Monday, August 11, 2008

getting comfortable

did anyone else see the article today on i just went back to link to it but only came up with this one (which is very similar to the one i read today).

it's funny, because not too long ago i wrote about my struggles with my body image. after i blogged about it, though, it got to the point where i felt almost paralyzed if i had to get dressed to leave the house. i was fine as long as i was sitting at the computer (baggy linen pants, check. two tank tops to disguise my big baby belly, check.).

but one night, as i was trying to get ready to meet some girlfriends for dinner, i started panicking. nothing fit. in fact, even things i had worn after rhys was born were tight. so clearly there was a problem. and i felt horrible about myself. and the worst thing was that i cried all the way to my girls' night out (i was fine once i had a glass of sangria--it cures everything).

i really needed to get a grip on this. well, i told myself i was eating healthier and then overate. so i didn't gain any weight, but i didn't lose it either. finally, i saw pictures of myself at rick's birthday party (and also had issues with what to wear to it--and it was at MY HOUSE), and i told myself i would start working out and give south beach a try.

if you know me, you probably know i have a hard time sticking to anything. so i have done a modified version of phase 1 a couple of times now (read: i eat a cupcake here and there and maybe some toast one or two days), but it combined with the yoga have really improved how i feel about myself.

so that's what i was thinking about as i read this article today and thought about how much pressure really is on mothers to be thin, to look like they used to. heck, it's not even about being a mom; it's also about growing old. get botox! get laser surgery! in my darkest moments since baby #3 i have seriously thought "man if we had the money i would totally get a tummy tuck." but the bottom line is that it just takes time and effort and people encouraging us.

and the article i read points out that all the famous people we see splashed on all the tabloid covers who look concave after just giving birth (concave with huge boobs, how does that work?!) can afford round the clock care for their children while they go to the gym and they have chefs who prepare gourmet, 200-calorie meals. my 200-calorie meals consist of diet spreadable cheese and 2 lo-carb crackers. depressing.

i love the dove ads and what they have tried to do to improve the media's portrayal of what women should look like. but i wish someone would start a campaign like that for people who are mommas. not that we should give up, get lazy, not try. but with all the trials and hurdles and day-to-day grind we regular moms face, it's no wonder we are still trying to get back to "normal" even after a year (ok maybe you aren't but i definitely am!).

i had been thinking of doing a whole post about my secret exercise weapon, but maybe i'll just throw it in here. it makes me confident enough to wear shorter shorts (even though yes, i still have cellulite) and tank tops (even though yes, my arms still have granny flaps, but they ARE smaller than they were!). this yoga DVD has helped me several times. and this time, i don't know how much weight i've actually lost, but i swear it has at least shrunken my hips. and i don't know about you, but i struggle with "problem spots" all over the place, not the least of which are my hips! so hooray denise austin. (warning: i've tried lots of her other DVDs and they are cheesy and don't really work. another warning: my spouse runs from the room when i turn this on because denise scares him. to be honest, she scares me too. if you've done her videos you know what i'm talking about. but i tolerate her because the workout is so great!)

ok, so back to the point: i'm growing more comfortable in my own skin, in my own wrinkles, in my own age (and an impending birthday raises the number even higher...), in my own life, in my own time. and i'm glad other people are standing up and saying it's ridiculous to hold "normal" moms to the celebrity standard. any thoughts?


jen said...

It's ridiculous to hold anyone, even celebrities, to the celebrity standard. I know you think my body is great (grass is always greener babe) but I was told by a photographer when I weighed 15 pounds less than I do now (12 years ago) that I would have to lose another 20 if I was going to have any kind of modeling career. I laughed in his face (first about the modeling career, then about the thought of losing 20 pounds) and never looked back. That said, I have a body crisis every couple of months, and Eric runs for cover when it happens. He has tried to learn how to be helpful, and he succeeds every now and then, but its something every woman must learn to deal with and overcome as best we can. MORE POWER TO YA BABE!

Amelia Plum said...

It took me six years to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and things don't look the way they used to. I was fortunate in that I only carried around an extra 12 pounds but the pressure on women and moms in particular is horrible. thanks for the link to the article. i think the most important thing about feeling comfortable in your own skin is losing the weight and getting fit for the right reasons, in order to feel better and treat your body well. It's too easy to make that a negative, at least for me, and get an eating disordered mindset about weight and body image.