I don’t have body image issues. Seriously. When I went to buy a pair of black dress pants a few years ago and after 33 pairs, none fit, my frustration was with the people who design dress pants. It didn’t dawn on me that perhaps it was something wrong with my body. By the way, Jones New York makes great dress pants for women.
About a year ago, I had surgery to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes to reduce my risk for ovarian and breast cancer. The surgery also put me in menopause and I was concerned that I would have trouble maintaining my weight. Turns out, eating Gourmet Robert’s Smart Puffs during recovery was the problem. I gained about 5 pounds during my recovery on top of the 15 I never lost from my pregnancy with Ariel.
This past May, I decided I was sick of being bigger than my pre-pregnancy body. I accept that my hips may never be as slender as they were before having children, but that doesn’t mean I have to be anything other than the petite, athletic body I’d been before having children. Of course, I made the regular excuses – with work and the kids, I don’t have time to work out. All I can say is that I was using the elliptical three times a week and was maintaining a weight that I just didn’t want to be.
So, in mid-May, I set a goal and told everyone I could about it. My goal was to get to my pre-pregnancy weight before my birthday on September 1st. 20 pounds - a significant proportion of my weight. My secret weapon is my sister who is a professional trainer, talks straight and will coach me on email and the phone. My stroke of brilliance was that my co-parent was motivated enough by my goal to set one of her own and we took on our goals together.
Since mid-May, I’ve changed how I eat. My sister looked at my food log and coached me on the easy things to change that would get my body burning fat. She also recommended that I do Cross-Fit in our home gym. It’s hard, but I’m hooked. I do what the CrossFit site tells me to do as intensely as I can do it in our home gym. Jessica and I did a month of boot camp together and we continue to make plans to exercise together as a way to spend time together - an added bonus. I’m proud of her - she made her goal and is still going. My kids encourage and participate in my exercise activities. My husband is proud of me and inspired to take care of his body. I’m going to miss my goal – but I’m okay with that because I am feeling good, making progress and I think I’ll get there before ski season.
Dress pants are again my problem. After my first child, I dropped back to my pre-pregnancy weight and size in a few weeks (genetics and breast feeding). No new pants. After my second child, I dropped down pretty close (within 5 pounds) to pre-pregnancy weight quickly but my hips no longer fit in the pants – hence the 33 pairs. After the third pregnancy, I bought some larger dress pants (aging stinks). But I’ve never been the weight I am now – in between my target and my post-Ariel weight. So, my newest pants swim on me and my older dress pants still don’t fit. I don’t plan to stay at this weight very long – so I’m not spending on a bunch of new dress pants.
I think taking care of myself is making me a better parent. I’m setting a good example for my kids in what I do and how I’m eating. And I’m getting found time (at 6:30 in the morning) with my best friend 2-3 times per week. My goal is self-rewarding because I’m getting so many benefits. Got any stories about goals that had surprising benefits and improved your life?