Sunday, October 18, 2009

Self-Image Mindshift

This weekend brought a couple of unrelated incidents that made me realize how my mental image of myself has, or maybe more accurately, is changing. Hubby and I were down in Chicago celebrating our 10th Anniversary. First up was a surprise trip to the spa for a massage and facial. When the massage therapist asked me if there were any areas in particular for her to focus on, I caught myself saying, "Well, I have a tendency to hold tension in my traps and my IT bands really need work". Say what....

After the massage as I was waiting for the facial technician in the "relaxation" room, it hit me that I really was relaxing, fully comfortable in the robe they had supplied. That I hadn't had to ask for a larger robe, or sit there in one that didn't quite close - or worst of all, sized up by the receptionist at check-in and offered to swap out the usual robe for a plus sized one. Instead I was perfectly comfortable sitting there waiting in the normal robe, which actually felt large, wrapped over completely in front. Such a nice feeling, couldn't help but smile.

Then again none of this really should have surprised me. Hell, we'd brought our bikes on this trip; planning to take advantage of Chicago's Lakeshore trail and a promise of sunny not too cool weather. That would never have happened 15 months and 65 pounds ago. Yet as I've made these changes to healthier foods, healthier eating, regular exercise, gone down several clothing sizes; I've never really thought about the changes to my mindset to the way I thought about myself, the boxes I put myself into.

But this weekend, I realized that I think of myself as a bit of an athlete. That being active is not something I do, it is something I am. And that while my weight loss journey is not over (35 pounds to go), I have taken great strides forward, I have changed not only my body, but my mind.

Which leads to this morning's ride. The trail along Lake Michigan is a gem. One enjoyed by a wide variety of people. Sure there were plenty of people out for a casual stroll, but for the most part on this Sunday morning the path was populated by other athletes - folks out for a serious work out. Some passed us, plenty we passed. It felt good, I felt strong. We rode 32 miles on the trail - a loop north to Foster Avenuse and south to about a mile past the Science and Industry Museum. But best of all, I felt like I belonged.


  1. That is so cool Kim, I myself am battling the weight, but also have to deal with rheumatoid arthritis in my feet, ankles, and knees, so it makes the working out even harder. So right now I am just working on the eating part, eating healthier and smaller portion sizes, have seen some weight loss, but very slow right now. Taking it one day at time, and congrats to you.


  2. Judy, Food is this biggest part of weight loss - it's all about calories in less than calories out. Continue to take it one day at a time. Slow is fine, you are making changes, making progress. Heck, I'm not setting any weight loss speed records 1/2 - 1 lb a week these days. But in my mind any progress is good - not to mention just the healthier foods choices is doing great things for your body.

  3. Hi Kim,
    Congradulations on making progress on meeting your weight loss goals. I just wanted to post here because I live in Chicago, right off the lake front trail, and ride there often. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! It really is a beautiful bike path, althought sometimes it gets so crowded with people that riding on it is a bit dicey. So I am extra-happy that you had a nice experience! That south end, after soldier field is great, isn't it! Less people and oh so beautiful!

  4. Elise, Thanks! You'd think with the number of Chicago focused posts I've done that I live there instead of greater Milwaukee! The trail was pretty crowded on Sunday - esp as you've noted the north end. I never knew it existed until we did the Rock-n-Roll half marathon in August and several miles were on the southern end. Since then I'd walked/jogged it on a couple of business trips down there, and was glad for the opportunity to ride on Sunday. Can't imagine how crowded it would be on a less cool morning!