I’ve been feeling a little less than my best lately in the whole appearance department. It’s not that I think I look bad, but I just know I’ve liked certain parts of my body more in the past. I try really hard not to be too self-critical because, if I’ve learned anything the past 30 years, it’s that it gets you nowhere. I’ve actually made a lot of progress in getting out of those toxic thought patterns with my body and weight, but old habits can die hard.
Like every woman in America, I’ve gone through some ups and downs with my self-image. I’ve never been a tiny person (you know, like women are supposed to be), and I’ve had a generally tumultuous relationship with my broad shoulders. In college, I had a pituitary tumor that completely changed my body in a really short amount of time and left me feeling like a stranger in my own skin. I did the “no sugar or carbs for 6 months” thing and the “eating nothing but sugar and carbs for 6 months” thing, and I was left completely exhausted and defeated. I swore off any form of dieting for the next 6 years and focused my attention on just living.
In the months leading up to our wedding, I felt like I was in a good enough place to try and lose some weight to make me feel my best. (Okay, and to look better in my wedding dress.) I went about it slow and steady, and I was able to lose about 30 lbs through a combination of Weight Watchers, light cardio, and Pure Barre. It felt good to finally do it in a way that didn’t involve extreme measures, and I was able to maintain the same weight for 2 years.
Now that we’re back in Chicago, I can honestly say I’m happier than I’ve been in a really long time. Nothing is ever perfect, but I feel settled in my marriage, career, and home. The only downside is that I’ve kind of slipped a little with some of my eating habits. I had maintained my weight through eating like I was still on Weight Watchers Monday-Thursday, and then I’d indulge a little bit on weekends. I’m not sure what a nutritionist would say about that, but it worked for me.
Lately, I’ve been a little less diligent about my weekday diet. Nothing extreme but I’ve added just enough to gain a good 5-7 lbs over the last six months. Is it something to freak out about? Absolutely not. But do I wish my jeans felt a little better? Sure. On the plus side, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my adult life since upping my Pure Barre to 5 days/week and adding the Empower cardio class. I never really thought I’d get back into intensive exercise after leaving my swimming days behind, let alone look forward to sweating my butt off, and I’m proud that I’ve stuck to it for three years.
Now, I’m at the point where I just have to decide do I want to put in the extra effort to take off those few pounds, or am I okay seeing a little extra roundness in my face? Honestly, I go back-and-forth which probably sounds ridiculous after reading the entire post above. Clearly, I’m a little happier with some of my pictures from last spring, but I have to say I still feel pretty good. I’m happy with the changes I’ve made towards my overall health, and it’s the first time I’ve successfully lost some weight without yo-yo dieting all over the place. I look forward to all my barre classes, and my overall diet is much better than a few years ago. For now, I think I’d like to focus on indulging a little less on the weekends and coming up with some new dinner recipes for the weekdays. If you have any good ones, let me know!
I plan on doing an upcoming post on Pure Barre for anyone who may be interested, and I’m happy to answer any other questions people may have! There’s obviously no single thing that works for everyone, but I know from reading other blogs that it’s a pretty universal topic for all of us. Personally, I love reading how other girls find not only motivation but balance in this area of their lives. I started reading blogs because it was the first time I saw girls with body types similar to mine and could actually use their shopping tips. It made dressing so much less intimidating, and it was helpful on my path to curbing all those negative thoughts surrounding my body. I tend to be someone who finds talking things out cathartic so comment below or reach out via Instagram!