I will never again take my waistline for granted.
About ten or twelve years ago I made the decision to get healthy. *Real* healthy. I'd flitted around the edges of exercise and proper eating for a few years before that, but the college diet of beer, pizza, and late nights won out every time then one day things just changed. I decided that enough was enough and I was going to take the bull by the horns and figure this whole "healthy lifestyle" thing out.
I quickly figured out that I was way more comfortable being a dvd/video tape girl than I was in a gym or exercise class. That's when my love affair with exercise began. In one short hour I could transform my body with no one around to watch me huff, puff, grunt, and wheeze. I also discovered what adding in healthy foods and drinking water did for me instead of fast food and diet pop. It's quite amazing, isn't it?! Then eight and a half years ago when Tim proposed, I did what any sane bride-to-be does and ramped it up a notch, or ten *laugh* to get into that shape that everyone wants to be on that most important day in their life. What is that, you ask? Whatever the best shape for your body is...that's what I'm talking about. At that point, this was a way of life for me and it felt great. I was fit, I was toned, and best of all, I had achieved the body I'd always wanted.
Too a certain degree that is...
You see, as a girl, a woman, it is utterly IMPOSSIBLE to be completely one-hundred-percent *happy* with your figure. Hell, I remember on my wedding day when I was the fittest I'd ever been thinking "If only I'd done this or that or not eaten this or that, my pooch would be a touch smaller, my butt a tad higher, or my arms just *that* much more toned". Silly isn't it? I guess that's why life throws you curve balls to remind you that you really DID and DO have it good.
My first curve ball was the breast cancer. There were many things said too me in those early days in regards to my health and how that was most important above all, but there's one statement that really stuck with me and I'm not sure if that person who said it ever really realized the impact it made on me. Her name is Colleen and she is the fabulous wife of a very dear friend who I had the great opportunity to work with for many years and I miss them both dearly. She was one of the first people I called when I got my diagnosis because she was in med school at KU at the time and all I could think was "She'll know what to do!", and at the very least I figured she could take the doctor language and translate it into regular English for me to understand better. We went to lunch one day and I was spinning off into the ethernet of "what if's" and "holy schneikes I'm scared out of my wits!" yet there was also the element of "What is going to happen to my body? How is this going to affect my figure?!" Vain, I know, but it was there. She looked at me and said "Honey. It's just going to be an inconvenient year, that's all. You'll get it back. You'll get it *all* back; you'll see."
You know what? She was right. When I was caught down in the dregs of chemo exhaustion and it was all I could do to just get up and get through the day I repeated that phrase in my mind. When I grew weaker and lost strength in my arms to the point that I could barely push out five push-ups, I repeated that phrase too myself. When I felt gross, unattractive, out of shape, and generally yucky; I repeated it again, and again, and again. It got me through and it proved true.
It will prove true this time as well. As I feel and, more importantly, *see* this new life growing inside of me I find myself repeating that phrase more as of late. I appreciate my level of fitness prior to pregnancy more now than I probably did a short four and a half months ago. I'm trying to *not* beat myself up over the loss of strength in areas of my body because the truth is that I *WILL* get it back when the time is right. I'm embracing the scale as the numbers rise even though it was initially really hard because I've been SO fixated on that certain number for *SO* long that as it's slowly been left behind it's been hard, and weird, yet liberating. I am now at the weight I was back in high school and while I understand what needs to happen, and will embrace my new body with all my heart, it is hard to see that number yet again, *but*, THIS time, it's a healthier number and I'm fully aware of that and am embracing it as much as I can.
So, goodbye small waistline that I never fully appreciated to begin with, I promise that when I get you back, I shall not be as critical of you as I once was and that I will embrace whatever new curves are permanently in place. Till then...*blows a kiss*