Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rose-coloured glasses and self-perception and abdominal crunches

A harsh lesson in reality

Little Boozle 2009
(Zumba Fitness DVD cover)

Like the happy snap? That's me and a few mates. That's me on the left. The toned, pert, perky brunette with the 6 pack.

OK So that's not me. But it could be me. Couldn't it? I mean, for 3 months now, I have lunged and gyrated my hips and jungle pumped and crunched my abdominal muscles with those girls on pretty much a daily basis. Zumba baby? Yeah!

I discovered Zumba (essentially funky jazzercise to exotic music- think Samba, Salsa and Calypso) about 3 months ago. Seemed worth a try. Dvd based so I could do it in my own home, in my own time and, most importantly, behind closed curtains.

I should take a minute to explain that I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I graduated Uni overweight and lost 26 kg and in spite of a few blips, have done OK until I started child bearing. My weight increased with each pregnancy and my resolve and time to exercise decreased with each baby. I made a resolution that I had to get fit and healthy once I had finished having children- for their future and my own. But this year my last baby was suddenly past 2 years and I was not losing any weight. I have no aspiration to be a skinny minny. I love terms like "curvy" and "rubenesque" but at the moment I am just, well, fat.

But my inner self is thin. I shimmy and booty circle daily and am thinking I am pretty darn cool; after all, the people on the video are cool. But then they are younger, fitter and slimmer (and not to forget wearing THE coolest exercise clothing available) And I truly believe that my hips were not created equal to theirs. Even if I lose those 20 kg, my hips aren't EVER going to be able to do THAT.
In reality, I am an overweight, nearly middle-aged mum wearing daggy tracky daks and an oversized tee and red faced and puffing and unco-ordinated and sweating and...well, you get the picture. But I don't. That's the point. If I was in a gym class in front of a full length mirror, I'd see it too.

When I do see myself in the mirror or my reflection in a window, I do a double take because that hefty person is me. My spiritual being is thin but my earthly body is most definately not.
Yet on a daily basis I am aware that I am overweight. I can see my feet but there is a big tummy to view on the way past.
I wonder what I else I perceive about myself that other people who know me would disagree with. I probably don't want to know.
Anyhow, I will keep meeting up with my mates every day because I know that somewhere, under my love handles, I am toning up my abs and more importantly, getting healthier.
And, who knows, one day maybe a 6 pack will just appear out of nowhere. But I do accept that a pert bosom is way beyond reality at this point in my post-breast feeding life.

Oh and by the way that gorgeous lady on the right is apparently a mum to 4. There is hope for me yet...Then again, her previous career was as a professional dancer....OK, I'm screwed.


Vic @ Punky and Me said...

Great post Tas. Really. Really really. (I'm nothing if not eloquent...)

I too have always been "big", unfortunately for me, I perceived my being "big" in stature to being "big" all over, I look back now at pictures of myself in my early teens & think "I thought I was FAT?" - I was NEVER skinny, but I certainly looked healthy, healthier than I am now that's for sure. There came a point when I thought to myself "I'm fat" and started to live up to it by eating & crap & not doing too much of anything that looked too much like exercise.

I APPLAUD you, heartily, for doing your hip & down with the kids dancing daily... Hurrah! I was sucked in by the ad that is on late at night obviously on an alternative day to Zumba... The Ab Circle Pro. I made the boy get it for my birthday & would you believe it IS fun to use...?! Because it is. Really. And easy. So I'll have abs of steel in no time too right...? Right...?!

Well maybe if I had used it more than three times I might be a little bit further on my way.

You've inspired me you healthy Mama you, I'm going to get out that damn thing & uh... glide? Spin..? Circle-cise...? Whatever it is I'm going to do it.



Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

Go you! The best I have managed to do is ditch the block-of-chocolate-a-day habit. There's been very little of that malarkey where I actually get up and move it all about.

If helps though that lady who had the four children has probably been extensively Photoshopped. (Note to self: must book in for a cut-and-paste.)

Tas said...

Sadly (for me- yay for her) she actually scrubs up pretty well when she is exercising. You can certainly tell the difference between her tum and those other young things without kids- and that does give me some twisted sense of satisfaction. Well, really, I think if I can get to her post-baby tum, I'd be darn happy!

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

A great post! And I am so with you, I still see myself as being slim, but that was years ago in reality...

Zumba sounds like a lot of fun! I should grab one of the dvds - I can certainly do with the exercise now that I can no longer use the excuse that my tummy is big because there is a baby growing in there...