Body Image

You see that girl? This is me, in March, only two months after I started Crossfit, and 14 months after I switched my diet to Paleo. I am in the best shape of my life, and I am not even close to where I want to be. I’d love to be one of those hot Crossfit chicks with the sexy abs, and the awesome bi- and triceps.

I want to do straight pull ups without a band. Right now I am still working on the kipping pull ups, meaning I use my entire body to help me move my head up above the bar, and already I’ve worked my way up from the black band (the widest, giving me the most support) to the red band (the thinnest giving the least support)…

This morning I read a guest article (How Perfect is the Perfect Body?) on Whole9. And it made me think about the way I have changed over the years, and how the way I look at my body has changed. I vividly remember the first time I went on a diet, because I felt I was fat. I stopped eating candy bars, and at very little meat. Of course this was just the beginning of my long journey of dieting.

The most extreme thing I did was after Toothless Fairy was born. I wanted so desperately to be thin, that I dragged myself to the gym for a two hour cardio session six days a week. Just before leaving the house I’d take a double dose of ephedra. That stuff made me unbelievably jittery, and the only way I could get rid of that awful feeling was to wear myself out on the crosstrainer and various other cardio machines. I did this religiously, and ignored the fact, that it was not recommended to take ephedra for longer than a few weeks at a time. I lost the weight, was down to a size 6, and I was “happy”. For a while, because as soon, as I changed my diet even slightly… as soon as I did not religiously go to the gym, I’d start gaining weight again. I wondered if this was it. Would I have to spend the rest of my life running to the gym every single day, pumping myself full of weight loss drugs, just so I could have the perfect body? It never even occurred to me, that not having the perfect body was just fine… or that what I was doing was clearly wrong.

Of course, things have changed. A lot! Making the switch to the Paleo lifestyle made me a better person in so many ways. Yes, the extra weight I was carrying around with me since my son was born 9 years ago, came right off, and obviously I was thrilled. And now I have plans to become this lean, mean muscle machine.

BUT, and this is what is really important, the way I look at myself has changed entirely. I’m not chasing an ideal anymore. I am very happy with who I am, and I like the person who’s looking back at me in the mirror. I still have the soft middle from giving birth 3 times, and if it sticks around forever, so be it. My reward are three amazing children, and I love them to pieces. Stretch marks, sagging boobs, I have them all. And I may never look like this gorgeous chick in the picture.

The body I want is the body I can get with the work I do. I don’t know yet what that will look like. What I can do is to eat right, and to work out right. I am absolutely addicted to Crossfit.

And I am absolutely addicted to the way I feel about myself now. Life is good. Better live it now rather than to chase the perfect body. I love to be healthy. And this is really what it comes down to. Being healthy… no matter how strong I am or how strong I will get.

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