During the last two months of being part of the Today’s Parent Healthy Family Challenge, I’ve watched both of my co-writers, Maria and Crystal, write beautifully and honestly about their personal struggles with weight. Their openness has been inspirational and since I suddenly don’t feel so alone with my feelings, I think it’s my turn.
The truth is that I don’t ever remember a time where I felt good about my body. I look back at pictures of myself in high school and wonder how I ever could have thought that I was fat back then. Hidden behind my outgoing nature, my zest for life, my love of laughter and my passion for the people around me is a girl who hardly ever looks in the mirror — a girl who is confident in almost everything in her life except her own reflection. I can honestly say that I felt genuinely beautiful on my wedding day almost nine years ago. I can also say that I think it was the only day in my entire life where I truly remember looking at myself and thinking how pretty I looked.
“It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” I’m the creative one. I’m the fun one. I’m the caring one. I’m the person who would drop anything to help a friend in need. I’m smart. I’m a great wife and Mom. I’m the first to dance at a party. I jump into everything with two feet and a smile. I’ve got a ton of things going for me, so being overweight shouldn’t matter — right? RIGHT?
Well, it does matter because I’m tired of thinking about it. I want to stop hiding behind black. I want to be healthy and be here for my kids as long as possible. I know exactly what style of clothes I’d wear if they’d be flattering and I want to start buying them. Even though I never talk about this stuff around my girls, there will be a day when they can see right through me and I never want that day to come. I have accomplished most things that I’ve really set my mind to in life — this is the only thing that keeps beating me over and over (and over and over) again.
I do credit the Healthy Family Challenge with an unexpected change in how I’m thinking about our health in general and my personal struggles with weight. I’ve since ditched all of the weight-loss programs (yes, I’ve tried most of them) and am one month into going back to basics. I’ve been at the gym four times a week and thanks to a new meal planning routine and fresh recipes, we’ve been eating much “cleaner” as a family.
The scale hasn’t budged. But my reflection is smiling a little bit more than it used to.