Thursday, September 15, 2011

Accepting the Flaws and Discovering What it Means to be "Fit"

I wrote this for my MyFitnessPal blog, and I am a little embarassed to let people who actually know me read this! So please be kind and don't take offense to the words "saggy boobs!" LOL

I was doing a little forum browsing, checking out some awesome success stories and reading up on some exercise advice. I came accross a topic about "big" versus "little" women and what men prefer (I think the person who posted was comparing a size 14 to a size 6). I read through several of the comments; there's a ton. It was mind boggling to me to see that a lot of men prefer what they call "curves." But then this also raised the question in my mind: What kind of curves? Big curves? Little curves? Smooth curves? Lumpy curves? Fit curves?

Then then word wouldn't leave my head: FIT. What does it mean to be fit? Having a healthy BMI? Eating right? Exercising? Okay, all that seems fair. But what does it mean to look fit. Go to, type in "fit women" and look at the images (be careful.. there's some nudity.. yikes!). Those women are what someone somewhere defined as "fit," but are they curvy enough for the likings of the male population? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... right?

I'm trying to finally be okay with my body. It's not perfect; I have stretch marks from puberty and pregnancy, a c-section scar, spider veins, freckles... My stomach is lopsided, I have a birth mark on top of my foot that looks like dirt (my mom used to try and scrub it off when I was little!), one big toe is half an inch longer than the other, I've got baby hands, pimples on my face (I'm 23.. when will they go away!? lol), my boobs are saggy from breastfeeding, and I have scars literally everywhere from growing up on a dairy farm and playing every sport my teeny tiny school offerred. I have a funny looking chin and nose. Oh... and I have a lisp. Most people say they don't notice it, especially people who have known me for a long time because I think they just get used to it, but it's there, and I am constantly aware of it.

But who notices all ^^^^^^^^^^ of that? Me. That's it. And why am I constantly aware of all my flaws? Because somewhere deep inside, I'm always wondering what other people think of me. I wonder if I'm what some would call "fit." Am I the right kind of "curvy"? I have been basing this whole journey off of what other people think. Really. I've been saying I'm doing it for my kids; I'm doing it for my husband; I'm doing it for God because my body is a temple. But the truth is, I'm doing it for complete strangers who don't even care. I'm doing it for the people I haven't seen in a while so that they can look at me and say, "Wow, you look amazing!" I've been doing it for complements, not for "fitness." This realization is driving me bonkers.

As I read comments on what men like in a woman, look at pictures on Google of "fit women", and briefly take a look at my own reflection in the bathroom mirror, I realize that I shouldn't be doing this for anyone else, because quite frankly, other people's opinions of me don't really matter anway. So I am going to take baby steps in making this about what I think of ME. The next time my husband says, "Honey, you look amazing" (or he grabs my tush, which basically means the same thing!), instead of my response being something about my stretch marks, my flabby belly, or my saggy boobs, I'm just going to simply look him in the eye and say, "Thank you." And maybe, just maybe, I'll actually believe it and feel amazing, too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Rubber Ducky Gang

I have a very crazy life and my schedule changes every single day.

I have two kids. Ali is almost 6; she is too big for a stroller, too little to "run" with me, and too young to be left at home alone. Jordan is 6 months old and is too cranky for a stroller (the few times I've taken him, he cried the whole time).

I laugh at the idea of working out at home while they're there. I can't imagine doing P90X with a baby crying the whole time because he's so spoiled and wants Mommy to hold him and a little girl wanting to be "grown up" like Mom and trying to work out with me.

The only days of the week that are generally predictable are Sundays and Thursdays. Sometimes Mondays and Tuesdays. Never Wednesdays or Fridays or Saturdays. And sometimes not Thursdays, and sometimes not Sundays. HA =D

Since Ali isn't "mine," we don't get to see her every day. But we pick her up from daycare several days a week and then drop her off when her mom gets off work. And we generally watch her every Saturday and Sunday. But not the whole day, of course. We have to do a lot of planning around when we will be dropping her off and picking her up and dropping her off... etc.

