When I have Abs I’ll be happy..

How many
times do we find ourselves using the phrase ‘when I lose 10lbs I’ll be happy’
or ‘when I get promoted I’ll be happy’? But how many times have we achieved
something we’ve always wanted and we’re still not happy? My obsession with a
flat stomach started in my teens and has continued well into my twenties. Even
at my slimmest I still found myself pinching at my tummy and wondering why I
don’t have a six pack like J-Lo. My body started changing when I was 21 and I
was a healthy size 10 but a little pouch of fat emerged from nowhere and
settled into my lower stomach (Well actually it came from the cheap bottles of
wine and tuck shop trips in sixth form!)

When I
started my fitness journey, the reality was that even after losing weight and
being at my healthiest physically, I still never achieved that flat tummy goal
and it was the source of frustration for many years. I was eating healthily 80%
of the time with a few treats at the weekend and I was exercising 5 times a week.
So why didn’t I have the body that I had imagined? The simple answer is because
I was always wanting something that I didn’t have, and I never took a moment to
be grateful for what I had worked so hard for and realise how far I had come. My
fitness levels had never been better, my diet had given me a better
appreciation of food and my energy levels were through the roof. Even though my
stomach was much more defined and ‘leaner’ than it ever had been, I wasn’t happy
because it didn’t fit my perception of perfection.

Now, post-baby
I’m much more accepting of the body that I have and I understand that there
will always be some things that I just can’t change and why would I want to? When
I look back at when I was at my ‘leanest’ I was exercising far too much,
sometimes twice a day, restricting my calories and mentally my body image issues
were at an all-time high. My body physically did not want to be at that weight
and I was constantly battling to keep it there. If having Abs means that my
mental health is damaged, I’m missing out on meals with friends and I’m leaving
my son at home to go to the gym for hours at a time, it’s just not worth it.

Our differences
are what make us unique, and sometimes we just have to accept that we are born
into this body and this is how we’re meant to be. Whether you’re chasing a
better paid job, an Olympic gold medal or more friends, never forget to live in
the moment. Take 5 minutes every morning to be grateful for the present moment
and be proud of how far you’ve already come. Sure you might not be married by
30, but you’re also so much stronger and more confident in your own skin than
you were when you were 29.

I think
it’s important that we keep striving to be a better version than we were
yesterday, but you will never be happy if you’re constantly chasing the idea of
a perfect life or a perfect body. Someday in the future, when we’re old and
struggling to walk, we’ll look back on our current state and wish that we
hadn’t taken it for granted.



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