To the dude at my gym,
Yes, we were both working out this morning. It was relatively early for a Saturday, good on us for getting our butts to the gym. Cool.
And yes, you are a man and strut around like you seem to think that lifting weights is “your domain”. I am a woman; I sometimes feel awkward in there, but I turn up nonetheless and do my thing. We most likely have differing experiences in that place, there’s no question about that.
I go into that daunting weights area and wander around, doing the exercises and circuits my trainer dictates for me. You probably make your own up. Congrats.
You’re obviously fit and like to keep yourself in shape, despite your age. You’re not old by any means, maybe late forties. But you seemingly take pride in your appearance. I applaud you for that. That’s what we’re all there trying to do.
I see you look at yourself in the mirror multiple times and you appear to like what you see. That’s fantastic! I wish I could have your confidence.
I wonder what you see when you look at me; because you definitely looked. I saw you.
When I look in the mirror I see a woman in her early 30s doing her best. She’s not perfect and is trying to regain her fitness after growing a human and giving birth to said human.
I’m already a little below my pre-pregnancy weight, but it’s neither here nor there. I’m not here to reach a set number on the scales. It’s about strengthening my core after it being the size of a watermelon, working on that core in an effort to ease my lower back pain after carrying around a tiny human for ten months inside, now for ten months outside in my arms and on my hips.
It’s about trying to tone up all the parts of my body that lost definition while I was pregnant and fighting against the stores of fat that my body wants to keep because I’m still breastfeeding. It’s also about maintaining some form of mental health and getting out of the house for an hour, sans-child.