Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back Away From The Mirror (And Other 2013 Resolutions)

IMAGE: THE MOTHER LOAD | Back Away From The Mirror
Happy 2013! Our little family has had such a Christmas break this year. It's been so nice spending time at home for a change enjoying a quiet, almost empty city while everyone else is seemingly doing battle in the car park of their favourite beach side destination *wink*. Having a backyard swimming pool for the first time ever made for some lovely, lazy days with good friends, happy children, gallons of sunscreen and most importantly, copious amounts of leftovers. Which gets me to my next point. Given that the New Year is in its infancy, the term 'resolution' is still fresh in my mind and I still feel I have a fighting chance of fulfilling mine despite my continuous attempts to sabotage myself at every turn. This year, I went with the old female favourite: 

"Lose weight, get some exercise and eat less.". 

(Sound familiar? Yeah, me too). I don't care what anyone says, most of us Mums are a little pre-occupied with our weight, particularly given the body cards we are dealt after pregnancy. Some get off lighter than others but I haven't yet met anyone who triumphantly declares that pregnancy gave them a brand new, slimmer body. Good on them if they're out there - they should donate their body to science. I'm perplexed by the idea of body image. I know that one day I can look in the mirror, see something that's not half bad, reasonably trim and pretty good for my age. The following day however, in the same mirror I see an orca whale who's randomly washed up on some beach somewhere who really should be rolled back into the path of the nearest Japanese fishing boat. How can the eye see something so different from one day to the next? Yes, wardrobe plays a part but what is it that warps our vision so greatly, so often? I'm thinking that perhaps it comes down to environment, mood and hormones. If you're surrounded by trim, youthful lovelies who are yet to experience the joys of pregnancy then you're going to feel a little worse about the sagging tummy and love handles. If you're feeling a bit down and over life generally, you're not going to look in the mirror and see a confident, radiant goddess. And finally, (this is where the scientists should chime in) if we're a couple of days short of that welcome monthly visitor then as you're tearing the house apart and screaming at children randomly for no good reason, you'll probably see the image of a beastly creature as you attempt to snap the mirror in two (above symptoms caused by PMS if you live in my house).

This year, perhaps we should consider re-wording that resolution allowing for a little more self respect and understanding. As Mums, we are so busy trying to do the best we can for everyone else in the household (more specifically our kids) that our own stuff gets rushed, or pushed aside. How many times have you fed your kids a first class serve of vegies and because they've eaten well, you automatically feel that you've eaten well also (despite only snavelling the dry biscuits and dip left over from Christmas!?). Or is that just me?

So upon reflection and in the spirit of being kinder to myself this year, the revised version of my 2013 Resolution is:

"Eat a little better, get some exercise in whatever way you can, and be grateful to your body for what it has provided, regardless of  the size and shape of those around you".

That'll do for now.

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