Weight Loss: It’s About Balls, Not Bikinis

Dear Scale: There is no longer anything you could say that would make me feel bad about my body. Nope, not even 127.

A lot of weird things happen when you reach a new decade in your life.

For me, turning 30 a few years ago brought the following odd changes:

  • Everywhere I turned, other people’s babies seemed to be making direct eye contact with me as if to say, “What’s that loud sound? Oh, it’s your biological clock.”
  • I began staying up at night worrying about my personal finances, punching numbers into a calculator until I’d drift off to sleep. (I always hope my calculations will bring better results with each attempt, but they never do. Damn.)
  • And the weirdest change of all: I started liking country music.

But another noticeable change as we enter a new decade in our lives is a change in our values. Suddenly, the motivations behind our actions reveal that we’ve matured — that we’re, I dunno… grown-ups or something.

Take the issue of weight loss, for example. In my 20′s I dieted and exercised in order to look more attractive. I had always hated my body type — short and stumpy with a pancake butt (depressingly flat and wide). And sometimes while in the shower I’d look down at the fat on my belly and talk to it as if it were my arch nemesis. “You’re disgusting. You won’t be around for much longer, you filthy slime!” I’d say to it in my best Dirty Harry voice too. Clint Eastwood would have been impressed.

Hell, even when I was an athletic and strong teenager (running 15-20 miles per week and doing one-handed pushups with ease), I wished I were thinner.

What was I thinking, hating myself for not being thin enough? I was 5 feet of pure muscle and pure awesome!

Being able to run over 3 miles in less than 25 minutes should have been reason enough to love and appreciate my body.

I used to diet and exercise in hopes that one day the world would approve of how I look. Nowadays, I run and eat my veggies because I love and respect myself enough to do so. There’s a big difference.

This is me running a 3-mile obstacle course last year. Fitness goal: Increase my chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

My cousin recently lost 20 lbs and is approaching a healthy weight for her height and age. As we spoke about the motivation behind our shared desire to be healthier, we discovered that we have the same goal: to be physically fit by the time we become pregnant with our first child.

Why get fit just before we get fat, you ask? Good question. It has to do with our new grown-up values and attitudes. We don’t need to be hot MILFs in bikinis one day — we want to be great moms with huge balls one day.

My cousin wants to be in the habit of eating healthily and staying active so that she is a good role model for her future children. She doesn’t want them to struggle with their weight like she has for most of her life.

And me? I want to be in the habit of loving my body no matter how it looks (and treating it accordingly). I want to model emotional and spiritual health for my children. I don’t want them to endure the pain of hating themselves, like I once did. I want them to know down deep in their bones that they were born and created out of Love, just as I was, and because of this, they are special, precious, and “good enough,” even in their imperfection.

I hope that by the time I’m a mother I will have evolved into someone great. I hope that I’ll be struggling less with the fear of rejection, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of being unattractive and unwanted. And I hope I’m a million light years away from doing crazy things like taking diet pills, obsessively counting calories, and threatening my belly flab with my best Dirty Harry voice.

But my hope is that everyone evolves into people who make health and fitness decisions out of Love, not fear. When we work hard for our health because we unconditionally love our bodies, we inspire others to do the same.

Make no mistake: fighting for your mental and physical health will take courage. It will take strength. It will take time. But you know what? We can do it. And more importantly, we’re meant to do it. We are designed to flow naturally in the direction of a Brave Life, just as a river flows into the sea.

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10 Responses to Weight Loss: It’s About Balls, Not Bikinis

  1. Pingback: A Brave Life, Version 2.0: A Change Is Coming! | a brave life

  2. KMD says:

    You did track too? Sweet!

    On a personal note, I view exercise & being healthy as a means of making myself feel better. My English teacher in my junior year of high school was a fitness competitor/bodybuilder and she was somewhat of a role model for me as I began to get more into weight training. I was never fat or anything, but I just wanted to get into better shape. It became a huge part of my later adolescence, and in some respects it still is (altohugh I think I’ve eased off on it somewhat). I like your perspective on how people should exercise to improve their own well-being rather than to fit or fulfill an unhealthy image or improve their physical appearance/attractiveness-though the latter can be an added benefit. ;) Kudos to you and your healthy balls!

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      I didn’t know you did track! I did cross country, winter track and spring track all 4 years of high school. I also threw shot put and discus. But I think I was the slowest and weakest person on the team, lol.

