Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Be Healthy

I was messaging back and forth today with a friend and she admitted that she's feeling a little defeated about her weight and believes that she may be "coming to accept" her size.  I had to think long and hard about what she said.  Knowing her, that didn't sound like the spunky, upbeat, bubbly personality I know, but I also realize that our personalities do not always reflect our self-image. 

I thought about how she's feeling and reflected on my own personal experiences and my own body image.  I realized, that even though it wasn't until after I had my children did I struggle with weight, I was never truly happy with my body until more recently (and I think we can all be honest and admit that we are our own worst critics and can always find some body part or feature that we believe could use some improvement); I cannot think of a time in my life when I was proud of my body.  How sad is that? 

So I had always been thin.  I never had to think about what I ate or if I exercised.  I should have been happy right?  Well, I wasn't.  I wasn't coordinated, I wasn't athletic, I couldn't play group sports, I dreaded recess, P.E. Class, outdoor play, etc.  I was awkward.  I was ashamed and I was miserable in my body.  What was missing? 

After I had my children and struggled to lose that second baby weight; you know what I'm talking about...That thickness around the middle that just never ever goes away; the fullness in your rear, the squishy arms that give such a wonderful resting place for a sleeping toddler; yeah, I had the MOM BOD.  I was tired.  I ached.  I lacked energy.  I needed a jolt.  I needed SOMETHING to get me out of my rut.  What did I need? 

I think about my friend.  She's lost in her goals.  She lacks motivation.  She's frustrated and sad.  She is focusing on a goal weight (that according to her she's never seen).  She is giving up on the dream that she too could be comfortable in her own body.  What does she want to achieve? 

The answers could be a) a stronger body b) rest and rejuvination c) positive self-image OR

the answer is GOOD HEALTH

If you really think about it, if I had focused on eating well, getting my exercise and strengthening my body by being healthy, I would have felt more confident in my body's abilities as a child/adolescent.  I think about my non-athletic, girlie girl daughter and want so badly for her not to feel the way I felt growing up.  She's tiny, she eats like she has a hollow leg.  I hope she never ever struggles with her body image.  However, I hope she knows HOW to take care and maintain her health and body. 

As a mother, taking the time to exercise, eat well, rest and rejuvinate, I would have had the energy, strength and stamina to keep us with everyone else's needs (if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone!)  Not to mention, the mother is such an influential force for her family/children to lead a healthy lifestyle! 

For my friend, she needs to set realistic expectations and rather than focus on the scale, focus on her health; strengthen and fuel herself to sustain the life she loves and enjoys!
The media focuses so much on being SKINNY, fad diets, quick fixes, gimmics and indirectly creates a disproportionate view of what it means to be healhty. 

Even with my Biggest Losers contest, I try and advocate healthy choices and lifestyle changes and my ultimate goal is that whoever participates GAINS greater health awareness and feels empowered by their choices and their body!

I am guilty of owning a scale.  I'm guilty of longingly looking at clothes in my closet wishing that they fit the way they did pre-children; I'm guilty of complaining about my ever-expanding deriere.  Yes, I'm human, but I also appreciate that my body is stronger than it has ever been, I am not limited because my health is compromised. 

Focus on being healthy and the rest will fall into place :)

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