irst thing I thought of when I saw this was, "I wish I were still that lean."
I talk with so many people who compare current strength, fitness, and image to previous ideals or maxes.
People see a linear/binary decline in quantitative metrics (strength, body comp) and feel a sense of loss.
What we all don't recognize immediately, is the value of qualitative metrics (happiness, mood, mental state) and that life evolving is actually a beautiful thing like being a parent, growing older, becoming wiser.
We reward disordered eating habits like calorie counting or identifying food as "good" vs. "bad" all in pursuit of perfection. To hide our stretch marks... Botox out wrinkles... and for what?
To appear more youthful? To "bounce back" to who we were?
I look at this photo and missed my previous self. A sport-specific fitness and aesthetic.
What I don't miss is obsessively over training in the gym, tracking every bite of food I ate, constantly checking the mirror to see if my Friday night cheat meal diminished my abs in the mirror.
So no, I don't want to go back to that image from 5 years ago anymore. I am content and happy to live my life unencumbered by an obsessive mindset. On the surface I've darkened the circles under my eyes, multiplied wrinkles, lost maximal strength numbers, stretched out my stomach skin. When I look past that, my life is enriched beyond anything I can imagine: being Jarrett's mother, eating and drinking without regret, strengthening a marriage through the journey that is parenthood (which is really hard lol), redefining fitness as to being able to keep up with my kid, and becoming a more compassionate person.
I am sure I'll still see photos from years ago and have a flash in the pan moment like the one this morning, but I'm not going to rewrite decades of diet culture mindset overnight.
As long as you, I, we make a conscious effort towards recognizing self worth with who we are now, we're working towards true happiness.