This isn’t a traditional self-help post. Instead of an inspiring story of something I did right. I’m going to start with something I did wrong. What I did was what one is not supposed to do when one is trying to maintain a positive perspective about ones (over) weight—weighed myself at night. It was horrifying. Even though it was only 5 pounds more than it is in the morning, it made a difference psychologically. I weigh the same as I did when I was pregnant! In fact, I weigh more than I did after our daughter was born. And now she’s 19 months old. So when people ask me about baby weight, it’s totally not. I no longer have a baby. I have a toddler. She didn’t cause this. I did! For most of my life I was super skinny. I was called names like tadpole, slim, stick, twig, tiny, skeleton, etc. When I asked my mother if I could get a training bra, she laughed at me. As a parent, I realize her intent was not to hurt me but to avoid spending money on something I clearly didn’t need. Even in my twenties, I could get away without a brassiere and wore sleeveless tees instead. While the early years of being skinny were the source of teenage angst the later years were somewhat rewarding. As my mother communicated to me in Jr. High School, most girls that were shapely then would be jealous of my narrow frame later. Too bad I didn’t believe her at the time. I never really enjoyed being skinny then. Even later, I never really fully appreciated it. Until it was gone! In the five years that I have been a mom, my body has changed significantly. Last weekend, I finally put away my pre-pregnancy clothes, to be accessed at a later date (don’t want to commit to one just yet though). But my birthday came in July and as is tradition for my father, my gift just arrived yesterday (3 ½ weeks after my birthday). He purchased a beautiful, colorful purse (totally me) and a gorgeous dress (totally old me). It’s a small. My father clearly remembers who I used to be—before marriage, before babies, before a lot of things. And I used to be a lot of things. I was an aspiring filmmaker, I was a writer, I was an activist, I was a poet. Slowly but surely, over the course of my life, I have become less of these things. Most of this has happened because I have not made a conscious effort at living authentically. I have opted for safe choices under the auspices of protecting my family and to appease my fears. But when I woke up this morning and saw the apricot dress my father sent me, resting in the brown shipping box on the floor of my bedroom, I said in my head (along with a thousand other “mommyesque” thoughts) today is going to be different. Today, I am going to start my journey back to me. I’m the only one who can get me there. I am the only one who knows who she is. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how many setbacks I have. What is important is that I make the effort. So, at a business breakfast this morning, instead of my favorite, home fried potatoes, I had fruit and after the meeting, instead of taking a nap, I did notes on my sitcom spec. Little by little, day by day, I will get there. We will all get there. I hope other moms will follow me on my journey and share theirs as well. The greatest gift a mom can give her children is to be who she really is.
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan
Tagged: Blogher, Children, encouragement, Family, Growth, inspiration, Marriage, Mom, Mom Blogger, mom bloggers, moms, Mother, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting, Self-Hellp, Self-Help, Weight Loss, Women