Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Which I Get On A Soapbox

Can I just say something? Is there any way the fashion industry could make the swimsuits any smaller? Is there another shape besides a triangle that would cover less?


Every time I pass the new swimsuit section, I feel pressure. I hate it, but I do. It’s like every time the summer clothes come out, I all the sudden feel the need to come out of my winter hibernation, and run for the gym.

But I can’t bring myself to get up at 5am and head for the treadmill. Maybe I have no discipline, but you know what I do have? 2 extra hours of sleep. And every minute counts. Right, moms?

You know what other time I could head for the gym? After the kids are in bed, around 8:30ish. Not happening. I am so tired at that point. I even refuse to do laundry after 8pm, so chances are, I’m not workout bound either.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be in amazing shape, and I would love to have the time or opportunity to hit the gym every day. But at this stage in my life, spare time is almost non-existent. I do some Jillian videos now and then, but that’s about it.

I’m so over the medias pressure on women (not to mention my young, impressionable girls). I’m telling you, friends, I’m this close to flipping the magazines over at the checkout lane. If I see one more cover story about another celebrity mom, and how she lost all her baby weight just 2 days after delivery, I’m going to scream. Please stop shoving Hollywood in my face when I’m checking out, and grabbing some Starburst off the shelf. And maybe a Twix.

Here in the real world, c-sections don’t come with tummy tucks. I’m just sayin’.

I think those magazines fall into the same (trash) category as the saying, “I guess she just let herself go after she had the kids.” Wow. Maybe she didn’t “let herself go”, maybe now she just doesn’t have the time to work out like she used to. Maybe she’s not top priority anymore. Maybe, just maybe, she has taken 2nd place to her little loves. It’s a beautiful, selfless thing.

So I am going to go ease up on myself. Do I want to be in better shape? Sure. But am I going to beat myself up if it doesn’t happen overnight? Nope. I want to try my hardest to set a good, healthy example for my girls. It's not easy - that's a whole other post.

I love what Deborah Newman said in the book, Loving You Body; Embracing Your True Beauty In Christ,

“I think God would like to ask you to stand before the mirror with Him by your side. I know He would show you the beauty that is there, the beauty you overlook. He wants to acknowledge the parts of you that go unappreciated by the culture you live in. He would show you that indeed you are beautiful.”

Love that book.

Alright, I’ll stop my ramblings.

For now :).


This Heavenly Life said...

I kind of like thinking that I 'let myself go' after having kids....because I hope I have let 'myself' go. I hope I'm less self centered and more focused on what my kids need me to be, and that's NOT perfectly put together. Healthy, yes. Hollywood, no.

Love this post :)

Kate @ Bliss and That said...

I LOVE this post!! It had me nodding in agreement over no time to exercise (or just not wanting to!), laughing at the thought of you shoving the magazine rack over at Target, and wanting to know more about this wonderful book that you spoke of.

My level of exercise lately is taking VERY slow walks with the kids and watching Biggest Loser every Tuesday. {mmmmmm.... exercise telepathy}

Thanks for keeping it real and rejoicing in real motherhood and womanhood, instead of the plastic version. :)

Blessings, Kate

Annika said...

I am going to get that book! It sounds like a great one. Good Post.

PS Lands End has some fairly good suits :)

mandbrid said...

What a sweet quote! Thanks for sharing.
I just started going to the gym for the first time since we've been married...I've been going since Dec 30th. It's been really hard. In fact, I missed the last two weeks because 3 of my 5 are sick = no time for me.
I usually have to go at 5am and it's hard. The only reason I'm doing it is because I'm at a VERY unhealthy weight and I need to - for my kids sake and my mental and physical health.
From what little I've seen of you - you seem to be a "fit" person. I applaud your efforts to instill a healthy body image for you girls. I'm hoping to do the same for my kiddos.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Preach it!

I "let myself go" ...

... after 6 babies in 6 years

... after a cancerous tumor on my thyroid destroyed my metabolism

... after a car accident ruined my back

... after a dozen kids that don't give me time or money to go to the gym

I would love to be in better shape. But ... at what cost???


Delena said...

I'm lobbying the surgeon general to make it mandatory that all c-sections do include tummy tucks. Right there. On the table. However, if I get rid of that fold/flap/house-the-babies-built, I'll need to find another way to sneak the candy into the movie theater.

bass family said...

Amen, sister! I am with you 100%!!

Sarah said...

