After my last child Oliver was born, I hated my body. Even though I lost most of my pregnancy weight, everything looked weird. I would try clothes on and stare at the alien form reflecting back at me. I had poufs where I never poufed. I had big droopy cha cha’s and found myself missing my double A’s (I never saw that coming!). The things I used to wear now gave me an obscene amount of floppy cleavage and a big scary fold over the back of my pants. Not the look I was going for.
So I did what any women would do in this state of physical and mental chaos. I gained weight, stopped working out and let myself go. The depression that had been chasing me took over. Okay, maybe not every woman would do what I did, but that is what happened to me. Sue me
I had spent
twenty years a very long time in the beauty industry working as a hairstylist. I had worked in a high end salon that demanded I looked well-groomed and stylish at all times. After years of living in that world, I was having an image crisis. I used to help women through these. I felt like a shadow of myself.
Nothing in my closet fit anymore and then one day I discovered P.J./lounge pants at Costco that could be worn in public and to bed. So I slept and ventured out in the same pairs of stretchy pants for days. I stopped wearing makeup and doing my hair; it seemed silly to do when I was wearing lounge pants 24/7. I began to think of myself as “The Mom Who Let Herself Go”. I believed people were whispering “Do you see much weight she has gained?” I felt ashamed and suddenly wished instead of getting fat I would become invisible.
Alright, fat is harsh and you may be reading this and thinking what on earth is she talking about? I’m sorry, but this was a lot bigger then exploding out of my pants. My soul was hurting.
At the beginning of 2013, I weighed the most I have ever weighed not pregnant.When I stepped off the scale I made a quiet decision to change. So quiet, I would not even acknowledge it myself, I couldn’t bear letting myself down again. I did drop a bit of weight at first, but not much changed.
Six months ago I am not sure what switched. I was just woke up feeling fed up and I’d had enough. It took the whole six months to lose eight pounds, but I lost it. In case you are wondering, I stopped eating after dinner (mindless carb fests) and became a vegetarian that still eats bacon (who can resist bacon?). I know, I am not really a vegetarian, but I do eat a lot healthier. I was meat phobic prior, so this switch was really easy for me. I don’t miss it at all, except when I am at the Keg.
It is not the weight loss (well it helped) that has me feeling better, I think it was the caring enough about me to do something. I believed every negative thing I had told myself when I looked in the mirror, but taking that one small step allowed a hope to flicker in me, it cracked the door open enough that God was finally able to reach in and pull me out of my misery.
I had allowed my weight to become the “thing” in my life. We all have our stuff that at some level we battle with. That thing. I have several, today I feel comfortable talking about my weight and ugly wardrobe. I can’t say I really have a food addiction. I just overeat carbs….often. This “thing”, I put it on an altar at the centre of my life. I allowed it to fester and grow, until I no longer had control of it and lost all perspective. It broke my heart.
This year, I am going to look in the mirror. I am going to stop searching for the old me, and embrace the women staring back. Those saggy cha cha’s? They nourished my wee babies. Those really curvy hips? They held my babies. I will put on makeup and throw away my dodgy lounge pants (pictured above), because even if I gain back fifteen pounds, I am worth it.
This is not a fluffy New Year resolution; this is my truth. The last months of 2013 have left me feeling pregnant with expectation for 2014, I hear a resonating ENOUGH, from heaven. As part the the SheLoves tribe, we ring in our new year with OneWord. This is my third year of choosing one word to shape my year and it is very powerful. I encourage you to check out the links! Mine for 2014 is “Better”, not to be confused with “perfect” cause perfection is for suckers.
It is the promise of a better life.
I want to live better.
I want to get better and shake off this damn depression.
I will treat myself better.
I want to change the world for the better and I can’t do that if I am invisible.
For the record, I have gone shopping twice (and bought stuff). I had a massive shop at Sephora($$). I may need to pace myself out though, Ryan will need a second job to fund my self-improvement mission.
