Monday, March 2, 2009

When good enough isn't good enough.

Recently three things have caught my attention and made me take a long, hard look in the mirror. This is no small feat considering, well, you know. We're not exactly set up for that kind of thing anymore.
  1. I re-watched the Sex and the City movie at home and still COULD NOT TELL when Samantha "got fat." In the movie everyone is gasping and shielding their eyes and trying to hide their hideous friend with the bulging belly behind furniture to save her the embarrassment of having let herself go. I'm sitting there thinking, She's fat? Huh. I swear, I couldn't even tell. She still looked pretty good to me.

  2. One of my favorite bloggers Girl's Gone Child posted after-baby photos of herself in her pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. She did it like, I've lost 30 pounds but still have a long way to go - just look at my muffin top! This made me feel three things. 1) Wow that's brave. I have never so much as worn a two piece swimsuit in my life and here she is baring her midriff for all to see. And not her woo hoo look how skinny I am midriff; her work in progress midriff. Impressive. 2) The girl looks good! If the skinny jeans fit, why not just throw on a loose top and wear them? 3) Hmmm...that's about how I look in my skinny jeans. And my baby is three years old.

  3. Last week on Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow came on to share with everyone how she got in such great shape. I'm thinking, What is she going to do? Tell us to go out and buy the Lucky Genetics that she was blessed with. I mean, what could someone that naturally skinny have to teach the rest of us? Well, evidently she hasn't always been that skinny (I'm way out of the celebrity gossip loop - she could have had a head transplant and I wouldn't have known it). After her son was born, she had 20 extra pounds that wouldn't budge until she hired a trainer and started working out 2 hours a day. Every day.
Hottie 1, before; hottie 2, after.

The thing that struck me about each of these ladies is that they all looked pretty good before. I mean, if no one can tell you're fat, does it really matter? If you can fit into your skinny jeans and a flowy top and some strategically placed accessories would totally hide your muffin top, what's the big deal? If you're an absolute stunner with or without the last 20 pounds, why spend 2 hours a day working out?

Why is pretty good good enough for some and just a jumping off point for others?

I've been letting that rattle around in my head for a few weeks now and am still not exactly sure what to make of it. It could be any number of things: having low expectations for ourselves; loving cake and beer and pizza more than going to the gym; thinking we don't deserve to be our best; enjoying life just as we are; not wanting to seem like that girl who cares so much about how she looks; being lazy; being content; hating healthy food; not wanting to walk that line between health conscious and obsessive; not wanting to try and fail; not knowing where to start; not being able to convince the rest of our family to make healthy changes too; giving in to peer pressure; honestly not giving a crap one way or the other...the list goes on and on.

Whatever the reason, I have decided that good enough is no longer good enough for me. I want to feel my very best instead of just pretty good. I think I deserve that.

I know that the things I mentioned above seemed totally focused on looks but I can assure you, for me, this is way more about how I feel. I mean, come on, I am within the confines of my home most of the time and my husband and son will love me no matter how haggard I look (I feel a comment coming on from Bill...). Besides that, I most definitely look good enough just the way I am. In the right outfit, with strategically placed accessories and good lighting, I've been known to look really good, OK? So don't roll your eyes at how shallow I am or fall all over yourself telling me I don't need to lose weight because it's not about that.

I swear.

Of course, I'm a little less than six weeks away from something I wouldn't mind looking extra hot for: A road trip with my sister to see Britney Spears! Wouldn't it be great to roll up looking like this:

Instead of this:

Not that me or my sister has ever looked that tragic. Poor thing. Aren't you glad those days are over? That's quite a comeback, kid!

More on my get fit plan to come...


LClaire said...

I'm so there sister, I think when you make it (ie working out and eating right) about how you feel and not a number on the scale, clothing size, or someone's opinion, your whole life transforms before you and out of the 'before' comes an 'after' that makes everything in life just a little sweeter.

Working out more and making some changes may not change anything for anyone else who already thinks you're smokin' hot, but it may make you feel a little different inside. You have to think, Gwyneth probably feels on some level that those 2 hours a day are about her and no one else too, because if she didn't, then she would have fallen out of that beast of a routine years ago.

So, you go, you smokin' hot mamma, you do what you want! But remember, we already think you're perfect, just the way you are! :)

Girl Healthy said...

Way to go, Maggie!!

Sarah said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog. I can't remember where I got the link, maybe just pushing next blog over and over. Anyway, I like your stuff and you are so right and I think I was in the same place you were about 6 months ago. What finally pushed me into a lifestyle change was watching my mother deal with diabetes for years and years, but the straw was when she figured out, after years of being told, that exercise will bring her sugar numbers down. She was active for a few days moving and her numbers were normal. She was shocked. I was shocked that she was shocked and that pushed me to making the change. I've lost 25 pounds or so, and I'm in shape. I feel great, I look better (dieting doesn't make your hair thicker though, darn.) and most importantly, I don't have that nagging voice in my head saying, "You shouldn't eat that" or "you should be exercising" because I'm already doing it! Good luck with your endeavor!

Timshel said...

this is pretty awesome. i am reading while eating top ramen. maybe i will do it with you. :)