Monday, June 13, 2011

Rear-end Mirrors

You know how it seems like some women are just never happy with how they look even though they look perfectly fine to everyone else? Yeah, I've been that woman. Seriously, who hasn't? Our eyes are not calibrated for reality when we're looking at ourselves (or our children, for that matter). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in most cases women drop themselves like a hot potato.

I left negative self-talk in 2010 because it was just bringing me down and making me feel, well, pathetic.  I don't like feeling pathetic so I stopped.  Since I've stopped using my obviously malfunctioning mirror as a gauge for my self-esteem, I've realized how much of how I feel about myself is related to how active I am. When I'm working out and eating well, I feel like a bombshell. When I can't get to the gym or have a few days of haphazard nutrition, I feel more like a bomb.  No rocket science there. It's virtually the same body either way, but it's a lot easier to feel positive and confident about it when I am taking an active role in making it stronger.

Well, that all reversed itself on me last weekend. I've been working out consistently throughout my pregnancy, but I haven't been feeling very bombshellish. I've tried to remind myself that it's time to stop being so selfish and suck it up because it's just temporary and seriously, get a grip, how shallow can I be? It worked for a while but I still felt larger than life.

Then on Saturday I came home from my 5 mile run, high on endorphins. I was so thrilled that I had such a great workout that I didn't think twice when my son wanted to take pictures of me. As I flipped through them I was caught off-guard.  I wasn't seeing a mushy, over-stuffed, sloth of a person. I saw someone who looked pretty darn awesome for five months pregnant and just back from a run. In fact, I felt so great about it that I uploaded them to my Facebook page.

It was nice to have that reversal of perspective. I was immediately able to appreciate the level of fitness I have been able to maintain and be proud of it. I had gotten caught up in self-pity over what I felt I had to give up but realized I hadn't given up anything. I had gained the best gift of all: a strong body that can maintain fitness throughout pregnancy, a husband who showers me with compliments no matter how hard I make it for him to do so, and a son who wants to take my picture.

Cue the sheepish grin. I guess I have it pretty good afterall.  Remember folks, a lot of fitness is mental, and the messages we send ourselves resonate loud and clear. Don't be afraid to look in your rear-view mirror: believe the nice things people tell you and look for a few of them yourself.

In other words, get out there and get healthy!

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