Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PLANKS Challenge - Week 2 Re-cap & Why I Love My Body

My second week of the challenge wasn't as active as it should have been. Asthma issues and life are putting me in a bit of a funk that I must break out of soon. 
Monday - nothing
Tuesday - nothing 
Wednesday - nothing, are you freaking out by all these nothings yet like I was? 
Thursday - yea one more nothing 
Friday - 1 hour workout with trainer with focus on arms and core. 
Saturday - 4 mile run.  Had to walk .75 miles of it, but was running faster than I should have been. Some legs and abs. 
Sunday - Re-test straight-armed plank: 2 minutes 52 seconds. Added 32 seconds since last Sunday.
This week's blog topic is loaded. Why I love my body. I suck at positive self talk. See, I can't even talk positively about my ability to talk positively. It is something I battle, and I know it has to change. Here's the thing, I don't feel like I love my body, and it's not my body's fault. How I feel about my body has been very attached to my weight at different points in my life, and I've recently been able to break away from that some, but it's still a process.

I've always been overweight. Please excuse my need for a little back story, but this is the story of my weight.
Even in elementary school there are pictures of my friends and I at the pool, and I'm the chubby girl. I mean I wasn't the chubbiest girl, but I certainly looked awkward in the bikini I insisted on wearing for the luau a friend of mine and I threw. I was a dancer and a cheerleader, and I was always the heaviest one in class or on the team. I was fairly active but never really fit and my eating was disordered and emotional. In elementary school gym class, I walked most of the mile we were supposed to run a few times a year, always coming in last, and being called names like pig by my gym teacher.

In high school, I lost some weight by dabbling with a little running and eating very selectively, but in college it all came back and then a lot more. By the time I graduated college, I weighed the most I ever had at 192.8lbs. I moved home to substitute teach and prepare for my wedding six months later. I joined Weight Watchers, and I joined a gym. I lost 37 lb by the time the wedding rolled around. Working out was great, and I was great at the Weight Watchers plan. I wrote everything down and squeezed every ounce of food possible out of my daily points allotment. Of course, I did that with fat-free and sugar-free food substitutes that now I simply won't eat.

After getting married, I slowly put on weight and then lost it. I was working ridiculous hours opening and running a children's fitness center. Sure I ran around, flipped kids upside down, and taught exercise all day long but I also didn't have time to cook, ate out far too much, and rarely found time for a real workout for me. Right before getting pregnant with my first child, I lost some weight and settled at 175. I gained 55lbs during pregnancy, giving birth at 230lbs my all-time highest weight. After that, I lost some of the weight, gained some of it, and when I got pregnant with my second child, I was 186. I gained 44lbs this time, giving birth again at 230lbs.

I had gallstones and then gall bladder surgery a few months after that pregnancy and got down to 181 as a result of simply not being able to eat anything. After my gall bladder was gone, the weight came back. In January 2010, I was 207lbs. My highest non-pregnant weight ever. I was miserable. Over the past year and a half, we have moved entirely into a real food diet that we had dabbled in previously, and I have found running. I am losing the weight s.l.o.w.l.y. I am down to 172 on a good day. (Don't ask about yesterday's weigh-in.)

What do all these numbers have to do with anything?

Well, in some ways not a lot. While the story of my #s may make it seem like it, I am not obsessed with the number on the scale. But I am keenly aware of how drastically different I feel about my body at different sizes. That's how we come back to the question of why I love my body. I want to love my body no matter the size, no matter the number, and no matter the health. When I love my body it's easier to be healthy and strong, and when I am healthy and strong it's easier to love my body.

So here are reasons why I love my body or at the very least reasons I should love my body regardless of weight or size.

I love my body because...

...it grew, nourished, and birthed two babies. One amazingly in the comfort of my home with no interventions or medication.

Kayaking in the Outer Banks 2009
 ...makes the most perfect food on the planet for my children: breastmilk. My body provided this liquid gold to my first son for 3 years and 10 months, and it continues to provide it for my second son at almost 2 years 3 months.

In labor with my second child 2009
...it carried me 13.1 miles.

Pregnant and climbing a tree 2006
...it puts up with everything I put it through. The health kicks coupled with periods of destructive behavior. It stands by me.

Hiking with my sister and our kids 2010
...it has the amazing power to heal itself when I support it and care for it.
Hanging out at camp with my boys 2010
 ... it can't help but do cartwheels sometimes.
Celebrating the wedding of friends in 2009
...God gave this body to me.

Dolled up on my wedding day
...this body, no matter how I feel about it, big or small, old or young, fit or not, has taken me everywhere I've ever needed to go. It's the only body I'll ever have, and I need to take care of it. If I want to hike the Appalachian Trail or grow another baby, this is the body that's going to do it. If I want to keep up with my boys as they grow and continue to explore the world with my husband long after that, this is the body that has to stay strong. If I want to play with grandbabies and great-grandbabies, this body needs to be healthy. If I want to play at the lake with my kids this summer without feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, this is the body I need to care for.
Sister-in-law's high school graduation 2005?
 ... these toes soak in the feeling of green grass between them and these hands cook nourishing meals for friends and family.
Pumpkin Picking 2004
I experience life through my body. The more in tune I am with my body's needs, the more it can give to me.And above anything else, my body needs me to love it, and so I will. 

Do you love your body? Is it easy or hard? Have you always felt that way?

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jamie. Good work on the positive self-talk. I do love my body. I'm finally at that point and it feels so good.


I want to hear from you! Leave your comments.

It may not show up immediately because I moderate comments due to spam. I promise I'll get to it as soon as possible and look forward to talking to you!