Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Why I am Working on Women's Day Off Wednesday

My oldest daughter played on one of those competitive youth teams that travelled all over the place. 

Do  you know much about those club teams? 

They are filled with drama--and only some of it is instigated by the youth. A lot of it comes from the parents and the coaches.

For a while, she had one of those asshole coaches who was trying to relive his glory days through a bunch of twelve year old girls. We stayed with the team because she liked the players, and we liked the parents. 

Then came Abby or Princess as she was eventually nicknamed. She was the coach's golden girl. She was a fairly decent player--not that much better than most of the other players--but pretty good. The coach, for some reason, obsessed over this girl. She could do no wrong. The parents saw it. The players saw it. Heck, the opposition probably saw it. 

As you can imagine, eventually there was a meltdown. We're talking Chernobyl level stuff here. Oh, the emails and the phone calls and the threats and the tears! We had to DO SOMETHING. We couldn't just let this favoritism continue. Finally, we were all asked to talk to our daughters to see if they felt that Abby was indeed the coach's favorite and what they wanted us to do about it. 

So I asked, and my daughter answered.

"Of course, Abby is his favorite, but what has that got to do with me? That's not going to effect the way I play or how I feel about this team."

Well, I was impressed. It was a pretty mature answer for a twelve year old. 

So I reported her answer back to the parent pack. 

One mom--that one mom on every team whose daughter isn't very good, but she thinks she's the next Alex  Morgan--responded with her voice all tight and teary, "Well, of course your daughter would say that. She's so secure in herself."

BINGO! I couldn't have said it better myself. 

And that is why I am working on Wednesday. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

More to Love

A couple summers ago I lost 25 pounds. It was one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

I teamed up with a coach, and she quickly became a friend. In our online group, I met a lot of other ladies also on the weight loss journey. We supported each other. We cheered each other. We challenged each other. Women empowering women!

I also learned to sweat for something bigger. On days when I didn't feel like doing the work, I worked out anyway for those who couldn't. It was a powerful emotional and physical journey.

Then I stopped sweating it out. I stopped meal prepping. I stopped drinking water and eating healthy. I bought the Dr. Pepper. I drank the Dr. Pepper. I'm still drinking the Dr. Pepper.

Can I make a confession? I enjoyed every aspect of that, too. I did. I wish I could say that I was racked with guilt and shame. I kind of feel like I should because I knew better and I didn't choose better. But I didn't feel guilt and shame. For the first time in my life, I did not equate my waist size with my worth.

So what am I saying? Am I saying I was wrong to meal prep and eat right and work out? No way! It was right. It was great. And, as I said, it was empowering. In fact, it was that experience that helped me lose something more important than 25 pounds. That experience helped me lose my body-shaming mindset.

I can honestly say that I love my body. I truly do. I love my jiggly thighs because they are part of a set of legs that hold me up and move me from place to place. I love my belly  because it works. I don't have some of the digestive issues and stomach problems that many of my friends suffer from. I love my arthritic fingers because they remind me of what my Grandma Nina still accomplished with fingers that hung from her hands like limp, crooked sausages. (As a young girl, that's what I thought they looked like.)

I love my body, but my focus shifted from it for a while. But isn't that life? It seems to be mine. I work on my mental heath and self talk for a while. I get it to a good place. Then the focus shifts. I sweat hard and eat clean for a while. Then my focus shifts. I Dave Ramsey the shit out of my finances. Then my focus shifts. I organize my desk like an anal retentive psychopath...wait, Nope. Never done the organizing thing. That one can't hold my attention long enough to separate a paper clip from a pad of paper. But, you see what I mean.

I don't know if anyone else's focus ebbs and flows like that. Maybe I've given up. Maybe I've grown up. I'm not sure what it is, but I have accepted that I don't have enough focus to focus on all of it at once. So, I'm keeping the fat clothes and the skinny clothes. I'm keeping the body love and the positive self talk. I'm even keeping the messy desk. I guess what I"m actually doing is keeping it real.

I know that it's time for my focus to shift again. I love my body, but I'm not crazy about the lower energy levels and the worry that the blood pressure might go back up. So, I'm pulling out the meal prep stuff and throwing out the Dr. Pepper. I know it will feel great, and I'm happy to do it. I like sweating for something bigger. I like losing the weight, but you know what else? I especially love what I've gained.