Saturday, May 8, 2010

Body Image

I would like to be skinny, and pick any clothes I want from the mall, but the problem comes when I have to restrict what I eat and make time to exercise and sweat. Apparently, I can't have one without the other, so for now I've chosen to remain pleasantly plump and save the deprivation and motivation for a later point in life.

I've noticed a strange phenomenon for the last few years: as my personal confidence and satisfaction grows, my comfort level with my body shape has improved. Sometimes I worry that this is a negative thing, because it lowers my desire to eat less and work out more, but other times I am quietly grateful because I don't obsess over body image in the way I did when I was younger.

I know what is required to lose weight and maintain a smaller frame, and that is sacrifice and hard work. I understand this fact quite well in my mind, but I stumble and fall when I try to put it into practice. I have the utmost respect for my friends and family members who are currently losing weight or have recently done so. I'm impressed by their willpower and dedication, but I feel sad when I see all of the work they put into it, and sometimes I wonder if they feel any differently about themselves with the finished product.

Simply losing weight and toning up is not enough. We must change ourselves on the inside at the same time. If we look in the mirror and see Jennifer Aniston, but we still feel insecure and not beautiful enough, we haven't actually gained anything. I think the key is to work on our inner confidence before or during our physical transformation, so the sacrifice makes a difference to how we feel. Changing our bodies shouldn't be about giving something to the world, but about improving our health and confidence for ourself.

Today I'm going to see Iron Man 2 with Jason and some friends, and then out for dinner. I'm going to eat popcorn and enjoy every morsel, and plan for the time in the future when I will make exercise a higher priority for weight loss and health. For now I am grateful for how happy I am with my life, and I'll offer grace to myself and my excess baby weight (if William is 4, can I still call it baby weight?!).

There is only so much we can do in each 24 hour day we are given, and today I'm going to eat popcorn and enjoy a movie. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, so exercise will be off the table yet again, but there's always hope for Monday. Maybe if I write it on my to-do list, it will actually get done, but at this point I'm not hopeful. I'll look at it as an area for improvement, recognizing that I can only focus on one thing at a time, and be aware that eventually I do need to make this a priority.


  1. You are NOT plump!
    Even just getting out for a walk is nice, and techinically, exercise. I exercise mostly because of how I feel when I do- I feel healthy, energized and refreshed. I don't always want to go exercise but once I am there, I am glad I made myself do it.
    Not too long ago I absolutely hated the idea of exercise but the more I do it, the more I love it.
    You never know, one day you might too! But in the meantime, enjoy your treats and as long as you are comfortable, that's all that matters! I'm so sick of feeling pressured to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount. We are all individuals and should be able to all be different sizes without judgement too!

  2. I described myself as "pleasantly plump" which softens the blow a little. :) I really am good with it right now at this phase in life, but I see motivated people everywhere who make fitness a priority and I am inspired by it, but I can also see my limits right now to make time/interest for it. I totally agree about the judgement thing and thanks for your encouragement!