Aging Gracefully

Once upon a time, there lived an uncertain and insecure Queen.  She hid her body beneath maxi dresses and peasant tops and bathing suits with skirts.  Her shorts reached to just above her knees when she was brave enough to wear shorts at all.  Her world was limited as she worried what friends, family, even strangers saw when they looked her way.  Her world was limited to her appearance.

That stupid bitch has been evicted.  I have a new story to tell.

I wear what I want and I feel comfortable in it.  I do not worry when my thighs touch or my triceps wave a second goodbye.  I no longer suck in my stomach when I bend over in my bikini.  That’s right – my bikini.  I wear one, even on the days my belly chooses to fill like a hot air balloon.  Because I like them.  I find them comfortable.  And it’s a lot easier to pee in a bikini.  That’s a big consideration when you drink as much water as this FitMama.

I don’t worry about what the other mothers see as I walk around the pool.  Mostly because I have come to realize two things: 1.  They aren’t paying attention to me because they are worried about their ownselves and 2.  I rock.

Yeah, I’ve got wrinkles where there weren’t any ten years ago.  Hell, not even five years ago.  But they only come out when I’m laughing and smiling and I’ve got a killer smile, so I’m sure no one is offended by my aging process.

My boobs would never be declared “so perky” by the 16 Candles grandmother, but they’ve fed three babies and still amuse Hubby.  And when wrangled into my $16.99 pushup bra, they put up a good front.  Add in that they are healthy and there, and I’m counting my blessings, one and two.sixteencandlesperky

So my belly has a pooch and a scar.  It housed those three babies and surrendered itself to three C-sections.  I still have pretty good ab muscles up top and my core is strong.  I can carry my babies,  all the groceries in one trip, and maintain mostly good posture.

My booty is big, but it’s round and firm.  I’ve done Sir Mix-A-Lot proud with all the squats and lunges I’ve added to my workouts.

As for my thighs that enjoy constant reunions with one another…they are beastly.  By that I mean that they are stronger than they’ve ever been.  Strong enough for marathons, Spartans, Insanity, and sharktag with the kiddos at the pool (the most exhausting workout I’ve had all week, but I think simply because it was so difficult to run and laugh uncontrollably at the same time).

My feet are runner’s feet.  I rather enjoy the lost toenails and the callouses.  They are signs of my progress and accomplishments and races yet to come.  I do love me some races.

So if you see me strutting my amazing Queenly self around the pool, or blasting through the mud and over fire, or simply walking through Target trying desperately to hold onto that last scrap of sanity as each of the three children break down…know that my strut, my confidence, my swagger comes after years of doubt and pain and worry.  It comes from having a daughter and wanting her to know that her body is absolutely amazing and gorgeous and beautiful no matter the form it takes, because she although she is her body, she is also more than her body, and it is that “more than” that creates her unique and wonderful glow.

I am careful to never refer to my body as “too fat” or “sagging” or any other derogatory term so many women hurl at themselves.  I talk about working towards goals of strength, race times/completions, and health.  I do not suck in because I don’t want her to suck in.  I don’t ever want to see her take up less space in the world.  I want my sons to know that the worthwhile women in the world will walk and run beside them, that their choices ought to be based on more than what they see.

This is me, in my bikini, the way I really look.  No filters.  No photoshop.  Also no makeup and if you could see the hair under the hat…Let’s just say, it’s better I wore the hat.  No need to frighten the toddlers in the wading pool.

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This is an easy body for me to maintain.  I eat healthy most of the time, although I am coming off a mini-vacation binge of sorts.  I have been working out based on what feels right day-to-day as I attempt to figure out this whole EBV thing.  Today, I had waffles and bacon for breakfast.  They were delicious, but they did not provide the fuel I required.  So lunch was grilled chicken burgers, Cajun sweet potato fries, and roasted broccoli.  That got me movin’ and feelin’ pretty damn Royal.

Did my breakfast make me fat?  Nope.  It was just one meal.  My lunch didn’t turn me into a fitness model with cut up abs either.  It also was just one meal.  Neither changed my appearance, but they immediately affected the way I felt.  Sluggish and sleepy vs. energetic and happy.  Yes, the right foods can make you happy.  When your sugars and your proteins and your nutrients of all kinds are in balance…your body thanks you and gives you happy feelings.

And then you find the energy to play and splash and make memories in the deep end and the sunshine instead of pulling on a long coverup and dipping your toes into the wading area or watching from the shade.

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All that being said…I do not separate myself from the way I look.  I have fun with makeup.  I dye my hair and debate over outfits.  I am proud when I see a new line of muscle definition anywhere.  I enjoy my entire package these days.  Funny thing is, the more I love me, the healthier my habits become, and the more my outside starts to match up with my inside.

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