There comes a time in every girl’s life when she notices her favorite pants fitting… well… differently.
For some, that’s the time to walk away from the mirror and focus in on something else, because ain’t no one got time for mirror-mirror-on-the-wall.
For others, it might just be the time to do something. To move. To wake up that body and remind it of its potential. (Or maybe just accept the fact that that woman cannot live in lycra alone.)
I believe we find ourselves in different camps of necessary activity based on where we are in life.
Last year, I had two feet firmly placed in camp Walk Away. My darling two year old and twin seven month olds were not very, hm, how should I say it… independent.
We were in full survival mode – sleeping whenever we could, rummaging into the back of the cupboards because it was so much work to get three tiny humans snow-suited and hauled in and out of the grocery store. Workouts consisted of lifting car seats, squatting to pick up toys, and running after the child whose hands were covered in applesauce. (Please let it be applesauce.)
If that’s you, congratulations. You’re going through what will prove to be one of the most physically challenging periods of your life, all for the love of another human being (or two, or three, or six.) You, Ms. Knight in Shining Armor, need to reserve every last ounce of strength to function.
That’s all. Function. That is what your family needs. That is what you need. That is what your body needs. Just function.
PS- I’m giving you a virtual high-five right now, because you’ve got this. You’ll get through it, and suddenly, your babies will be crawling and walking and talking and bargaining for FIVE M&M’s MOM, just FIVE.
Sigh. And then there’s camp Do Something. This year. This week. Today.
But it’s not for the reason you might normally suspect. Sure, I could use a little less padding. Sure, I’d like my pants to stop eating into my midsection.
Honestly, this camp has everything to do with one fact: I need more energy.
And that’s not just a mama thing. That’s life. That’s Newton’s law of motion. Objects at rest stay at rest. Objects in motion stay in motion until acted on by another force.
I do best when I’m in motion – spiritually, creatively, and physically. So when I found out there was new local gym offering childcare, I shrieked. I called my mom. I begged my husband.
And the first night that I beeped my key card and walked in the door, I felt a little like I was coming home to a place I’d been away from for a very, very long time.
Never mind that after two days, I felt I’d been sacked by a wild rhino. Or that after a week, I was downing the Tylenol immediately post-workout. I figured what I really needed to do was schedule an appointment with the personal trainer and get a few ideas on how to build back up to where I wanted to be.
And then, the words I didn’t want to hear landed squarely on my shoulders.
You’ve got some strengthening to do. In your legs. Your core. Your back.
So basically, everywhere.
I don’t know why that surprised me. I know that my core is shot after having twins. I have mild diastasis recti, a wobbly knee full of torn cartilage from a previous injury, and chronic back pain on my right side. I haven’t been to a gym or taught fitness classes for over two years.
But still. Part of me was crushed.
And the other part wanted to go home and make homemade mac and cheese for supper. You know. The kind with cream. And four different kinds of cheese. And butter.
But I won’t. I won’t because health is what keeps me moving. Fitness is a pair of arms that can lift a child, or knees that can easily bend to read stories on the floor. In short, seeing my pants fit differently is only a byproduct of the real reason I want to get back into good physical condition.
Repeat after me. It’s not about looking good. My best friend and I were laughing about that last week. No matter how hard we try, we’re never going to be our college selves walking around lake Calhoun every day and subsisting on apples and leftover Chipotle. And you know what? That’s OK. (That’s really more than OK.)
The people we are now have grace with our shortcomings. But we also know that when we put the work in, we’ll FEEL better. And feeling better, not looking better, is TRULY, HONESTLY what matters most.
4 thoughts on “Looking Good Isn’t the Point”
Rachel, I think you’re amazing! I do not have any kids and i still find it hard to be healthy all the time. I love ya and I hope you get to a place where you are feeling better and have the energy you need to love on those beautiful girls.
Sarah, I hear you. I don’t think it’s ever easy for anyone in ANY stage of life! Luckily we’ve got other people around to keep us motivated. Now if only you could fly in from Atlanta every time I wanted a jogging buddy. 🙂 Love you too!
Love this post, when things start wobbling and sagging as they almost certainly will at some point, then the brilliant feeling of getting fit and healthy makes all the difference 🙂
I so agree, Louise. It feels great to realize that health (and all the benefits that go with it) is the best goal there could be.