Monday, April 04, 2016

walking the line: body image, eating & fitness

Barre class.






Long run.

Kale salad.

Fitness tracker.



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.