Comfortable In My Skin

BIg happenings this week. In chronological order, I took on and conquered Cindy. Now, given that just less than a year ago I was adamant that I DID NOT DO AMRAPs, taking on a 20 minute AMRAP is quite an achievement. In fact, the drill on the board suggested a 10 minute version but I wanted to take on the full thing, so that is what I did. Scaled to avoid pull ups, I did 16 rounds of 5x upright rows, 10x push ups and 15x air squats. I never thought that I’d see the day that not only would I complete a 20 minute AMRAP I’d do it voluntarily and do it with a smile!

Today saw the remaining events. The other drill on the board was a 100 burpee challenge for time. The Trainer can attest to the number of times I’ve called ahead of a Bootcamp class to enquire as to whether there would be a burpee challenge involved, because I was pretty convinced that such a thing was not possible for someone like me. And today, voluntarily again, I got into the work gym early and started. Up and down, down and up. Over and over. It was tough in all senses but I did it.

And after the burpee challenge I did a 200 rep set of core work – in front of a mirror. No big deal to many, and fairly difficult to avoid given the fact that most gyms have lots of mirrors in them (why is that anyway?!), but like AMRAPs and burpee challenges I’ve avoided observing myself working out for just about a year. I did notice that I thought my legs were too lumpy and my tummy too big, but then I had a thought that I never thought I would, not in a million years. “Yeah,” I thought to myself as I completed the set of Swiss ball crunches, “It’s a bit big and lumpy and I’d like it to look different, but it’s mine and it’s here and it’s trying really hard and sweating and getting there. It does alright for me really”. I was vaguely conscious that for what might have been the first time, had anyone wanted to comment negatively about how I looked I was ready to tell them that at least I was here, working hard. Like my friend at Blenheim shouted “I’m doing better than any f***** on the couch”.

This theme continued when I found myself playing in a water park with my son this afternoon. There I was, paddling in the cold water, and getting splashed, and running around and screaming and generally having a lot of fun with my boy when it occurred to me, I felt so very light and carefree. In that moment I didn’t have a worry in the world. Including the age-old worry of how I looked.

I don’t especially like how my body looks. Just like I prefer impressionism to modern art, I would prefer that my body looked different. But, for the first time ever, I accept it and love it just as it is. It is what it is, and it does amazing things for me every single day that I ask it to swim-bike-run or burpee and push up. I’m proud of what it has achieved. It’s my body and I am comfortable in it.

Chatting with a friend the other day she said “Be proud of your body. Be proud of who you were, who you are now and the journey you’ve been on and are continuing on.” And I am.

20150630125055This body …

My arms are flappy and stretch marked. Of course they are, because I’ve lost 68lbs in weight in a fairly short space of time. But my arms are also amazing because they are capable of strength to lift heavy weights yet gentleness to cuddle my son and make him feel safe.

My tummy is rounder than I might like and it sags. It created and carried a human life, the beautiful human being that I call my son.

My legs are chunkier than some. Yet they are strong and they carry me to the finish line of events I’ve only ever previously dreamed of.

This body also contains a spirit that is brave and tough and doesn’t give up even in the hardest of times. This body is a girl who inspires people to get out and try to be a little bit better, a little bit healthier. This body is a strong woman who is setting an example and leading her family to healthy ways that they never thought possible.

This body is me and I like me.

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