seeing myself differently.

My husband, like all men, can go to the gym, work hard, come home and lose 3 pounds.

I swear that he works out for a week, eats healthier, and is 8 lbs lighter. I’ve complained about this many times to him and to you and, quite honestly, I’m sick of myself. This is going to be one thing that I am going to stop complaining about this year. There’s nothing that I can do about it. No good complaining anymore (about this specifically, let’s not get crazy!). No good wishing that I was a dude (because really, I don’t… gross), time to just be myself.

It only took me 34 years to feel this way. Go me.

Like most women, I spend too much time looking in the mirror. Too much time convincing myself that even though I am at the gym 5 days a week, even though other people are noticing changes, that I am not doing enough fast enough.  I am on a body image roller coaster. I don’t know whether to keep riding or get off because it’s all just making me too dizzy. I want to be healthy. I do NOT want to be skinny. When I think of skinny I think of scary. I have too many people in my life who have been scary skinny and so that word doesn’t work. Healthy? Healthy makes sense. In my head.

One of the reasons for all of this roller coasterness is that I also want to be a Mom. A healthy Mom, but a Mom. How does getting pregnant fit into my weight loss journey? It doesn’t really…I guess that getting pregnant would just be an uphill climb on my journey.

It’s a mind game.

I HATE mind games.

On Friday I went into the office for my annual blood check (we do them for insurance) and cringed through the weigh-in and blood draw.

I mainly cringed at the blood draw because I’m a fainter (I didn’t faint, holla!), but I cringed at the weigh-in because I don’t want my weight to somehow designate whether I am healthy. It really pisses me off. I got my blood test back on Monday and I am healthy in EVERY category. Last year my bad cholesterol was a touch too high and my good cholesterol was decent, but not good enough. This year I have turned every category around and am 100% healthy. When I saw green check marks next to everything I almost cried.

I have been working SO hard at the gym.

I have been eating decently.

The scale hasn’t been my friend.

I literally almost cried.

I am tearing up right now just thinking about it.

My blood says it all. I AM HEALTHY. You can’t (or maybe you can) imagine the mind games and emotion that this evokes. On the inside I am healthy. On the outside I want to look better. Healthier on the outside.

Such a roller coaster.

Today I did a shit ton (<– official count) of burpees in a row (I HATE burpees) in between a set of other exercises where I was moving constantly.

burpees

(That isn’t me.)

I did a crap load (<– official count) of leg lifts in a row on Saturday as part of a set where I was moving constantly.

leg lift

(That isn’t me  either. :))

I hate leg lifts (and that guy doesn’t have his head in the right position, but anyway…).

A couple of months ago I couldn’t do either of these things very well. Definitely not multiple sets worth.

I am obviously stronger.

My blood is healthy. I am stronger. My arms are further from Bubby arms than they were before. My face is thinner. I see small changes making their way to big changes.

But what’s the real story here? Do I base my overall health on blood, endurance, and strength or on my weight and the way that I look?

Everyone says that the scale doesn’t matter, but it does to some people or they wouldn’t weigh me every time I go to the doctor. I have a number goal in mind that feels incredibly unattainable right now. That. Sucks.

My trainer asked me this morning why every time women start to feel good they also feel the need to spend money? I laughed a bit, but then I said, “because we want the feeling to last as long as possible” and I really believe that. What do you think?

collage of me-blog

Wow, that’s a lot of me going on. Sorry.

Pictures taken after a recent haircut.

I walked in to the salon feeling grubby early on a Saturday morning and left feeling really good. The weather was perfect. My hair was bouncy. I remembered my ear buds and was listening to good music… I wanted to capture the feeling really good so I took a few shameless photos on my walk to meet J for brunch. I see someone different in these pictures than I saw in pictures a few months prior. I’m glad I took them so that feeling good can last as long as possible. I’m glad I have documentation of feeling good because sometimes I need the reminder that feeling good is possible. No matter my weight.

I don’t know where this roller coaster of a journey is headed, but at 34 I have realized (the smart part of my brain anyway) one thing… having a healthy body on the inside is WAY more important than how my jeans fit. I know that they’re connected, but not fully. If I can get my external body image in sync with my brain we’ll be all set.

0 thoughts on “seeing myself differently.

  1. First of all, I think you look fantastic. 🙂 (In the “that’s YOU” pics – I laughed out loud at the “that’s not me”!) Second – I am not one to talk because I’m in horrible shape and look equally horrible – BUT…if you are healthy that truly is what matters. I guarantee you are way healthier than a lot of “skinnier” people out there. Weight and body shape are not an indicator of being healthy! You ARE!! And, as hard as it is to look past the rest…sometimes you have to really try to see the good!

    I commend you for working on being healthy in pregnancy – that is something that I wish I would have been more motivated at. 🙁

    • Thanks, Em. Always a good reminder to see the good. I think you’re doing pretty darn well – you have 2 (almost 3) gorgeous kiddos who will do good in this world. xx.

  2. Mara, I AM SUCH A BABY. I am so teary eyed. You honestly have always been so gorgeous, but you look so CONFIDENT in those pictures – that’s the biggest difference to me. Amazing haircut too! Great news on the blood work (and not fainting… I would have!). Also, I’m so proud of you for being so dedicated to your workouts and healthy eating. DAMN MEN FOR LOSING WEIGHT SO FAST. Sasha eats like an animal and still loses weight. What does that even mean?! Anyways, I diverge… seriously – congratulations. You are stunning (per usual). And skinny mini face for sure.

    • Thank you for your sweet words, Ailee. I felt confident in those pictures… that’s what I mean. Feeling awesome just feels good! Stupid boy metabolism. 🙂 xx.