Beware: Shallow Waters

Have you noticed? Happy Exhaustion has been in hiding.

I’m sure you have been tearing your hair and gnashing your teeth, cursing the heavens and calling out “WHY?!?

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to abandon you. I’m back now. Dry your tears.

Why now? Well, it dawned on me last night that my rockstar readers might think I stopped blogging about fitness because I threw in the sweaty towel, fell off of the wagon, and landed mouth-first in an enormous vat of ice cream.

I can’t have that! I’d rather make my embarrassing confession than give the impression that I’ve bailed on the journey.

My current fitness adventure is a whole ‘nother thing. I’m brimming with enthusiasm about it and DYING to share – but the desperately undignified lack of nobility in what I’m up to has me holding back.

I’m chasing a goal that is all about (*cringe*) vanity.

I’m sorry.

When I began Happy Exhaustion, I had one guiding principle: This Is Not A Blog About Skinny. This blog is not designed to contribute to the horrifying, *LOUD*, “Thinspo”, Get-Skinny-Or-Develop-An-Eating-Disorder-Trying NOISE.

So, when I found a new motivator (at a time when – I gotta be honest – I was hurting for a fresh motivator) and it wasn’t strictly about health and strength, but vanity-driven self-confidence, I didn’t know how to admit it.

But, it’s time to come clean. I am – for the first time in my life – engaging in the act of Preparing For Bathing Suit Season.

Yikes, stripes!

Yikes, stripes!

I have long avoided public displays of skin. Swimwear is so rude. It does precisely NOTHING to conceal the jiggly bits!

Fear of Swimsuit Judgment holds me back from activities that look like a lot of fun.

Are there any activities that have always looked like fun to you, but something holds you back from participating? You’d totally love to sky-dive if it wasn’t for that pesky fear of heights?

That’s how I am about water. I love to swim and grew up spending my summers on sailboats. But ever since my body issues kicked in (at a frightfully early age) I’ve let my body image hang-ups stand in my way.

I can’t get past my insecurities.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate this superficial side of myself – but there it is.

Hello, my name is Katey, and my post-childbearing torso and soft thighs have kept me out of the swimwear department.

This summer I want something different. I don’t want the nagging demons of vanity to get between me and a summer spent splashing in the pool with my kids. I don’t want to dive for a towel whenever a camera appears. My sights are set on eliminating the things that make me feel self-conscious.

I wish I was here to say “I banished my personal psychology and decided to change!” But I’m not –  I don’t know how. What I DO know how to do is to achieve my goals through hard work.

Once again, I am gearing up to get what I want the way I know how: With rivers of sweat.

Heads up “Problem Areas” – I’m coming for ya!

I am sweating in the direction of ‘toning’. (Sidebar: WTF is ‘toning’ anyway? I think we all have an image in our heads of what we mean when we say we want to ‘tone up’ but what does it really mean? The best way I can define it is developing muscles with a small enough amount of fat on top to make the muscles visible… right?)

I am trying to make my muscles *look* a certain way. Yes – they naturally are becoming stronger as I build them, but this time I’m building them to change their appearance. It’s a whole new thing.

I’m dropping some body fat as I burn extra calories with all the added abs & hamstrings workouts, but that’s not the goal nearly as much as changing my body composition from soft spots to something firmer.

And guys – with the guidance of the resident trainer – it’s working!! Operation Abs & Hamstrings is in full effect and (if you have any interest in my little vanity project) I can’t wait to tell you about it!

If I can pull off a beach body, I’ll let you know – and maybe even see! That is… if the resident trainer doesn’t mind 🙂

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