I'm going to jump in and start participating in the Fitness Friday posts that the wonderful Betty Beguiles is hosting. I debated whether to blog about fitness and weight loss here, since I started this blog as a way to write about and therefore ponder, matters of my faith. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how inextricably my faith is linked to the rest of my life - including my health, fitness, and weight. I know, that doesn't sound like that much of a realization, does it? Of course faith is an important part of every aspect of life! What can I say, my lightbulb moments have been many and this was one of them.
What has really occurred to me lately is the state my body is in after having children. I've lost a good 40lbs since my daughter (21 months) was born. Yay me! But my body is not the same, nor will it ever be. I used to have a tiny waist, but even 40lbs later I still carry more weight around my midsection than I did pre-kids. The girls (you know what I mean) don't sit up where they used to and it is only by the virtue of a good, sturdy and well-fitting bra that they look nice under my clothes. I have stretch marks where my belly swelled to the point of wanting to pop and my belly button looks odd. I have excess skin that won't ever go away no matter how thin I get. My very bones are likely pocked with the marks of my childrens' passage through my pelvis. I've only had three kids, but they have left marks on my body that no amount of dieting or working out could ever erase.
And I don't think I'd want to.
People get surgeries and procedures to erase the effect of time and experience on their bodies. They get breast-lifts and tummy tucks, and I'm not talking smack about people who chose to do so. But if I had the money, I honestly don't think I would go to such measures to try to change my body back to the way it was. I won't ever be "perfect" (not that I think there is such a thing, at least by society's definition). The way I look is a product of what I've done with my body. I am scarred, in a way, by the growing and passage of my children from my womb into the world. And I wouldn't change that for anything at all.
So I will continue to work out, challenge myself with fitness, eat well, and lose weight to get to a healthy weight for my body. I do so because I believe in cherishing and protecting the body God gave me, not to conform to society's distorted sense of what a woman should look like. I embrace my stretch marks and sags as a part of who I am, a part of who my children have made me.