As a pre-teen I wasn't happy with my body. I was too short, my nose was too pug-like, and I wasn't skinny enough. I always wished I could be tall and slender like some of the other girls at school. I wanted to look mature and pretty. A boy liked me in 6th grade and I told him we couldn't "go out" because he wasn't a Christian. So he called me fat while walking home from school in front of a lot of other kids. I'll never forget that day. I wasn't fat at all- not even a bit! But at the time I thought I was, like maybe most teenage girls do. I decided I wasn't going to eat and try to lose weight.
It didn't work. I liked food too much and gave that idea up!
Life went on and I was the invisible short girl whom cute boys never noticed (looking back I'm grateful for this!) All of a sudden I hit 14 and I somehow started to look better. My body matured and I started to understand how the whole make-up/hair thing worked. I was finally confident in myself and no longer felt chubby and ugly. I enjoyed this confidence until age 19 when I started to gain weight at college. You know, the "freshman 15"? Well, it sure was true for me. Before I had never needed dieting or extra exercise to lose weight, so I found myself confused at what to do. In Junior High and High School I played volleyball and was a cheerleader, so I naturally got exercise within those events (it was way too fun to be called working out!) So my body now at 19 was needing more exercise and caution with food and sweets. So that's what I did, basically. I started eating healthier at the cafeteria and exercising during the week. It never got out of hand because I was never mortified about the weight gain- just motivated to get back to my normal size.
When I was 20 and returned from 9 months overseas in Cambodia, SuperDan pursued my heart and swept me off my feet! He thought I was beautiful just the way I was (which was probably 5-10 pounds away from my goal weight). I had a healthy lifesyle and decided that my weight was fine where it was. I just accepted the fact that my 20 year old body wasn't going to be my like my 16 year old body.
After Sitora was born when I was 24, I knew I had some baby weight to lose (about 40 pounds). I didn't rush it nor did it become a priority. I was nursing and made sure I ate healthy and enough food (so many nursing mothers basically starve themselves to lose weight faster but then their babies aren't getting the nutrition they need! Personally, I think this is selfish.) I walked regularly and sometimes jogged with my yellow lab, Maggie. We moved to Azerbaijan when Sitora was 8 months old and I started loosing weight quickly there because we had to walk everywhere- no car will do that to you!
After Sitora was 1 1/2 I was back to my normal clothes. I was so happy! But it never was an obsession for me- I knew it would just come with time. I could have gone to the gym hours every day and been back to my normal weight within a few months, but I didn't feel this was right for me and my baby's schedule. Even though I wasn't my normal skinny self, I still felt beautiful and knew my husband adored me. I still wore cute clothes in my chubbier size (you know, in between skinny and maternity), and wore cute accessories. I didn't "let myself go"- I knew looking nice was important and wanted my husband to have a wife who still tried to attract him (like he still wants to attract me).
Now that I have another baby, I know the same thing will happen. I have a gym membership and go almost every day for one hour. I make sure I eat healthy, but I'm not obsessed about it. Sure, I look in the mirror and wish my body was back to normal by now. I get sad seeing my extra belly fat. But I know from experience that in time it will be gone.
It's interesting how all of our bodies are so different! Some girls can lose weight quickly and easily and have a high metabolism. And then there are girls like me who have to try hard over time to achieve those same goals. And you know what? It's okay with me. It's more important to me that I am being a good mom and wife, that I am spending time with the Lord and serving others. I will continue with my weight loss routine but it isn't a priority. I know that statement might shock some people. To many women, getting back in shape after having a baby is the #1 on the list. But my life is too full of other amazing things that I need to focus on first. In time my weight will be gone. Sure if I was a single girl with no children I would have time and energy to burn working out constantly and preparing gourmet diet foods.
But this mamma? She's busy folding laundry, changing diapers, reading bedtime stories, snuggling with the hubby on the couch, reading the Bible, playing outside, making beds, cooking stiry-fry, planning worship songs for church, praying and reading material that inspires homemaking, taking pictures and studying photography, and basically just living life to the fullest!
Sure I'm excited to work out at the gym- I love the feeling I get after a hard work out with sweat pouring down my face and endorphins flying high. But it's not my passion. Jesus, SuperDan, Sitora, Peter, family, friends, and reaching the lost. Those are my passions.
Skinny clothes, we'll meet again soon. Just sit tight :)