I grew up in Brazil where women own their bikinis regardless of their shape or size. Except I am not one them, and so I embarked in this Six Pack Mami process where I am working with Fitness Together to change my core. They insist it’s possible, I waiver.
Though I set out a month ago, I only began the program with Mandy the nutritional consultant at Fitness Together two weeks ago. Since then both my diet and my training sessions have been overhauled and you can read about that here. So I consider that I am on this #SixPackMami deal for two weeks.
Within these there have been days where I have felt “tighter”, slimmer, better. Others I feel bloated and jiggly. Really, within the same day my clothing might feel looser or tighter, and the scale will move up or down. My body is fluctuating and adjusting and it messes with my mind.
I begin to feel beaten and my commitment waivers. I therefore need to have concrete, reliable, outside confirmation that I am headed in the right direction. Otherwise I feel sorry for myself, and look for any reasonable excuse to forgo this whole process.
Since the scale and the clothing weren’t doing the trick, I took pictures. And because I swallowed my pride a month ago and let Gabe take my “before” shots, I have something to compare them to.
But only in theory, because in reality my mind won’t let me see the progress. Instead, it zooms into my belly, judges it, and screams WTF? Nothing has changed.
Disheartened I asked Mandy if I could measure my body fat again to see if there was any progress. She would have none of it. Instead she told me that when you change your diet and fitness routine your body fluctuates as it tries to figure out what is going on. Add to this the end of IronMan training and the beating of the race: my body needs time to readjust. She forbade me to think about, give up, or question anything for another four weeks.
“Six weeks,” she told me, “only after six weeks will we know how well this is working for you based on what your body really has done versus how it is adapting on a certain day.”
SIX WEEKS! I am daughter of the digital era, six weeks is eternity in my book. To encourage me, Mandy agreed to look at my pictures.
Though she looked at exactly the same thing I did, instead of screaming WTF she saw progress. She pointed out how my posture had improved, how my arms and chest were more toned, and how even on my core there were some changes happening. She looked at the whole me in a way that I had been incapable of.
I come to this process with a skewed lens, one which has spent years judging instead of accepting, and criticizing instead of celebrating. If I don’t let go of it, I run the risk of never seeing my progress and never being truly satisfied. I run the risk of never being “thin.” Not because my body can’t do it, but because thin is a state of mind. It is not fact, it is just the way you feel about yourself.
So I am not worried about using the word thin, skinny, or saying that strong is the new sexy. I am letting go of an image associated with any of those words, and focusing instead of finding its associated feeling.
I feel thin, fit, and strong, when I am done with a hard workout, when I eat a filling yet nutritious meal, when I make a choice that leads me towards my goal. I feel fat, jiggly and round if I don’t do my best on a training day, if I eat an entire gallon of mint chip ice cream with magic shell sauce, if I give up what I want most for what I want now.
Looking at the weeks ahead I see how I will be travelling, celebrating Christmas and will not go to my sessions at Fitness Together. I’ve read many articles about tips and tricks to stay fit during the holidays and I am devising a strategy.
I can put this whole thing on hiatus, and indulge on Christmas cooking and pecan pie. That is a choice, and it is okay as long as I own it. As long as I say: “I am going to binge and I will get back on track in January.”
But that is not me. I am incapable of owning that without feeling like a failure. I envy people that can indeed do that. My goal will be to FEEL thin by practicing portion control, fitting in some workouts where I can, and realizing that any chocolate ingested is a treat and not something to beat myself up for.
So that when six weeks finally rolls around, and Mandy evaluates my progress I will have numbers but I won’t need the external validation. It will be deeply ingrained in me that thin is not a fact, it’s a state of mind.
How about you? Do you struggle with the word “thin”? How do you feel about your body?