The Thought That Life Could Be Better Is Woven Indelibly Into Our Hearts And Our Brains

4.4.11 - Monday

Hi there. I got my 30-day photos today. And even though I said I wouldn't post them, I did.
Wanna see? 
Okay, here you go:

Halfway through my buttastic journey!

You didn't think I was going to post a crystal clear picture did you? That would ruin the suspense! 

So if you're going by dates, it's really a 41-day photo, but the actual workouts didn't begin until February 23rd, so it's technically a 34-day photo...but who's counting!? Not bad for 34 days right? I'm pretty happy with my results so far. The thing that sucks is, a lot of the girls in my group are model/dancer/actress-types that came into the program looking pretty good already. Like, they weren't in the "needs to lose weight" category. So after class, everyone is comparing pictures and they're all, "my butt is so much more lifted" blah blah blah. I'm all, "My pregnancy flap is almost gone..." 
I know, I know, I'm not supposed to compare myself to tall, thin models in their 20s, who have never given birth. And I really am proud of the work I've done, but man I wish I started with less body fat! Oh well, the pictures are a great motivation tool and a reminder of what I'm capable of if I push myself. It's also a reminder of the direction I want to continue traveling.

Here's the thing, I can see into the future. I know exactly what my body will look like as I age, if I don't exercise. That crystal ball,  is MY MOTHER. From the neck down, I am the spitting image of my mom. From our delicately thin wrists and ankles, to our flat, narrow feet, ample but dimply backsides and bulging saddle bags. When I was kid, my mom was always relatively slim. She wasn't into fitness, but she maintained a slim figure. She's gained more weight, as women often do, with age. We both carry weight in our lower belly, hips and thighs. We both have skinny, crooked legs that go in at the knees. We both have wide, flat butts. So, I know exactly what I can expect to look like at 45, 55, 65 etc. if I choose not to exercise. 

Here I am at 35 with the 65-year-old ghost of Alison's unfit body future.

My mother, myself.

Don't worry, I told my mom I was blogging about her, and that she probably wouldn't like the post. She knows she's lumpy. And for every person that says, "I'm just built like my mom", I say, your genes don't make you fat; YOU DO. My mom gains weight because she eats too much and doesn't consistently exercise. I got fat because I ate and drank too much, not because my mom's genes dictated my destiny. I don't have to look like my mom when I'm 65. I can look like Helen Mirren if I want to.

Helen Mirren: Active senior
And for that matter, so can my mom.  She just has to decide that eating an entire bag of peanut M&Ms is not healthy for her body. Or, she has to exercise for two solid hours after she eats that bag of M&Ms. Trust me mom, you really want to go with choice A.

I'm working so hard to change the way I think about food. I'm tempted to cheat every minute of every day. The first thing I did when this experiment started was rid my house of most temptation. Because I have a toddler, I have staples like mac & cheese, peanut butter etc., but for the most part, my house is a junk-food free zone. When I am tempted to eat a huge spoonful of peanut butter, I stop and think about (a) how hard I've worked, not only in Leandro's class, but for the year it took me to lose 39 pounds on my own and (b) about the way it'll make me feel after I swallow those 16 grams of fat - that's if I stop after one tablespoon. Cheating no longer feels satisfying to me. It makes me feel guilty and it makes me feel like I'm hurting my body. Peanut Butter isn't the worst thing I could eat, but let's say I had a hankering for McDonald's fries. Sure, they'd taste so good going down, but I've really come to care about what I'm doing to my body when I eat crap food. I use 93 octane fuel in my car. Why wouldn't I fuel my body with the best food available as well? Changing habits is harder than losing weight, but it's the only way to ensure long-term success. And it's a challenge every single day.

For some reason there are a lot of really fit parents at my son's school. I've come to know a few of them. One mom is 47 and a marathon runner. But get this, she only started running about 15 years ago. She's 5' 7" and used to consistently weigh 165 pounds. Then somewhere around age 31, she started running with a group of friends and fell in love with it. Recently she ran the Philly marathon and is now gearing up for another half-marathon. She now weighs 140 pounds, and has for the last 15 years. She is a "momspiration" to me. The last time we spoke, she said, "Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't reach a goal weight and maintain. It's not easy, but if it's your life, you'll never go back to your old body." Since I started this journey, I've found a great network of local moms that stay active and fit and are so supportive of my efforts. It's important to me to maintain these positive relationships as I prepare to enter the real world. One of my local mom aquaintances started her own boot camp for moms called Move It Momma.  I plan to join her classes, maybe even see if she wants an apprentice. If there's one issue I'm intimately familiar with, it's being a fat mom that desperately wants to change. What better way for me to keep my momentum than by using what I've learned to help other moms like me? That's paying it forward...

NEW TO MY BLOG? Start from the beginning!