It’s a cruel truth that we get complacent with ourselves. Our looks, so easily noted by others, remain unchanged to our easy eyes. That mirror doesn’t have notifications that flash across its screen at the slightest change and so we watch, unknowingly, as our bodies morph.
Then there’s this trigger that happens.
Maybe it’s the subtle squeeze of old jeans or the shock of a picture your friend has taken of you in that bathing suit. All of a sudden, you know. You’ve gotten bigger. There are rolls where there weren’t before and you scrutinize yourself, offended for not having noticed the weight creeping onto you. You battle against this realization, asking ‘how’. You run through all the stats: My routine hasn’t changed in over a year.
But I did move, and quit my job.
I haven’t changed my eating habits in longer.
But now I cook for two.
I still run, work out, or do yoga throughout the week.
But I allocate more of that time to writing now.
Yes, I eat dessert once in awhile, but not religiously and i tend to avoid most sugars.
It’s scary. My body has never turned on me like this, and now I panic.
Isn’t that ridiculous? A body image scaring me. Pounds gained around my middle and thighs inducing panic. We try, as a society, to fight the expectations of media. We cheer Dove for their beauty campaigns that stand in proud contrast to the otherwise picture perfect models everywhere else. Yet, individually, we still unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) yearn to cheer in bodies that more resemble the models on Vanity Fair. It’s hardwired into us.
It’s embarrassing to care; to admit that my aversion to swimming is rooted in the body I hide under my clothes. It’s embarrassing to doubt myself, especially when mine is a body that’s hiked, trekked, canoed, kayaked, won soccer championships and competed nationally in figure skating competitions. My body is strong. My body has been pushed and has surprised me again and again. It hasn’t let me down, and now I sit here scowling at it as though it were a foreign disease. I’m still beautiful. I’m still strong. And I’ll get even stronger. And I’ll get more happy with what looks back at me from the mirror, because I’ll work for it. I can step up my game.
I wrote most of this post a month ago. Back then, I didn’t know how to end it. And I was embarrassed by the truth of it all. It’s been over 4 weeks now. And I have stepped up my game. I’m more fit now than I was all summer, and I can feel it. I don’t have to scrutinize a mirror image in search of the inches I’m wishing will fall off. My runs have gotten longer, I’m covering more miles in a shorter amount of time, and I feel great. There’s still so much more I want myself to accomplish, but it’s finally about what I want of myself rather than how I want myself to look.
Sometimes it takes waking up fat to wake up.