Thankful Thursday: I Heart My Body
|1996 - When I first thought I was fat!
Could not have been more wrong!
I went to a performing arts high school and I auditioned and was accepted for Dance. I have always loved dancing, I started dancing when I was 3 years old. It was always about having fun, I went to a dancing school where we didn't do comps or eisteddfods, the emphasis was on everyone having a go, having fun and enjoying themselves.
I think that's why it was such a shock to me when I did dance at high school. Just about everyone in the class was a 'serious' dancer. They competed in eisteddfods on the weekends, they had their audition dances choreographed by their dancing teachers and they wore all the trendiest Bloch dancing gear.
There I was, having never competed in a comp, I choreographed my own routine for my audition (which for some reason I was embarrassed about at the time but looking back I am actually really proud, that routine got me accepted and I made it up myself, no help from a teacher! At only 12 years of age no less), and all I had was a black leotard and trackies to dance in.
I felt like all of the other girls in my class were just so much better than me. I thought they were better dancers. And I thought they had better bodies. I gave up dancing and switched to music after my first year because dancing had stopped being fun and I was too self-conscious.
After that my weight went up and down, but no matter what I weighed or how I looked to other people, I always thought I was too fat, too ugly. I was so depressed in year 8 and 9 that I barely ate and was extremely anxious most of the time. I had a lot of days off school because I just hated feeling like I was the odd one out.
|2000 - At my formal, again, thought I
was fat. Only thing fat was my hair
After meeting Dave in 2002 the weight slowly started to creep back on and by the time we got engaged in 2006 I had put back on the 20 kgs and then some. After we bought our house in 2007 Dave and I decided that we wanted to make a change and lose some weight before our wedding the following year. I lost 20 kgs over the space of about 8 months and was leading a much healthier life, eating well and exercising regularly. I had so much more energy and my frame of mind couldn't have been better.
But after being so good and so disciplined for so long I decided that I could ease up a bit and of course, my weight started going up again. After our US trip in the middle of 2010, after deciding that we wanted to have a baby in the next couple of years, I went to the GP who advised me to lose a bit of weight, nothing too drastic, to get myself back in to a healthy weight range and to a weight that wouldn't be too hard to maintain.
She was a lovely doctor and so positive about it all that I came away feeling like I could do it, and looking forward to finally feeling more energetic and healthy. Losing weight was no longer about how I looked but how I felt. I started exercising more and eating better, and while the weight didn't just fall off I definitely noticed a change in my energy levels and just generally felt better taking better care of myself.
|The day before Mia was born 22.11.12
Excuse the toothpaste mess on the mirror!
At 29 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) and I have to say I was pretty shattered at first. Having a parent with diabetes meant that I was already high risk for developing GDM, something I hadn't actually realised before, and add to that my rapid weight gain, I shouldn't have been surprised.
Having GDM meant that I pretty much spent the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy focusing on nothing but the food that was going in my mouth and the exercise I was or wasn't doing. I had to be a on a VERY strict diet and check my blood sugar levels 4 times a day. When I first found out I had it I felt like a failure and that it was the end of the world. I won't lie to you, those last 12 weeks were not as joyous as they should have been but a super healthy baby at the end made it all worth it.
Now I see that it was actually a blessing in disguise. I only put on 3 kgs in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy which is traditionally when women put on the most weight. Had I not been pregnant I would have actually lost weight and I actually developed a more defined waist line in those last few months! I also learnt some really important lessons about food and lifestyle after seeing the nutritionist and endocrinologist for the GDM and it's information that I have been putting to use now.
Since having Punky in November 2011 I have been up and down in my efforts to lose weight. I tend to eat when I am frustrated, and as any Mum can tell you, there are a lot of frustrations when you have a new baby. Add that to being tired a lot of the time and I just couldn't be bothered exercising. I also resisted having to watch what I ate after spending 12 weeks of doing nothing but obsessing over what I was putting in my mouth and when.
|My awesome body produced this little miracle!
My body's proudest moment.
While I still struggle with the motivation to exercise and the temptation of large portions and sweet treats, I'm not as stressed as I have been about it at any other time of my life because I know I will get there and I'm taking steps that are about lifestyle changes rather than just fast weightloss.
My body isn't perfect, but it is amazing. It's done amazing things for me. And while I may not always love it I am so very thankful for it. I will leave you with these awesome words that my good friend Kelly HTandT wrote in one of her very first blog posts because she sums up the way I feel about my body now perfectly-
"So when I think back to my old friend, the pre-baby body, I laugh at the frivolity of its concerns and complaints. If only I knew then what I know now. Never again will I take this body for granted, for I am so incredibly lucky and so grateful to have received the gift of fertility."
I'm linking this post up for We Heart Life's I Heart My Body campaign, and also for the lovely Kate's very last turn at hosting Thankful Thursday. Thank you ladies for making me stop and really think about my body and my life, about what is important and what I am thankful for.