You Had the Power All Along
My youngest girl cannot go to sleep by herself. So we have this tradition at bedtime where I tuck the kids into bed and then stay and chit chat and listen to audiobook stories until they go to sleep.
One night, her older sister piped up and said, "You know, mom . . . you're not fat anymore." Of course I laughed out loud because kids have no filter. Out of the mouth of babes, right?
So I say back, "Oh really, what am I now?"
Daughter says, "Just a normal mom I guess. I mean you're not a FIT MOM!" (said with a bit of disgust in her voice).
I ask, "What's a fit mom, anyway?" I was expecting her to say something about being an athlete and physical fitness. But no.
Daughter says back, "Fit moms walk around in a sports bra, without a shirt in public."
That of course made me laugh out loud, because apparently in her world having a fit mom (one who shows her midriff) is the height of embarrassment.
But since COVID-19 I've been working from home and the irony of all this is I've become the fit mom. I walk around in athletic wear all the time. I go out and exercise because I like it and it clears my head.
The old me, the old fat mom me wouldn't have intentionally gone to exercise. She wouldn't be doing Walk Away the Pounds at the pool shelter in public when it rains.
Maybe it's being over 40 that changes you. But what I do know is true is that for so very long I was given the persona as "the fat one." I constantly compared myself to others and often enough the fat stereotype proved true.
But something weird happens when you lose that thing, that everyone (including yourself) used to identify you. For me it was really hard in many ways to give up being fat, because in a strange way it was what made me special. I never wanted it, to be the "fat one" but it came my burden to carry.
Now that I have slowly over years adopted more healthy lifestyle habits, I'm stuck in this strange but fascinating middle ground. Not the fat mom, not the fit mom -- just a normal person who is free of either expectations. Free to do what I want, to become what I want to be in this life.
It reminds me of that childhood movie, The Wizard of Oz where Glinda the Good Witch reminds Dorothy that she had the power all along.
Which is true for all of us. We have the power to take control of our health, or food choices, fitness -- whatever we want to accomplish. Good things come when you shake of the burden of your own and other people's expectations.
So get out there. Put your head down, put in the work everyday, and the changes you want can totally happen. But it will be slow, and it takes 2x longer and is to 10x harder than you will expect. But that's ok, it's not a race but it is your life, so make the best of it.