Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Exercise in Futility

Like many women, I've never been happy with my body. I've always zeroed in on the flaws, staring at my reflection, half believing that if I stood there long enough, my intense gaze would melt away my "problem areas." Still, even in the midst of my self-loathing, I felt like my body was passable, at least when I was wearing clothes (as opposed to a bathing suit - or worse). And so I never felt it necessary to exercise.

Then I had children. And my body slowly ballooned through a combination of baby weight and being a stay-at-home mom with ready access to a refrigerator and pantry at all times. Today I'm up to my highest weight - 20 lbs more than I weighed in my glory days.

The hardest part of my downhill journey is admitting something to myself. I've always told myself that if I exercised, I'd easily achieve the body I've always longed for. But it turns out that's simply not true.

Maybe it's because I waited until I was 38 to give it a whirl, but despite my commitment to jogging every other day without fail, my metabolism refuses to budge. My body revels in its current state, hanging onto that 20 lbs for dear life. It's been 3 months and NOTHING.

It's frustrating and hard to keep up with the exercise regimen with no visible results. My clothes fit the same. The scale reads the same. I try telling myself that my heart, lungs, cholesterol levels - my insides must be looking really healthy! Sexy even! Somehow that's not a big comfort. Did I just say big? Well, I guess that's fitting. (Unlike my jeans.)