I ran today. No wait. There's more.
I ran in shorts.
Like, real running shorts (well, these were hot pink and significantly cuter and slightly less revealing and flapping-in-the-wind-like than those traditional running shorts, but they were actual work-out shorts). You don't understand...for me, this is a really big deal. I own shorts. I wear shorts. But it's one thing to wear a pair of cute, baggy cargo shorts and some sandals while on vacation; it is quite another to go, literally, running around in shorts...thighs and knees and flesh all being pushed and pulled and jiggled and wiggled with the gravitational force of your effort. Even while running on the beach in the middle of the day in 98 degree weather and a gazillion percent humidity, I would wear my uniform of black capri workout pants. I have a drawer full. But the other day while I was looking for sales on still more black capri workout pants, I ran into a sale on shorts. Cute shorts. Black and pink with athletic trim shorts. And I thought: "What the hell? I'll just try 'em on."
Well, I tried them. And when I was surprised by the image I confronted in the 3-way dressing room mirror, I thought I'd buy them (but not before I did a little dress rehearsal jog to check myself out in said 3-way mirror). They sat in my drawer for almost a week before I dared to put them on for a run.
I almost held my breath as I started. I was sure I would feel absolutely naked running around in my neighborhood like that. I was sure that I'd have to yank down the fabric that would keep bunching up between my thighs so many times that I'd have to turn back after a block to change back into my old faithful and safe and hot capris. I was so sure I'd be so preoccupied by the way my thighs looked that I would not even be able to enjoy my run.
But guess what?
I did not feel naked. I felt free.
And every time I tried to yank the bunched up fabric down, there was no bunching to yank.
And I was preoccupied by the sight of my thighs, but mostly because...holy crap!...there was actually a teeny bit of muscle peeking out of them!
I'd love to say that I have finally reached Thigh Nirvana and they are absolutely perfectly flawless. But the truth is they're not. And at 36 with 2 kids (and a Latin background), no matter how hard I work, they never will be. But I felt good about myself on that run. I felt good about having worked as hard as I have for the past year to get myself back into shape after Aidan Kai. I felt good about the fact that I even dared to try, buy, and wear the shorts.
Most of the time, I feel pretty good about myself. I have never wanted to be a size 0. But like so many women, when I look in the mirror, I immediately scan for and focus on the parts of my body that I do not like. I am capable of obsessing over every minor flaw. I look for the bad first, and then get so discouraged that I don't even bother looking for the good. I have always been a glass half empty (or in this case, thighs too big) kind of girl. But I have been working on that, and for me, the shorts were a test: Have I finally gotten to the point where I can admit that I'm (almost) completely happy with my body again? I think my thighs passed.