Weirdly, now that I have gained some weight back, I am struggling with body image more than I ever did when I weighed over 300 pounds. I am still thinner than I was 10 years ago --- yesterday I ran into a colleague I last worked with in 2002, and he went on and on about how great I look now. It was gratifying, but the voices inside were saying, "You should have seen me two years ago!"
But my new affirmations, mantras, reminders, whatever you want to call them are helping. They're what's needed right now. And so are things like this article. I particularly like #8. It's so true --- we worry over all the wrong things.
I am working with two amazing, beautiful, glamourous women right now. We are all different body types. One is tall, with gently rounded curves; she looks like Linda Carter. One is willowy, slender, with a dancer's body and exotic looks. And then there's me, short, hourglass figure with lots of extra sand. The skinniest one of us is the one who, several times, has referred to herself as a "fat opera singer". She's the one who sings the sexy roles, and she thinks she's fat. Everybody else thinks she's hot and gorgeous.
What's my point? Well, all along the way I've been mulling the fine line between holding yourself to a healthy standard and not beating yourself up. And I've come to the conclusion that it's a spectrum rather than a line in the sand. Some days pushing yourself is what you need; other days what was pushing might be punishing; it depends on where you are mentally that day. My goal is to stay on the pushing side; while recognizing and backing off when it veers into punishment.
I am not sorry about the journey I undertook, the pressure I put on myself, the hard and time-consuming work I did --- I wish I could keep it up, but in this new phase I must acknowledge that I can't, and figure out what I CAN do. Success in weight loss and management is rooted in finding out what you can sustain.
So: I'm doing very well with keeping up with workouts. Power 90, every day --- it's less time than P90X and also easier, and that's okay for now, though I do want to get back to P90X in a couple of months. As much "found" exercise as possible --- lots of little walks, stair climbing, parking far away from the store. It does add up and it does count! I'm not doing quite as well with food, but I'm not pigging out either. What I need to work on most is not bringing tempting stuff into the house, and easing back on the carbs in general (ain't that ALWAYS the case).
Meanwhile, today I am wearing a sexy top that makes me feel good, and making sure to divafy the hair and face. When the hyenas of doubt are yapping, sometimes the best armour is to doll up so you can face the world feeling sassy.