I have a 2-pack!!!

Well, when I flex really hard.  And when the lighting is just right.  And if I squint my eyes just a little bit and turn my head about 30 degrees to the right.

Hey!  Don’t rain on my parade, okay?  This is significant!  I can’t remember the last time I could even remotely see any resemblance of an anything-pack! 

And yes, I have been known to spend good, quality time in front of the mirror admiring my pre-rockhard, washboard abs.  My husband just rolls his eyes when he walks by and laughs, “Oh my gosh.”

Like I said, don’t rain on my parade!  I focus on the progress.  See, a lot of people will focus on the bellyfat and arm flab (or the stick arms and pigeon legs).  They’ll look at what they don’t like and out of anger or distaste, will work out to change what they don’t like about themselves.

I have a different strategy.  I choose to focus on what I do like and the progress that I have made.  And I make fitness and nutrition about accentuating that, and allowing everything else to catch up to it.  And that applies not just to whether I like how a certain body part looks.  It applies to whether I’m happy with my energy levels, my current state of flexibility, and my ability to dance like a disco queen to a cheesy ABBA song.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful things in the universe.  Be thankful for what you have.  Focus on what you like about yourself, about the progress you have made, and you’re bound to get more of it.  If you constantly focus on what you don’t like, you’ll always overlook the progress that you are making, and you’ll always be able to find one more thing you can pick on. 

I challenge you to pick one thing you like about yourself.  Do you have nice ankles?  Or a nice, angled chin?  No matter how miniscule, pick something.  Focus on that.  Spend time in the mirror looking at it.  Yes, make your family think you’re totally vain about it! 

Have you made the slightest bit of progress since you started working out?  Dropped 2 pounds?  Do your jeans feel just a looser?  Dwell on that!  Be thankful for it, and celebrate! 

So don’t laugh at me when I shout from the rooftops that I have a 2-pack.  That 2-pack is just the beginning of more packs!

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”  — Michelangelo

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Call me a skinny minnie? Oh no you di’int!

I remember when I was in high school, when I would lie down I thought it was really cool that my stomach would sink down and my ribs and hip bones would protrude from my skin.

Now that I think about that, it actually sounds kind of disgusting.  Who wants to be a “skinny minnie,” as many have dubbed me?

I get that an awful lot – “why do you work out?  You’re already a ‘skinny minnie!'”

First of all, I don’t want to be a skinny minnie.  And second of all, even if people didn’t think I look like a skinny minnie, that isn’t why I’d be working out!

Yes, I’ll admit that one of my reasons for working out and eating consciously is to improve my body composition.  (i.e. So I can rock a bikini or skin tight dress)  What woman doesn’t want to look good in what she wears?

But improved body composition does NOT mean being skinny!  When you say skinny, images of Mary Kate & Ashley, Nicole Ritchie, and Twiggy run through my head.  Ew.  I don’t want to look like a drug addict.  That is NOT the goal.

Hm…Jessica Biel maybe, and even Britney (during her sultry “I’m a Slave for You” days) maybe.  I wouldn’t mind looking like them.  Solid, fit, and like they could probably kick your ass.

Actually, I take that back.  I don’t want to look like them.  I want to look like me.  But a solid, fit, I-could-kick-your-ass version of me.  It’s ridiculous to want to look like this actress or that super-model.  We all have different genetics, different body compositions.  It is probably genetically impossible for my butt to look as good as Jessica Biel’s.

But I can admire their level of physical fitness and aspire to achieve my own pinnacle of physical fitness and health.

Anyway, body composition and overall health – that is what it’s about.  In the words of James Ray, “Let health be the goal, and let fitness be the by-product.”  Just try to get and stay healthy and happy, and it’ll manifest itself in your physical appearance.

When you start eating healthier and become more physically active, your body can’t help but conform.  Eating right, working out, and other healthy habits – getting enough sleep, minimizing stress etc. – shouldn’t make you look like an Oleson twin.

Skinny minnie?  Not me, thank you very much.