So this week at work was a bit rough. Not the work part, or the looming job cuts. It was rough because this cold week, I discovered that none of my bottom-halfs fit me - slacks, skirts or my 'good' jeans. If I can get the zip up, they're not comfortable and it's probably not a treat for those around me to see me wearing them, either. Throw a pair of stockings into the mix and you have one very unattractive and uncomfortable wardrobe disaster! And so it was this week, I discovered my 'double tummy' - that thing that happens to fatter tummies when you wear clothes too tight, that kind of cut you in the middle, so you have a noticeable 'crease' in your mid-section - a top tummy, and a bottom tummy. It is VERY unattractive! And this is the first time in my life that I've had it! I've always been slim and trim, and even when I thought I was fatter, I can't remember this happening!
It's no great mystery as to why this new physical change has occurred. I eat too much. I love food, and I love to eat and I love to cook. I also graze off my daughter's plate when she's done with it, instead of putting it in the bin. I know just about all mothers do this. It's good, heathy food and would just go to waste. But add that little bit of food, a couple of times a day, on top of your own food (plus cravings) and there's hundreds more calories for my body to cope with.
My running progress is actually going pretty well (following Couch to 5km - www.c25k.com), after a big break a few weeks ago when I was sick. I'm venturing into "tough land" now in Week 5 - jogging for eight minutes straight! Mind you, I might not be going very fast, and someone power-walking to the train would probably overtake me, but I'm keeping it up - I keep jogging until my little App lady tells me to switch to a walk. My goal is to be jogging 5km non-stop by August 2. Why August 2? Well, I'm participating in the Bridge to Brisbane 5km event (www.bridgetobrisbane.com.au/) on my road to Boston Marathon stardom in six years time (before I'm 40), and as my incentive to keep going, my husband has promised to buy me a new pair of sneakers one month before the event so I can break them in - provided I'm running 5km one month beforehand! I'm wearing the same beat-up sneakers I've had since 2003. I bought them in Canada. I have a sentimental attachment to them. I get attached to strange things sometimes, like my old washing machine, but that's another story for another day. While these old sneakers are holding together pretty well, I am longing for those new sneakers! I will make it, if only to have a decent light pair of sneakers that are actually designed for running! My legs won't know such joy!
But I don't exercise enough at the moment to burn off the "calories in". I'm not loving my body right now, but as God so lovingly and kindly reminds me - it's all there and it all works! And of course He's right! I have two legs that work, two arms, internal organs all present and accounted for, and in the right spots. And they all work! So stop the fatty pitty party! I might not be as small as I used to be (and anyone just has to see a picture of my full-term baby belly to understand why that balloon was never going to shrink back into place!). But I'm not fat. I'm "fatter" - not fat.
And I also got to thinking what my daughter will learn by watching my petty body issues play out. I don't want to teach her by demonstration that what you look like is never good enough - just a few more kilos; just a wax job here and a dye job there; oh, I can't eat that... So many mums (and dads, but more so mums) pass on their body/self image issues to their children. I want my girl to love who she is. I want her to see her mumma go out running because it's good for me - physically and mentally; making a goal and working towards it. I want her to see me eat lots of healthy food, and a few treats occasionally. I want her to see me love and respect myself and the body I have. Monkey see, monkey do after all, yes?
So, the running will continue; the body issues will hopefully fade with continual reality checks; and one day (namely September 2), my girl will see her mummy cross the finishing line of her first fun run of many more to come! Then we'll all go out for lunch to celebrate - good, delicious and treaty food - and spoil my husband to thank him for giving up his special morning so I can run!