I am so blessed this week to be at the beach on a stay-cation with my family. The second half of the week it gets to be just me and the hubby- so blessed!! We are so happy to be here- no work, no timeline, just living and enjoying each other's company. We're not a perfect family, so don't think every minute is sheer perfection and agreement- it's just perfectly imperfect!

Yesterday, Hubs and I were working out at the pool. It was a body weight circuit that was pretty low key because Hubs is broken right now. While we were doing the circuit, my mind was wandering to how soft my body has gotten since I hurt myself playing soccer in September. Since that time, I don't play soccer often,  I don't run like I used to and I haven't replaced all that sprinting and running with any form of regularly performed cardio. Unfortunately, that's a recipe for some softness I haven't had in a while. I can get wrapped around an axle pretty easily over my body image, so after we were done with our circuits, I decided to do a few "targeting" exercises which I know full well don't actually target the fat. (Hey, I'm human. What can I say?!) Somehow those exercises were supposed to help me feel like I was doing something about my "situation". While I was performing some hip exercises to "target" my saddle bags, I was on all fours and looked down at my belly. This is what I saw.

All that loose skin hanging down coupled with the too-much-wine-belly was a little hard for me to look at. This is my reality for two reasons: 1-I love wine.  2-I did lose a significant amount of weight that left some loose skin. I have no need or desire to get a tummy tuck and no need to beat myself up over not being perfect. What I need is a realignment of perspective to perfectly imperfect.

What does that loose skin and fat, yes there's some fat in there too, say about LJ as a human being? Does it dictate my value as a woman, wife, mother or trainer? I tend to think so, but that's just not true. That loose skin tells some stories of a pretty courageous woman. That skin doesn't mean I'm courageous, but it is one of my "battle scars" in the fight to take care of my body. I can't show my boobs in all their glory on here, but those are pretty much all loose skin with no breast tissue to fill them out because of pregnancy and nursing and then losing weight. Those tell a story of a strong mother who "sacrificed" some of her more aesthetically pleasing body for the health of her child.

It's hard to keep this life in perspective when we have images of perfect bodies everywhere. On top of that, the people on this end of the story and camera are telling you- "You can have everything too! Just do XYZ." Reality is, what worked for me may not exactly work for you. There are general principles we all have to adhere to for our health, but there is no one size fits all approach and there is no magic pill. Your life, present and past, is different than mine. Your goals are yours and yours alone. Your motivation is unique to you. Come to any fitness professional and they will tell you a pretty similar routine of to-dos, but a good one will find out who you are, what goals you have, and what you want from those goals. Then he/she will guide you to what you need- whether it's him/her or not. Remember consistency and incremental increases are the keys to seeing results in all aspects of your health. Your successful journey is just around the corner- regardless of what your definition is for success. 

LJ Eastmead
ACE Certified PT
AFAA Primary Group Ex