Friday, December 31, 2010

Weight a Bit

Yes, it's that time of year again. Thanksgiving and Christmas are over. Feasts have been eaten, treats devoured. Stores are filling prime shelf space with organization materials, exercise paraphernalia and weight-loss "solutions." It's time for my annual post-holiday "Let's Pull Out the Weight Watchers Points and Agonize About All the Post-Baby Weight That I Haven't Lost Yet"-Fest!

I'm in the process of making a calendar for my mother and mother-in-law for Christmas. (What's that I hear you say? I'm really early this year? Okay, fine. I know that Christmas was a week ago and I'm late. I had a few things going on this December, okay? Sheesh. At least I'm still doing it....) This entails hours and hours of sorting through the year's photos, picking out the best ones, cropping them and trying to squeeze as many good ones as possible into an 8 1/2 x 11 inch space. (Luckily the job is much easier now with online photo and calendar places. I used to print them by hand and take them to Kinko's to get bound....)

Dec. 2004
But I digress... for the past few days I have been sorting through all of the photos for the year and I inevitably come across a couple of me here or there. I have a picture in my mind of how I look and it seems to frequently get stuck somewhere between junior year of college and three years after I had Camryn (both times when I was quite a bit skinnier than I am now). It is always frustrating to look at photos and realize that how I envision myself looking and I how I look in real life aren't the same- to realize that after yet another year of wanting to be skinnier, I spent another year at exactly the same weight. I had hinged all of my secret hopes on the prospect that as soon as I quit nursing Addy in October, the post-baby weight (or nursing weight, or whatever excuse under which you would like to catalog it) would suddenly evaporate, but those hopes somehow haven't instantly materialized.

I'm not writing this post to look for possible weight-loss plans or to fish for sympathy ("But Karen, you really look just fine!"). I know I look just fine right now. But I can't help but thinking that I would just look a teensy bit (okay, fine, a lot) "finer" if I got rid of the 10 lbs from Jackson and the 10 lbs. from Adelyn. (And another 10 lbs. besides that would be great, too.) I lost 40 pounds after I had Camryn. I proved that I could do it at least once. I found out that losing weight is fairly simple --and extremely hard: eat less, exercise more (and maybe throw in "eat more healthy" just to round it out). I know what I need to do. But I don't know if I am really ready to do it right now.
Dec. 2010

The irony of having kids is that the very thing that makes you to gain the weight in the first place is the same thing that makes it so tricky to lose it after. Somehow, there are a just few more demands on your time after you have a baby. Not that that makes it okay, it just it makes it easier to slack. I recognize that everyone has the exact same 24 hours in a day. I have the exact same number of hours as that skinny girl whose figure I envy. And if losing weight was a real (versus imagined) priority, I would somehow carve out the time, mental focus and emotional energy to change my eating and exercise appropriately. And I really believe that at some point I will do that. But right now there are enough other things and issues floating around in my life (of which four kids are the least...) that, if I'm being honest, now is not the time that I am going to make weight-loss my major focus.

And I'm okay with that. Well, mostly. So this New Year's I have a different resolution. Before I lost all the weight after I had Camryn, I really believed that if I could ever, possibly, maybe, be skinny again, THEN I would love my body. The funny thing was, even when I was that skinny (and it really was quite slim, as you can see from the above picture), even though I knew in my mind that I was skinny, I still didn't "love" my body. I still focused on the parts of my body that were less-than-perfect and felt that if I lost a few more pounds (or could "add a bit" here, or "get rid of a bit" there), THEN I would really love my body and feel like I was beautiful. It's just a slippery slope. So this year, my resolution for New Year's is to love my body and feel that it is beautiful RIGHT NOW. This doesn't mean that I have to be in denial of the fact that I could afford to lose a few pounds. But it does mean that I will see my body-- imperfect figure, extra pounds and all-- as a beautiful creation of God.

And if someday I get around to losing the weight that will be great. I will feel better and be more healthy. But it won't obsess about losing it because I believe it will somehow "fix" me and make me okay or complete. I will choose to see the good and beautiful in me instead of focusing on the faults or imperfections. (Hmmmm.... maybe losing the weight would be easier.) :)


Rebecca said...

Great post. I'm feelin' the same things--I have to keep remembering something my husband said in a blessing he gave me when we had just found out I was pregnant for the first time and I was wiggin' out from the thoughts of "losing my body forever!!"--he said, compared to my body right then: Heavenly Father considers the "worn-out body of a mother even more beautiful." Nice, huh?

Emily Laing said...

Yeah!!!! Love your body! I look at those saggy parts and stretch marked areas, and just thank the Lord that I get to be a mother. Sure, I'd like to be a lot skinnier but it's not a priority. And I still like me just the way I am. I got my first real wrinkle the other day...and I am going to embrace it....:)

Greek Goddess said...

Yes, being happy with yourself here and now is a great resolution. Because, just wait, the gray hairs and wrinkles etc etc are just around the corner....(for all of us). So, being happy with myself here and now is something I've worked on, too. I think I've made progress. I really loved Elder Holland's talk from a few years ago. Do you know the one I'm talking about? If not I'll send you a link. You're great!

Jared and Allyson said...

What a great perspective to take - especially at this time of year. Thanks for sharing it and reminding us all of what's most important in life. You're awesome!