I do not run. I have not tried to run since my three smart mouthed children needed me to prove that I physically knew how. I peed a little. We all laughed so hard that I peed a lot more. It is still one of our favourite household stories to tell.
As I sip my tea and prepare for my day I am in awe staring out our picture window. Much like every morning, there have been a minimum of eight, ambitious and energetic runners pass by. Their brightly coloured shoes, belts with multiple water bottles and I am instantly intrigued wondering what their play lists contain. What exactly gets them up and out, hitting that pavement with such dedication? Did I mention it is so hot today that I had sweat running down my ass crack just checking the mail?
I have a few friends who are avid runners. I will never claim to understand this life. I absolutely love that they have found their passion and take this time for themselves. They all describe it as being able to disconnect from it all, I respect that.
Have I ever been a runner, an active sports gal? Heck yeah! The year was 1988 🙂 I played any sport they offered up in high school. I would throw on a gym uniform without ever asking my friends if it made me look fat. I would run up a field without ever wondering if my thighs were jiggling. I would eat pizza in the cafeteria never worrying if it would go straight to my hips. Volleyball, field hockey, soccer, you name it! Not once did I pee when I ran. I oozed confidence.
Then at 15, I met a boy.
I met a boy and fell in love. I spent twenty years with him and built a family together. Without even noticing it, my self-esteem was being dismantled. If I am being honest, I don’t think his 17-year-old self realized what he was fully doing.
“Are you sure you want to wear that?” “You look so much skinnier in these jeans.” When I was five months pregnant with our first child, we went to see the doctor. I was asked to step on the scale. Weighing in at one hundred thirteen pounds, he made a mooing sound. His twenty-five year old self believed it was funny. The doctor did not. I was in tears. I then made it my mission to wear my regular size 0 jeans home from the hospital. He was so proud. We brought her home one Christmas Eve and I was gifted a Slim Fast gift pack and a work out video. So sweet.
At this stage in my life I refuse to lay all the blame at his feet. I will never make progress that way. Here is the most important message.
How many times do you look into a mirror and dislike what you see?
How often do you attempt to go shopping for something to wear and become so frustrated you leave with nothing?
How many hundreds of dollars have you spent on ways to transform your body through diet or exercise?
How often do you cry because of how you physically look?
I admit to three out of these four just in the last twelve days. We need to make a solid attempt at ending this way of thinking. We cannot do this unless we travel back and figure out how it all started. You can spend all the money you want, start all the regiments and programs, put your body through it all and none of it will work if you don’t start with your brain.
Fix what dismantled it in the first place. Realize you are beautiful once again.
I am merely in the beginning stages of learning to love my body.
My name is Christine and I am embracing my bat wings. You know, those chubby, flabby, lovable bits where your triceps once were. I have nicknamed mine Wing 1 and Wing 2. I have spent the equivalent to ten thousand hours, researching ways to dress myself to hide them. Editing and cropping photos, bend your elbows this way. You get the idea. Could I hit the gym to sculpt them, order up some cow bells or weighted balls for my home and dedicate the next seven years to getting my wings beach body ready? Yes, and for those of you with that dedication, I love you. I can admit to myself that I will not be doing any of that. I am embracing them for what they are. MINE. As a young child my grandmother had the largest set of bat wings you can imagine. I would climb up onto her lap and she would wrap them around me. I would feel safe and loved. Not once did I ever remember thinking she needed to get those bad boys toned up.
I am not telling any of you to sit back and be immobile. I try to live my best healthy life. I promote healthy mind, healthy body. I do my absolute best to make healthy food choices for me. Do I indulge in gorgeous desserts or slushy drinks with umbrellas? In a hot minute because life for me is meant to be celebrated. I have limitations to physical workouts because of health issues, but let’s make one thing clear. I am still capable of exercises that I do not do and that is on me. If I am given the choice to head to the beach with family instead of the gym, I do. I surround myself with fluffy pillows and fuzzy blankets early in the evening as I watch mindless reality shows. Snacks are a necessary part of this process. This helps me detach from my day and I’m sure contributes to wing 1 and wing 2. I am at peace with that. You do you. Just be sure to throw in an apple every now and again. 🙂
Being able to celebrate your body and be comfortable in your skin is a whole new level. Our time here is short. You need to refocus where you want your energy spent.
I will never be an avid runner, fitting diapers under those fashion forward tights is not a look for me. For me, incorporating short walks as often as I can will be the next steps. Helping to give me some time to disconnect from everyone and give me some time all my own. The added benefit of movement for my body.
I hope you can travel back to find where your messages became distorted. You get to be the author of your book. Find what works for you. Even learning to love a freckle is a win.
Much love ❤