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2014 is not about my thighs

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A week ago I found last year's wrap-up and goals blog. And I attempted to write something. And days passed. Concrete goals work for me. I love checklists, numbers, charts, and my sticker workout calendar. I met many many 2013 goals. I ran another marathon, I got the 1:49 HM that I'd been chasing for over 2 years, I completed an Olympic distance triathlon in the small town my mom grew up in. Cousins and aunts cheered my dad and me on. A major fitness highlight of the year.

So why was I struggling to put in print my goals for 2014? That's not like me.

Yesterday I took my kids to an obstacle course at the Y. It was a special event promoting family fitness. My daughter ran right in, but my son needs a little more encouragement. I picked him up and went over to the area where hula hoops were taped to the ground. I held him and jumped around. We giggled and hugged and nose nuzzled. My daughter saw us and chased after us and we all hopped around together some more. Then they both tore off around the gym like young children should.

30 minutes later a man approached me and said he was from the local paper. He took a picture of us and wanted to use it. When he showed me the candid shot, my immediate reactions was, "I look huge!" And as I gave him the spellings of our names with a fake smile on my face, all these ugly, negative thoughts raced through my head.

Is that how I really look in these leggings?! My chest looks huge! Uggg, my thighs are so big.

No. no no no no no. That is not what the picture shows. It shows a happy mother laughing with her healthy children. It is a picture of quality time. It is a picture of fun, physical activity inside when it is -30 degrees outside. I know what my husband would say if he saw it. He'd see the beauty and the joy.

That picture is not about my thighs.

My goal for 2014 is to be kind to myself. Think good things. And maybe that's too abstract and not SMART goal enough. But I know that's OK because the other goals will come. My race calendar is loosely mapped out. Fingers crossed that if Chicago goes with a lottery this year, that we get in. Time goals will be established. Challenges will come. And I'll love it all.

I'll put the stickers on my calendar. I'll over analyze race calculators, I'll make charts and graphs of my training plans. I'll actually do speedwork! I will stick with my ST. And throughout it all, I will see the beauty and happiness and tickle monster crazy mama that my kids and my husband see.

Happy New Year Spark!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yes, I hate when I feel ugly in a photo and get depressed. The same day you can have a skinny picture. I have a hard time not getting sad about some photos too. I wish it weren't that way....
    1466 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    There is something to be said for priorities
    2709 days ago
    I love how you are not only making yourself healthy but creating this great healthy living lifestyle for your kids. Your inspiring me and your awesome.
    2731 days ago
    It's astounding how critical we can be of our own bodies. We could look at pictures of others, and see only beauty and wonderful lines and curves, but then we look at ourselves and we're just so critical. I've seen your pictures that you have here, and it's pretty clear as day, you're stunning, and you haven't a single line or curve that looks out of place - yet it's so hard for us to see that too, hey? Once I had hit close to my goal, and my weight steadied out, I started to see parts that I didn't like again, as if I'd forgotten how much more incredible I looked compared to when I started! But that's just human nature, and the insights you shared here speak directly to what we need to do when those moments creep up on us! Great post, so proud of you for being kind to yourself, and seeing the true beauty of the picture that was taken.
    2747 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13962463
    2748 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6892401
    You are so hard on yourself! You do not know how amazing you are! I am so impressed that you ran A MARATHON and did an OLYMPIC TRIATHLON! I live in California and it has been a beautiful, balmy 50 degrees here in January so far. I can not even fathom -30!!! The photographer took your picture because you are a stud and a role model! You look awesome!
    2757 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/5/2014 6:00:07 PM
  • RODRIGUEZ41508
    Keep up the great "Positive" attitude/thoughts and always keep in mind how far you've come :)
    2761 days ago
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    emoticon emoticon
    2761 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10585859
    I think you look great. And you have really good attitude about fitness and keeping healthy, which will carry on with your kids. This is a really inspiring blog post, thanks for this.
    2761 days ago
    Oh yeah, I know how easy it is to turn on that self criticism and I've had many similar moments to what you've described. But, seriously, you look awesome and I'm sure that not only do you look like a happy and healthy mom in that picture, but that you also look beautiful. And just think of how much it will mean to your kids years from now to look back on that picture and see that they had a fun, energetic mom who was able to do so many neat things with them. You're a wonderful, fit role model and it's no wonder the photographer chose yours as the family to capture the spirit of the event! I used to do photography work, so trust me, his choice was intentional!
    2761 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/2/2014 12:01:16 PM
  • no profile photo CD5893253
    I love starting the new spark year with super-optimistic and extra-inspiring blogs like this one! Keep on sparking and being the beautiful, crazy mama that your family loves and the wonderful sparker you've always been.
    Happy 2014!
    2761 days ago
    Love love love! Thank you for inspiring us all! I do so much better when I have a plan with charts and written goals! I will make those charts and goals TODAY!
    2762 days ago
    emoticon beautifully put! Being kind to ourselves, doing away with negative self talk need to be at the top of our NYE list of resolutions. You have much to be proud of. Celebrate joyfully! LOVE!
    2762 days ago
    LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh speed work. On my goal list! Happy New Year friend emoticon
    2762 days ago
    I love this blog!!!! Happy New Year!!!!
    2762 days ago
    Well put...Happy New Year!!!

    I wish you much success and more importantly HAPPINESS!!!
    2762 days ago
    You are such an awesome role model for your children! It's too cool that the photographer saw it and got that shot! Who knows which readers you will inspire??

    I can relate to your feelings about the picture - I do the same thing. It must have to do with striving to "be perfect".

    At any rate, I love your resolution. Sort of sums all the fitness and healthy eating you do all year up!

    Happy New Year!! emoticon
    2762 days ago
    You have such a good attitude. I'm going to try & let it rub off on me. The pictures I saw of myself taken over Christmas grossed me out : (

    2762 days ago
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