Saturday, April 26, 2014

A few extra pounds on "love" on my bones...

Awhile ago I was out with my friend Emme*. I confided in her that since I've been in a relationship I have gained some weight and that I was starting to feel insecure about it.

An omission that I have a hard time saying publicly because I try to be an advocate for health and beauty at every size; and I do love myself and my body. I am grateful to be able-bodied and healthy... But, I am also human, living in a day and age where a person's value is calculated in part by how they look. Further, talking about my weight in a public form means I hold the door open for internet trolls to call me fat, or it gives the impression that I am giving others permission to pipe in on how my body looks.

This blog post is not a permission slip.

"You might have put on some weight but I have never seen you happier," she told me. "When you smile now you have this genuine happy glow. That's even more beautiful."

She has a point, I am happier than I've been in a long time and it shows. Not only in my smile, or my social media feeds, but it shows in my every day life. I am happy and I'm in love.

(OK, that public confession of love made me throw up in my mouth a little. Sorry about that!)

Months before Emme and I had this discussion, I'd confided in her that I was scared being in a new relationship was going to throw off the rigorous gym routine I had established and enjoyed for myself. I told her that while I was enjoying getting to know the guy, this entire courtship process was cutting into my gym time, and as a result I was going to gain weight.

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I didn't want to gain weight.

Prior to this coupled-off life, I was a single girl with no boundaries, considerations or responsibilities other than work, which meant that I could be at the gym five to six times a week without having to think about anyone else's time. For that specific lifestyle the gym was my home away from home, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And then this guy, who seemingly came out of nowhere, suddenly entered into my life and my routine was interrupted with the indulgences that come with any new courtship; dinners at lovely restaurants, drinks and appies at some lounge somewhere, lunch at a charming hole in the wall...

It was all so lovely and rich. And even more than the food and drink, I consumed this new relationship and connection with the guy, because it was something that made me genuinely happy. It was over the top, and comparable to being in "vacation-mode." There is no balance in one's life when they are in the honeymoon stage.

"Enjoy this part," Emme told me. "Don't let your fears of change, of love, or of ruining your routine ruin something that could be potentially wonderful."

Further to that, she told me, that I should be enjoying this indulgent stage because all too soon, as in any relationship, routines will form and I will long for the days when things were so chaotically and calorically romantic.

She was right, and I am grateful that I chose to take her advice.

Now, some months into this thing, I am establishing new routines and balances in my life. While I admittedly neglected the gym for awhile in favour of romance and dates, I am back at it with a new routine and a new gym partner. Merging the two has given a whole new meaning to date night.

That said, I still enjoy an indulgent night out every once in awhile.

The one thing I've learned about my body is that it is always changing, and who knows what it's going to look like in five days or five years. I'm excited for establishing this new routine with a partner, and I'm glad I didn't let my fear and old routines ruin that. I'm also glad that love won over vanity...

Emme's* name has been changed to respect her privacy and our friendship.

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