So that's that. I get off work at 5, pick up Jordan, sometimes pick up Ali and drop her off at 7. I have the kids by myself everyday because my husband doesn't get home from work till around 8:30. So my day starts at 6 in the morning and ends around 9 at night, which doesn't include any exercise.

 Confused yet? Yeah... me too...

So Wednesday night, my husband gets home and I'm anxious to go run. It was too dark to around our neighborhood, so he suggested going to the track or the park. Both are scary to me; predators could just jump out and attack me! Not that that's very likely in Ada, but things can happen. However, I'm sick of having excuses not to run, so I decided to just, you know, "risk it."

I drove to the track. All the lights were off. I drove to the park. Most of the lights there weren't working, but I could see a few stragglers still walking/running, so I figured it must be safe. I think my heart rate was high before I even did my warm up; I was so nervous someone was going to attack me. Geesh, I'm so paranoid!

I did a lap and decided to make another and see if I could run for 20 minutes without stopping. I did! And right at the 20 minute mark, right when I was about to quit, I see these two guys sitting on a park bench. Have I mentioned how scared I am of predators!? LOL

So I decided to keep running, just until I got a little further away from them. Then I hear one of them WHISTLE. Okay, yes, I was a little flattered at first. But then I realized that the whistle sounded more like when you squeeze a rubber ducky. Not cool! So I decided to run until I couldn't hear that stupid awkward squeaking anymore. I reached the 2 mile mark and guess what? They had followed me and squeaked the ducky again! It freaked me out a little, I'm not gonna lie. Just the thing a predator would do right? Squeak a rubber ducky?

So I kept running. About a minute later, I turned to see if they were still following me, but I didn't see anyone. I happened to be running through an area where the lights weren't working so well, so I decided to run for a few seconds more. When I finally stopped, I had run for 23 minutes straight which, if you haven't read my other posts, is my longest stretch yet! I reached 22 minutes once because I thought I was going to pee on myself, and I reached 23 minutes because some creepy guys were attacking me with a rubber duck!

I was still freaked out when I got back to my car. I recently watched a scary movie about a guy who hid in people's backseats and then WHACK!! You get the idea... So I checked my backseat. No strangers there! I drove home laughing at myself. What exactly did I expect the Rubber Ducky Gang to do to me? Seriously.

When I got home, I went ahead and checked the trunk just to be safe. And that whole time, my husband wasn't even worried. I said, "But, I've been gone forEVER!" "Honey," he said, "You're a big girl. You can take care of yourself."

I proceeded to tell him the whole story; only, I left out the part about how the whistle was actually the squeaking of a rubber duck. It's possible that he still thinks that some guys were hitting on his wife... =D

Thursday, July 28, 2011

When Your Body Turns on You...

(I've noticed that my posts are getting quite embarrassing.. and yet I keep writing them...???)

I'm almost at my goal weight (woot woot!), and I have recently set some new goals. My first mini goal is to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. I've been working towards it for about 3 or 4 weeks now.

 Here's what happened to me last night.

 I decided to not look at my watch until I simply couldn't run anymore. I was just going to run and run and run until my body said, "Nope.. no more." So I off I went, thinking about the music playing on my iPod and how badly I needed new songs. I was getting pretty tired, and figured I had been runing for at least 20 minutes. I look down at my watch. 11 minutes.

"What?" I said to myself, "I'm exhausted! 11 minutes?? Okay, body, let's make it to 15 minutes and then we'll take a break." "Okay, 15 minutes," it replied back to me.

We did it. And at 15 minutes, Body was getting really stiff, but I convinced it we could make it 18 minutes. "Okay, 18 minutes, and then we're taking a break," it said to me.

At 18 minutes, I convinced my weary body that we could make it to 20 minutes. "Once we reach 20 minutes, I promise, Body, that we'll call it quits. We can just pass out right here in the road if you'd like." "Okay," it replied, "20 minutes and then we can pass out."

