Did vacation make me FAT??
That's what I used to worry about? I mean let's be honest......I still have those thoughts, but now my brain knows to change my thought pattern towards something more constructive.
Now it's not about if I gain weight, it's about if I lose my strength. Right?
"Am I still skinny?"
"Am I still strong?"
I took this picture at the gym today......
My first actual workout since being home from vacation on Saturday, and guess what? Not only did I finish my workout, but I increased my weight and it felt fantastic!
I'm not saying this to brag, I'm saying this because while on vacation, it's my mindset that changed, nothing else, and it made the world of difference!
It's no secret that since I weaned our daughter on the first week of May this year, I have been in "Go mode" to feel like my self again. I have been weight training at least 4 or 5 days a week and I absolutely love the progress my body has made. I feel so strong.
My hormones are balancing and I feel like I have control over my body again. For those of you who have never been pregnant or breastfed, let me fill you in....LOL
When you're pregnant your ligaments get all loose and you get a all wobbly. THEN when you are breastfeeding (and I did for 21months) your entire immune system, and I mean YOUR ENTIRE IMMUNE SYSTEM, and all the amazing nutrients you consume go to your milk to feed your baby, so you are essentially sick and tired all the time. NOT TO MENTION for most of us (not the lucky 4% who burn fat) we store fat in weird little, or not so little, pockets on our bodies as a fuel source to produce milk. So this "go mode" that I am talking about was for me. For me to feel like I had control of my body in a powerful and positive way.
This physical journey I have been on has really required me to put in a lot of work mentally. WHY do I want to work so hard? Is it to be thin? Or is it to be truly fit?
So because of this mental work, for the first time, I think ever, I honestly worked out on vacation not because I was afraid to gain weight, but because I was afraid of losing my progress.
Guys that is a HUGE break through!
I have so much pride and joy in what my body is able to do! I used to get that feeling all the time when I was still dancing full time. When it comes to dance it's always about increasing your skill, just like any athlete. But when you are working out just to "work out" to "stay fit" you sometimes lose that mindset. It becomes about fitting in to your jeans, not about getting your body to progress in it's skill.
Just because I'm not dancing full time doesnt mean that I'm not an athlete.
With that being said, just beause you aren't in a sport or physical skill full-time doest mean you aren't an athlete. IN FACT.......
"If you have a body, you are an athlete"
I saw this post a few weeks ago on Instagram and it really hit home for me.
Even if you never considered yourself to be an athlete, if you have a body that functions and allows you to accomplish things, then you ARE an athlete.
How do athletes treat their bodies?
With respect and pride. ( Well, most do. At least we would like to think so)
They nourish and fuel their bodies to function and thrive.
So why should we treat our own bodies any different?
I'm speaking generally of course, but do you see the point?
The old Ashley, like Ashley 3 years ago before I got pregnant, would of stressed about being on vacation.
On a cruise ship.
With a very plentiful 24 hour, all inclusive buffet on board.
I would have felt guilt and shame around each meal and would have attempted to work out only to offset my increased calorie intake. Which means I would have dreaded the workouts.
But this time was different. I enjoyed the foods I wanted to enjoy ( ps Alaskan Salmon is pretty amazing) which allowed me not to overindulge too much. Then, each morning I got up with excitement to get to the little gym at the back of the ship, and I worked on my body. I had the mindset of wanting to maintain my strength and continue my progress. It was actually enjoyable instead of anxiety producing.
I had victory over my own body image and food issues this month, and if I can do it then so can you!
If you want help in this area please please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since anxiety and control drive most of my issues, I want to share my favorite verse that I go to for this.
Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything, with prayer petition and thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
As always share your thoughts, insights, or your own tips and tricks to overcoming this in the comments below.