Monday, August 5, 2013

Body image at "this close to" 40

In May I joined a gym with child-care.  I love my trainer and my bootcamp friends, but for a couple reasons, I have not been able to attend regularly this summer.  I have been trying to get to the gym two times a week, but I know my solo workouts don't challenge me in the way my trainer does.  It is better than doing nothing (something I try to remind myself when I'm feeling particularly lazy and unmotivated).

I made the mistake of taking advantage of a new gym "service," which is having body fat assessed.  Now I've had this done before, numerous times, but not 6 months post-end of breastfeeding and post-vacation when I ate junk food like a boss.  At 5'7" and 144 lbs, my body fat is 25% according to the hand-held monitor.  Depending on the chart you read, this is either considered "very good" or "average."  The chart they used at the new gym when they provided this service said "average."

I've never been one who is "ok" with the notion of being average in any respect, although I've dialed it down a lot over the years.  With this milestone birthday looming, I'm having a difficult time with the whole idea of aging (and how my body is adapting to that phenomenon).  There is no getting around the fact that I have the mid-section of a woman who gestated three children.

It seems petulant for me to "complain" about my body fat percentage, and I don't expect a whole lot of any sympathy, especially when others look at me and think, "What body fat?"

I jokingly remarked on FB that I could workout like mad to be in the "very good" by age 40 or I could just wait until my 40th birthday and automatically be "very good" just by being bumped into the older age category.  One of my bootcamp buddies said I could workout a ton and be in the "awesome" category by age 40, and a part of me likes the challenge of doing this.  A part of me would like to look washboard ab awesome at 40.

But the more realistic part of me, the part that continues to be a mother to 3 kids on a full-time basis for another two weeks until school resumes, the part that must clean her own house and shop for groceries, the part that is still trying to plan her curriculum for the part-time teaching job this coming school year---that part of me is working tirelessly to remind the insecure, almost 40 part that I am doing the best I can given my circumstances and that having more toned abs can happen, just maybe not right now at this particular moment of my life.

I wish boosting my self-image counted as strength-training.

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