Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nobody's perfect - and that's okay

Half-way through Salsa Burn last night, I'd already written the majority of this post in my head. I planned to tease Meaghan about my aching muscles and blistered feet, or whine about how Jessica's Fit Hop Abs class almost killed me.

But after a restless night of tossing and turning, I've had a sobering second thought. Although my body was screaming for rest, I couldn't shut down. Something kept niggling at the back of my mind.

I realized this morning it was this post.

I overdid it yesterday, peeps. Just after lunch I powered through a treadmill workout, feeling strong - and strangely light - for the entire 40-minute run. I snacked on vegetables and hummus, washed it down with my required eight glasses of water. Skipping dinner, I vaulted to J'Adore Dance, where Meaghan led us through 75-minutes of burn. We followed that up with an hour of abdominal hell by the Fit Hop queen, Jessica.

That's a whole lotta cardio, my friends.

I should be proud. Instead, I'm disappointed.

By the end of Fit Hop, I felt my feet dragging. Those steps I'd almost started to understand became a blur of movement and sound. Instead of being swept up in the music, I was watching the clock, wondering whether anyone would notice if I simply passed out.

What was I thinking?

Clearly not about the message in this post.

I'm down 11 pounds since January 1, 2011, a fifth of the way towards my goal of shedding 50 this year. As I watched my marginally slimmer self dance in the mirror last night, I wondered if even that would be enough to satisfy my unrealistic expectations.

At 36-years-old, can I truly dream of a flat stomach and butt cheeks that don't wiggle when I walk? If I did 1,000 sit-ups a day, would I push for 1,001 in the hopes of another inch gone?

Yes, I would. I know this.

Last night, I stole glances at two of my friends dancing beside me. They've both committed to getting fit this year, and their reflection in the mirror is a clear indication of that dedication. They look fabulous!

At the gym earlier, another friend, also committed to slimming down, sported beautiful new workout attire and stepped on the elliptical for the first time. The change in her is visible - not just the pounds she's lost, but the confidence she exudes, and the fresh glow of her inner beauty which radiates brighter than the sun.

But I also listened as they each spoke of their vulnerabilities. PMS. Aching knees and sore backs. A lingering cold. Cravings for sweets, and high fat foods. I heard all of them seeking ways to create personal balance - each understanding their bodies enough to know they shouldn't skip dinner or push for one more cardio session. Figuring out where to fit exercise in with taking time for their other passions - like family, and friends.

I could learn a lot from these strong, beautiful women.

Today, my husband marks an important life milestone. In search of love and acceptance - and to mask feelings he couldn't process - he turned to drugs at an early age. He has remained clean and sober for three years. My husband understands temptation will always be there, that it will always be a struggle to deal with the demons of his past, but without professional help, he has learned that the only acceptance he truly needs, is his own. I couldn't be more proud.

My husband is not perfect, but I know of few people with even half the strength, determination and commitment he possesses. He isn't seeking approval from those that will never give it to him, or looking for love in all the wrong places because he's learned to love and accept the man he has become - warts and all.

I could learn a lot from this amazing, strong man.

I remain committed to my goal of losing 50 pounds this year. But I'm re-evaluating what sacrifices I'm willing to make to reach that goal.

Nobody's perfect. That's okay.

This post is a reminder of that. And I implore every female to read it.

The Book In My Bag Today: Motor Mouth, Janet Evanovich


  1. Wow...
    See this is why I love you. Nuff said. I'm gonna share this and stress WHY they should read it.

  2. You made me cry, you sweet, beautiful, strong, incredible woman!! I love you, and I am so happy and proud to read these words from you. xoxo

  3. PS - the new haircut/colour is so smokin' HAWT on you!! Rawr :)

  4. 4,3,2,1, I hug myself because I'm awesome! This may have seemed like a silly chant to the class last night but the message goes deeper. I hug myself because I am awesome, the way I am, in this moment, and for no other reason then I am perfectly me. No matter what the number on the scale says, no matter how big or small my pants are, no matter what I achieve or don't achieve professionally I am awesome because I am simply me. And instead of beating myself up over the should haves, I hug myself in love.

    Promise me you will slow down, promise me you will fuel your body with what it needs to become a stronger, healthier you. Promise me you know I love you the way you are. You're beautiful Dawn and brave to be vulnerable and open .

  5. Wow. What a wonderfuly heartfelt post, Dawn. Gosh, please don't over do it and make yourself pass out. There's no use getting fit if it's going to make you feel bad. Even if it takes a little longer to lose those pounds, please pace yourself!!! (hugs)

  6. I read that post and yes-WOW. It is SO important to not only instill the belief we're beautiful in our daughters, but in ourselves.

  7. I think that's a really smart decision to make. I'm not a workout kind of guy, but I know that doing TOO much can also have a negative affect on you. I think your goal is fantastic (though, OF COURSE, I love you the way you are!), you need to find that balance so you don't give yourself an excuse to add that resolution to the reject pile... <3

  8. What a lovely, heartfelt and sharing post. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Beautiful post. And you're right, nobody's perfect. But you're figuring it all out, whether it's the need for balance or too not push so much or to not skip meals or to not beat yourself up, little by little. And you're very brave to do so. Whether it feels like it or not, it's ALL progress. Cheers to you!

  10. It's so important to step back and look at the big picture sometimes. Of COURSE your body was dragging after no dinner--you need fuel to efficiently work out. And You will mess up your metabolism is you don't eat enough calories for basic needs (circa 1200-1500, preferably from nutritional, high-fiber foods).

    I'm glad you're thinking about the lessons. And you CAN do it. You may never look like 19 again, but you can be fit, healthy and hot. I need to get back to it. I've been so immersed in the writing stuff that I've let the eating and exercise go... need to get back to it BADLY...

  11. Good luck with your goal. I know you can do it.

  12. Thank you everyone for your comments and your well wishes. Looks like I needed the day off, because by Thursday, I was itching to get back to the gym and sad I'd missed dance.

    And yes, Jess, I promise <3

  13. I exercise for a different reason. All my ideas come to me while I'm running. :D

    Too bad the same thing didn't happen when I did crutches. Maybe that's why I gave up on them. :(

  14. I think taking on a challenge like that works best when you know your limits, know yourself and learn behaviors that are not only food/excersise oriented but also ways of looking and feeling about yourself. Thank you for directing us to that post! What a wonderful message!