Happy New Year’s!!!
Have you ever been in a rut? How did you dig yourself out? I would love to hear it!
I recently had the honour of hosting the SheLoves Magazine Christmas Party. When my twin sister got wind of this event, she immediately started sending me pins for our “Writer’s Themed” party.
And so it began. Planning the perfect party gifts and decor for our writers. We put a good amount of time and thought into making this a wonderful night.
My sister and her friend designed these silk screened pillow cases:
Gorgeous, right? Sorry, they are not for sale.
We made a book tree and book page table runner…
I contributed a profound chalking:
We feasted, laughed, cried and shared from our holiest of places. When the evening was finished, the last guest had left, I sat on the couch with this final thought:
I forgot to offer the coffee I made at 6 pm.
I served that 6pm coffee at 11pm to my guests.
I am a hostess failure.
How could I serve coffee that was five hours old? In fairness, my company helped themselves to that crappy coffee, but I ignored that it was so old.
I do this to myself every…single…time. I take a wonderful night, hours of work and find the one thing I did wrong and deem the evening a flop.
Enter Christmas; the time of feast, after feast, after feast. Cue stretchy pant.
I do love to entertain, but I think I have lost perspective. Messed up priorities. Christmas dinner is not actually about a great Instagram photos (although I do love a good pic!) and Pinterest worthy projects. This crazy shallow view has turned me into a stressed basket-case pre-party and for the duration of the event. Forty-five minutes prior to the arrival guests arrive, I start screaming at my family, who have wisely gone into hiding, because they learned what is coming:
“Where are you guys?”
“ For crying out loud…….WHO PEED ALL OVER THE TOILET SEAT?”
“NOBODY IS TO OPEN THAT JUNK DRAWER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!!!” (Cause you know, someone may discover it does, in fact, hold junk.)
I become a complete lunatic on the verge of an epic meltdown. All to avoid sitting with thoughts of failure at the end of the evening.
Ina Garten says “The most important thing you can give your guests is you.” When my guests have arrived, there is sometimes only a small piece of me left.
I have an intense fear, that people will realize I have no idea what I am doing. This is because most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. I wish an entertaining guru would drop into my life for a spell and show me the way. But then I think of my Gram.
Christmas’s at my beloved Gram’s has left me with so many wonderful memories. She decorated with paper table clothes covered in red and green poinsettia’s. There was tinsel, shiny foil garland and plastic Santa trays filled with bridge mix and nuts. Plates of baking would line every available surface; her work from the last few weeks. My Gram lived in a humble trailer, it was small and our family was big, but we all fit. She made sure we did.
My Gram didn’t create stunning centerpieces, but did she set a beautiful table in love. She cooked for days, and poured her heart in everything. She managed this all this without Pinterest. I wish I still had her; she would sort me out.
This is where I keep going wrong. If I work myself to the point that I forget the point, what’s the point? GET THE POINT?
These moments that we set aside in our busy schedules in life are about communing and gathering. Sinking our toes into the soil a little deeper, birthing traditions and observing the old. We are creating memories. It is the times of year we come together in dysfunctional glory.
We were all born a mess, but when we gather, we can become a beautiful mess. That is perfection.
I loved my SheLoves Party. There was a whole lot of love poured into and through that night. I even forgive myself for serving super crappy coffee. Now as I set the table for Christmas, all that little stuff that I am worrying about and will never get to anyways, I am letting it go.
I am letting go of the crazies, and clinging to joy.
And I am going to love what I am doing with everything in me.
And even if my meal is a complete fail, I know sometimes the biggest misfortunes can turn into the best memories (or lessons).
Last night my sister reminded me of when I tried to broil my turkey to hurry up the baking. It was raw on the bottom and burned on the top. This may have been because it was frozen when I put it in. I have come a long way….
So…do you have any Christmas advice, blunders, best memories you want to share? I would LOVE to hear them.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and feel the love.