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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things that make you feel good- the little things

After weeks of minimal change on the scale and feeling a little bit down on myself because of my lack of mileage, I had two feel-good moments within the past 24 or so hours.

Yesterday I went and visited with my younger sister. It was after a workout so I had some running pants on that hit just below the knee and my tanktop on. As I was buckling in my daughter, my sister says, "You've been running a lot haven't you?" I grumble something to the effect of, "yeah kinda but not as much as I should be or would like to be." She surprised the heck out of me by saying, "yeah I can really tell. Your legs are getting pretty toned." SCORE. That left me grinning for a few hours after. I mean, I can tell that I've been working on my legs but it could just be my imagination. Nobody obsesses over my legs or my bulges as much as I do. So it felt pretty nice to hear from someone else that they can really tell the difference.

And then this morning when I got up to get my son ready for work I just grabbed the first comfy tee I saw in my drawer to wear under my sweatshirt. I mean, it's just the bus stop, whatever. I kept the tee on but lost the sweatshirt when I got back home and started in on breakfast, the morning housework, etc. At one point I made it to the bathroom and finally glanced at myself in the mirror. Whoa. The shirt used to be snug, showing off all the glory of my muffin top. Super sexy, right? This morning I realized that it just hung there. Not tight at all. You couldn't see any pudge (which is still there by the way, just smaller I guess). Whaaaaat? Could it be? Yes, boys and girls, there is progress being made everywhere. My pants are sagging ridiculously but I refuse to buy new clothes until summer when I can get shorts. And now, now my shirts are fitting better or are a little too big. Oh, the sweetness.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Finding peace.

Lately I've been doing a lot of soul searching. A lot of thinking about myself and how I can improve myself as a person. I used to like to think that I was perfect. I had this complex about perfection, this addiction to competition so fierce that if I couldn't be the best at something it wasn't worth my time. I fought for straight A's and the highest percentages in class and if I wasn't fighting for those high grades I wasn't doing anything at all in class. I wanted to be told that I was great and perfect. Criticism was the worst thing in my life. I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle being micro-managed at work. I got into an argument with my husband a few weeks ago where I told him that he was "too critical" of everything and sometimes it would be nice if he could just pretend and tell me that I was perfect. Without going into too many details, we went to bed angry (which we never do) and I found myself lying awake listening to him snore, staring at the ceiling deep in thought. He was right. Why did I feel like I needed to perfect?? Why did I always feel like I had to be the best? Why couldn't I do something badly and laugh about it? Why did I feel like I need to measure up and compare to somebody else?

So these past few weeks I've been trying to let go of that kind of thinking. I don't need to prove my worth as a mother, a wife, or an athlete to anybody but myself. As long as I'm doing my best and I am happy with what I'm doing that should be good enough. I'm done with working so hard only to be let down because I discover that someone else did it better. I've discovered that being a stay-at-home-mom is a more cutthroat industry than any other I've worked in. These b**&@* are HARD CORE!! It's a competition over who does the most cleaning, whose kids are smarter or in more activities, who cares for their husband the most. You know what? My house is in an almost constant state of disarray in the bedrooms. I keep the bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room clean. The bedrooms? Well, I do what I can.
I don't have my kids in a ton of extra-curricular activities. I feel like it puts undue stress on my family when we have to change our dinner schedule and keep them out until bedtime or later to go to practice/meetings. For some families, they thrive on the activities. For ours, not so much. I like being able to make plans with people because we have our weekends mostly free. I don't like having every minute of every day structured. We are very much a "play it by ear" family. Sometimes too much, but that's something we're working on. We enjoy spending time with each other, and yeah, sometimes that means that we all four hang out in my bed until ten on a Saturday before I make us a big breakfast and we don't leave the house until two in the afternoon. That doesn't mean that I am any less of a mom than the lady that lives in the big beautiful house that is up at 6 am cleaning it while her family sleeps.

I am learning as I go. My family was a terrible disfunctioning mess. I don't know how a "normal" family functions because what is on TV is just not normal. So every day I take in as an opportunity to learn. How to become a mother that nurtures without yelling. How to communicate effectively with my husband. How to gently guide my children to be good people in the world. How to fit in all the cleaning while still being attentive to my children. How to be beautiful and still functional at home. How to work as a team and thrive as a family unit.

I'm done. I'm done trying to keep up with everyone around me. My kids are happy, clean, and fed. My husband is happy, clean, and fed. I too would be completely happy if I would just allow myself to be content and stop competing. LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION! Everyone, every family, is different and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. It is not an even playing field so there is no basis for comparison. Nobody is perfect, nor can they try to be all the time. And those people that seem to be? It's because they brag about how perfect they are and sweep the not-so-good-stuff under the rug, which makes them irritating which in turn makes them NOT PERFECT. Ha!

On a somewhat related note, I've decided that I will not be running the half marathon in March as planned. I realized that it was just another thing that I was doing in an overly competitive nature and for the wrong reasons. Not that I expected to be the best or fastest LOL, I'm just not ready for it. I will wait until further along in the year. I have been working out five days a week since the beginning of the year, for an hour or so each day. I try to run every day for at least two miles instead of trying to stick to the training plan. When I'm ready to increase my mileage again I will, but just not now. I'm excited and proud of the time that I've been spending at the gym this year and think that by the end of the year I will be at my goal weight and fitness level and that is more important to me than training my brains out for a half marathon and then being burnt out and stopping for three months.

I am on my way to finding peace.....and it feels damn good.