This week I decided to finally get back into a gym. Tonight was my second visit since I signed up to a 10 day trial period and it was hard won – last night I got 3 hours sleep, I worked all day today my Zumba class was cancelled and I very nearly threw in the towel. Instead though, I did a work out in the gym and even if it wasn’t the big intense cardio hit I was hoping for, I made it, despite the day I’d had, and that achievement is what makes all the difference for me right now.
It’s not the first time that I’ve exercised since Baby B was born. I attempted gym once or twice in the early days but found the timing difficult. I used to walk for hours every day when B was really little and the walking was great but being back at work has put an end to that. Plus, I don’t think B would sit in the pram that long these days. I tried short sessions at my work gym but since being promoted I find that they’re too hard to fit into the work day. Most recently, I took up 10 minute HIIT workouts on YouTube.
I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’s enough to combat all my stress eating and that as long as I’m exercising it doesn’t matter that I’m softer than I used to be and that half of my clothes aren’t fitting me anymore – but it does matter.
In my mum’s time, women weren’t expected to bounce back like they are now. Being mumsy wasn’t the end of the world it was just the natural progression. Now with social media (don’t get me wrong, I love social media) we have a whole new photoshopped, filtered standard to compare ourselves to. I don’t doubt that my mum felt pressure to look nice too but I doubt very much she expected to be able to share a photo of her washboard stomach on the internet 3 months or less after giving birth.
I’d like to think I’m sensible when it comes to my body image. I’m realistic and don’t try (too hard) to squeeze into clothes that don’t fit. I’m relatively resigned to a certain amount of softness at my middle and I think that although I don’t look like an instagram model, I’m nice enough looking.
However, lately that’s not enough for me. I’ve come to the realization that as the number on the scale climbs, I am starting to lose my confidence. I used to be able to walk into a room and feel good about how I looked. Now I just constantly feel that no matter how hard I try I just look well…mumsy and not in a hipster cool way.
Maybe that’s ok for some people and I applaud them but it isn’t working for me. So now I’ve reached a point where I need to take action not just to look better but to stop the downward cycle.
I’m no good at dieting so it’ll be a long term lifestyle change if it’s to have any effect. I’m not expecting much right away. However, if I can get about 2kg down by my birthday (3 weeks away) I’ll be over the moon. My final goal is a fair way further than that but 2kg will mean I’ll fit in my clothes just a little bit better and I’d like to feel just a little bit more like myself on that day than I do right now.
Anyway, I’ll try and play the optimist for now and hope that I can stay committed.
I think it’s great for people to embrace their bodies and to not hold their appearance as a measure of their worth but I also think it’s important for people to admit when they have reached past their comfort point and it’s time to take action and control.
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