      The funny thing is that back then I didn’t like running because I hated the competitive aspect of it, and also because our coach trained us as if we were Marines. (Dear lord do I have some stories!) Every time I tried running in my 20′s I did it in order to lose weight…so of course, it was not enjoyable and I ended up being very inconsistent with it. But now I run while listening to slow, inspiring music — it’s kind of a spiritual experience for me. Or I’ll run while listening to a documentary or an educational podcast, which always makes me feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone — sharpening the body AND the mind. In other words, running has become about personal growth for me, and that’s why I love it and do it consistently now.

      It’s cool that you’re into weight lifting. Women often neglect that part of their fitness regimen because they don’t want to look bulky, but it’s so important. The best thing about it? It’s something I can do while watching HGTV. :)

      • KMD says:

        Yeah but I was kind of bad at it, lol. You and I both!

        A note on the weightlifting: yeah, you’re right about how most women shy away from it because they don’t want to get too bulky (I could go on for hours about this) even though it’s pretty much biologically impossible for them to turn out like She-Hulk, even with the cleanest diet and the strictest exercise regimen. Stumptuous.com goes further into this; you’ll find a section on weight training myths, if you’re intrigued. :)

  3. Steph says:

    Love this in particular: “But my hope is that everyone evolves into people who make health and fitness decisions out of Love, not fear. When we work hard for our health because we unconditionally love our bodies, we inspire others to do the same.”

    Food for thought: I’ve found the best way for me to do the above is to take the focus off of weight loss and focus on healthy behaviors, regardless of whether those behaviors lead to weight loss. This model of health is called Health At Every Size (HAES) and was developed by Dr. Linda Bacon.

    Obviously, it is up to each individual to determine the path to health that works best for them, but I wanted to share this model with your readers. Particularly because the personal goals you mentioned in this post — loving your body no matter how it looks and reflecting that love through healthy actions — immediately made me think of the HAES model when I read it.

    Wishing you all the best on your journey toward continually improving physical, emotional and spiritual health! :)

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Yes, I LOVE the approach of taking the focus off of weight loss. Of course, weight loss is certainly a nice benefit. (Ain’t no shame in admiring your fine self!) But the HAES model is excellent. Personally, my philosophy on health and food are hugely influenced by Geneen Roth’s book Women, Food & God.

      One scary thing is that my family (both sides) and I have serious cholesterol issues. I even had high cholesterol as a kid. When I told my doctor about it a few years ago, she asked if I’m taking medication for it and I said no. Then she said, “Well, you’re 30 — you’re no spring chicken anymore. You should think about medication.” Ahh! Scary! Not just because of the mere idea of needing medication, but also because she said I’m not young anymore and I can’t get away with things I used to do. So yeah, now is a GREAT time to be running. Because it’s not just about emotional and spiritual health — it’s about survival.

      PS. When we become neighbors we should go on power walks after dinner. ;)

  4. Jay says:

    Ha! Pregnant ladies with balls. Rule 34, anyone?

  5. Sheryl says:

    Obviously you are living in my head.

    One of my biggest struggles right now is my weight/weight loss/managing what I eat. The end goal is to just be healthy and happy and feel like my body can do the things I want it to do (go for a run just because it feels good, etc) but it’s so easy to get caught up in the “ugh I hate the way this particular body part look” or “I’ve lost how much weight and I still feel fat”.

    Somehow, though, the thought of having children in the near future definitely affects how I approach my body. (They cry and I want to go make things better. I’m hopelessly in babyfever.) It reminds me that the things my body can do are awe-inspiring but that my body needs my help in doing them properly.

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Hey twin. I’m certainly not so evolved that I don’t occasionally think “I hate the way this part of my body looks.” But for me that’s different from feeling like I hate my body in general, or feeling like an unattractive person. For example, the outfit I’m wearing right now is doing a very poor job of minimizing my muffin top, but I feel very attractive today because my work went well this morning, I’m having a good hair day, I’ll be getting a lot of errands done later, and “the girls” are looking extra perky in this top, haha. But there was a time when my midsection would completely dominate how I felt about myself. Those days are over (even though my waistline looks about the same as it always has). Hey, it’s progress!

      So apparently I’m not the only one whose life has been changed for the better by her imaginary child?! Excellent. :)

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