Friday, June 8, 2007

Empowerment Vs. Failure

It has been a long strange month in our household. I have periodically cried, sighed in exhaustion & frustration, fallen sleep in the middle of my son's room and bed several times, and felt sorry for myself, my son and my husband because this evil bacteria entered our house and marked us with this hellish journey. I take solace in the fact that almost every parent I have spoken with has dealt with Hand, Foot, and Mouth (HFM) Disease and they expressed that it is indeed a hellish journey whether the kids are 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, 4... you get the idea. It is a rather inescapable fact of childhood these days apparently no matter what - I thought really if I were a stay at home parent this would not have happened but then I talked to several SAHMs who decried that falsehood. I was also told it is the chicken pox of this generation. Hip hip hooray (and boo hiss!)

But really this, what I am writing here, is not about that (the black plague for toddlers...) Nothing like jumping topics and my weak attempt at transitioning you from that paragraph to this topic.

A few weeks (months? Okay feels like freakin' years...) back I wrote about how I was going to get in shape, eat right and all that bull shit. We even bought a new exercise bike. I did that for oh about two weeks. Then I fell off the proverbial fitness wagon. I was exhausted all the time from work before the trip (and slightly nervous) so I indulged a little before. Then Seattle where I indulged A LOT. Finally, Matthew's illness - over board on the indulgence.

Then I weighed myself (my fatal error...) I knew it would not be good and mostly it was not the minor weight gain - it was the return of the flabby gut and arms and butt. It was a sad feeling I had in the pit of my stomach that I had failed myself. That was a failure at getting fit and eating healthy. Then it dawned on me VERY slowly as all things do for me - I was not a failure. In fact, I threw out that old voice that screamed in my head (it goes something like this - you fat lazy girl stop eating and get moving - it was that voice that drove me for so many years to hardly eat and exercise to unhealthy excesses.) I kicked that voice in the mouth -hee hee- and told it to STOP. Go away you bitchy pathetic little thing, I said to it.

I feel empowered today. I really have enjoyed life so much more then when I obsessed over every caloric ounce that entered by body, I enjoy cooking/baking much more because I do not worry about the amount of butter or salt that goes into the food - I just enjoy the food. I enjoy food so much more because I no longer berate myself with every bite (or drink.) I have found freedom from having to "work out". I love to work out but I felt beholden to the work out. It had lost its fun - it felt like I HAD to work out because I needed to be competitive but by losing that sense of competition (with who or what I cannot tell you... most likely and probably very surely that I would be the thinnest of them all... hahahahaaha...)

I have become a much calmer, happier person. Even though I am not physically as strong as I once was, I feel stronger in mind, body and spirit overall. I will not kick myself around for gaining weight or not sticking to some obscure regiment - I will merely enjoy my life and the body I was given by genetics.

I am not saying I am out eating McDonald's mostly because ick I hate McDonald's but I am not going to go about berating myself over a bowl of ice cream. I loved being pregnant because I knew that by eating healthy and working out as needed I was doing what was best for my body and baby. I have come to realize that the same goes for me post pregnancy. Mostly because I am less mentally wrapped up in me (because that is basically what all of that is about...) and I have more time to think and be thoughtful. That, my friends, means I am empowered and far from a failure but quite the opposite - I am stronger, more confident woman then I have ever been in my entire life - now that's empowered (so go to hell failure voice of unreason!)

I am hoping now that the HFM disease has left the house and we have finally found a happier day care alternative (and I am excited b/c I get to see my friend every day), I can get back on that wagon and I will start to see success again. I also know that I may fall over the wagon or only have half of me on the wagon (okay this analogy is getting out of control) - at the end of the day my weight and workout discipline will not define me at the end of my life - no one will put on my grave stone "she sure knew how to stay thin and workout" (AND GOD HELP ME IF THAT IS ALL THAT SOMEONE CAN THINK TO PUT ON MY GRAVE STONE!) They will hopefully remember that I was a strong, self assured woman who continued to learn throughout her life about how to be a better person for herself and those around her.

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