When this blog posts, it will be Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is a holiday that is very dear to me for various reasons. It’s a special day to celebrate my own mother and my mother-in-law. It’s a sweet day of remembering how important moms are to the family dynamic and to the world overall.
This Mother’s Day, I am reflecting on my own time as a mother and remembering how far I’ve come.
In the spring of 2005, my husband and I were aglow with excitement that we would be adding to our family. We bought little baby gifts and surprised our parents with the news that they would be grandparents (both sets) for the first time.
The happiness was short lived, as we found out weeks later that our baby would not be joining us on this earth. The loss nearly tore me in two. Mike was very much my comforter, but sadly, so was food.
Now, I had never really been a skinny person, but the loss drove my emotional eating into new heights.
Gratefully, we were able to have two beautiful kids. After our daughter was born, I did lose some weight, and I lost even more after Jensen, our son was born in 2010. However, emotional eating was my go to for stress and depression, and that is a toxic mix. I tried multiple diets, workout plans, supplements all with some success, but I never found anything to work long term for me. I would diet for a few months, get sick of dieting, and gain back all that I had lost and more.
But, in January of 2017 something changed for me. I “found” that just eating food that I enjoyed while counting macros and calories helped me stay consistent, and I (shocker) actually lost weight. I didn’t stress out if I had a donut with my family; I ate pizza and ice cream, just in moderation. I didn’t cut out food groups, I kept a slow, steady pace and I kept seeing results. I also “discovered” that strength training was my “thing.” Much to my surprise, I lost and kept off 30lbs in 2017. Not much you say, well, for me it was an absolute shock. “There is just no way that I could be doing this right. I’m not supposed to eat carbs or whatever. I’m supposed to suffer through my weight loss in order to be doing it right.” I was wrong. I found Soheefit on Instagram and began following her advice on nutrition (she’s finished her master’s in the psychology of dieting/nutrition…my description, not hers.) and challenging myself with her recommendations on lifting weights. I also found Bret Contreras, the glute guy and read his book Strong Curves.
All my life I had been told that women shouldn’t lift weights, and that in order to lose weight, I had to only eat low carb and avoid anything that I loved to eat. Cabbage diet? Yes. Master Cleanse? Yes, that would help. Low fat diet? Yes, you should get skinny with that…
How about just lifting and eating in moderation? No, that’s crazy talk.
It wasn’t crazy talk though; it was just good, scientific knowledge.
So, what does this have to do with Mother’s Day, you might ask…
Well, in my reflections, so to speak, I’ve realized that my biggest lesson that I’ve learned since becoming a mom in 2008, is to make my personal health a priority. That may sound so stupid, but we moms tend to allow the flood of life to overtake us in an effort to keep everything else afloat. Kids to school, husbands prioritized, dinners made, laundry done, work finished, pta attended, kids educated (if you homeschool like we do), dogs walked, plants watered, dishes done….yah, it’s a ton of stuff that just overwhelms us.
I lived for years on my own “back burner” which I never needed to put myself on. Guess what? Last week, in order to get my lifting workout in at the end of the day, my family happily made sandwiches for dinner. Mom (me) got to workout and family (us) ate a simple supper so I could make it happen. Did my kids think I was a terrible mother? Nope. Did my husband think I was incredibly selfish? Heck no!
Moms being a priority makes for a better family. Moms prioritizing their workouts is not a bad thing.
Which brings me to last week when I tried on a dress that was seven sizes smaller than the clothing in the first picture in this post…
Granted, I still have work to do, but I am loving this new energy I feel to keep going. I’m down 70+ pounds since I had the miscarriage in 2005. It’s been a tough journey, but I am stronger than ever as a result.
Two days ago, Emma said that she wouldn’t love running and lifting weights if I wasn’t her mom. She was genuinely proud that I had taught her to find activities she loves to do. I not only encourage her to do them, but I do them with her.
This Mother’s Day, I encourage moms reading this to be gentle with yourselves. Make some progress. Make your health a priority, as it should be.