Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Acceptance and appreciation

I had an epiphany today -- I like my body! Taking a glance in my full length mirror after I was dressed, I had an instant appreciation for my body. I know this sounds vain, but you have to understand where I'm coming from to appreciate this new thought.

I am a born and bred perfectionist. Have been as long as I can remember, or at least since middle school when I couldn't tolerate getting an A-. It seems all my life I have fixated on being perfect in one area or another. If it wasn't school, it was my marriage, if not my marriage, then my kids. The list goes on and on. This past year, I could feel myself changing from this perfectionistic lifestyle. I found myself obsessing less and less over the things that used to be so important to me. By God's amazing grace, I finally starting seeing some transformation in my thinking.

When I was in the heart of training for the Quad Cities marathon last fall, I radically changed my diet. Well, I tried to change it overnight and that didn't really work. But, I did see some payoff. I lost some weight and gained some muscle tone. I was taking my kids to the pool frequently and everytime I put on my swimsuit, I noticed these minor changes in my body. It didn't take long and soon I was starting to get a little obsessed about my weight, my body fat percentage and getting toned abs and arms. Good thing that was at the end of the summer and swimsuit season was over before it could grow into a full blown obsession. Then, I ran my marathon and fulfilled my goals. As the weather cooled, I started donning my fall/winter wardrobe. All of the sudden, my clothes didn't fit right. Everything was fine when I was wearing shorts and tees everyday, but now my pants were falling off of me! I hated the way I looked in my jeans. Being the cheapskate I am, I didn't want to have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe and commit to a smaller size, so I decided to gain some weight back by eating whatever I fancied.

That worked for me until about Thanksgiving. After that, I should have stopped, but the bad habit was formed and my cravings seemed to take over. I was on the fringe all December of barely fitting into my clothes comfortably, but I just couldn't seem to find the motivation to make the dietary changes I would need to in order to lose the weight.

Finally, the holidays were over and a new year began. Time for resolutions and for my Boston marathon training to start. This has helped, but not fixed everything. I was starting to worry that I might struggle with my weight and start obsessing about food. I don't want that!! I just want to eat right and enjoy some treats once in a while. I finally think I'm on my way to finding that balance.

It was just so nice to put on a pair of jeans today without a struggle and be able to look in the mirror and think, "I look pretty good." For once, I didn't pick apart my body and lay guilt trips on myself for not eating perfectly. I'm NOT perfect! I know, big news flash, right? LOL I'm saying it for myself. Today, I looked in the mirror and fully accepted myself, imperfections and all. That felt so good!

I hope every woman has a moment (or hopefully a mindset) like this at least once in her life. We are bombarded by images of so called "perfect" women and we are so good at worrying, feeling guilty, and doing everything we can to hide who we really are, I think these moments of acceptance are rare. I'm taking time today to appreciate that I had this moment and for today, I feel great about my body. I'm short, petite (sort of), have a small chest (which I LOVE), and have a full, round booty. :-) God has blessed me and I am thankful. I hope you can take a moment to appreciate what God has given you today too!

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