This past January I weighed more than I ever did 9 months prego and on the verge of delivery. I was not by any stretch what most people think of as extremely overweight, but I still could not move. I dreaded putting away dishes because if I knelt down, I had to use the countertop to pull myself back up again. And stairs. Don’t get me started about the stairs. I didn’t like driving my fun little car anymore because it was so hard to get in and out of it. Then I had a customer pull me out into the hallway during an event in The Green Apricot studio to tell me that I really needed to get it together. That I should enjoy the holidays and my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico, but that when I got back I needed to do better. All these quilters just sit behind their machines and get fat. I was, obviously, totally offended.
Then I saw this pic that my husband took of me on our trip, and I finally had a discussion with myself. The conclusion was I am not getting younger, and it isn’t going to get easier. so get started. So I did.
The irony of looking like this for most of my life was that I ate everything in sight and never did anything athletic or that even remotely looked like exercise. Like never. Ever. When this photo was taken, I was about 37 years old. I had brought 4 humans into this world who at the time were about 11, 13, 15 and 16 years old. I had been divorced and remarried, and honestly had been through a lot. But I was not prepared for what was to come in the next couple of years.
The difference between those two pictures is about 7 years, My Great Depression, and 50 pounds. When I was 39, I went through some tough times. I gained 30 pounds in about 3 months. I then struggled through a deep depression that would last for about 2 years, and still lingers from time to time. After the initial gain, I just kept adding on, a little more each year. I went from being able to carry my weight around with little effort, and even less thought, to not being able to get off of the couch without my hips hurting. I couldn’t get up a single flight of stairs without being winded. But seriously, you don’t want to hear the stair rant.
Now, to be clear, I don’t really care to be as small as I used to be. I am a grown woman, and I am totally cool with what that means. In fact, I would be just fine with what the scales read last January if I also could move around with ease. Now, again to be clear, I do have issues with vanity just like everyone else, and there is a part of me that would like to be size such-and-such again, or at least close to it, but almost as soon as I have those thoughts, I am reminded that it really is irrelevant.
The difference between the picture at the beach and the bathroom selfie is about 10 months, about 200 workouts, a very different outlook on food, very little neck and joint pain, and 25 pounds. I took this picture yesterday so that I could thank my friend for sending me this cute LulaRoe top. We kinda have a joke running because almost every item of clothing I buy from her I say, “A jean jacket would be cute with that!” So, I posted it on social media, really only thinking about the shirt, but when a couple of my friends made some kind comments, it got me to thinking. I started looking over pics from this past year, and it has made me really grateful.
I like the woman in the pic with the orange bandana. I also like the woman in the pic on the beach. But I don’t really want to be either of them again. The bathroom selfie is who I am today, and I like her too. She’s been through a lot. She’s made a lot of mistakes. A lot. She’s cried a lot. She’s laughed a lot. She still has trouble letting go of some of her baggage, but she’s learning to move on. She’s learning about who she is, and who she isn’t. She’s taking time to sort things out. Slow down a bit. Find balance. Then pick up and run the race when the race is on, but slow down for the training.
There will be more pics. And when there are, I want to be glad that I am no longer the woman in this bathroom selfie. It’s all about progress. It’s always about progress.