So, this week I decided that it was time to reveal a few more secrets in order for me to show you, and myself, that we don't have to be perfect all the time. I had a few experiences this week that I just had to share because I feel they perfectly illustrate some fallacies, some things I am still trying to hide, or some areas that are still a work in progress for me. I am hoping if you too are experiencing the same thing, that you will understand that it is okay because someone else is still having the same struggles as you are.
Secret #1: I CANNOT do it all--I often have people ask me, how do you do it all? They see that I put in many hours at the school district where I work--it is not true that teachers only work 8-3, as my children can attest. They also see that I have three kids in all stages of life, 21, 15, and 4, and I actually spend time with them on a regular basis. And then they see that I am able to fit in exercise most days of the week by getting up before the sun rises (Running, Crossfit, Double Unders, etc.). In addition, I have been fitting in a race or two every month to keep myself motivated.
On the outside it appears that I really can do it all, but my friend Jenny found out the dirty truth the other day (and I must say it was a real relief for the secret to finally be out). I offered to drive us to lunch one afternoon, and she got to see that I still have not had time to clean out my car from our road trip to Sedona, which was almost two weeks ago. If you come to my house, you will see that I have not picked up Eoin's toys that he left on the living room floor last night. Do not even attempt the white glove test at my house right now--I am not even sure I would pass a gray glove test at this point.
The truth is I have made priorities for how I spend my time, and my family/friends, my health, and my work are more important to me than having a spit spot house or having a car that I can drive people in without being embarrassed. So the reality is, maybe I can't do it all, but I am doing all the things that I feel are essential to me.
Secret #2: I am having trouble finding a way not to focus so much on weight--I have often shared with you that I am really starting to realize that the scale is not the best indicator of successful weight loss efforts. Measuring how many inches you have lost, focusing on a new smaller size of clothes you are wearing, being able to run farther or faster than before, these are all better indicators of progress toward your fitness goals than a scale.
Now while I am well aware of this, I still ultimately get frustrated when the scale stays the same week after week. Just last week my friend Tammy asked me the the same question I have been asking myself lately. Why do I focus on the scale when I know that it is not accurately showing my progress?
I think it may be because for my entire adult life I have either been in the throws of my eating disorder or heavy, so I don't really know what the perfect size for me is. What should a 5'6" woman weigh? What size clothes should I wear? Even with inches, how will I know when I am finally at the point where I can just work on maintaining my body size. Here is the difficulty...it is different for everybody. But when I research what I should ideally weigh, I get pretty much the same answer--"According to your height of 5' 6" your ideal healthy weight is 139 pounds. Your recommended weight range is between 123 and 154 pounds." That is why I feel 145 is not unreasonable. I am not even shooting for the low end of the range that is recommended for women that are my height.
So I know you are probably thinking I should just stop weighing myself and all will be good. The problem is that I did just that about fifteen years ago. When I was finally able to gain control of my eating disorder, I decided not to have a scale in my house. What happened was that I was unable to gauge my weight increases, and I ended up at my all time high of 231--can you see why I get so confused sometimes?
I have decided I will shoot for 145ish, but I am hoping that when I get to the right size, I will just know I am there. I do know that I am closer than I have ever been to that target. It finally feels within reach after all these years and I am so proud that all my hard work is finally paying off.
When I work out at Crossfit, occasionally my shirt will ride up a little when I do back extension, sit ups, or burpees. I always quickly pull my shirt down before anyone can see my stretchmarks. Last Wednesday I was working out with a close friend at Crossfit. I guess my shirt must have pulled up a little because after my back extensions my friend walked over and pulled my shirt up a little and commented on how she couldn't believe that I was actually starting to get the beginning lines of a six-pack. Of course, my initial reaction was not thanks--I was horrified that she had seen my stretchmarks.
My reaction to her bothered me so much that I resolved that this week I would take a picture of my belly and share it in the blog. That way it would not be a secret anymore that I have stretchmarks on my lower stomach. In addition, I wanted to share that Crossfit is really helping me to sculpt and change my body shape for the better. I still have more work to do, but I have made a lot of progress, and that is something to be proud of.
I must say I feel very relieved to share these secrets with you. I can't do it all, I still focus too much on the scale, and despite all my hard work, my stretchmarks on my lower belly can really make me cringe sometimes. That being said, now that the cat is out of the bag, these things will not have as strong a hold on me as before. Know that if you come to my house during the week, it will be a bit on the messy side. I will occasionally focus on the scale even though I know better. And when I feel embarrassed by my belly, I just need to remember that I have those scars and marks as a result of the three beautiful children I have been given.
I will continue to make healthy food choices and exercise on a regular basis, but I will try to focus more on all I accomplish on a daily basis, and not on what I have not been able to do. I will continue to work on being kind to myself, because I have come a long way in the last few years. I am miles away from flabby and closer to flabulous than ever before.