We made it to 20 minutes! Body and I were both pretty exhausted. "Ready to quit, Body?" I asked while preparing to slow down to a walk. Then it happened. My body turned on me. I had a very strange senstation. Body said to me, "Destiny, if we stop now, we're going to pee all over ourselves. You'd better keep running till we make it to the bathroom!!!!!"

So we did. We ran 2 more minutes, straight into the house, scaring both my husband and my daughter, right into the bathroom.

Today, Body and I are very sore. But the good news is A) We ran for an entire 22 minutes, which is my longest stretch yet! and B) I didn't pee on myself! :-D

Friday, July 22, 2011

Confessions of a Home Wrecker: How and Why I Sabotaged the Relationship between "Bill" and "Jill"

(This is from my blog on MFP)
Bill and Jill, we’ll call them for now. We all grew up together, and they were two peas in a pod. I watched them change during puberty, and then, during my High School years, I noticed they started getting pretty close. I didn’t like it. But instead of doing something right away, I just kept thinking everything would work out on its own. Boy was I wrong.
After graduation, we went to college. The relationship between them grew even more, and they kept getting closer and closer. Why did I not like the idea of them being together? It just wasn’t right. I had a gut feeling that I would NEVER be happy unless they went their separate ways. Why, I repeat WHY, didn’t I do something about it then!? I don’t know… Instead, I just kept pushing my feelings to the side.
Then one day, about three years ago, it happened. I caught them together. You know what I mean? Like… together—EEEK! How embarrassing that was for me. They didn’t even mind that I was right there, watching them! I could see their skin sticking together, all sweaty... EWW.
Over the next few years, I started ignoring them altogether. No, I wasn’t happy, AT ALL. I was miserable. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. It seemed to me that they’d always be together and that it was too late for me to do anything. Then I got married to an amazing man. And yet, there they were, Bill and Jill, closer than ever, rubbing it in my face that I had missed my chance to break them up. Why wasn’t I happy!? 5 months after getting married, I got pregnant. And you know what? They became inseparable. It seemed like they were stuck together like glue. BLEH. Made me wanna puke.
After my pregnancy, I’d had enough of them two. I decided I didn’t care what anyone else thought, I was ending their relationship. And the more I would see them, you know, “together,” (they were constantly “rubbing” against each other—even in public!) it just added fuel to the fire. I was determined, but it was still one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I DID IT. I put an end to their stupid little relationship, and, now, they will never be together like that again. They may still be closer than I like, but I’m going to keep pushing and pushing until I’m satisfied.
Want to know their real names? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bill, my left thigh, and Jill, my right thigh. As of this morning, July 22, 2011, I stepped out of the shower, stood in front of the mirror, and realized that my thighs were no longer touching.
I have officially won.
And what exactly did you think I was talking about!?

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Skinny Girl's Weight Issues

Jordan was born January 31, 2011; you can read all about that on my other blog.

But this isn't about parenting. This is about the effects of having a baby. The raw truth of what I really went through.

Let's start with the few months before I got pregnant. In December of 2009, I married my wonderful husband, Kris. I was the heaviest I had ever been at a whopping 145 lbs. To a lot of people, a lot of real people, that actually sounds pretty nice. But I have always been active and, although I didn't know it at the time, I was skinny--120 lbs skinny. My birth control was, for some unknown reason (because I never went to my doctor), making my body retain water like crazy. My ankles would swell up like they were sprained, and I could press on them and leave little indentions from all the fluid. So, smart me, I quit taking my birth control in January or February. I immediately dropped about 10 lbs. I had been tanning for my sister-in-law's wedding, and I looked so good. And for the first time, I knew it! In May, I graduated from college (woohoo, here I come, world!), and, 5 weeks later, found out I was FIVE weeks pregnant.

