One thing that I’ve noticed about a few of the wahms and sahms that I’ve met is that we’re stressed. We spend a lot of time caring for the family and home while putting ourselves on the back burner. I’ve done it for so long that it feels strange to make time for myself. But it is something I had to do. Something we all have to do.
If we don’t care for ourselves, we will be in no shape to care for anyone else. It might not happen right away. Months may go by before your body gives out. Or your blood pressure become uncontrollable without meds. Or you lose hair, gain weigh, gain wrinkles and gray hairs, and/or make your families crazy.
I knew something had to change when my family started to tiptoe around me more often than not. And when I went shopping for an outfit for my brother’s wedding last December and it took forever to find something that wasn’t matronly. I’m not as big as I used to be, dangit, so I didn’t think it would be so hard. I wore a size 22 top and 18 bottoms. The pictures just about killed me.
In March of this year I decided I was no longer going to board the yo-yo express. I re-embraced my vegetarian way of life and pumped up the exercise. The exercise part was not easy because I’m recovering from a back injury & re-injury (and tend to be an all or nothing kind of woman). I walk, jump on the elliptical, mix in some yoga & pilates, and have added Turbo Jam & Slim Series Express (Slim in 6 part 2). While I still eat more fat and junk than I need, I have made some decent progress.
I started at 238 and am down to 227 (I gained 2 this week, dangit). I’ve lost 7 inches overall (4 on my waist) and reduced my body fat by 5%. I wear a size 18-20 top and 16 bottoms. I’m still off blood pressure and it only goes over 140/90 after coffee or black tea (which Ive cut to 16 oz. max a day – this is huge for this caffeine-addicted, insomniac mama). I was feeling great until Tuesday when my daughter graduated from 8th grade.
My baby’s going to high school! Sniff…. I digress.
After graduation we took a few pics with her friends and and us. I thought I looked pretty good. I was wearing a fab wine colored lace wrap top and a calf-length black skirt. I checked myself several times in the mirror to be sure it looked as good as I felt in it. Well, the pictures say something different. All I saw was the big girl looking even bigger while standing next to my gorgeous daughter. She’s 5’5″ and a size 3/4. We’d made dinner plans with my mother, brother and sister in law, so I put on a happy face when what I really wanted was to cry and scream. None of the progress I’d made mattered, just because of a few pictures.
Wednesday I felt better, but still bleah about it. Every bump and exaggerated curve bothered me. Being bothered by what I see isn’t enough to make me get off track for long. I am tempted, though, but not by sweets or fat. The desire to comfort myself by feeding my sadness is screaming out loud. I’m ignoring my inner demons and enjoying a cup of lemon tea and a big glass of water. I’m concentrating on the next 10 pound goal, not on the supposed quick fix that a sandwich would bring at 1am.
I now I’m not alone in this. There are hundreds of people struggling with those demons right now. And beating them back, eventually freeing themselves completely. I’m ready to be one of the successful ones. Who’s with me?