Are those my ribs? Is that really what I’m seeing in the mirror? AWESOME! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a skeletal look at the end of this. That is NOT the goal here. Healthy, Marilyn Monroe, pinup-esque is the goal. However, my family on my mother’s side has a few funky genetic traits; one of which is that our ribs stick out instead of going straight down. Now when I say they stick out, I mean they look like little hills on our bodies instead of the traditional organ cages that they are. Meaning when I went through puberty, there was a brief stage where I looked like I had 4 breasts coming in… just a little awkward.

My ribs coming out are a fairly big deal to me. The fact that they are still clearly buried beneath a thick layer of fat, as you cannot make out a single bone, is a nice reality check. A good reminder that I’m not even close to there yet. A problem I’ve had in the past was getting too far ahead of myself. Over-congratulating myself for the little victories until they looked like big victories. My stomach being the thing I’m most unhappy about, it is the area that I most closely watch and gauge my progress by.

One of the first things I do upon waking is lift up my shirt, arch my back, and judge my stomach from that viewpoint. This is how I rediscovered my ribs. Fully arched and checking myself out in the mirror. My midsection isn’t there yet by a long shot, but the fact that they are now a separate piece from the giant lump that is my belly, makes me pretty excited. The problem with this position is that it pulls my lower belly flatter than it actually is, which is when I most often get ahead of myself. It’s also the worst position to judge back fat from, as you are literally squishing it all together.

My recent shift in attitude about this whole business, however, has made this a little easier to keep in perspective. Looking down at my number one problem area and seeing it pull a little thinner every time is encouraging. I see and I want to keep pressing it forward. This is part of my motivation not the finish line. Seeing my back fat all squished together is motivational too, just in a more negative way. I see it and I want it gone. But for the first time I’m not just in this to be hot (as I define hot to be.) I’m also here to get healthy and finish what I start for once. Looking at my morning ritual with the attitude of it all being a step in the right direction, that’s real progress.

Until then,