I show you this picture not for the shawl that I knit out of yarn that I spun over a year ago. I am hoping you can see my arms and those bat wings that are dangling. That is my greatest fear. I've never had small arms. Not even when I lost 75 lbs the first time in 1995. I always felt like my arms were sausages and I would stuff them into button down shirts with tight sleeves.
Watching Ruby on Oprah (DVRed) made me realize the impact of my weight gain on my body. For years I've been struggling with how I can lose weight without the excess skin that could be left behind. Ruby stated that the excess skin on her body, specifically referencing her arms, is a punishment for letting her body carry over 700 pounds. And Oprah pointed out that no amount of weight lifting or dieting could get that skin to snap back. That was a frightening awakening because for so long I've been resisting the need to lose weight because I fear seeing the results of my self abuse. I can sort of justify my stomach to be flabby and loose because I've been pregnant with 3 children. But I've also been obese in between those children, and that is my fault and burden. But my arms . . .
I've admired strong armed women, like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Salvation, Jessica Biel, Evangeline Lilly, and Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama was the one that prompted me to work on my fitness. Reading all the accounts of her getting out of the house by 4:30 a.m. to exercise while married with 2 children and working as a full time attorney made me realize June 2009 when I returned to full time work that I had absolutely no excuse. She was living my reality and she made it work. And look at her arms. She works hard for them. And I try to work hard for them. Like this morning at 5 a.m. when I got up and did a Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga, holding my body up by those arms without having to modify the plank. I tried so hard to hold myself up. And I am getting so strong with every workout.
My greatest hope in this journey is to work hard to achieve those buff arms. I may not achieve them. And if I don't, I will be sad; but I know that, in the grand scheme of things, I will be healthier and more satisfied having taken care of my entire body, and not worrying about bits and pieces. Because those bits and pieces that aren't perfect will be the constant reminder to never allow myself to repeat that vicious cycle.