I wore shorts to Elevate this year. If you have followed this blog for more than a year, then you must know that I struggle with what to wear to the conference every year. This year I just wanted to be comfortable. I didn't want to bake in the sun (it was actually unseasonably cool this year) and I didn't want to be pulling at my sweaty clothes all day. Shorts and a flowy tank were perfect, and when I look at this picture I'm pretty happy with the way I look. The shorts are one size bigger than I normally buy, but they sat better on my hips than the smaller size. The tank hid any flaws in my mid section and the sandals were just perfect. There is something to be said about feeling confident in your skin, let alone in your clothes.
This hasn't always been the case. For the better part of the year I've been struggling with my weight. I'm sure most people look at me and say, "She is so tiny", because I'm short and could fit in my husband's pocket. Yet for me, this is a size I'm not used to even though I weigh exactly what I weighed when I got pregnant with Mackenzie. Back then I was happy with that size, even though I never could fit in my pre-Caitlin jeans. I just bought new jeans and kind of started a new life. I would have been happy fitting into those jeans after having Mackenzie and I did, until I didn't. After having Mackenzie my body went into shock. I suffer from autoimmune deficiencies, and found that everything I ate made me sick. I was exhausted, and because I was eating a really restricted diet I lost a lot of weight. So much weight that I found myself a size I hadn't been since my freshman year of high school. I didn't hate that size, I'll admit it. I was really tiny, and I had to buy jeans in a size I had never fit in before. My clothes fit in such a way that I loved the way looked. For the first time in years, I really did love my body.
Then I got better. With the help of a new diet and some really good supplements, I started eating again. I even started exercising again, running if you can believe it. And I felt good, I felt really good. I felt like I was finally healthy. Then something strange started to happen, my tiny jeans got tight. Shirts I was comfortable in, weren't so comfortable anymore. I started to see flaws when I looked in the mirror. Then I stepped on a scale and was shocked. Up almost six pounds.
That was almost two years ago. Those six pounds eventually turned into eight. Now those eight are actually more like ten. Those tiny jeans went in the giveaway pile. Some of those shirts have been passed on. I've had to buy new jeans. I've had to buy new shirts. Most importantly I've had to "buy" a new attitude. I've had to look in the mirror and buy into this person looking back at me. And let me tell you, it's taking a really long time.
In March I turned thirty seven, and on my thirty seventh birthday I woke up and worked out in my living room. Some Jillian Michaels torture session. I didn't make a big announcement on social media. I was proud of myself, but I also didn't want to fly my would be failure on social media. I say that because I was pretty sure I wouldn't keep up with it. I knew that I'd do really well for three weeks and then when nothing had changed, not the scale, not the way my clothes fit, I would look at my five in the morning alarm and say "fuck it".
But I didn't. I told myself that I didn't have to work out every day. I challenged myself to use my birthday "gift" three times a week. Since I had at least two days off, those became mandatory work out days. The first month was awful. I hated getting up that early, but when I did, when I worked out, I felt so much better about the day and myself. Oh, God. I know what you are thinking. I'm that person who is going to tell you how amazing exercise it. Don't worry. I'm not. I still hate waking up early to exercise. I still have a special kind of hate for Jillian Michaels at five thirty in the morning. I still gasp for air and spell the eff word while doing jumping jacks. But... I really do feel better when it's all said and done.
The changes haven't been drastic. I'm not sure anyone has really noticed, but I have. When I was in Disneyland last month my jeans were bigger. My tank tops didn't cling like they did a month before. My shorts were so loose I could have used a belt. Those were changes I was okay with. Maybe no one else could tell, but I could. I knew I was finding the right fit. The right fit for me.
I've said before on this blog that I will never have flat abs. I will never run a marathon (at least I think I probably won't because it's not a desire of mine). I will never work out every day of the week because sleep, duh. And everyday is a cheat day if it's going to be a good day. But I really want to like the body that I see in the mirror. I really want to find the right fit. I'm quite happy with the way I look currently, even if I hate what the scale says. It's funny because I don't feel like the number the scale says. I feel lighter than that. I feel fitter than that. I finally feel like I no longer want to worry about enjoying chocolate almond cupcakes or coconut milk ice cream by the pint. Years ago I read about people who were throwing away their scales. I'm making it a point to only step on them at the doctor's office.
I look at that picture from Elevate and I feel like it fits. That's me. I'm not sick anymore. I'm not sad anymore. I'm not post baby or prebaby or in training for anything but living a happy and full life. I like being healthy, even if I hate the five a.m. wake up call. I like that my clothes feel like they fit. I like that I don't make myself feel bad if I decide to sleep in, or if I decide to eat french fries. If I decide to eat an entire pint of coconut milk ice cream, I want to be able to face myself in the morning. When I look in the mirror today, I feel like I'm finally looking at me. Flaws and all. Smiles and all. That's a welcomed change after a struggle with finding the right fit for the better part of two years.
I didn't work out this morning. Sleep and the silence of the house was too tempting. I stayed in bed. I ate a frozen banana in my night shirt, while sitting in our recliner. I finished a book I started on Sunday.
I have to admit, it felt really good. In fact, it fit perfectly.