Friday, September 27, 2013

Body Image

Body image is something that I constantly struggle with. I have struggled with it my whole life! I have always been on the curvier side of the spectrum. I have a very athletic build and although I danced five days a week, on top of running track and being on my school's dance team I still felt fat. Looking back now I admire the figure I had then. I was strong, toned, athletic. If only I could have appreciated my body for what it was

Now I am the heaviest I have ever been. But also the healthiest I've been in a long time. Which obviously is very frustrating. I loved being pregnant. When I was pregnant with Gianna I worked out, ate well, still indulged in cravings but never went over board. I gained 27 pounds with her and had only the last 7 to lose when I found out I was pregnant with Ethan. This time around I didn't work out due to horrible morning sickness and utter exhaustion. Chasing after a baby/toddler was exercise enough. Still with him I only gained 20 pounds and by the first month I only had 10 to lose. When he was 5 months old I that final 6 that was still hanging around but I felt and looked pretty good for having two kids back to back. And then my husband came home and I packed on 10 pounds. I now weigh almost as much as I did when I gave birth to Ethan a year ago

Although I am not a stress eater I tend to hang on to weight when stressed. Add to that lack of sleep and it's no wander I'm having problems losing weight. In july I started my couch to 5k program and really cut back on my calories and started watching what I ate. As I increased my running time and found a love for salads and fruit smoothies the scale kept creeping up and up. I was not losing weight. Talk about frustrating!

Now almost three months after starting that program I have finally lost 2 pounds and I don't feel as if I have lost any inches. My clothes still fit the same, I don't feel like I look more toned, in fact I still feel as flabby as ever

And I constantly am stepping on the scale. So much so that now when Gianna  walks into my bathroom she immediately steps on the scale. That horrifies me. I can't let my body issues get to her. Because at the end of the day body size and weight is not important

What is important is modeling a healthy lifestyle and teaching your kids those healthy habits. Now when I go out running, I feel proud. Not because I am losing weight but because I am showing my kids what it looks like to be active. I have to take them out in the double stroller and after I get my run in, Gianna gets out and walks/runs with me. She loves running and constantly wants to race. And I am a firm believer that kids should be outside as much as possible so we take multiple trips to the park a week. And the beach, my kids are total water babies. I love showing them how to lead a healthy, active lifestyle

Eating habits are one thing I struggle with. Truth be told I think of dieting as not eating. And I am more likely to make the kids a healthy breakfast of fresh cut fruit and yogurt while drinking coffee instead of eating with them. Horrible I know. I need to make more of a point to eat what they are eating. My lunches and dinners are all pretty healthy and I am a firm believer in moderation. So yes I do allow them to eat a mcdonalds happy meal for lunch, We will order a pizza from time to time but I don't allow constant snacking and desert is something that is saved for a special occasion. Now if only we could get the husband on board with some of the healthy meals I prepare!

It scares me to think of Gianna growing up in this body obsessed world and by a young age feel the need to diet, or be skinny and to not feel comfortable in her own skin. As I have seen her grow these past two years I think she has gotten my husband's body over mine and for that I am grateful. She will hopefully have his long, skinny runner's legs and be slightly taller than my 5'1 self. I pray that she never has to struggle with feeling beautiful, skinny or worthy enough like I have. 

I hope that I can teach her that beauty is skin deep, and that it's the inside that matters. Even now when I tell her she's pretty and beautiful I wander if I'm doing her a disservice. But she is pretty and she is beautiful and I think girls need to hear that and hear it often. It may be superficial but a girl with positive self esteem and positive body image is less likely to be depressed, have an eating disorder and really struggle with her weight. It is my job to teach her all those things, instill a healthy lifestyle and teach her good eating habits

And for myself I have to cut myself some slack. My body is not what it used to be but it is better. I grew two beautiful babies and have the stretch marks to prove it. And Ethan, he changed around my whole body type and I'm still trying to get used to it. It'll take time, patience and work. But as long as I am eating healthfully and making a point to work out that is all that matters. Not the number on the scale but the effort and work I am putting into making me healthy

I, as much as my daughter can not keep buying into the skinny is beauty mentality. I fully appreciate woman with fuller figures, who rock self confidence and own who they are. That is who my daughter needs to look up to. And who I need to look up to as well

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