• Mandy

The Race to Love my Body

I feel like a fake….a phony. I have always told my daughter her body is perfect just the way it is. Because it is! Why can I not believe that about my own body? And does me feeling that way make me a fake and a phony? I feel it does and I don’t like the way it feels.

There was a time that I liked my body. I liked it cause I had a hand in making it look that way. I was running an excessive amount of miles while eating very little food. Of course the pounds fell off. They fell off because I was depriving my body of what it really needed. At that point in my life, I really felt out of control with many things. Running, working out and eating were things I had complete control over and it made me feel good about myself. People praised me for losing the weight and for all the miles I logged. “You look great!” “Whatever you are doing, keep it up!” It makes a person feel good about themselves to have people say those things to you. You know it and I know it too. But what happens when you cut back on the running and start eating like a healthy adult ought to? The weight comes back. 

I know that my body needs fuel provided by carbs and protein and every other nutrient in healthy foods. But I also know that my soul needs to have a piece of chocolate, a good craft beer and an amazingly good burger or pizza every so often as well. My soul yearns for these things, and as they say, “Life is too short….eat the cake!” So I do and I enjoy it…..until I start to regret it. More times than not, I will sit and think “Why did I eat that?” and most of the time I can’t answer it. I find my mind so focused on eating something until I decide it’s just too hard to keep thinking about it, so I just go ahead and eat it. I also find myself thinking about the last cookie that is sitting in the package so much that I finally have to just go eat it. Perhaps this is some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder??

Today I got on the scale and that number was higher than it ever has been, other than during pregnancy. Why does it keep going up? I am still active, but I could always do more. I feel like I don’t eat terribly, but I could always do better. Where can I find the middle ground? I thought for some time that I really had found that place. The number on the scale was sticking in the same range and I had come to peace with that number. Seemed like my body was saying “This is a good place for you. We are gonna stick right here.” But that number has started creeping up higher and higher. With the Stay at Home Order in effect for the last couple of months, I have been working from home….with all the food! It is easy to think about all the cookies in the cupboard or the peanut butter pretzels in the closet. You may ask, why do you buy it if you obsess over it? I buy it because I feel like I should be able to control my eating habits. There is that control thing again. I want to control it. I want to be able to not eat it….but also want to eat it. Probably doesn’t make sense to a lot of you, but it is how my mind works.

My mind also knows that I am worth more than the number on the scale. For some reason, I can not come to peace with that number climbing higher and higher. My health is still excellent and I am still able to do all the activities I love. I can spend 4+ hours running or hiking on the trails or 6+ hours riding a bike. But that scale number keeps climbing and I am not okay with it. I know I have given so many people the talk that they are worth more than the number on the scale. So it is a concept I am familiar with. I just can’t seem to believe it for myself. Hence, the feeling of being a phony. Do as I say, not as I do. It is much like a doctor who smokes or a track coach that doesn’t stretch after running. 

How does one right the ship? How does one pull themselves out of this dark place? Many people would probably tell me the advice that I often am heard saying, “Suck it up Buttercup!” After so many years of feeling less than when it comes to my body, I am not sure that that is the answer for me now. This is a deeply rooted self-image issue that I think the time has come that I conquer head-on. What does that mean though?? Therapy? Nutritional Counseling? Personal Trainer? All of the above? The first step has to be to talk to someone who can tell me what a plan might look like long-term. I don’t want to start and not follow through to the end of this. I want to see the finish line….just like any race I run. I want to be able to keep moving forward, no matter how much it hurts to face things. I want to see the results….I want to love myself for what I am and not what I think I should be.  I want to love the way I feel about myself. 

I feel at this time in my life as though I am staring at the countdown on a race start clock. I am nervous and not really sure what will take place in the near future. I just want the race to start. I have waited for this day to come for a long time and am just anxious to start the journey. Next stop….the first Aid Station! Bon Voyage! 

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