Do you know the way to Beauty Town?
This is what I look like a lot of the time. Tired, pensive, deep in thought, and kinda old looking, at least late at night when I'm blogging or on Facebook! Not exactly beautiful. I'm trying to get my head into the exercise and training game. I know that I've written a few update posts about my triathlon training, and mostly, it has been going well. Up until last week, when I was struck with a bout of strep and completely lost my voice for 4 days. A potent round of antibiotics knocked the virus and just about everything else out of me for the whole week, so I lost not only a day of work, but an entire week of exercise. I'm trying hard not to beat myself up and dislike myself; it's bad enough I was so so tired and sick for a week, I don't need to add any more insults to my injuries, so to speak. But it's hard for me as I'm sure it is for most women to accept ourselves as we are in the moment and not dwell on the fact that I'm 10 pounds (15 pounds if you count my peak of weight loss) heavier this year and not in the peak performance physique that I was in last July/August. I struggle with self-acceptance and not caving in to my carb and sugar cravings. I struggle with accepting the fact that I will, as long as I work hard, exercise and make 80% to 90% healthy eating choices, that I will be a solid size 12, Large, Normal-sized woman, with curves. For the most part, I truly do like my body. I just liked it a bit more when I had less of a poochy stomach and more muscular arms and legs and one or two less rolls in my mid-section. Of course, I love my life a lot more this year than I did last year now that we have Nate in our lives; his morning smiles and full light-up-the-room brightness emanating from his gorgeous blue eyes, his silly faux-hawk Mohawk hair, his giggles and the general I can't believe how much in love I am with this child of mine feeling I feel each and every day. Gush.
Having a 6 month old son will change a person, making it getting to the gym or out on the bike seem harder or not so important. My biggest struggle of late - finding the inner motivation and belief that I can get myself ready for the triathlon in August; realizing that I don't have to have an amazing finish time, but that it's more important to do the tri and to finish it. I still worry about the swim; the bike and run come naturally to me. Heck, I'm kind of like a biketaur creature, half woman, half bicycle wheels and gears. Running, more like jogging, isn't so hard, if I get tired, I power walk. But that swim! In the Schuylkill, with all those other women and upstream - it still freaks me out. But I did do it once before and I lived to tell the tale with no discernible side effects. Tonight when I swam my 1/2 mile at my gym's small pool, I tried to focus on each lap and not the entire amount I needed or wanted to swim. It's what I do when faced with a physical challenge, I only concentrate on the immediate road before me, not the entire path ahead. Otherwise, I get too freaked out worrying about how will I get through the task/drive/swim. I can't think about what's too far ahead, what's already behind me or the things around me; those will have to be let go or let them take care of themselves. I made it through learning to drive and now I'm kind of comfortable driving on the highway or expressway. I managed to swim my laps tonight feeling stronger towards the end and not feeling out of breath or too shaky when I was done. Back to my earlier post in the New Year - I need to be kinder and more gentle with myself and not hold myself to some unrealistic goal. I'm going on three years strong of being a healthier person and it comes naturally to me. I may never be a 10, but then again, it's just a number.