"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while,
you could miss it."
- Ferris Beuller (from the movie "Ferris Beuller's Day Off")
I have always said that when I become a mother I sure as hell am not going to "let myself go."
And it's funny how that little phrase means different things to different people.
Most commonly, "letting yourself go" refers to people who, after they get married and/or have children, let their physical appearance fall by the wayside. They may gain weight, stop dressing as sharply as they used to, stop getting their hair done as often as before, etc., etc.
|Kind of like this.
No this is not me.
Now I think many people let themselves go in this way at different points in their lives...be it the indirect result of getting comfortable in marriage, getting busy with motherhood or whatever is happening in life.
Except me, of course. Here I sit, typing this post in my perfectly organized home, wearing my perfectly tailored, size 6 suit, Jimmy Choo heels, my hair all a-sheen and flowing...not too straight...not too wavy. My make-up looks professional yet natural because I don't need much. After all, I sleep at least 8 hours every night. My finger and toe nails are newly manied and pedied and everywhere on my body that should be smooth...is. I am energetic from my brisk, hour-long workout that I do each morning and, well, the only thing that MAYBE is not perfect about me is that I am a lier.
|Kind of like this.
Yes, this IS me.
So before I veer too far into fiction here, let me try and rectify that little lying thing so that perfection will be mine!
Short re-cap: I am almost 39 years old (no, really...I am. I am not being a lier anymore! Was born in September, 1972...really...want some I.D.!?!? Just don't believe me when I say this next year, which I certainly will do.). I have been with my husband for 15 years and married for over 11. I had my first son almost 10 years ago and am now the mother of three boys aged 9, 7 and 9 months.
I gained about 50 lbs during my first pregnancy and lost the majority of it before my second son was born a few years later. I didn't quite lose it all because I knew we wanted a second child and my motivation was not in full force because I knew I would just have to turn around and lose it again. This was my excuse and I was sticking to it anyway!
After my second son was born I lost all of my baby weight within the first year or so. I was in better shape and at a lower weight than I was before I had any babies. I felt good and I did it in a healthy way with moderate, regular exercise, healthy food choices and portion control. Nothing fancy, nothing too restrictive.
Slowly, over the course of several years, the weight started to climb again. Not crazily, but a move, a few job changes and promotions, the kids getting busier and hence me getting busier, etc., etc. (these are my excuses and I was sticking to them anyway!)...well...you know how it goes. I kind of started to slip on my priority list as other people and activities and items rose to the top.
But I was not going to let myself go! No sir! Anything beyond single-digit sizes was a sign of me losing control in my eyes and I had to gain it back! So I seeked out a little help from my friend Jenny Craig and soon realized that they were selling me the common sense I already knew, over-priced, pre-packed food and "motivation", which really was accountability in the form of money I was giving them and a scale they put me on every week.
I soon got myself off the food and started to do what I did before and got down to the same size as my wedding dress. Nice! But I was still kind of stressed out and too busy. I was getting sick a lot and my energy was pretty low. I felt less than happy much of the time. And I couldn't put my finger on exactly why. I tried really, really hard to figure it out, but it just led to more confusion and then more stress about being so frickin confused.
|OK, now THIS is me!
So I had lost the weight again and I was a Director at work making good money but at the office way too much and my sick days were long gone. My sons were getting older - eight and six - and getting really busy with school and with sports - especially hockey. Myself and my marriage were going along for the ride, in the backseat, or perhaps the trunk, as life was speeding along.
Roses growing along the sidelines I can only assume. I have no idea.
And then, I guess I stopped long enough to maybe smell one of those roses...or was it someones perfume?...and "poof!", almost like magic (but if memory serves, not quite), I found out I was pregnant.
"What you talkin' about Willis!?!??!"
Yes, I actually said those words, out loud, in a fancy, office high rise bathroom stall, during a pee break from a meeting with about twenty management consultants, to my home pregnancy test. I had gotten a whiff of food from the fridge back at my office about an hour earlier that sent me gagging and a moment of "deja vu" sent me running to the drug store across King. St., and then running late to my meeting.
|Life whizzing by. Whizzing. Ha!
(You learn to love bathroom humour when you have little boys.)
"There is NO WAY!" I told myself as I smiled at the mostly men entering the large boardroom on the 46th floor overlooking the city by the water. Man...what a gorgeous view. Too bad I was feeling sick. Maybe I was more afraid of heights than I thought. Why did I feel like I was about to jump off a cliff? Or perhaps it was the flu? In any case, I was downing water as fast as I could so that I could make a run for the toilet and urinate on the magic stick.
Well...it takes different strokes to move the world - yes it does - and for me, taking a whiz on the litmus test that was about to change the course of my life as I knew it was it for me.
Two lines? Was that two frickin lines!?!?
|This is what I thought my test would say.
"Booya!" my ass!
I sat there looking, talking to my test like a crazy woman, quoting TV shows from the '80s, everything flashing before my eyes in one of those moments I will never forget. And then.....I was back. "Oh frick! My meeting!" And so I went back to my life...running back to the boardroom, poker face on, heels quickly clicking, pee stick shoved for now inside the drug store bag inside my purse.
|My thoughts at the time, in short.
And so what did this mean? And what does this have to do with not wanting to "let myself go"???
Well...a lot I think.
|Give me a break.
Stay tuned as the saga continues...
I'm Not Going to Let Myself Go! Part 2
Moms I Frickin' Admire