Amen, Amen, Amen a thousand times Amen! I can be stylish in my hoodies and sweats and little makeup and doesn't mean I've let myself go. It means I love someone else a whole lot more than me.
And you know what, we can clean up when it counts and that's all that matters!
When I hear about these moms who constantly go out with girlfriends, play tennis, work out at the gym everyday, AND work outside the home 5 days a week on top of all that...I'm sorry...when are they being a mom?? I'm just saying. The days I work outside the home, you better bet my butt is racing to go get my child and spend every moment with her until bedtime. And after bedtime, it's time for me and hubby!!...ok, sometimes it's to watch the Bachelor or Grey's Anatomy.
When all our kids are school age, we can have a little more of the working out and stuff. But while we have little ones...let's LOVE our hoodies and "less" toned bodies...because we are shaping young minds...and that's waaayyy more important.

Elizabeth said...

I hear ya Sista! Bringing up girls is very hard in this media saturated world of perfect bodies and Hollywood Mums.
Also there is some good swimwear out there made for normal bodies... Sea Folly have a range here...you probably have a much wider choice there.

likeschocolate said...

I am with you. My c-section left me with a little tummy that I now call my manatee belly. I keep begging my husband to get me a tummy tuck, but he thinks the gym is the solution. If I had time to go to the gym I would most likely still have it anyway because that is the last place I lose fat. I am not willing to starve or binge. Thankgoodness for tankinis with lovely skirts that hide the bum.

tabby said...

I couldnt agree more! I don't understand why every woman is expected to be 95lb C cup wonder. The world would be so boring.It's been 6 months and I still haven't lost all my baby weight...but to me Breast feeding is more important. I think that the magazine covers are unrealistic. Not only that but I am sure if we all had nannies, chef's and personal trainers I imagine we would be back to our little bodies as well. For this reason I am also nervous about bringing my girls up in this world that is superficial (sp?)
I dread swimsuit/ shorts shopping this season. I will probably end up wearing Yoga capri's and t shirts all summer HA!

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Yes! And *maybe* stomachs that stretch over 45 inches with two babies just can't ever be quite the same...and I'm okay with that! :)
The most amazing gift my husband ever gave me was last year for our 10th anniversary: he took me to a swimming suit boutique and let me get fitted for a swimming suit that I would feel comfortable and confident in while playing with our children!
I loved this post!!!

Marisa said...

When I feel this world's pressure I try to remember this verse:

1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as "the perfect body and the latest fashion". Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Obviously, I put my own adaptation in there, but He knows that you are trying to be the best mom you can be and that is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

While I believe there is nothing wrong with wanting to work out and fitting it here and there I think it's nice that you are giving yourself some grace in this area. There will be time...eventually:)

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

You go girl! Great post! Modesty is such a big issue and so is body image. I have a confession! When my boys are with me, I do turn over those magazines in the check out line. There is just way too much skin showing for my young impressionable boys.

~From another non-exercising mommy

..Soo.See.. said...

Awesome post! Since I can remember I've been a bikini girl. Even though I sometimes had muffin-tops, I still wore them b/c I was proud of my body. Now... I'm not sure. I'm soooooo wanting to pick up a bathing suit but not sure what to get. Like you 5am and 830p aren't the times I want to go or do exercise. And add a 3 musketeers to my tab at the register! ;)

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Such a dilemma for mom's! I want to teach Nugget to be healthy and fit, not obsessed. Obesity runs in her dad's side of the family so it's important to me to teach her to be healthy from an early age but that's where I want the emphasis--not on a "perfect" body or being "thin". I would be thrilled with healthy. I am moving us to a lifestyle of activity vs struggling to fit time in to work out. It's slow but I think we'll get there.

Schugarmama said...

I'm pretty sure we need to start a movement to get tummy tucks included in the health reform bill. And lipo. And botox. I'm just sayin'...

Love this article. Wouldn't have read unless you tweeted about laughing at the replies. Me too.
Thanks for the feeling of sisterhood, y'all.

Jennifer said...

Thank you! Thank you! I started this year thinking I was finally going to reach my goal weight and be toned by my 30th birthday (next feb.). After a month of intense exercise, I found out I was pregnant. I haven't been near my treadmill in a month. It seemed like God was saying, "O.K. enough about you and your perfect body. Use your body for something REALLY beautiful---like creating life!" Again, thanks for an awesome "rant".

H-Mama said...

So true, my friend.