Honestly the best thing I have done for myself lately is to buy this book. It is taking me forever to read through it because I feel like I am having epiphanies every other page. I am taking my time so I can take notes and write down how I am feeling and how I relate to these woman and their stories. So much of our lives are focused on looking a certain way that we often lose sight of the real benefits of exercise. It becomes a vicious cycle, the eating, the working out to burn the food off and the struggle to feel good in our skin. We lose the love for our sports because it becomes a chore. It is so hard to strike a balance in life. Especially when it comes to balancing ourselves.
I don’t know how to not push myself. It is what I do. I am my biggest critic and my inner critic is louder than any outside voice. I know what most of my hang ups are I just haven’t figured out how to work through them all yet.
I do know that exercise, sports and fitness make me feel confident, more balanced and make me a better wife and mom. But finding a balance with it all is tough. It’s like no matter how much I do, it is never enough. I am not enough. I have gone through cycles where I work out until I am physically exhausted and my body just says no. That’s enough. And then I fall off the workout wagon for a few months because I can’t do anything half assed. What is the point. When in reality if I was able to strike a balance I wouldn’t hit that wall and I would be able to maintain my exercise without burning out.
It’s tough to live up to our own standards let alone societies. Our culture plays a huge role in our self esteem issues and body image. I can tell you with certainty that my girls will not own Barbies unless they do some major reconstruction on them to mirror what a woman’s body actually looks like. I read today that if you were to apply Barbie’s measurements to a real life woman she would be something like 7 feet tall with an 18 inch waist. Does that sound attractive to you? Kind of scary actually. I see all these teen magazines as I stand in the checkout at the grocery store and there is more skin than clothes. And how does it make sense to ban shorts in schools when the standard issue volleyball uniforms are basically bathing suit bottoms? What kind of mixed messages are we sending our kids? Seriously, what are we doing to our youth?
Just my opinions. I just feel like as mothers we need to be strong, confident role models for our daughters because we need to counteract the constant onslaught of mixed messages they receive in their world today. We need to build strong bonds with them through physical activity and personal accomplishments so they see that they are worth far more than a picture in a magazine or an ideal that someone else has of them. Teach them that sports and fitness is about feeling good, the physical appearance from it is an added bonus. You need to feel good about yourself at any size, shape or stage of your life.
I will be honest I have struggled my whole life with food and exercise obsession. It is something that has been ingrained in me. I watched my mother go through it and constantly obsess about much she weighed and how she looked and no matter how much I promised myself I wash’t going to do the same thing. I find myself on the scale more often than not obsessing about the numbers. The scale is such a head game. It beats up your self confidence and can literally make or break your day if you let it. Best advice I have gotten this pregnancy was from my Doctor (who is awesome by the way) is to stay off the scale. Yes it’s climbing, yes it is going to continue, your healthy, your fit, forget about the numbers. Oh, I wish it were that easy. I am going to to try, I really am. But again this is one of those things I know I need to change, I just haven’t conquered it yet. I will get there.
I really hope if you read this, you take my advice and buy or borrow Run Like A Girl. It is changing my way of thinking. I am loving every page of it.
PS I got to see baby girl number two today in an ultrasound. Nothing makes me happier than a healthy growing baby. She is a beautiful healthy baby girl and I cannot wait to meet her.