Question: Of course the spiritual, mental, and emotional payoffs must be amazing, but I want to know what, when you look in the mirror now with no clothes on, makes you grin from ear to ear?
This is a really sweet question and I'm definitely in favor of celebrating the boons of my hard work. Yes, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror naked, I'm very happy to see that I am smaller and more toned. It's thrilling to see my shape change so drastically. But that's where it ends. Like many women, I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror while naked. The first look is always fine. But upon closer inspection, I start noticing the extensive map of stretch marks on my stomach and thighs. My breasts, which have nursed two children, look like dishtowels with buttons. My hips, which have birthed two babies, are genetically predisposed to look like tater-tot casseroles. But honestly none of this really brings me down. Why? Because most people never see me naked, including me. My kids see me naked once in a blue moon, and they don't care what I look like. Jack sees me naked, but he generally doesn't care because he loves me unconditionally and gets to have sex with me.
The thing that makes me "smile from ear to ear" is how I look clothed! I love to see my workout clothing fit nicely. I love to wear a pair of jeans that fit well and aren't composed entirely of spandex. I love going to a clothing store, knowing that whatever I try on is probably going to fit. Its such fun to expand my closet to include tailored blouses, skirts and even a pair of heels. Most plus sized women are trapped by the fashion industry. There is really very little available to them, much less something stylish and inexpensive. Until now, I hated walking into a clothing store. Now, I look forward to it!
For Christmas, my husband gave me a turquoise, long-sleeved running shirt. Even though it didn't quite fit at first, I loved it. And as the months pass, it fits better and better. It's such fun to grow out of my old wardrobe and into an entirely new one. Here I am in my running shirt - the first photo taken in February and the other taken this morning after my run.
And just for fun, here's my four-year-old giving me snuggles after my run!