Alternately titled: "Trying to be okay with my body." Even as I typed that, I thought it really should be "love" my body, but that seems a lot harder and farther away than "okay with" so that's where I'm at.
I love all of this internet posts about mom bodies and embracing your body. I silent cheer all of these women on. But it's a lot harder to apply the same lesson to myself. I've also probably never gone a day without criticizing my body. If I really broke it down in minutes, it would easily be an hour a day thinking about my arms or my stomach or my back looking fat. I'll criticize the way my shoes look with my outfit. At Disneyland a few weeks ago, I felt so bad about how I looked that I took my socks off for a bit to try to look a little better. I even bought a different shirt to wear. Stupid. I don't want to be this way though. And I'm working on it.
One way I'm working on it, is changing up my wardrobe. I'm working on buying clothes, including swimwear, that make me feel the best so that I can silence the critical and self-conscious voice in my head that makes social events a lot less fun. I'm trying to find the right fit and coverage so that I feel as good as possible. Part of this is buying more "uniform" type clothes that I know I like and limiting my choices.
This is also the year that I officially switch to a one piece bathing suit. Last year was a transition. I still felt weird in a one piece (and probably still will for awhile), but I felt even more uncomfortable in a two-piece. I wish the one-pieces out there were a little more fashionable or that the tankinis worked for short people (the tanks are super wide and hang over the bottoms...), but I'm trying to find suits I really love like designer suits with nicer fabric and support. I've been finding great ones a Marshall's for cheap!
The clothes are helping. And I'm mostly okay with my body right now. I look pretty good in clothes. I'm not a huge fan of how I look not in clothes, but I have a solution for that too...I think.
I don't need to look like a model to be happy with my body. But I'm pretty sure I won't be happy unless I feel like I'm in shape. I've participated in sports for most of my life and have been a haphazard runner/yogi. I took the pressure off of myself and basically gave myself permission not to work out and not to even think about working out for most of the last year. I needed that. But I also know that a) working out is good for my health, b) I will never be fully satisfied unless I am working out an average amount and c) I feel good when I actually do it. It's not easy with a kid though and the only reason I feel like I can do more this summer is that Dylan has a such a set routine AND he's going to start preschool two mornings a week.
What I'm not willing to do: workout all of the time. I've lived with myself long enough to know my patterns and what I can stick to. That means running about 2-3 times a week and getting to about 2 yoga classes a week (Honestly...adding those together sounds like too much, but I'd like to do both). I don't need to start working out every single day to be satisfied with myself, but I need to do something.
What I decided to add was some body-weight exercises at home. I have a few friends who coach for Beach Body. I'm pretty sure I would love Insanity. But I don't feel the need to pay for videos or a system (and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't watch the videos anyway...I just won't). So I found a short routine on Pinterest that is different every day of the week. It seems to use most of the same body weight exercises that are in all of the different programs and seems to focus on a different muscle group each day (while still hitting all of them). And it only takes 10-15 minutes. Now on the one hand, that sounds like not enough time to even count as working out. But it's strength exercises with a bit of cardio that I don't do right now. So I figure adding a bit of that daily (during naptime) and then getting in a few runs and a couple of yoga classes and I'll be set. I still don't know how to do this during the school year though...
What I'm not going to do, diet. I'm not even going to give up alcohol. I don't do super well with giving things up. When I'm not allowed something at all, I obsess. It would probably work better for me to limit myself to two days a week. I am good with rewards and delayed gratification : ). I will basically quit dessert and treats because I don't need them, but otherwise, I'm going to continue what I'm already doing, eating not huge amounts of pretty healthy foods.
I think that's enough for me to accept whatever my body looks like.
It's a daily struggle and I truly do not understand people who say they are truly comfortable with themselves. I'm not and have never been, but I'd like to be and I'm working on it.