Before I had my two children I ran six to seven times a week, a short run was never less that five miles and a long run was at least ten. There were a few years in there that I was equally obsessed about what I ate and how much I ate; I look back on those days and realize that I definitely had tendencies that were not healthy even though from the outside I was the definition of health.
The days that I would miss a run or eat something that was not within my expectations for myself I felt so much guilt. I would not miss a workout if I was sick, or if I was tired, or if I needed some extra sleep, I would power through and make myself run. I was obsessed. Now when I consider what I was doing I realize that even an obsession with health is not healthy. Anytime that you feel guilt about missing a workout or eating something off your plan I think it is time to rethink what you are doing.
These days my life is busier since I have two children and a husband that claim my time, I also have a job, a farm full of animals, and all of the other responsibilities that come along with adulthood. I still believe that finding time to workout is important, but my goals for myself have changed. This summer I have lifted every week day except for two, I have set up routines that are shorter for the days that I am just not feeling it or do not have the time (and I know that when I am back in the classroom there will be days that I miss more simply because I need more sleep or have other things that need to get done), and my routines are not following a video so I can catch up on the shows Shannon does not want to watch with me (thirty minutes of my time is priceless). I sometimes slip with my eating habits (summer is tough), but I feel good. There are days that I look into the mirror and am not happy with what is looking back at me, but my husband loves every part of me and that matters. I still believe that eating healthy is important, but if I am too tired or not feeling it I may just make hotdogs for dinner instead of quinoa, sweet potatoes, and chicken (this is an amazing meal though and with an instant pot so freaking easy), or I may just let my kids have cereal or a couple of snacks for their dinner while I eat the randomness in the fridge. I may do these things and I do not feel guilty, you want to know why? I do not feel guilty because most of the time I do pay attention to what we are eating and I do make sure that my kids are making healthy food choices, I mean my eight-year-old requests hummus and veggies in his school lunches (I must be doing something right).
I do not understand the obsession these days with losing so much weight that a woman takes on the body of the freshmen boys I have in class, rail thin, no chest to speak of, no curves, but you sure can see those abs. Unfortunately when I see posts of others who have gotten to their goal of ‘ultimate fitness’ I know what it is like to be there and the never ending control it, I know how missing one day of working out leads to feelings of guilt until you finally get the next workout in (and then you may work out for twice as long or run twice as far to make up for your misstep), I know how a meal that is not within the guidelines you have given yourself makes you double your workout time, and I know that everyone who is at a point like this will deny that they have problem. I know this because I lived it, I never would have admitted it was an issue at the time, but looking back I see the reality of what I was doing.
This body of mine has carried two babies (and neither of them was tiny), this body has made it to forty and thankfully the face that belongs to it looks much younger than these forty years, this body is strong, this body has an ass that my husband loves, this body is healthy, and this body was not made to look like a prepubescent boy (very few are).
I know that a part of me is a little jealous of the self-control these ladies have over their eating, because I know that ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, but then I join my kids and have a popsicle with them followed by a beer with my husband, and I would much rather enjoy my life than constantly deny myself the things that bring me a bit of happiness (as wonderful as peaches are they are not a substitute for a cold popsicle or bowl of ice cream).
Balance people that is what is important. (Not gonna lie, I am a little nervous to hit 'post'.)