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May 04, 2011

How I'm learning to stop worrying and love my body

Over the past year, I've taken a different approach to my physical health. Before that, I was struggling to lose the typical 10 pounds, or would have been happy to lose 5. I tried making myself go to the gym, or take exercise classes. I tried counting calories. But I didn't stick with any of it, mostly because I didn't really want to.

Look, my diet is reasonably healthy, more so than most. I don't eat out much, I don't snack a lot, we stick pretty well to the food triangle and do a lot of cooking at home. Obviously, there are ways we could improve, but we're happy with what we eat. Most importantly, we're both healthy.

Similarly, I get plenty of moderate exercise. I ride my bike 50 minutes each day. I do push ups and stretch regularly. I take the stairs often. We go for bike rides and walks fairly often. Again, I'm in pretty decent shape.

My weight has hovered around the same 5 pound range for nearly all of my adult life, with the exception of a few years in my late 20s when I was about 15 pounds lighter. I honestly don't know how that happened, but I've accepted that that is not going to happen again. My doctor says my weight is "perfect."

Why should I struggle and make myself miserable trying to lose a few pounds? Is it because I think I should have a flat stomach? Do I think I should wear a size 6? Am I trying to compare myself to my friends, or super models? None of those are good reasons, and none of them are realistic. I am not a sexy dynamo like Jennifer, or elegant and willowy like Daphne, or a lean runner like Kerry. I will not light up a room with my smile like Trish, or dazzle people with crystal blue eyes like Shilo. Frankly, no amount of starving myself or punishing myself in the gym will change that. We are all different people, with different body types, different genetics, and different forms of beauty.

I'm accepting myself the way I am. I'm healthy. I'm happy. Chris is still attracted to me. I'm just going to keep doing what I do, enjoy life, and not waste my energy trying to be something I'm not.

3 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I love that you posted this. I am trying to shift away from improving my body, and instead to improving my health and happiness. Can't go wrong that way!
    You should definitely be proud of your strength and self discipline. You are one of the best I know at sticking to a goal.

    PS...Thanks for the lovely compliment. I never would have guessed I was a sexy dynamo, but I love it!

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  2. Some of it's genetics. And a lot of it's aging. I think this is very admirable. And am mostly okay with my body myself, though clothes are sometimes difficult things.

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