I was terrified. I had been wanting a baby, but not then. I took four pregnancy tests, all positive. When I finally settled into the idea of having a baby, I became excited. I wanted a boy for several reasons. 1) We already had Ali, and I was afraid if we had a girl, there would be problems with competition, especially since Ali isn't biologically mine. 2) Kris wanted a boy, and I wanted to feel like I had somehow given him what he really wanted.

I didn't gain much weight in the beginning, but the weight I did gain was all in my face. People would say, "You look so cute!" and I wanted to punch them. In the end, I had put on a little over 40 lbs. I see pictures from us in the hospital and I want to throw up. I had major issues the whole time. I was over emotional, yes, but at times it seemed like a real problem. I watched a documentary over woman who only gained 15 lbs, which, for her size, was very dangerous for the baby. She didn't want to gain weight. She rarely ate, and she walked like 8 miles a day trying to burn the few calories she did eat. And instead of feeling sorry for her, I was actually jealous. I envied someone who had such discipline. I wanted to be like that. There were times when I would cry and just want it to all be over--and this was at a mere 24 weeks along.

I hid my insecurities very well. I pretended that remarks on my weight gain didn't bother me, and acted like the phrase, "You're not fat, you're pregnant!" really did make me feel better. But it didn't. I felt so guilty about it, too. I loved my baby. I wanted him to be healthy and cute and perfect. But I also wanted to be skinny again. I wanted people to stop looking at me and asking me how far along I was. I hated taking pictures. I asked my midwife about being depressed, and she said baby blues were normal. But, looking back now, I don't think that what I went through was normal. I threw up food all the time because of the pregnancy, and it actually made me feel better about myself. It made me feel like I wouldn't get fat if I kept getting sick. How awful!

The day Jordan was born, I was so relieved. I wanted to start working out right away. Did you know some people don't get stretch marks during pregnancy? And those of us that do, we're told that they are evidence of a miracle. Ummm.. I'm pretty sure a miracle is when you have a 7 lb baby in your belly and you don't get a single stretch mark. A miracle would have been if I had kept my tan the whole 9 months. I miracle would have been if I had lost all 40 lbs as soon as Jordan was cut out of my belly.

And now that he is four months old, I am STILL dealing with the issues. I started running exactly six weeks after my C-Section. I was counting calories, trying to take in less than 1500 a day. Then I dropped down to 1300. I was losing my weight, yes. I was putting Bio Oil on my stretch marks, yes. But my body, to me, was destroyed. When my husband would say, "You're getting so skinny!" I would get mad and think LIAR. As of today, I have lost 40 lbs. I have reached pre-pregnancy weight. I thought I would be SO proud of myself, and I was--at first.

My sister had always been bigger than me, and when I got pregnant, she started losing weight like crazy.
Now she is roughly 115 lbs. When people see us together, they usually say something like, "My word, you're a lot skinnier than all your sisters now!" And, although they're not calling me a fatty, that's what goes through my head. If she's skinny, and I weigh at least 20 lbs more than her, then what does that make me? I had been feeling so good about myself. I would look in the mirror and not see all those rolls and double chins I had been seeing before. I'm not tan by any means, but I'm not porcelain anymore. And then I see her, and she is putting on her size 2/4 jeans, with the extra small shirt. I see her with her brown tan. I stand next to her and look at us in the mirror and see a beautiful woman next to a whale.

People don't normally associate weight issues with people who aren't overweight and don't have an eating disorder. Medically, I am really healthy. Normal weight, good blood pressure, etc. But every person I see that's smaller than me, I envy. They work really hard to look so hot, and I should be proud of them! But I'm not, to be honest. I don't like wearing shorts. I don't like showing my arms. I hate seeing myself in pictures, even with my kids. I don't like when people say I look great because I think they're lying. They're not, but in my head, they are.

My experience with pregnancy makes me never want to do it again. Jordan was 1000% worth it; I love him with all my heart and soul. But if we ever decide to have more kids, we're adopting!