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Loving My Actual Body This Summer


A week ago today I was headed to my 20-year college reunion. I packed my things in my college suitcase, the one I received as a Christmas gift my junior year.  (I know! The same suitcase! So much symbolism. Same bones, but with a few rips and wear and not very fashionable. Pretty much sums up the 20-years later version of my college self.) A reunion is the kind of event that marks change. Since I hadn’t seen many people in years, some of them two decades, I’ve been considering where my life has trajected (four children and using made up words like trajected, it’s a weird world for sure.)


I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago (thank God on so many levels). I’m quite grateful with how God has grown me.


But there’s also the mirror. Which reminds me I’m definitely not the same person I was 20 years ago. The wrinkles and sunspots and grey hairs and muffin top are all bonus features to my “squishy” self (yes, this is how my six-year old likes to describe my body, is it any wonder I didn’t bring her with me?) I’m okay with the fact that my body has changed because I am beyond grateful for a body that works. One that allows me to hug and think and cook and eat the food I cooked. All of these systems working together are truly a miracle.


My body allows me to do life.


But the honest part of me admits I would like my body to look a little different. That muffin top isn’t what I’m aiming for. I also know myself after all of these years and can be honest about what will and won’t actually happen. Big goals that involve prolonged physical discomfort aren’t going to cut it for me. My workouts must be brief and accessible. There are however small things I can do to make changes in the direction of health that don’t involve an eat-nothing diet or training for a marathon.

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This spring I tried a month long Pilates challenge with Robin Long from The Balanced Life. This was my introduction to Pilates; in fact I was a bit intimidated, I had no idea what to expect. But can I tell you how much I LOVED it?! Every day ten-minute workouts landed in my inbox and with a click my computer took me to Robin and her own post-partum self (mom of two, and a few months post-delivery when she taped this spring’s sessions.) It didn’t feel like work, but like I was hanging out with my gentle, encouraging friend. Until eight hours later and my muscles let me know that yes I did indeed work something.


These ten-minute workouts were perfect. Short. Accessible. Led by a real-life woman with a calming personality. I did new moves and used muscles I don’t think I’ve used since I danced ballet in high school (reminder: 20-year college reunion, so we’re talking a long time ago.)


Lucky us Robin is offering a four-week online Summer Sculpt series for those of us who want to love our bodies a little more the next few months. Her emphasis is on caring for our bodies from the inside out. This is not about being bikini ready. This is about appreciating our bodies and making them strong so we can do all of the things we love over the summer: swimming and tennis and hiking and cleaning out the pop-up camper. I would not be passing this on to you if I did not think Robin’s workouts were just what moms need.


Our bodies were made for us to use. To be used for God’s purposes. Let’s do a little bit every day to care for them so we can better care for others.


Just click here to register. And of course week 2 of summer and I’m already behind in sharing this good news. Registration closes Sunday because workouts begin MONDAY!

(Full disclosure, if you use this affiliate link, I will get a kick-back. I’ll be using any profits to help cover the costs of The Open Door Sisterhood site that my friend Krista Gilbert and I host. Right now we’re using our own milk money for that project.)

And if something like this is not for you. Budget or style or whatever. This is simply a push to do something. One small thing every day to take care of your body. To take care of the shell that carries your soul around this planet. If I learned one thing during my month of focus on physical health during my 9-month experiment to love my actual life, it’s this:

No one else is going to take care of my body for me. I’m in charge of this one.



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