It seems like every couple of months or so I become obsessed with some new pop 40 song (sorry, I know…). My newest obsession is Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”. It’s got a catchy beat and is fun to dance to. But more than that, I love the lyrics.
Seems everyone I know these days is self conscious about their weight, including me. We’re all working to shed some pounds…lift something here…and tighten something there. I would say that it’s the media’s influence but I canceled my cable months ago and rarely look at beauty or tabloid magazines.
So what is it? I can only speak for myself when I say…I really don’t know for sure.
I was talking to Mr. Universe the other day — who is also very health conscious — and we were discussing how stupid it was for me to do a juice cleanse. That getting the body you desire is about diet and exercise.
Sure, I know that….and it sounds easy when you say it…”diet” and “exercise”. I work out nearly everyday and am pretty good about watching what I eat. Of course, I could always eat better…cut out the cheat days…work out harder…lift weights…and sprinkle in more cardio…but…
But at 41 and 5’7″, my weight volleys around 136-142 depending on the week and time of day. Even on the high end, I’m a healthy weight for my age and have little to complain about…yet I do.
Out of my mouth came the words, I’d just like to tighten up my midsection a little more and lift the muscle above my knees. Seriously, that was my complaint and what drove me to do a juice cleanse that I swore I’d never do.
I know it’s not that simple though. For me that extra bloat (it’s not even weight) in my midsection and the “fat” above my knees is a constant reminder that I’m getting older…that there are things about my life that I can’t control…at least not without giving up some of what I love. Like sleep…wine…cheeseburgers…free time…
Like all things in life, we make decisions about what’s important to us. Is it really that important that I lose an extra 5 pounds?? If it is, why aren’t I out running now instead of writing this blog? Why did I drink two glasses of wine last night and have dessert? Why aren’t I doing air squats at this very moment?
It’s one of two things: (1) I don’t really care enough to fix the issues because I don’t think I can. That no matter how much I tightened down on the diet nor how many air squats, I’m not going to make enough of a difference to justify the pain…figuratively and literally….or (2) That deep down, inside, I’m actually ok with how I look. In fact, I’m proud of it. I’m 41 and I’m in better shape than some 25 year olds…better shape than I’ve been my entire life. And I know there’s no such thing as the perfect body. If I take care of myself…and love myself…the people that matter to me most will do the same.
Maybe it’s a little of both…or maybe…just maybe…it’s because we’re trained to constantly pick at ourselves. To constantly look for what could be better…what we could change…to focus on what we think others will think is “wrong” with us. That it’s been ingrained since we were children to strive for perfection in all we do…and if we can’t be perfect humans, we should at least look like perfect humans.
I know that when things feel most out of control, I turn on myself and seek out the one thing I can control…what I put in my mouth and do with my body. And by doing that, I’m simply refueling the stereotypes that a woman needs to look a certain way to feel good about herself. Rubbish!
For the next week, lets try to be happy with ourselves…kind to ourselves. Let’s stop fretting over what we eat and how often we work out. Let’s eat what makes us feel good — and by feel good, I mean healthy food that makes our bodies feel good. Let’s do the exercises that make us happy…refreshed…relaxed. Let’s start with changing ourselves on the inside and see what happens on the out. I’m guessing we’ll like the results more than we think.
Remember, “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”
PS: I love everything…everything…about this video!