It’s summer. (Mostly — as I write this, it is chilly and overcast.) My youngest is now 2. What do these things have to do with one another?
I want my beach body back.
Well, I’ve been wanting my beach body back pretty much since the day Teddy was born, but I’ve been on a long and winding path of emotions. First, I was patient. Then I was too tired to care. Next came a long cycle of denial (“If I just pull up my pants a little higher, voila, le muffintop disappears!”) interspersed with dejection (“My bikini days are over, waah.”)
I wanted to do something about it, I really did, but there were so many other things to do — sleep, work, make dinner for the kids, sweep, do yoga in my closet whenever 20 minutes fell in to my lap. I felt I didn’t have the bandwidth to take on slimming down. Just contemplating working out and eating salads felt so tiring.
A couple weeks ago, I had an epiphany. Exercising and making healthier food choices didn’t have to require a lot of new energy. I was already spending plenty of energy on either willing myself not to see how I truly looked (I can spend a lot of the time in the mirror poufing my shirt just so) or feeling bad about it. All I had to do was take that energy I was already spending on feeling bad and use it toward healthier pursuits.
Just that shift in how I thought about losing weight has made it feel easy to exercise for at least 45 minutes most days of the week. Or to take 2 minutes to think about something healthier to eat than just making myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because that’s what I was making for the kids. It’s been like trading in a heavy jar of pennies and getting crisp dollar bills in return — same currency, way different feel.
I’m down 2 pounds so far, but shedding those stale beliefs that my only options were to feel bad about my mummy tummy or to pretend it wasn’t there feels like I’ve gotten a pretty big monkey off my back.
And so my question to you is this: What if it were possible to enjoy something you typically dread?