One of my first memories of dealing with body image was when I was in 3rd grade. I had an adult tell me they saw on an afternoon talk show that there are camps for kids like me that need to lose weight.
I was 10 years old. I remember where I was sitting. I remember what it felt like. And I wasn’t overweight.
I remember in high school some guy wrote “Alicia has fat arms” in my friends agenda because he knew I would read it. And it would hurt. I was always trying to hide my arms because I was so self conscious. It did hurt. I was 115 pounds.
I never had a great relationship with food. Especially in college. Choosing sugar treats over a meal, guzzling Diet Mt. Dew, starving myself, Taco Bell at 11pm. And then hating myself.
I alway felt insecure about working out. I had the feeling everyone was watching me and judging me. Telling their friends “look at the chubby girl trying to workout. She will never last.” And I never did.
Then things started to change…
I was diagnosed with insulin resistance after I graduated. I wasn’t able to eat sugar because according to my doctor I was about 2 years from type two diabetes. So I tearfully said good bye to sugar. And felt like a new person!
This was just a step though. I have/had a lonnnng staircase to climb in terms of health, weight and body image. At this point I just knew “don’t eat sugar.” The rest was fair game. And that gym membership? Lasted 2 weeks.
BUT we moved to Hawaii. And I started to breathe better (severe asthmatic diagnosed at 5 years old). And I started to jog and soak up vitamin D and not give a rat’s behind about impressing people around me. Later Joneses!
Then my wedding started to closely approach and so did negative thoughts. I was going to see my friends for the first time in over a year. They all commented how great I look in photos… but those are just photos. They are going to see me and think I am failure. That I am not a size zero. That my arms aren’t toned. OMG my wedding photos. I’m a let down.
But in reality…
Then 3 months later I was pregnant!
And I have feared my entire life that I would be huge when pregnant then never, ever be able to lose the weight. And pregnancy was hard for me. Lots of weight gain and lots of pain. And lots of “will I ever be strong enough to lose the weight and be healthy?”
After I came home from the hospital with the most precious gift in the world I realized something. I am worthy. I am deserving of a long healthy life. I stopped comparing myself to other new moms who were going nuts in the gym. I started to focus on me. On my happiness. And my health. Because I am an example to Annalise and I set the standard of what healthy and strong is.
And 3 months later…
And 6 months post baby.
SO with all this being said, this is where I am at today.
- I watch what I eat and the effects it has on MY body. I realized diet soda makes me crash 2 hours later leaving me tired. So I’ve been passing on it and drinking water with lemon. I know sugar has terrible effects on me so I steer clear. I know that sugar-free treats make me gassy. So… wait… sorry Chris I can’t give that up yet.
- My body hurts too bad when running. So I walk pushing Annalise in the stroller. She loves it and I love it. Who cares if I am not a runner.
- I really love yoga. Not the hard kind. I recently found yogaonline.com and I can play it through our Roku box. I spend 20 minutes here and there doing beginner yoga for moms. They focus on areas of tension from holding your little one, opening your hips since they carried a lot of weight during pregnancy and helping you center yourself and forget about the toys that need to be put away. It has really made me feel at peace with myself and deserving of those 20 minutes.
- We are NOT talking about weight or insecurity in front of Annalise. This trend of self hate ends here. She will know her mom is strong and healthy and beautiful. We will encourage playing outside and healthy snacks. But Lord knows we will not get upset over a cupcake or an all-nighter playing video games with dad. Gotta live a little, people!
- I bounce back. I have bad days. Days where I can’t fit in certain clothes. Where I envy super thin moms at the pool or make unflattering poses in the mirror just to feel sorry for myself. BUT my savior is that I know that I can do it and each day is sort of a new start. So if I mess up today, welp, tomorrow I will try a little harder.
And my number one reason on how I’ve been able to lose the weight is that I love myself now… So what if my arms have a little giggle 😉