Hi, my name is Mallory, and I’m a sugar addict who doesn’t particularly like to exercise.
Now that we’ve got basic introductions out of the way, let me tell you my reason for being here: My husband and I welcomed a sweet baby girl on May 3, 2016. If you’re doing the math, that is over one year ago, AND I STILL HAVEN’T LOST MY PREGNANCY WEIGHT! Okay, that’s a slightly misleading statement, mainly added for shock value. I have lost some of it.
After having my daughter, Greer, I guess I thought these pesky extra pounds would just magically disappear with minimal effort or activity, but sadly, we’re not living in a teddy bear and lollipop world.
While dwelling on my postpartum body, it got me thinking about the bigger picture, specifically conjuring up this question:
How many years I have spent in this hate-hate relationship with my body?
Practically half of my life by my calculations. This is sad and pathetic, and I know that. I know that I am more than what numbers on a scale tell me. I know that. I know that there are far worse things in life than hanging onto a few additional pregnancy pounds. I know that. I know my life won’t be fairy-tale-esque with galloping unicorns just because I hit some coveted “goal weight”. I know that. I logically know all of these things.
But here is what I also know: I don’t want to be 31 years old and self-conscious about my body. Yet, here I am. My body does not look its best right now, but more importantly, it doesn’t feel its best. Many days, I feel tired and sluggish and slow. I can make a lot of feeble excuses here. However, the cold, hard truth is that, as aforementioned, I love sugar, and I don’t particularly love to move. I don’t want to be this kind of mom for Greer. She’s not quite old enough to pick up on habits, but soon she will be, and I need to model healthy habits for her.
Greer, at 13 months, is already much smarter than I am. In fact, she knows I am more what I weigh. The other morning my husband took a picture of Greer and me. Upon looking at the photo, my initial thought was, “I look awful.” I was quick to scrutinize my face, my arms, and my hair. But then I looked a little closer and saw how sweet Greer looked and how genuinely happy we both were in that moment. That’s when I had this earth-rocking epiphany that it’s taken me far too many paragraphs to divulge: Greer, my sweet little baby, doesn’t care what size I wear. She doesn’t care that I haven’t lost these 10 extra pounds. She knows me as mama, the one who plays with her, takes care of her, and protects her. To her, I am strong and funny and comforting. Why, then, am I always so hard on myself? Greer sees the best parts of me, so why can’t I see those same things in myself? Why do I, instead, focus on the outside?
I want to be the mom who laced up her running shoes after a 2 year hiatus and jumped on the treadmill last night. Greer watched and cheered me on as I slowly, painfully, but triumphantly ran 1 mile. It wasn’t pretty, but starting something new rarely is.
It’s amazing how a tiny little person who can’t even speak coherently can teach a “grown-up” so much about life. Greer is undoubtedly shaping me into a better person without even intending to do so, and I owe it to the both of us to be the mom she sees when she looks at me.