March eighth was my wedding anniversary – my eighth, to be exact. Because our anniversary is in March, we often do very little for Valentine’s Day and instead go all out for our anniversary. This year we visited Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark resort, for a pseudo-tropical vacation close to home. We’ve gone there a few times, and while it’s fun with kids, it’s also just as fun for two adults looking to get away and relax together.
And this year, I decided I wasn’t wearing a bathing suit with a skirt. Ever since I became a mom, my hips and thighs have been given as much coverage as possible under loose fabric during any bathing suit occasion. Let’s be honest, though: skirted suits are a pain. I mean, it’s OK if you’re just planning to sit in a lounge chair and read a book, but they’re completely uncomfortable if you have any plans of stepping foot in the water. The wet fabric clings and bunches when you get out of the water, generally destroying any chance at looking good as you continuously peel the cold, damp fabric from your legs. The minute you take a step, the we fabric latches on to your thighs again, and the peel and stick cycle continues for every step.
To prepare for our anniversary, I stepped up my plan to shape up, lose weight, and improve my health. In January, I left behind the sweets and baked goods of the holiday season and once again embraced healthy eating: tracking my calories each day, eating regular meals and small snacks between meals, and focusing on the nutritional value of what I eat. I journal everything I eat each day using an iPhone app, finding it makes me more honest with myself and less likely to overeat.
I’ve also starting exercising more regularly, including signing up for a series of group “bootcamp” classes in February. Group exercise generally makes me sweat without even working out, as I often compare myself to others around me and worry that I’m the weakest link in the class. But I also know that in a group setting I’m more likely to give 100% because of that same worry, so I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to make sure I get the most from my exercise.
I wanted to feel good about my body when I put on a bathing suit in the store, and even better when I wore it on our anniversary. I’ve lost ten pounds since January, and I’m starting to see muscle tone developing beneath the fat. I like what I’m seeing. When I bought my bathing suit, I declared my anniversary-prep a success, and I couldn’t wait for my husband to see me in that suit.
To be clear: I did this both for me and as a gift for him, but my husband certainly isn’t expecting me to be a certain size. Many years ago, when we first met, he saw me at my highest weight ever. More than when I was 9 months pregnant, even. He loved me at my highest weight, and he loves me now, when I’m nearing my lowest weight. Do I want him to be proud of the woman in the bathing suit next to him? Absolutely. But feeling proud of myself is just as important to me.
The results? Well, check out the photo to the left. Never before now would I even think of posting a photo of myself in a bathing suit on the internet, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’m at the same weight I was when we married. I’m three pounds away from the lowest weight in my adult life. Making the commitment to change the way you eat and exercise is hard, but the payoff of looking better, feeling better, and knowing that I’m improving my health is worth the hard work. I’m worth the hard work.
We had a fantastic time on our anniversary, and all of the preparation and work was worth it. Setting goals for myself helped me get even more excited about our trip, and meeting those goals made me feel fantastic. Having confidence in that bathing suit was my greatest reward as we walked around the waterpark for our anniversary, and that confidence hid any flaws far better than a little skirt would.
Best anniversary yet!
What event are you preparing for?
Now it’s your turn – tell me what big event in your life you’re preparing for, and what you’re doing to prepare for it. It can be anything: wedding, birthday party, moving to a new city, a vacation, etc. Are you shopping for new clothing? Scouting for the best coffee in a new city?
Leave me a comment below sharing how you’re preparing for the next big event in your life (and what that event is!), and you can be entered to win a Slim-Fast gift pack worth $100! Sweepstakes dates are 3/28-4/20.
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