Long about four months ago I stepped on a scale. And then I died.
To put it kindly, the number was a bit more than I had bargained for. To put it honestly, HOLY CRAP!
I proceeded with all normal post-scale trauma activities: I sobbed and then irritated my husband blathering incessantly about the horror. I called a friend and asked her, “Do you really think I weigh that much?” How in the world was she to answer that??
And then you know what else I did? After a considerable mourning period for the pretty number on the scale I had envisioned in my head, I decided to keep kicking it and not give up.
You see, while my weight crept up, I hadn’t been ignoring efforts to the contrary. I’d been exercising, pretty dedicatedly, and pretty hard, for months. My diet could always be better, but isn’t ever outrageous. I wear my Fitbit, I log my calories and I do my best to make the numbers savvy up in favor of helping my ginormous thighs take their leave.
Emotionally, I wanted to continue down my rabbit trail of self-pity. But this wasn’t the best choice. I worked hard to talk myself around and found a few logical truths to latch onto that motivated me keep going versus dramatically burying my Fitbit in the backyard while making the permanent transition to flowy muumuus.
Logical truths that encourage me to not give up even when results aren’t fantastic or immediate:
1) I’m old. Thanks to a timely annual appointment with my cool gynecologist (really, she’s awesome), this was reinforced. “You’re 35. You can’t eat white rice any more.” Like, I just can’t. My metabolism has left the building.
I had my son before I turned 30, and the postpartum weight rolled off. My daughter’s birth two years later? Let’s just say those pounds and I have become tight. Something flipped when I crossed 30. I can no longer eat and exercise the way I was and expect the same results. To get results, I am going to have to work harder.
2) I’m a slug. I fully thank Sisterhood of the Sensible Mom’s post, The Truth About 10,000 Steps and Your Health. This woke me up to a reality I fought hard to ignore. I usually work from before the sun rises until after the sun sets. But sadly, this work doesn’t translate to steps. Blogging is sedentary, and when I’m not blogging, washing dishes and folding laundry doesn’t make my Fitbit sing. If I want to school the weight, I need to actually move it. Working hard doesn’t count.
3) I’m actually okay-ish fit. I’m not saying I can ace a triathalon, but I can complete my Jillian Michaels workouts on the advanced level with heavier weights. I can also heave a ginormous pile of laundry up two flights of stairs and push a massive grocery cart uphill to my minivan while my toddler pulls backwards on my legs. I’m not winning Athlete of the Year, but as far as maintaining a general level of adult fitness for what I need to do on this earth, I’m doing okay.
4) I’m not going to win. This brings me back to the age-old Mom of the Year reflection on how we function on this earth in ages in stages. For this age and stage, my kids need me to wipe their bums and make sure they don’t kill themselves while playing in the house; rocking a 6-pack isn’t not only not a necessity, it’s not even an option. I’ll meet my perfect abs on the other side of preschool graduation. This isn’t an excuse; it’s a reality of where I’m at in this life.
I was fantastically bumming about my scale number one day and messaged my gal, Steph of Binkies and Briefcases, wondering if something was fundamentally wrong with me because I couldn’t shed the pounds. She confirmed that yes, there was most certainly something about my life that was preventing me from a shimmery, chic bod, “You’re a mom and you’re BUSY. It’s just not going to happen right now.”
CRAP! She’s right. Now listen, before you channel Maria Kang on me, I’d love to be gorgeously fit. I’m not giving up on pursuing my goals. Rather, I’m doing the opposite; I’m pursuing them with a vengeance while realistically acknowledging who I am.
I won’t lie: I’m bumming I won’t look better for my BlogU conference next week and my beach vacation coming up. I really wish I did.
But right now, I need to not care. I need to solely acknowledge that my age and stage doesn’t permit elite buffness. Unless I can turn back the clock, get a new job (I don’t want to; I sort-of love this blogging jazz), or shed my kids (another I-don’t-want-to), THIS IS MY REALITY.
So welcome, welcome me in all my midlife, Mommy non-perfection. It’s nice to meet you. Looks like we’re going to be shacking up together for a bit while we tackle that muffin top.