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.
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Femme @ femmefrugality says
Ugh I am so dreading the beach this year. Why is it so hard after the second one? A big part of it for me I think is I need to sleep more. Maybe I’ll do that once my kids go off to college….
I’d tell you I actually used to be little before I had kids, but that usually just gets me skeptical looks. After a certain weight, people stop being kind.
For what it’s worth, I genuinely think you look great!
Yes! My doctor told me this when I was only sleeping a few hours/night. She said there was no way I was going to lose weight unless I started sleeping more. Excellent point. Someday we’ll get to sleep, right? 😉 And I think YOU are adorable, my friend!
Janine Huldie says
Yes, yes, yes and sadly I need this reminder that I need to move in order to try manage the extra midlife weight gain. At least I am in good company and we can tackle this together now!! 😉
Janine, I love that we are in so many of these battles together–makes the hard stuff less lonely!
Cynthia Gabriele Sprouts Consignment Boutique says
I have seen people wearing the Fitbit bracelet & wondered if I should get one, would it make me realize I do nothing in the way of burning calories? Let me know if it encourages you or anyone else out there? The pounds crept up on me but not until I was under extreme stress, like others who lose weight I gain it under stress. I know if I just would get up & walk I would drop some of it off but, motivation left me long ago.
I LOVE my Fitbit–I have used it for years and it helps keep me accountable. I bet you’d be surprised how many steps you take just doing your on-your-feet job every day, Cindy!
I think you look mahvelous!
You are kind, but thanks for the vote of confidence!
SO RIGHT ON!! All of it! And I’m pushing 42 this year. I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! My fitbit and I are rooting for you and I know you’ll be doing the same for me!! (right?)
Absolutely! We’re SO in this one together! 😉
Erin Janda Rawlings says
I am so there with you! I work out 5 times a week, and I am just going to have to accept that this is how my body looks right now. It’s strong. It’s healthy. And that’s what matters most.
Thanks for posting!
SUPER perspective, Erin! Love it 🙂
Aussa Lorens says
I read this while eating ice cream, knowing my fitbit is uncharged in my jewelry stand upstairs. And I turn 30 next year! You have struck fear into my heart 😉 It’s time to get that thing recharged.
Aussa, I am sure you look great! But yes, go love on that Fitbit because it’s just so darn helpful!
Absolutely, 100% with you. Turning 40 this year, walking 10,000 steps a day or more sometimes, make it a point to try to get 2.5 miles of FAST walking a few times a week, I count my calories. But, have been gaining weight since I started exercising. Thought I was maybe gaining muscle, my new theory is unrelated to the pounds on the scale. My clothing still fits, I am getting a tiny bit fitter, and I just won’t quit!
I love your attitude of keeping going and not worrying about that scale #. I think you look great!
Sarah Mueller says
Sorry that we didn’t get to connect at Blog U this weekend! Anyway, I hear you on the scale issues. Have you heard of Trim Healthy Mama? When I follow their style of eating, losing the extra pounds is much easier.
Glad to have found your blog!
I have not, but am definitely looking it up now! Thanks for saying hello, Sarah, and sorry to have missed you at BU!
Terry C. Kagan says
The BEST guide for you, can’t imagine for reducing #weight dramatically, check http://goo.gl/pPUubr
Will have to check it out!