Something I have been working very hard on of late is to accept me as I am. I still struggle a lot with self image and expecting the perfect body to come along if I work hard enough.
I took this picture at the gym last week. I shot from the side because I don’t see that view often and I was frowning in consternation at my legs and hips.
A couple years ago, I hit my lowest weight. Then in the summer of 2009, I started training for the triathlon and did NROLW. I gained about 10 pounds during that time and I have just never been able to shake it off again. It’s not all muscle weight, either (how I wish it was!). My body seems to have settled where it is and there are days that it really is hard for me to accept that.
It is very hard not to compare oneself to others. It is also really hard not to compare to an earlier version of yourself. The person that I am today is not the same person that I was 2 years ago, 10 years ago, or even last week! I can only be the best that I can be with what I am willing to do.
I’ve been running across things on the net that have been making me think about this. One was from Yoni Freedhoff
Instead, as I’ve been yammering on about for some time, set your goal to do your best and never be discouraged if it’s not as good as someone else’s. Sure So-And-So might be losing weight faster than you, but really, why does it matter?
We’ve all got a deck of cards in life. We can stack them, but we can’t swap them out.
Stack your deck as best you can, but don’t ever be discouraged if your deck isn’t as stacked as someone else – that’s just real life.
That also reminds me of a quote from Gary Taubes that I talked about before:
But there’s no guarantee that the leanest we can be will ever be as lean as we’d like. This is a reality to be faced.
And then there is another great post from Barbara at Refuse to Regain on the last 20 pounds:
Another issue with the final twenty is that the last pounds may be relatively unimportant. As I’ve written in the past, it’s been my experience that people who were once overweight are “denser” after they lose. By this I mean that they weigh more on the scale than they might expect at a given size. They may look like a size 8 and fit in size 8 clothes, but still have a scale reading that they consider unacceptably high. When we gain weight, our body is forced to create millions of new fat cells to accommodate the fat that fills them. These cells look just like balloons and they swell when fat stuffs them. They then get smaller when fat is released. The question is whether these fat cells disappear after weight loss. I believe that they don’t. They may remain as emptied tissue that is left behind. Perhaps the body will eventually resorb them and then again, it may not. But that empty tissue weighs something and it’s my hypothesis that this is the reason that dieters often wind up being 20 pounds heavier than they think they should be.
(read that whole article, too – it is very good).
I just don’t think I have the total discipline to become lean and mean (or lean and nice for that matter). I like food too much. Plus there are just genetics. I don’t have slim hips or thighs. I wasn’t designed that way. I am not tall and willowy and no matter how much weight I lose, I never will be.
I do have biking thighs and lifting pecs – even though those pecs are supporting a couple of things that have seen the better side of 43 and a large weight loss
I am strong and that really matters to me.
We all must remember that we are the best we can be right this very minute.