity, physicality, emotion, whatever the tool she needs at the moment she needs it. Hopefully she will continue to hit the weights with me, because although I find it annoying now to be interrupted, she is seeing me get sweaty and watching the change in my body. I hope she doesn't wait as long as I did to figure it out. You don't have to stick with the body you are born in; with time and patience you can build what feels right to you from the inside out.