Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reality Check

I just returned from working out at the gym. I had to take four days off due to teaching and then training a new person to help with our daughter. I am unable to leave her alone at this point but I think by next week, I will be able to zip out for an hour's work out.

I am grateful for having started this blog. I am  not really certain who reads it....perhaps just my sisters, my mom and a few friends. I know that had I not taken the leap and made myself accountable, I would be far less motivated. I suppose that being committed to something and writing about it serves a purpose. I really want the end result to be awesome and I want to be really pleased with my achievements.

I am not feeling pressured at all with this project as I might have been in my 20's and maybe even my early 30's. I was constantly bashing myself back then....never thin enough, never tall enough, never good enough. Ironically, I would love to even remotely resemble my physique from my early 20's! I have come to realize that likely isn't going to happen. I have also accepted that I will likely not look a whole lot like the 1940's Pin Up Girl. None of them were 5'1" in height and certainly none of them wrestled with a 35-pound child with cerebral palsy every single day. I also suspect that most had not gone through their childbearing years yet, many smoked and perhaps lived on martinis and cocktails and little food.

I was looking at my arms  the other day and I wondered how I was going to pull off creating slender, delicate arms by my 40th birthday. Seconds later, a little wise voice inside of me whispered, "You're not." Thanks, Wise Voice, always so blunt and to the point. And, as well, there is a good chance my legs aren't going to grow by several inches and I suspect they will never be slender and delicate. Not in this lifetime anyway.

But you know what? That's okay. I may not come out at the end of this looking exactly like a Pin Up Girl but I will still be a Pin Up............but maybe more of a Pin Up Woman. As I visit the gym more and more, I can feel how my endurance is increasing. I am seeing changes in my shape and I am attempting more challenging exercises (like squatting on a bosu ball while throwing a kettle weight above my head) and each time I do it, I get a little bit better, a little bit stronger. As I gear up for 40, I look forward to the woman I am becoming. 

"Phenomenal Woman"
 By Maya Angelou
"Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me."
Strong Arms~ Photo by Erin Egan 


  1. Julie - I read your blog regularly - if you were wondering. Acceptance is half the battle. Accepting where we are now, enjoying the fact that you can lift a kettle above your head, that's where it's at.
    I love this picture of you and your daughter!
    Keep writing and I will keep reading.

  2. I also read your blog regularly, and I think you've got it! I'm sure your hubby, daughter and all of your family and friends consider you to be a phenomenal pin-up woman.

  3. Your inner beauty is what makes your outer beauty shine already. I am so happy you started this journey to better health and fitness, and to celebrating and improving your strength and tone.
    You will look like YOU in your photo shoot and that is all that matters.
    You already are a Phenomenal Pin-Up Woman.
    You make this big sister proud.

  4. Julie, you have the Sexy Factor, if ever anyone did!
    Now if you could just work on that Inner Beauty part! ;)
    Love ya, and know that you own Sexy! You should consider giving classes!

  5. I always look forward to reading your blog and to see where you're at on your journey. I know yuo will make a fabulous pin-up woman because you are beautiful as you are now and as you will be in April.

  6. Your sister said it well and no girl or pin-up are accomplishing what you set out to do..and even when you are only 5' and your hair may one day be white(lol)...I know you have a sweetheart who will tell you every day...Julie, you are beautiful! xo

  7. I think you are an amazing woman. Although our paths only crossed very briefly over 3 years ago - you made a huge impression on both myself and my husband! Keep up the amazing work!! You look fabulous just as you are and I am 100% confident you will shine in your pin-up photos!! :)

  8. Have to tell I looked at a book "1000 Photos of Pin-Up Girls" in Barnes & must have weighed 5 lbs... but there was a common thread thru it've got to get stockings and garters!!!!

  9. i look forward to the posts, and the progress. a few years ago, here in toronto, there was a huge burlesque movement, and most of the women were WOMEN. it was fun, popular, and sexy as hell. everyone was comfortable in their bodies, which ranged from all shapes and sizes. it was so refreshing to see. i think your idea of being the best you can be is inspiring.