I am feeling torn about how I should be treating my body. Do I need to love it exactly as it is, in all its rippled glory, or should I be pushing it to be something it’s not?
I am actually feeling pretty good about myself these days, so this isn’t a post riddled with self-loathing and whining about my post-partum softness. I had a baby three months ago and have lost 33 of the 43 pounds I gained. I am back in my old jeans and am proud of my body for all it’s done and is continuing to do. I am happy with the way I look and most of the time I think I could pass for a MILF (so long as I don’t have to get naked).
That being said, I am a good 20 pounds away from the “goal” weight that taunts me. I know I’ve got plenty of time to reach it and I’m in no hurry, but I’m wondering if I should even bother. I know I look better at my goal weight, but it takes so much work and thought and effort to get there. My body, left to its own devices, is kind of doughy. Should I learn to be OK with that, or fight for a skinnier rear? What is better to teach my daughters: that they should accept themselves as they are or that they should push for something better and be willing to make sacrifices for their dreams. Both seem like good lessons to learn, but when it comes to our bodies, what is best?
When I am dieting, it’s all I can think about. I rarely eat dinner with my family and am consumed by thoughts of how many calories I have left in the day. When I am not dieting, I have grilled cheese for lunch with the girls and hot chocolate with my friends when they drop by and I try new recipes and we all enjoy good food and togetherness. And it seems the less I think about food, the less power it holds over me, and I end up dropping a few pounds since I’m not going insane from cupcake deprivation. It’s so much easier not to try and cut back and I feel happier in my spirit.
But, on the flip side, isn’t anything worth having going to be hard sometimes? It takes discipline and years of effort to become a doctor or to master a musical instrument or to raise decent human children, so shouldn’t I be willing to put forth that same sort of diligence in achieving a hot body, if that’s what I want?
But whose idea of “hot” am I chasing? The beauty magazines on the racks make me feel like junk and I don’t think their vision of perfection is remotely attainable. Part of me still yearns to look like a supermodel, but I don’t want that if it means I have to live off lettuce leaves and have a running tally of the day’s calories dancing in my mind.
What I want, more than anything, is to be confident in my skin, regardless of my weight. To kick up my heels and dance at a wedding and not care if my butt cheeks look big, to walk down the beach with my family and not give a second thought to the cellulite on my legs (because, really. who even CARES?), to live a healthy life of peaceful moderation. I feel like I’m getting closer to that, and I think it’s a better goal than a number on the scale.
What about you? Do you fight for your body? Or accept it as it is? How are we supposed to reconcile the two extremes?