If you were to ask me who I am now, I would most definitely be able to say I am not the same person I was 7 years ago. I have changed in so many ways, that I feel I am actually having to rediscover myself. This rediscovery has forced me to look back on the girl I used to be and decide what is worth "bringing back", saving and holding on to, and what needs to be dropped like a bad habit!
One of the most obvious ways I have changed is physically. (sigh...and maybe even a tear or two.) Growing up, I was blesed with a high metabolism and a long/lean body that maintained a healthy weight without a whole lot of effort. On top of that though, I have always enjoyed eating healthy and exercising, so a six-pack (not beer!) was very easy to obtain. Chad used to gawk at my abs after a work-out...he couldn't believe how quickly my muscles showed. Looking back, I can see how much I took this for granted! Don't get me wrong, I learned to enjoy my figure once I got to college and realized there were actually men out there who were TALLER than I was! lol! But, I never fully appreciated my cellulite-free legs, toned arms and flat abs. (insert second sigh...)
Fast forward 7 years, and 3 kids later...bye-bye cellulite-free legs, toned arms and flat abs! I have to confess, there have been days where Chad has asked me what's wrong b/c I was obviously "in a funk", and I had to admit that I was struggling to deal with my new body. Not only is the lack of energy discouraging, but my body is currently down-right disgusting...at least in my mind. Somehow I managed to save my figure after the first two pregnancies, but the third one has done a number on me...and I'm afraid it's permanent...at least to some extent. For someone who found much of her identity in being physically fit, this has been a hard pill to swallow.
So, not only am I 30 pounds heavier than I was 7 years ago...I'm also a much different shape! My waist is larger...and so is my chest. Everything is softer and "jigglier". ha! I avoid the mirror after getting out of the shower and want the lights out when I crawl in bed at night. Sound depressing?...well, it kind of is.
I'm determined to once again be proud of my physique...I'm also determined to gain my energy back without requiring 4 cups of coffee a day! But how to go about that??....not sure yet. Anyone who thinks getting to the gym w/ three kids in tow, five days a week is simple or easy, does NOT have three kids!! I will say though that I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never again have that college body...I'm ok with this. Really. My three children have been well worth the phsyical sacrifices I've made...and honestly, I think this rediscovery has taught me that my focus needs to be more on HEALTH rather than vanity and merely having a "hot bod". ;)
Despite all THAT,...amazingly, I'm much more comfortable in my skin today than I was 7 years ago. What I mean is, I'm more grounded and confident,...I've learned what my strengths are and how to capitalize on them rather than drowning in my weaknesses. And as far as rediscovery goes,...I've realized that in pretty much every other area of my life (excluding physicality of course), I've changed for the positive. The trials and hardships we've experienced have grown my character, faith and perserverance. I may have more wrinkles than the avg 28 year old due to all we've experienced, but I also have more blessings and a much fuller life than the avg 28 year old. For that, I'm thankful!
I'm a far cry from where I need to be, so notice I used the word changed...not perfected! But, I feel like I'm on the right road...I have to continually check myself though to make sure I'm not veering off the path. It's so easy in this world to become distracted by things that don't/shouldn't matter. I'm more relaxed in my role as a mom and wife. Something I learned this year was that it's ok to have dirty dishes in the sink occasionally and I don't have to appear perfect or as if I have it all together...my true friends and family will love me regardless. This discovery has allowed me to sit back and live in the moment and has brought added peace to my life and marriage. I've also learned that although friendship brings many blessings,...family is more important. And on that note...I've learned that family isn't all that matters in life nor will they always be able to meet your needs. God is the only one who can fulfill me. And HE is the one I need to be seeking after more than anything else. So, I guess you could say I'm getting my priorities lined up as they should be. :)
So, as 2010 comes closer, I'm thanking God for all the ways he's grown me up over the past 7 years...I'm asking Him to continue to mold me (physically - ha!, emotionally, spiritually and mentally) in to the woman he wants me to be, and I'm praying He guides me and my families paths next year!!
Happy (early) New Year!