Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In a Hot Pink Dress

This morning I pulled on a skirt I'd just purchased a few months back and paired it with a sleeveless blouse I'd bought at the same time. The pieces coordinated nicely but I wasn't happy with my reflection in the mirror. Then it hit me, these clothes were TOO BIG. I went back into my closet thinking, "I wonder...". I reached to the back of closet to my dresses and pulled out a hot pink sheath I had not worn in two years (at least). When the zipper went up smoothly I started to feel giddy. I took a step back, glanced in the mirror and whispered, "YES!"

As with any healthy pregnancy, I gained some weight with each of my three children. It was bound to happen of course and a small sacrifice to have three healthy babies. But although I couldn't return to the slender figure I had in high school, and although I am in agreement with my husband that becoming a Mom gave me some nice new curves, the past 10 years have been a challenge for me. On maternity leave with my youngest, I became a powerhouse pushing the stroller up the big hills of our development each day. I returned to work after my 10 months at home feeling and looking great. But then the stress of being a working mom hit me again. Juggling the demands of more responsibility at work and the schedules of three busy children, I cut some corners with quick convenience foods and fell onto the couch too often thinking, "I've worked hard enough; I deserve this bowl of ice cream". The numbers on the scale started going up but more unsettling was that my body confidence was going down. I thought of joining a gym or an exercise class but I would find an excuse not to follow through with exercise, time after time. I did walk however, kayaked in the summer, and pushed myself out the door in the winter to snowshoe on trails in my backyard, but I skipped breakfast, made poor choices at meal times, and didn't watch my portion sizes.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I am a clotheshorse. I absolutely love fashion and although I don't like to go shopping too often, knowing I need to save my money and my time for more important things, I also acknowledge the fact that looking good on the outside makes me feel good on the inside. Seeing my weight increase, I fought against the urge not to buy anything new until I dropped the weight because I knew I had to look stylish lest I lost all confidence. But this past month, a wonderful new place to shop has opened up for me...my own closet! Having dropped eight pounds over the summer, "What was old is new again!" Blouses are fitting better, smaller skirts and dresses that haven't seen the light of day for awhile are once again making appearances. I am a little regretful of having bought stylish new clothes in those larger sizes, but I am excited to be getting back into those smaller numbers and will happily send those bigger clothes packing.

I am not sure why my motivation and dedication couldn't have found me sooner, perhaps in time for my 25th class reunion this past July for example?! But I will not think on that for too long. I am back on track now and looking forward to the continuation of this healthy wellness plan. No crash diets, no tricks, just day to day accountability in the form of a food journal, a stronger commitment to regular exercise that is fun and family friendly, and a stable "lose one pound a week" goal. I'm anxious to begin the kickboxing class I signed up for this fall, and I am excited to show my new puppy those snowshoeing trails once again this winter. Before the snow flies however, the wii and I will renew our friendship and my kettle bell and I will go after Michelle Obama's gorgeous arms!

But for today, I will pat myself on the back for the accomplishment of those eight pounds lost in two months' time and I'll celebrate the several "You look great!" exclamations I received today as I walked confidently down the halls at work in my hot pink dress. I am not sure what I'll wear to work tomorrow but I have the greatest accessory already picked out, my big smile. I have more to lose, but this girl is feeling good in her own skin again!

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