Sunday, September 30, 2007

"The smaller my jeans got, the smaller my life got..."

There was a time in my life that being thin, meant everything to me. I went to the gym at least once every day, sometimes twice. It definitely wasn't out of the norm for me to go for a run in the morning and then hit the gym after work. I ran a minimum of 30 miles every week and some weeks as much as many as 70. If friends were getting together after work or on a weekend, I wouldn't join them until after I had worked out. I was on a strict, low fat, no fat diet. When I went out to eat, I ordered the healthiest thing on the menu rather than what sounded the best. I rarely ate desert and if I did, it was some form of fat free ice cream or a brownie made with apple sauce instead of oil (yuck...). I looked great. I was a size 2 or a 4 (which is probably like a double zero today because of vanity sizing...that's a whole nother blog entry...). I could walk into a store and buy whatever I wanted...the funny thing is, that at the time, it wasn't good enough for me. I didn't just want a flat stomach, I wanted a six pack. I thought my thighs and my butt were too consumed me. My body was my life, and honestly, it was a small life.

Several years later, during a much healthier time in my life, I was talking to a good friend who had also struggled with an eating disorder and exercise obsession. She told me that one day she realized that "The smaller my jeans got, the smaller my life got." It rang true for me then and it still does.

After I had Sam, the baby weight fell off of me. I didn't exercise that much and by the time he turned one I was about as skinny as I had ever been. I wore a bikini that summer, and it looked good...I assumed that the same thing would happen again this time, but it hasn't. Although I'm pretty much back to my pre-baby weight I think that the pre-baby body may be gone for good. Surprisingly, I'm okay with that. My body carried and gave birth (without any drugs) to two beautiful and healthy children. Isn't that more important (and amazing) than being able to wear a bikini? Yes, Yes, Yes! My life is so big and full and I am so happy to be able to recognize that this is what truly matters.

That being said, I have to admit that I've become the polar opposite of the girl I used to be and I don't think that this is good either. I don't exercise, at all....I think about it a lot, but I don't do it. On Thursday, I put my running clothes on in the morning and then took them off at 8:00 p.m., when I finally showered...but I never went for a run. I always have an excuse. It's too hot, too cold or I'm too tired...Although I am glad that I am no longer the girl who HAD to run and did so whether it was 100 degrees out or snowing...I could use a little bit of her motivation (I think that no exercise is probably just as unhealthy as too much...).
Tomorrow is October 1, and I'm going to dust off my running shoes, put air in the tires of the double jogger, turn my iPod up high so that I can't hear Sam yelling, "Are we almost done yet?" and hit the road. For the first time in my life, my motivation will be that running is good for me, and not simply that it will make me thin. I am not going to beat myself up because I cannot run an eight minute mile while pushing 60 pounds of baby (I'm pretty certain that I cannot run an eight minute mile under any circumstance...maybe to save one of my children...maybe). I am going to run, because I know that although I feel too tired to do so, it will give me the energy that I need to chase my kids around. I am going to run because it clears my head and will give me more patience. I am going to run because it is good for me and because I can. I'm going to run because although I may never look like I did when I was 22, this mommy is not throwing in the towel just yet...I'm healthy and I want to stay that way....I've got a big beautiful life to live.


Bethany said...

baby on boob cant type lot........very well said...i agree completely

Michelle said...

Great post. It is provoking in many ways... [Baby on boob Bethany?! haha]

Zoanna said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. YOu should try to get it published. There are so many women out there who need to hear what you've just said.

PS You'll need a good run (or brisk walk) after eating beef burgundy unless you want to end up looking like me.

Bethany said...

sarah understands...only time i have to sit and read blogs is nursing...and it is hard to type one handed

Sarah said...

Bethany, I wrote the entire post slumped over while nursing Grace...I so understand!