In a word: Motherhood.
Motherhood takes an immense toll on your body. You gain weight, your hips spread, and there are those inevitable stretch marks. Once upon a time, I was a tall, svelte, stick-figure-of-a-girl; that was B.C. (before children).
When my kids were young, you couldn’t have a play date at McDonald’s and have a salad. No, you loaded up on greasy french fries and coke as you watched your toddlers play in the germ infested ball pit. (What did we know then?) Back then, I didn’t have a jogging stroller and “liposuction” was something out of a science fiction novel. Somehow, I just always assumed that my 5’10 frame would always snap back into place and that cranking out babies over the years wouldn’t have any affect on my body. Yes, I am that naive.
I guess I can’t blame it all on my kids. I mean, gravity plays a factor too. As my 84 year old mother likes to remind me, I’m no spring chicken. Not that I believe I am seriously overweight, but I know I have some work to do. It just gets more difficult as I age. I try not to obsess over petty things like how much I weigh as long as I am healthy, but I am a woman…
I know, too, that obsessing about my weight is not a healthy example for my daughters. I want them to be proud of who they are inside and what they have to offer as people, as well as being healthy and active. However, it doesn’t help when my daughter, Shannon, who was built just like me when I was younger, asks that stinging question, “So…is my body going to turn out like…yours?”
“Not if you marry Justin Beiber and you have a personal trainer, ” I responded. She didn’t appreciate my sarcasm, but it made this portly parent feel better!
While I know I’ll never be a size six again, I am ok with that. At 45, I have my health and while my body may not be supermodel-worthy, I realize not to take my health for granted. That is why, as one of my 2012 resolutions, I decided I would work on getting myself in better shape. I am eating so much better (bye bye, McDonald’s) and exercising more. I am down 12 pounds so far and I feel better about myself, and that is what it’s all about, right?
If I really sit back and think about it, I wouldn’t trade places with my 20-year-old self, just to get my body back. I am so much more well rounded–no pun intended–now at 45 than I was back then. I am so much wiser now, my life is so much richer, that I actually feel sorry for the bony waif I once was! So no more fretting over my former zero percent fat frame–more power to voluptuous, curvy and smarter! Besides, this body produced some of the most amazing and beautiful kids anyone could ever have, and that fact in and of itself is worth every ounce I’ve gained.