So I've decided to haul myself back onto the diet and exercise wagon, if I have enough upper body strength to do it. When I was at home with my son every day it was easier to find a way to fit it in and I had the motivation of modelling someone that made healthy choices. I also didn't have the money to not fit back into my clothes. I'd like to think that I was successful with my diet and exercise goals - I got back into my skinnies, I had enough energy to parent and apart from that one chick that congratulated me on my second pregnancy (I'm not bitter), I think most would say I did a good job at erasing the baby weight. So I eased off the exercise pedal, slipped back into my bounty bar habit and tried not to think about my body for a bit. Things weren't the same. Of course they weren't the same. I had six pounds of human feed off me for months before being dragged out of my hoo haa. Bits sagged, things deflated; there's that curiously straight dark, line that runs from just below my breast bone to the very bottom of my stomach. I didn't want things to be the same. I signed up for motherhood because I longed for everything to change irrevocably but I couldn't ignore the creeping desire that I wanted my body to be different but, well, better. I want to say from the outset that your better and my better may be different things. My 'better' is influenced by so many aspects of my life - my upbringing, my culture, my relationship with my partner and so I won't go into detail about those body goal desires but needless to say they involve the terms firmer, tighter and higher. I read a lot of blogs and I love the messages of self acceptance and body confidence that are being promoted so frequently at the moment. I started to feel a bit guilty about my desires. Should I not just work on appreciating my body for how amazing and healthy it is and stop worrying about something as shallow as whether I feel comfortable in the skirt of the season? I've come to the decision that I can do both. I can accept myself and want to change myself. I can love myself and be willing to werk it girl. Here's my reasons why I've decided it's okay to want to be 'hot'.
BECOMING COMFORTABLE WITH TAKING CONTROL Ambition is a bit of a dirty word; especially in the UK where expressing any desire for self improvement is seen as stunningly self absorbed and self absorption is a criminal offence. I don't want that for my kid, I want him to envision a positive goal and go for it no matter what messages he sees around him. It's important for me to feel like I can have control over my life and my body is an area in which I can wake up every morning and take positive action.
GETTING DOWN WITH DISCIPLINE Studies show that self disciplined people are happier. If there's one part of my character that needs a big ol' kick in the hiney it's my stickwithitness. I know I'm happiest when I'm committed, I think it's one of the reasons that I have found marriage and motherhood so fulfilling. I hope that my motivation in this area will help cement my discipline and I can extend that experience to other habits in the near future.
ONE LESS THING TO THINK ABOUT My head is a hot mess sometimes. Seriously the range of random crap that I think about every day scares me. Should I move to the countryside? Maybe I should have taken German in school? What if cheese didn't exist? Not having to think about my body and being able to get dressed in the morning without over analysing my form would be a nice little reprieve.
SELF ESTEEM CITY For me maintaining positive spiritual and mental health is like walking a balance beam. The route to changing my body will involve making choices that will only help my psychic state. Also if I feel good about how I look and proud of the work I've done it will add to my feel good vault.
Perhaps in a month I'll do another post about how thinking about your body is complete waste of time, until then I'd love to hear how you feel about accepting yourself versus setting personal body goals.