The other day at the gym, I found myself on the middle bike between two single ladies on my left and two on the right. I didn't know for sure they were single. I just had a feeling born out of years of being single myself.
Let's just say they were young, energetic and one other thing that I was not…I was not wearing an outfit like theirs. Their outfits seemed designed for the gym. The clothes were put together with consideration for fit, performance and appearance. They each had shoes that matched their shorts, shorts that matched their shirt, etc. Their outfits suggested thought about the lift of the backside and the poof of the pony-tail.
I used to have gym outfits like theirs. Since becoming a mom, it's become hard to distinguish between the clothes that I wear at home and ones for the gym. My outer wear is likely to reflect my internal harried state. My gym clothes are sure to symbolize my lack of free time and the nature of my 24/7 job.
Frankly, I just don't care what I look like at the gym. I feel like a bad-ass dressing like a slob. I want my clothes to say, "I pushed a baby out of this body without drugs; I've earned the right to dress however I want!"
If this posture sounds obnoxious, please hear me out. It's not lost on me that not caring about clothing this vociferously seems oddly related to caring about it. Still, there's something empowering in this stance for me. My choice in clothes (or lack thereof) reflects the fact that my workouts have become more about taking care of myself and being healthy than using exercise to pursue a body that conforms to a standard of beauty dictated by others.
I'm not implying that woman with nicer outfits than me or women who are single and/or without kids are ill-intended in their workouts either. I don't know their intentions.
What I do know is that they remind me of pre-baby me. I spent too much time worrying about how I looked before I had Claire. Like many women, I've struggled to gain acceptance of my body.
Having a baby has been a rite of passage for me, in this respect. I've learned that my body is so much more than its appearance. I grew a baby with this body. That's a revelation. Some women do it more than once. I am in awe of them.
Of course, I still have days when I wish I had flatter abs or I worry about fitting into my skinny jeans.
On other days, I experience my body as bountiful. I look at my daughter, and it isn't possible for me to believe otherwise. She exists regardless of my physical appearance or what clothes I wear.
I feel grateful for the body that made her. I feel its power and its wonder. I deserve to feel this way more often.
We all do.
Connect with: Bloglovin', FB, Twitter, G+, Pinterest