It's time I made a confession to you all. I have no clue how to be "skinny" or "normal" or "fit" or "athletic".
Okay, that's not entirely true. I fully believe that what I'm doing now would easily classify to people as fit and athletic. Normal I will never be. *big grin* It's the skinny part I'm having problems with.
The other day I was surfing around some blogs and forums on another site (GASP! ;) ) and someone posted a thread wherein people were supposed to post former pictures of themselves at a "happy" weight, one which would inspire them to "get back into that shape again." I've heard a lot of people mention when they post things like this that at the time they weren't happy with their bodies and thought they were fat when they really weren't, but that looking back they realize that they'd give just about anything to be back there again knowing what they know now.
This forum post made me a little sad.
I can't relate.
I have no pictures for you of a happy, healthy, bouncy teenage me.
I have no former pictures of myself that inspire me to "get back to what I looked like then" or anything of the sort.
The best I can do is a happy 4-5 year old girl at her Aunt's wedding...as my world began to crumble around me. Even then I was starting to get a little "chubby," but that's the best I've got.
I was so proud to be the flower girl!
Ooh! Check that hair!! *lmao*
I totally got yelled at, by the way, for concentrating too much on the flowers and not looking up as I was walking. But, dude, it was SO important that the flowers were spaced properly! (I was totally OCD even back then! *lol*)
And here I am ignoring everything else and eating what looks like ice cream. Don't friggin' bother me when I'm eating my ice cream, yo!
Problem is, I can't share these in that forum. I can't say, "Yes! I want to get back to this!" What was I then? Like 90 pounds? 100? I have no friggin' clue, honestly. And I didn't rightly care either. And it doesn't matter, because I'm not going back to that. I was FIVE. FIVE! I can't live my adult life trying to get back to where I was when I was five!
But I don't have any other pictures of "happy weights" from my childhood.
I remember wearing a size 16 when I was in the 6th grade.
I remember heading toward a 22-24 when I was in high school. (Which, let's face it, with today's vanity sizing would easily be a 26-28.)
And when I got knocked up at 18 I really just stopped paying attention to weights and sizes altogether. I was done for.
(Ironically, I lost 45 pounds in the first two trimesters of pregnancy with my first child. *lmao* The docs thought there was something seriously wrong with me, and while my amniotic fluid levels were low, my baby and myself were happy and healthy and just fine. Only thing was he curbed my teenage eating habits. I no longer craved sweets. I wanted salad and vegetables and apples and other fruits! I was eating a ton, but losing weight because of the calorie difference -- hello! LIGHTBULB! *lmao*)
I closed the forum page and got a little sad about not being able to "play" or participate.
I have nothing to look back on to move me forward.
I have no wishes to go back in time and realize how good I had it then.
And then a slow smile crossed my face.
Damn good, actually!
I do not WANT to look back!
I want to look forward!
My Hubs always says we drive in the direction in which we're looking.
So I'm going to look straight ahead and DRIVE myself forward!
Because, the secret is, I get to build the body I want.
And when I get there, I won't have to compare myself now to myself then, because there will be no comparison. There will only be the body I didn't care about (back then) as I struggled to make it through life, and the body I fought for (then and NOW!) even through the struggles I faced.
I will admit to having asked my husband a time or two, "What's it like to be skinny?"
He looks at me strangely, but I've really always wondered.
I mean, for people like him who have had it all their lives without trying, they don't understand how to explain their lives to me...because they don't know any different.
And the only thing that got me on a path toward finding that for myself was the realization that when I get there, I will understand how precious it is to have a body that will do EXACTLY what you want it to do.
I'm not talking complicated things like being some Olympic or professional athlete.
Those people work their @sses of for that as well.
I'm talking about the simple things.
Putting on a pair of jeans while standing up.
Tying your shoes.
Crossing your legs.
Jogging across the road before the don't walk light stops blinking and you get smooshed.
Sitting "criss-cross applesauce".
Sitting for long periods of time without experiencing horrible bloating and swelling.
Walking around without people staring at your stomach (unless you're baring it in a midriff because you're just so ripped and you want people to be jealous).
It's time I stopped being scared of what's to come.
It's time I started working toward the body I want so I can finally know what it feels like.
You never know until you try, right?!
This week I can honestly say -
Even though TOM hit about 2 days ago and the bloating has been out of control.
And I fear the scale tomorrow because of it.
I'm noticing positive changes in my body.
First of all, this is the first time in probably my entire life that I recognized the bloat from TOM and my pants being tight and all that other jazz as TOM and nothing more. I didn't automatically jump to "UGH! I must be getting fat again!" There's no friggin' way I could be getting more fat with what I've been doing lately. (Did you know skinny people notice this just about ...uhm...every single month?! *lol*)
Second of all, I'm losing a couple rolls. Very, very slowly, my side rolls are deflating. It's a beautiful, magical thing...especially when your husband comes up behind you and puts his arms around your midsection and you get to feel just a TINY bit closer to him - literally.
Third of all, once again, my fat is starting to become alien to me. My mental fit girl has returned. Oft times I look in the mirror at my belly and think, "Oh, you're still there? I hadn't noticed." Not because I thought I was skinny, but because I was behaving as if it wasn't holding me back. I can decide to let these glimpses in the mirror make me sad, or I can decide that it's my mental fit girl busting out and not allowing my body to make excuses for my ability.
Last night I swam 400 yards without stopping.
And followed that with 200 yards.
And finished up with some shorter laps to end with a grand total of 900 yards for the night.
And I could've done more if not for that d-bag little boy in the pool who thought it was HILARIOUS to flop up and down on a kickboard in order to make waves and churn the water while squeeling, "WAVE POOL!!!" (I swear to God that someone must've been looking out for that kid by holding me back from drowning him...or at least smacking him upside the head a time or two.)
And while I opted out of my workout DVD (in the hopes that I might be able to run tonight if I gave my legs a break last night), I ate relatively well and stretched and gave myself a little rest and went to bed feeling mighty proud of myself.
So I'm going to try to stop being sad for the little girl that didn't know what it was like to be skinny.
It's a waste of my time and energy.
That energy and time would be much better served in the gym, building that body for her and for me, so we can finally know what it's like to work for something hard and long enough and finally accomplish it. So we can cross our legs and skip and do mountain climbers without a smacking belly sound. So we can dance without feeling self-conscious for our body jiggle and only for our lack of rhythm, technique, or general skill.