Friday, November 7, 2014

Chasing Strong

It's not a secret to anyone that knows me that I'm pretty much always trying to lose weight. I used to be really  heavy, then lost a lot, then after moving to Eureka I started gaining again. I got that back under control and am back at my lowest weight since having kids. I'd love to be smaller than this, but right now I'm more concerned with getting strong and being healthy. Do I want to look good? You bet I do. I know I shouldn't care, but who doesn't want to look great? However, last week I read something that I really liked. I was reading a discussion with several women about weight loss. My friend Monica said "I also gave up on chasing skinny. I'm chasing strong and healthy. It's a much happier journey." I love that! I need to stop chasing skinny and start chasing strong.

I could go on and on about how we as women should love our bodies and just embrace the changes that happen when we have kids, and yada yada. I believe all that too. We should not be constantly chasing some ideal body that society tells us we need to have. I believe that with 100% of my being. However, I still want it. What I want more though is to be strong and be healthy and to teach my boys that women just don't have perfect bodies. What is perfect anyway? Who decides that? I carried and gave birth to two kids. I have stretch marks. Lots of them. You know what? I grew people. I made two fantastic little human beings with this body. The second time I'm very lucky that both Adam and I lived. Those stretch marks are my battle scars. If someone doesn't like it that is their problem. I don't go around without a shirt showing them off, but if I do happen to change in front of someone, or run in just a sports bra and someone chooses to laugh at my stretch marks then that is just sad for them.

You know what else this imperfect body of mine can do? It can run 100 miles! It can carry me anywhere I have asked it to so far. It has not let me down. My favorite picture from FlatRock 101k doesn't even show my whole body, but shows my legs. One leg has cellulite. At first I wasn't going to post it because I didn't like showing that. Then I remembered what those legs with cellulite did. I ran 63 miles on an insanely hard trail. Who the hell cares if my legs were jiggly while I was doing it? My legs are strong, not skinny. I'm happy with that. I want to keep getting stronger and have a long way to go to be as strong as I want to be, but my body is capable of some pretty amazing things.

In the spirit of getting stronger I visited the high school weight room twice this week. There are no other gym options where I live, so thankfully I'm married to someone that has a key! Rick and I both lifted. On day one I didn't want to overdo it and end up super sore, so I just kinda messed around and figured out where stuff is and lifted some. It was fun. I got home and told Ryan, my 14 year old, how much I lifted. He laughed out loud. He then told me he's going to coach me. He said he could whip me into shape. I'm frightened. I went again last night and lifted a lot more and I had so much fun! I told Ryan this morning how I did and he said "Ok, good. I can work with that." I guess I finally have the approval of a teenager! That won't last.

I know there will still be times I look in the mirror and hate what I see. I'll wish I was skinny. I'm doing my best to change that attitude though. I'm going to work much harder on chasing strong, not skinny.

1 comment:

  1. I don't put much importance on physical attributes. For me, it is more important for a person to exercise ideas than muscles. Personally, I prefer women to be 30-40 lbs above the BMI. That said, there is something very appealing about self confidence. Through physical fitness, you are working towards mental fitness. That is commendable. I encourage you to continue fighting toward that end. In my life, I work towards contentment. If I am not content with little, when given much, I still won't be content. Contentment, for me, is like a helipad. I don't aim towards happiness. Happiness comes and goes. But without contentment I will never be happy. There is danger in contentment. If one is content to be able to jog 5 miles, that person will never achieve a marathon. Keep up the fight. But while you strive, remember to be content in who you are. I feel that this post is something you should revisit. Re-read this every few months. Remind yourself, the goal is strength, body and mind. Keep up the good work. I am proud to be your friend, not because you can run 63 miles, but because you can find the time to be a great mother, wife and still improve yourself over time.

    Have a great winter, and don't let the snow slow you down!!
    Mark T. Pierce