Back in Good Shape—by Jamie Levine
It’s been five months since I met Library Guy, and only a few weeks since I started questioning our relationship, and feeling insecure about his intentions. Today, on our “anniversary,” all that has changed: I feel like we’re back on track—being honest and appreciative of each other, enjoying every moment together, and, more importantly, I’m feeling incredibly good about myself. Right now, my head—as well as my body—is in pretty good shape.
For the past 15 years or so, I’ve been quite dedicated to working out and eating right. Prior to contemplating single motherhood, I was ridiculously lean and muscular—in the best shape of my life—as the result of spending several hours a day at the gym and eating a super-clean diet. And while I certainly toned down my weight lifting regimen during my pregnancy, I did still manage to work out almost daily—hitting the gym up until the day before Jayda was born. Then, just a few weeks after my C-section, I was back on the stairmill again. Fitting in workouts and avoiding stress-eating wasn’t always easy for me, but I did my best to stay on track. However, I never managed to completely shred my 10 extra pregnancy pounds, somehow found myself sporting a little belly, and started to loathe my body. Then I met Library Guy.
As I’ve articulated here before, Library Guy calms me, completes me, and generally makes me feel very good about myself; he seems to think I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, and constantly showers me with compliments. Thus, falling into a relationship with him unconsciously caused me to make some changes: I started eating a little less and working out a bit more intensely, and over time, I began to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. As our dates have progressed, my wardrobe has multiplied: I’m now able to wear clothes I haven’t worn in years. Having my body confidence back is important to me, and being fit is a crucial part of my identity that I’ve been desperately missing. For the past several years I’ve felt like a hot, hard-bodied woman trapped in a not-so-sexy mommy mold. Now I’m the fit, confident mother I was meant to be—both inside and out.
During the past few weeks, while I experienced a bout of relationship insecurity, I discovered that the best way for me to fight back was to focus on my body. I ate even more healthfully than usual, and took out my frustration and fears at the gym; I’ve started to get stronger and fitter as a result. And I’ve even started running. I’ve never been a runner, as I have minor knee and ankle injuries that have always held me back, but I’m pushing through those handicaps and have started to log a bit of low mileage in the hopes that I can run outside when the weather improves. It feels good physically and mentally, and I like having a goal for myself. And rather than running away from my past and my pain, by taking care of myself and my muscles again, I feel like I’m running towards something. Something really good. And with my fit body, strong heart, and positive mind, I know I’ll get there.