I feel like I’ve been exercising my whole life. I started going to the gym and doing classes when I was 18 and since then, it’s always been a part of my life. I love doing step classes, kickboxing, bootcamp and weight training. It’s a challenge getting though it and then I feel so great afterwords.
One thing I never realized was that I was never proud or fully accepting of my body. Even though I exercised and was really slim, I rarely ever looked in the mirror and thought, “Damn girl, you look good!” Now, 20 years and two children later, I look back at pictures of myself and think, “Wow, you looked good.”
My children are now five and three-years old. I still have an extra 10 pounds on my body and a muffin top stomach. I used to be a size 6-8 and now I’m a size 10-12. It’s frustrating to feel uncomfortable in jeans and to not wear clothes that I like because I feel like my stomach can be seen.
It has been a constant issue with me. I’m not happy with my body and I want to lose those last 10 pounds. I feel like it affects my confidence and even my relationship with my husband. One thing I make sure of, is never to let my children know how I feel. I never want them to worry about calories, weight and body image. I want them to be healthy, active and proud of themselves, even though their mom isn’t; is that possible?
Then recently I heard a talk from Taryn Brumfitt and her body image movement and I feel like something finally got through to me. She stood on stage and took her tummy out of her pants and showed us. She told us that she had been embarrassed of her tummy for so long. I could completely relate to it. Then she said some things that really resonated like, “You are not your tummy,” and “How can I teach my daughter to love her body when her mum can’t,” and lastly and the most profound, “Get some perspective and have some gratitude.”
It’s almost like I could breathe a sigh of relief. Now everything is different. I am slowly accepting that my body is and will be different after having two beautiful children. If I have to go up another size to be comfortable in my clothes, that’s okay. I may or may not lose that last ten pounds and you know what, that’s okay too.
Now when I go to exercise, it’s with the intention to help my mind, body and soul and to challenge myself, not just to burn more calories to help me lose weight.
In January, I joined a local gym, Fitwells For Women. I went to classes a few times a week and I enjoyed it. I loved the feeling of finishing a challenging class with a group of women and feeling accomplished. But now that I can accept my body for what it is, I also want to challenge it because I know it can do more and be stronger.
I’ve made the commitment to workout at Fitwells at least four times a week doing different classes so that my body can attempt new things and not get bored with the same workout. I also signed up to do 10 sessions of their Xlab training sessions which is like a personal training session in a small group setting. I’m not going to lie, I was really scared before my first class. Even though it was challenging and I had to modify some moves because of my knee pain and that I could feel every single muscle the next morning when I tried to get out of bed the next morning, I was proud of myself. I was taking my body and pushing it beyond it’s comfort zone!
The instructors and staff at Fitwells have been really great as I start this new journey of accepting myself on the inside and out. Their message is to support women of all shapes and sizes and to help them get healthy. I’ve saved the best for last. Fitwells is also giving away a three-month membership and one Xlab training session to a lucky reader. So if you’re trying to get healthy, exercise more and be an overall happier person, you need to enter this draw. Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below and get started on your journey. And if you want to started right away, if you head over to Fitwells website, you can get an immediate free 3 day trial.
I know I’m not alone in my journey of acceptance of my body, so if we can support and help each other, it makes it easier to get there.
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*I am part of a blogger outreach program with Fitwells for Women. All opinions in this post, as always, are 100% mine.
32 thoughts on “Accepting and Challenging Your Body”
Thanks for sharing! I have to say as the mother of four I don’t always/haven’t always liked my body, but it is the one God gave me. So it is up to me to take care of it as best I can. I love your perspective on exercise. The one great thing I have going for me is that my husband is willing to work out with me. May your journey continue to be successful in obtaining/maintaining the body image you want!
Thank you so much body and I do appreciate your perspective on it!
I can definitely related to your story. I have been going to the gym for a few years now, maybe not as long as you, but I know what you mean. I feel healthy and love my workouts. I still have some tummy issues. I am now married to a Shiatsu Therapist and he says it could be emotional. So I am willing to look at that and to take care of myself inside and out. I have to say I do love my food as well. Love your blog! I’m glad we connected on Facebook.
Thanks Christine, it was great connecting with you too!
