You’ve probably heard of the show Project Runway.
After a conversation I had today during lunch, I decided to title this post “Project Me.”
The question that sparked my moment of brilliance was actually, “What project did you complete this summer?”
My church small group is comprised of mostly teachers. We’re going back for pre-planning on Tuesday, hence the topic of our conversation.
As I thought about my summer, it was hard to find a “project” that I’d completed.
You guys know that I’ve napped, so catching up on sleep could be considered a major project.
I did a lot of knitting, watching Netflix, and reading, so those relaxing activities were also “projects” that I guess I finished.
The Mr. jumped into the conversation at that point and reminded me of my time in the gym.
My biggest project…
I’ve posted a few pictures here, and I’ve certainly kept a nearly-daily photo journal going on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Because I’m basic like that.
But I want to blog about it in more detail.
You see, last school year, one of my students told me I was “thick.” To be thick means that you’ve got some junk in the trunk…that you’re curvy.
I have some serious body issues, remnants from a childhood that involved watching my mom constantly yo-yo diet. I spent summers “starving” myself for a day or two, only to binge on snacks afterward.
I’ve never been what one would call obese; the only time I passed 110 pounds was when I was pregnant.
Still, I carry a poor body image…the flab in my mid-section is what my eyes zoom in on.
Hence the hurt that hit my heart when my student made the comment…and other students agreed with her…and it was mentioned frequently the rest of the school year…only to be confirmed by the fact that my clothes, indeed, were fitting differently.
Thus it was that I set out to improve myself by renewing my membership at the gym my church runs. Rooster works there and was more than happy to sign me back up.
I started going back on April 23. I was mortified at the jelly roll that hung over the new workout pants the Mr. had bought me.
I took a picture, though, because I am both basic and because I blog.
And then I started working out.
The first day was bad. Really bad. To the point where Rooster helped me with my first squat when I couldn’t get back up on my own.
Did I mention that I was mortified?
Back in the day, I used to squat a lot of weight.
I was so sore after the first workout that I didn’t walk normally for a week.
My attendance at the gym was a little spotty the first few weeks. School was still in session, and at one point, I pulled something in my back, putting me out of commission for over a week.
I persisted and began leaving my gym bag with fresh workout clothes in my car each day so I could exercise immediately after school.
My summer vacation offered me the much-needed time, energy, and focus to exercise about four days a week.
One week, I hit the gym six days. Rooster constantly encouraged me, gave me tips, and spotted me during certain exercises.
I remember the first time I sat at the leg press machine. I couldn’t add any extra weight. Week after week, I began adding more…
By last week, I’d gotten up to 170 pounds!! It was a proud moment for me.
Last week, I noticed that I was wearing the same outfit as the first day I’d worked out, so I took a selfie.
When I put the pictures side by side, I got tears in my eyes.
You might not be able to see any differences, but my well-trained eye does. How well we know our own bodies, eh?
My muffin top is nearly gone, thank heavens. My hips, though, are what struck me the most. They have slimmed down…a lot. They’re tighter. My thighs…oh word, but they don’t flap any more, and my behind is taut (just trust me on this…a rear picture will not be forthcoming).
I still have a lot of work to do. I can’t say that I’ve done many exercises dedicated exclusively to my abs. I’ve strengthened my core simply by lifting weights, but I haven’t done crunches since I hurt my back early in the summer.
So, that area will be one I begin focusing on soon.
I’m starting to train for my first 5k, which I will run with Super Sis in October. I’m hoping that adding cardio to my workout regimen will help my middle section to gradually disappear.
I hope I’m not sounding vain or superficial. This just happens to be something that makes me extremely self-conscious.
How my body looks is a direct reflection of how I’m taking care of it, and it leads to my mental state. I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten more fit, my confidence has improved. I’m eating regular meals; whereas, I used to skip meals regularly.
My prayer now is that I will carry my workout habits into the school year…that I will still be as diligent as ever to take care of me as I was during the summer, because taking care of me will benefit all of those around me in the end…through my calmer demeanor…through my new, improved confident self.