This weekend I bought a new dress for an upcoming event. I had to buy a dress a size bigger than usual. I will not lie to you, buying a size up stung. Now we all know women’s clothing does not function on uniformed measurements. If you wear a large in one brand you might wear a small in another. At times it feels so cruel and confusing.
My weight always fluctuates. In the past few years I lost some weight and started to maintain an overall more healthy weight. But last year I got even a little more serious. I started making conscious choices of what to cook and what not to cook. I stuck to a workout routine with military like execution. For the first time in my adult life I had some decent muscle definition. I wore things in sizes I never dreamed of wearing. Last summer I hiked farther and faster than that girl huffing and puffing up that mountain in Canada believed ever physically possible.
And then, my school year started. I went from reading interventionist back into the role of classroom teacher. I told myself no matter what I would continue to workout. But I didn’t. I made excuses, exceptions, and I let other things take priority. From about September to November I did an alright job, but in all reality I coasted on my past progress. December and January I started trying to workout again. Every time I quit.
Now when I do the workouts I did last summer, I feel as if I will die. The moves seem so foreign and new to my body despite my mind knowing how to execute them. My body and my mind no longer match. Instead of focusing on taking each workout one day at a time like I did in the past, I find myself getting frustrated and mad.
On Tuesday I found myself so mad that I could not survive the one minute exercise I sat down. As I sat there thinking it dawned on me. When I first started I did not experience raging success each time. I just showed up each and every day like those corny posters from middle school and school say to do. My only expectation for myself, complete the workout to the best of my ability. But now, I get defeated and do not even want to try. I know this is simple. I know this is ridiculous. But I also know other people face the same thing.
When we find ourselves in a situation where we think we should find success and don’t, giving up seems so easy. Giving up, making excuses, and avoidance seem like a much more viable options. Do not give up. Give yourself grace.
So, starting today I chose to give myself grace. I did a workout that this summer I flew through. Today, I did maybe 52%. But I tried. I did not stop. Despite struggling the entire time, I finished. And tomorrow, tomorrow I will show up again. I will put one foot in front of the other and workout. I will reestablish the habits I know I let slide. I will not get stuck on what once happened. I will not dwell on where I think I should be. I will accept where I am and move forward.
Yesterday, I bought that dress a size bigger. I like the dress and it will work fine for my event. Despite feeling a little bummed when I got home I put the whole outfit together, mostly to ensure others approved because I do not know how to dress myself. When I did, I realized the size on the tag does not matter. What matters more is the grace I show myself and others.