Monday, April 04, 2016

walking the line: body image, eating & fitness

Barre class.

Chocolate.

Lunges.

Wine.

Oatmeal.

Brie.

Long run.

Kale salad.

Fitness tracker.

Pizza.

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Some of the above terms scream indulgence and others evoke thoughts of discipline, perhaps even deprivation.

At the ripe old age of 35 (fine, almost 36) -- I have embraced a life filled with all of the above.  Do I still have parts of my body I'd like to improve/change?  Absolutely.  Of course!  I'd still like to run faster, be stronger, improve my flexibility, have nicer arms.  But I can't think of a time I have felt more balanced, to use a tired cliche.

I was thinking about this in Boston last weekend.  There were treats galore.  There are certainly bygone eras of my life when I would have beat myself up for enjoying them (though I still wouldn't have abstained :) ).  I am now at peace with the idea that sometimes it is time for enjoyment/celebration/what have you and other times it makes sense to eat more for health and energy . . . and maybe even vanity to some extent.  I am happy on either occasion and the balance seems to come fairly naturally.

I don't necessarily eat the same as I used to.  I certainly don't have as many rules.  I am more likely to grab a bag of chips (the ones with ridges!) in the afternoon if I am hungry and that is *really* what I am craving.  But at the same time, I usually run in the morning without eating beforehand now -- it's just more convenient.   I am more aware of carbs/sugar, and I try not to eat 834837 grams of carbs on a typical morning (as in -- I'll go for one waffle, not two).  I will sometimes skip the bread, and sometimes eat it with butter.  I will cancel out a totally rich meal with a salad at the next without feeling all repentant about it.

And for the record, I am essentially the same weight/size as during my Paleo phase, and also similar to pre-kids.

So what's next in the fitness realm?  Continued running.  Continued barre.  More strength (debating trying Barry's Bootcamp vs at home Les Mills vs Beachbody).  Someday I want to revisit the marathon again, when the kids are older.  But I think I've mostly found my happy place in realm of body image, nutrition, and fitness.  And I'm really glad it includes all of the items in the above list.