A change in seasons & sizes
One of my favorite things about this time of the year is the changing over from heavy, itchy winter sweaters and hats to light and airy sundresses, skirts, and sandals. Here in unpredictable Massachusetts it means that the worst is over- it’s finally safe to say that from here on out you won’t need to bundle up in 4 layers before heading out the door. This year, it means this in so many ways for me.
For the last few summers I’ve pulled out my plastic containers of summer clothes and created a “disappointment” pile. I’d dump everything onto my bed, pick out the questionables, and hold my breath while I tried to squeeze into a pair of shorts – only to toss them on the floor. The “not ready to part with” pile. The “reality check” pile. The “denail isn’t just a river in Egypt” pile.
Last year I pulled out the usual suspects and threw them into a “hopefully fit into by the end of the summer?” pile instead. I was just beginning my journey, and looked at my clothes with a new glimmer of hope. And much to my excitement, I did fit into them by the end of the summer- even with a little room to spare. As the leaves began to change I once again packed them away- curious to see what it would look like when we met again.
Well here we are- a whole year later. I timidly opened the boxes, and began to pull out the usual suspects. I held my breath and stepped into a pair of shorts which buttoned… and then promptly slid down my legs. My “disappointment” pile suddenly become a “way too big” pile. A “look what you did!” pile. A “hard work pays off” pile. And this year instead of throwing them back into the bin I packed them up into plastic bags- and sent them out the door. Sorry guys, but you’re not welcome here anymore!
When I first began my search for a healthy lifestyle I had this mental image in my head of what I would look like when I achieved my fitness nirvana. I imagined a girl with no curves, with spaghetti arms and straight hips. In my mind- that was the goal to aspire towards. 63 (on a good day) pounds later I realize that mental image… well it pretty much means jack shit. I’m still a work in progress- but I’m okay accepting that I will never been that skeletal girl that flashed through my head way back when. Don’t be mistaken- there are still days when I get dressed and think “God do my hips look wide!” or “Oh hey there muffin top – where did you come from?”. Unfortunately it’s only natural for us to pick ourselves apart.
But 90% of the time I wake up and am still shocked when I look in the mirror. For so long what seemed impossible is just simply normal- this is me. I am finally at a place where I am happy to get dressed in the morning, comfortable and confident with the person I am. I will never take for granted the body that I now live in, and what I did to get here. I think about all of the amazing things that my body is capabale of doing now- even if I’m not wearing a size zero. My hips and thighs might be bigger than I’d like them to be, but my legs are strong and are able to push through miles of running. My arms might not look like a piece of dry spaghetti, but they can lift heavy weights and power through laps in the pool. They couldn’t do these things before.
This summer I am looking forward to celebrating the new Kathleen: the one who loves to be active, who will be busy running races and riding her bike, and is excited for pretty new summer clothes in much smaller sizes. No need to hide herself in layers anymore for the worst is over…. this girl’s got a body she should be proud of 🙂