I'm pretty sure that people who read this blog know by now that I'm not thin. And honestly, I really haven't ever been thin. But I've done a lot of things with my life that 'overweight' people don't usually do. I've done a lot of big deal athletic events. I rode a sport motorcycle. I have a pretty good opinion on my appearance (most of the time).
Could I be thinner? I'm sure I could. And there have been times in the past that I was obsessed with doing just that. I would barely eat anything, I would exercise ONLY to burn calories... and guess what? I met with minimal success and misery. I remember the exact moment that I decided I wouldn't diet anymore. I was going for a walk with Cam. He was about 2 months old. I was high on life, feeling pretty good about myself, and thinking about what to cook for dinner. It was a cold day, and thought that I would maybe make mac and cheese from scratch. Immediately I thought - damn, that is a lot of calories. And I just thought. FUCK THIS.
From that day forward, I tried to focus on all the great things this body has done for me. It's run marathons, ridden bicycles more than 150 miles in one day, completed an ironman, swim an 8 mile race, was all American in college, got a silver medal in a national crew regatta... birthed 3 babies in one year. Jesus. This body, flaws and all, has done some pretty amazing things. I'm going to love it for what it is. And not make apologies for it.
In the summer, I wear bathing suits without cover ups. And tank tops. I try to choose things that are actually flattering for my body, but I do have a belly and large arms. And hiding it under layers in the summer just makes me hot AND fat.... wearing more layers doesn't hid the fact that you are larger. When looking at pictures taken of me, I acknowledge that I may see a double chin because, well, I have a double chin. But I don't let the fact that I am an 'ample' woman limit myself. I choose to live my life without apologizing for my body's tendency to hold onto weight, and my own love of food.
I'm writing about this because swim team started up again last night. I started up again with a team that I haven't swum with in about 6 years. I'm slower and differently shaped (I'm back to my prepregnancy weight but everything is different about my body since I gave birth. Damn kids) than I was 6 years ago. And, honestly, I've lost a lot of the fitness I gained over the summer with the combination of the shoulder injury and a more recent ankle sprain. I'm a bit of a mess, honestly! But as I was swimming (slowly) I would think - I may be slow, but at least I'm moving.
I choose to love this body I've got, and take care of it the best I can. Occasionally feed it cake. And keep myself happy with a good balance. And yeah, sometimes I get down on myself, wishing I could wear some awesome dress to a wedding that doesn't come in my size. Or bemoan the fact that when I swim for exercise I can really only expect to get a better nights sleep and feel better mentally, whereas the lady swimming with me will report that she has lost 5 pounds ever week since she started swimming.... but hey. Everyone is different, there is a dress out there for me, and I will chose focus on what I know this body can do, and be happy with that.