|Mary Pickford. Source: WikiCommons/Taken from the Alfred Cheney Johnston Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress|
While at the gym recently, I came to a realization: I have a serious case of body dysmorphia ... in reverse. I'm not blind to the fact that I'm overweight, but the reflection I see doesn't quite match the me that is captured on film. I still see the thinner me from a few years ago despite not fitting in those clothes anymore; I still feel like the me who can run for miles and miles even if I haven't even been running much lately. I was doing lunges and watching my form in the mirror and my focus was on my strong legs when it hit me. Sure, I know that I'm heavy, but oftentimes the positives that I remember outweigh (ha! pun not intended) the negatives that exist and I feel imbued with confidence. However, when I see pictures I'm in, I'm smacked with reality. Maybe I wouldn't necessarily call it reverse body dysmorphic disorder. It's probably more akin to denial.
I'll be the first to admit that as a tired mom, I don't always put the greatest care into my looks anymore. Between two kids, five animals, and being a virtual single mother during the workweek as R travels from state to state, I seldom get a full night's sleep lately. Being exhausted means I don't always want to put on makeup or style my hair. Motherhood doesn't negate beauty, but I feel that being a zombie mom can. I don't want to lose sight of outward displays of femininity as a factor in who I am/somthing that's important to me. Worse still, fatigue sometimes means I don't have the desire to exercise. Which especially stinks, because when I do workout, I don't regret it - I feel better and actually increase my energy! Stupid Catch-22.
To break out of the situation I've become ensnared in, I'm setting some goals so that I can fit my mental picture of myself. I want to be dedicated towards improving my health and living my definition of beauty. And here's some of the ways I'm going to do that:
- Participate in the Heartland 39.3 Series next Spring. Training for three half-marathons that occur in the space of one month will be good for my body and for some meditative time to myself.
- Go to the beauty counter and buy new makeup. I honestly cannot remember when I last bought cosmetics. I think updating my style and getting out of this beauty rut will do wonders for my perception of my appearance.
- Find a motto that works. Right now, it's "Go Forward!" It was taken from an article that I read about Alison Sweeney in a fitness magazine this past Summer. I don't recall which magazine it was (but this online article tells me it was SELF). Don't say, "‘I want my body back!’ ... ‘Why go back? Go forward! Be the best you that you can be today. That might be thinner and more toned than ever.’!”
- Only eat what I love AND eat only when I'm hungry. As one of my favorite bloggers, Tricia of Endurance Isn't Only Physical, says, "It's pretty easy to splurge on junk simply because it's in front of you." Do I love cake? No, not really. Pie is much better. Holding out for the food that I truly enjoy and paying attention to my body's hunger signs establishes better eating habits. It also means I can stop finishing the boys' leftovers just because they're there.
What beauty, fitness, and/or weight loss goals have you set? What's worked and what hasn't?