Monday, May 30, 2016

I Don't Hate My Body, But...

...I mostly just don't like how it looks in clothes.  Sounds like a technicality, but I promise, it's not.

I've gained quite a bit of weight in the last year.  It may only be about five to seven pounds, depending on the day, but on a 5'2" frame, that is not a good thing.  I have no idea what the problem is, as I don't feel that my eating habits or activity level have changed considerably.  Perhaps it's just age and the beginning of a slowing metabolism.  Maybe it's a symptom of my PCOS becoming more apparent.  I know exercising has been a struggle, but even over the last month as I ran twice a week, it didn't seem to make a difference.  I've been on two new medications for the last year or so, one for my cholesterol and one for my reflux, so maybe they're causing me to hold on to weight?  I don't know.  It's probably just that I have been eating more, but man, that seems pretty extreme.

It's actually at the point where clothes have stopped fitting.  Some of my jeans are awfully tight, my summer go-to khaki skort (looks like a skirt but is mom-crouch-friendly!) creates a massive muffin top, and a couple other shirts and dresses just catch my stomach wrong.  For the first time I can tell that everything on my body is bigger, not just my stomach or chest.  My calves no longer look as slim and toned (even after weeks of running), my arms are bigger, and back fat is becoming an issue.  I used to be able to suck in and at least pretend to be skinny, but now there's a pocket of fat above my belly button that just won't hide.  I thought I had dodged a bullet when my baby weight eventually went away--even if my body wasn't quite the same--but apparently age is even more powerful than childbearing.

The thing is, while I'm not thrilled with what I see in the mirror, I have that respect for my body that so many mommy bloggers talk about--the one that knows the miracles my body did, that it carried two babies, pushed them into the world, fed them, and somehow (mostly) recovered.  Outside of the context of real life and what it once was, it's fine.  It's a survivor, so to speak.  But when I realize how much it has changed and how difficult it is making it to get dressed every morning, it's a bummer.

The elliptical was supposed to be the savior for both of us, but that still hasn't happened for a couple reasons.  Hopefully it will, but it's been a big decision.  Even still, twice-a-week exercise--which usually works wonders--did nothing in the last month, and that concerns me.  It's only going to get harder as I get older, so it's pretty daunting right now.  I refuse to go all diet crazy.  I can certainly watch what I eat, but I refuse to spend the rest of my life not eating ice cream and French fries.  It's already hard enough working around Jacob's diet for our family meals, so I can't restrict much further without losing my mind.  It's just not sustainable.  But I can make better choices about snacks and meals out, though I still don't foresee that being the magic bullet to drop five pounds any time soon. 

The rolls don't make me happy, but I swear, I don't usually look at my body with hatred.  I am a little resentful that it's chosen to start aging and hasn't brought weight moderation along for the ride, but for now I can respect the curves (and even like some of them) because I wouldn't be a mom without them.  They're a symbol of the sacrifices I made to carry two kids.  Sometimes they're even a reminder of my mom and how she has traveled along much the same path ahead of me.  So while I don't hate them or what they stand for, I do hate that they're impacting my life and my wardrobe as much as they are.  I want to feel good about myself and right now there's a lot working against that.  I need to find a way to beat this, but most of the time right now I'm just too darn tired to think of much else.  So I will continue to set aside the too-small stuff right now and hope I figure out how to welcome them back to the fold another time.  For my sake and the sake of my kids, it's just too important to ignore.

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