WOW – this quote was powerful for me, “Now when I go to exercise, it’s with the intention to help my mind, body and soul and to challenge myself, not just to burn more calories to help me lose weight.” I’ve been working out consistently for about 9 months and haven’t seen a difference – same weight, same clothing size. This perspective shift is huge! Thanks for sharing your journey!
Thank you for your comment Lisa, we are all here to help each other on our journeys!
Those last 5/10/15 pounds can be so hard and usually take more than just exercising to shed. I’m not willing to give up my cheeseburgers!
I don’t blame you Scott 🙂
I always wanted to try a spin class….that’s the first thing I’d sign up for!
I’ve tried spinning before, it’s definitely a good challenge!
Loved your post! I can so resonate girl lol I just joined a gym last week after over 20 years not belonging to a gym but exercising at home when my kids were little, now working out with my daughter who is 23! I have to say it feels so good to finally get back into the gym and get a routine going…..I feel so good and it has only been a week!
Thanks for sharing 🙂
I’m glad you feel good Joan. I imagine it must be great to go to the gym with your daughter, I look forward to that too 🙂
Keeping that balance between the positive health that we want to achieve and that internal voice can be challenging, especially when we are surrounded by images of the ‘perfect’ woman. This post suggests you are making great progress. My take? This issue, unfortunately, does not go away. But being fit keeps options open for staying active in ways previous generations only dreamed of. Keep working out! You have a great plan.
You are very right, the issue is not going away. Hopefully these are baby steps in trying to feel better about ourselves as real women.
My goal is be at a size 12…Coffee is on
I love fitwells 🙂
All the staff are so friendly and child minding is great. Hope to see you there. I go 5 days a week I’m there at 10:30am usually.
I love it too! That’s amazing that you go 5 days a week. I usually go at 9:15 or 9:30. Make sure you say hi if you see me!
My goal is to be pre-baby weight!!!
I would love to try the spin classes or zumba classes
I need to try a spin class!
Excellent post…totally relate-able! I have never been happy with my body and now 2 kids later it’s so hard to accept the new “mom” me…I look at my wedding pictures and don’t even know that girl in them!!! It’s so hard to stay motivated these days when all I want to do is sleep when the kids are sleeping!!!
I look back at my wedding pics and I know I’ll never look like that again lol. But with a 4 month old and a 3 year old, it has got to be really tough for you Sophia, especially on lack of sleep. You need to not be so hard on yourself because soon the kids will be older and you’ll have even more time to focus on your own health and wellness. P.s every time I see you, you are always look great and dressed so well 🙂
Hey, thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m 58 and feel that I’m at a point “of no return”. I, too, look at my photos from when I was younger and realize I was pretty hot, just like everyone used to tell me. Funny, aren’t we? We’re never happy with what we’ve got. Oh, well. All is well. I wish you all the very best and much happiness.
Thank you Jeanne. And I’m looking at your avatar and I still think you look pretty hot 🙂
Very nice post with allot of information. I have found my fitness off and on since I was a kid but the older I get the harder it is. I will not give up though and will continue trying to increase my fitness and make the later years of my life the best yet. Totally enjoyed reading this post.
I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post Vince and good luck with your fitness journey
Really like this post! Thank you for writing it. I’ve been struggling with my weight for a few years now and I get the best results when I let go on the how I look bit and focus more on the how I feel!
Thank you Kayennat. It is something we all struggle with and it’s nice to know we’re not alone 🙂
Hi Salma: great that you are continuing on your fitness journey and that you are coming to terms with the body that you have. I’m hoping that the Fitwells staff are helping you to set realistic goals for weight and fitness. I’ve found that setting good goals and sticking to them (for as long as I can!) really seems to make a difference for me. Good luck on your journey!
Well written women! I remember when my body was a size 2, when I used to be able to sleep in, and used to be able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce. After having Kai, wow did my body ever change! Thanks for writing this as I can totally relate!
I feel like I dont have time for myself to put me first. I have two beautiful children that need me all the time but they will need me long term too And I need to get healthy for them but for me too. So I can for the first time look at myself and say I like myself. Thank you for the read!
I think you look fantastic, but my working out, you’ll feel it SO MUCH MORE. Good for you for putting in the effort Salma!