Friday, September 25, 2015

A Promise To Myself

I have a confession to make.  I haven't been very nice to myself lately.  There has been a lot of negative self talk in regards to my body.  A lot of poking and prodding at areas that have "gotten soft" (compared to what I'm used to) and a general overall dislike of my appearance.

Normally I try to stay focused on what my body is capable of rather than how it looks but over the last several months, I've noticed a change in how my clothes fit, or in some cases, don't fit.  I started to get preoccupied with the little bit of extra flab around my belly and the saddlebags that I thought were starting to appear.  It started to really wear on me.  Especially when bombarded with daily images of super fit people on Social Media.


When I actually get my head out of my a$$ and take the time to look at the last few months, I notice a couple of key things.

1.  My ability to perform didn't change regardless of my saddlebags or flabby midsection.  In fact, I set course PR's in 3 of my 4 triathlons this year.  That has nothing to do with how my body looks.

2.  And this is the bigger culprit....I haven't taken care of my self the way I normally would.  This summer was so insanely busy that meal prep went out the window.  We were away a lot so we were eating out and when we were home I hardly cooked so we'd get take out.  And I wondered why my body was changing!

After we came back from Tremblant, I made a promise to myself that I would stop the obsessing and   start to take care of myself.  I went to Costco and stocked up on fish, chicken breast, quinoa and a few other staples and then I spent a day prepping food.   On Sundays I've started to make meal plans for the week for lunch and dinner so I'm not left winging it and deciding that I don't feel like cooking.   A quick perusal of my cookbooks reminded me that making good food doesn't have to be complicated.

I am a creature of habit - my body thrives on routine and this year, especially this summer, has been anything BUT routine.  Yes, I work out a lot but I'm not 25 any more, so it doesn't take much for me to gain a few inches, especially if my diet is less than ideal.  I don't expect things to get any easier in the coming years either.  Next year I will be firmly entrenched in my mid 40's so I'm sure these next few years will bring a variety of interesting "challenges".  I'm going to have to get used to my body changing.

My body may not look like it did last year, or even the year before that but I've realized that doesn't matter.  It's gotten better at doing what it does best (swimming, biking and running) and ultimately that's what really matters to me in the end.


Paul Mora said...

Great post! It's easy to get down on yourself especially when looking at other people on social media. I have a hard time with it too... I see everyone doing stuff and getting PRs when I can barely find the time to go for a 5km run, let alone quality training. It's tough mentally. I have to remind myself that I'm doing the best I can right now, and that should be enough.

Meredith said...

Fantastic reminder to us all! I too am guilty of slacking off the last few months due to a busy schedule but I feel so much better when I take the time to shop and prep for the week on Sunday's.

Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home said...

Phaedra, you are one of the strongest athletes that I know...I follow you and gain so much inspiration from you. This post makes you all the more human to me...

Hey, wait until you turn 50. There aren't many of us pushing our limits in my age group. And you start to care less about what your body looks like and more about what it still is capable of!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Aww thanks Wendy that means a LOT! :)

Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles said...

You are way too badass to let a few extra pounds or flab get in your way! I can absolutly relate though and it's really tough hen you're used to seeing yourself one way and your body seems to give you something else. And social media is the devil when it comes to self esteem. You could look a million different ways but you'd still inspire me. I am in awe of your athletic prowess. And if triathlon has taught me anything it's that the shape or size of your body does not matter. Mental fortitude and love of the sport is what makes a triathlete beautiful =)

Kelli said...

I absolutely hear you on this. My summers are always tough with race travel and my boys being home. It is a tough adjustment to try to get back into fall racing form and eating right again. You look amazing and your athletic accomplishments are awesome. Remember we are all our own harshest critic. Good luck getting back into a routine!