I am not my squishy tummy…However.
I’ve written a lot about body image and about learning not to demand perfection or someone else’s body from it. I know I’ve written about how I need my goals to be attainable and maintainable. All that is still true, and I’m still very passionate about it. But I’m frustrated. In my twenties, my goal was a size 8, and for most of those years that seemed almost unattainable. I hit that goal when Lexi was sixteen months old and passed it about three months later. A few months after that, I was flirting with a size four, and when I got pregnant with Declan I was there, and it felt like my happy size. After he was born I was back in a ten as soon as I was ready to wear real pants, and was stuck there for over a year and a half, then I basically skipped my size eight jeans and have been wearing sixes most of the past year. Now, let’s be real, this last year literally almost killed me. I didn’t work out super consistently November through January, nor March through May. Since then, though, I’ve been incredibly consistent, and since late August my food has been on point-other than the past two days of Halloween candy nonsense. I feel like if anyone else worked and ate the way I’ve been working and eating, they’d be dropping inches like crazy. Heck, 4 years ago me did almost exactly this, and she dropped 2 pant sizes in six weeks.
But I’m not anyone else, and I’m not even 4 years ago me. She didn’t have two babies, she wasn’t trying to recover mentally and emotionally from a heartbreak that took postpartum depression and skyrocketed it into crippling social anxiety and OCD (both were there, but I was able to live a normal life until the past year.) She was four years younger. Comparison is useless. I have to find what works for me now.
I’ve shared a lot recently about next steps on my journey, and my plan, but there were some questions I hadn’t answered, some things I’d yet to sort through. I needed to find an answer to how much to eat, and how to do the exercise I love and need without overtraining or letting it take over my entire day-and my freedom to enjoy time with my kids. Not to mention how done Lexi is with my four mile walks, and how done I am pushing 125 lbs in the stroller for an hour. I think I’ve answered all these concerns, I just need to map it out more concretely.
So what are the goals/considerations?
- I am not my tummy, but I want to shrink it. It gets in my way during yoga, and makes me feel self conscious. I am a mom and I’m not trying to look like a teenager, but I also know it can be better.
- I want to wear my size four jeans comfortably, partly because it feels like finishing what I started. I’m not a quitter, and since they button and zip easily, just with some squish, I know it’s not unattainable or unmaintanable.
- I want to keep walking, but the kids are done, so fitness walks need to happen without them
- I also need to cycle at least twice a week, so how do I do that and walk and yoga and strength train?
- Food. How do I know how much?
- How can I make this a long term sustainable lifestyle?When you’re pushing for a goal it’s one thing, and temporary sacrifices make sense. Now though, my focus is supposed to be shifting off of trying to lose onto living my life more fully and joyfully-even if I do wanna lose another inch or two off my waist. So whatever I do needs to meet my needs and help me pursue my health, but not hold my family hostage.
I’ll address food first- I do think my plan to eat at a 1.5 loss level on non exercise days, and leave no more than 250 calories on most exercise days is the right plan. I’m going to have to make sure those calories count, though, because some days I am so hungry, and I don’t do deprivation. I’m
Also going to keep shooting for 150g protein per day for my muscles. 😜
Here’s a general outline of how I see my food breaking down on an average weekday:
6a: vanilla matcha shake (before exercise)
7:30a: cheese and berry snack (post cardio)
10:30a: protein/superfood Shake
1:30p: lunch (protein and veggie based)
4p: veggie snack
*evening snack if needed or calories available*
Now, my genius* solution to my exercise issues *by which I mean, kinda obvious, really…
I need to allocate about an hour a day to cardio, period. This will fit in between when I get up and when Scott leaves for work. So, for now, I am still walking 5-6 days a week, because I’m only cycling 20 minutes at a time. So here’s how the week breaks down for exercise:
M/W/F: 60 min (or less, if I walk faster) walk/yoga
Tu/Thurs: cycle (walk for rest of hour until I’ve worked up to a 60 min ride)/yoga (and eventually Jillian)
Sa: Cycle 20-30 min
With this plan, I’ll be finished with all my exercise before 9:30 each day and free to enjoy the day with the kids. Walks with them can still happen-to and from the park gets me about two miles, so that counts, but it won’t be a daily thing we all dread and have to do. Hopefully this brings us all a lot more freedom and joy.
I’m hoping that if I continue focusing on whole self health and eating well, this belly bulge will shift, the distraction will dissipate and my fours will slide on smoothly. So much of this is about my perspective, which has really evolved, and learning to love and celebrate who I am, even while I pursue growth and improvement. Thanks again, for sharing my journey!
Not gonna lie, this is what I’m hoping! Hahaha