My brother and I were looking through old family pictures a few years ago when we found a particularly unflattering one of our mom. We showed it to her, laughing at her bowl cut and floral church dress. “Shut up, you guys, I look bad there because I was pregnant,” she said to us, as we laughed even harder.
“Mom,” my brother choked out, “all 3 of us are in this picture so unless you had a secret child, you were most definitely not pregnant.”
She started laughing along with us and we continued to flip through old albums, making fun of changing hairstyles, clothing choices and bodies. For as long as I can remember, my mom has been on a diet. She’s been little and she’s been not so little. She’s gone through weight loss trials at the local medical school hospital. I don’t ever remember a time that my mom wasn’t struggling with her weight.
I remember seeing her heading to Jazzercise classes, walking with her friends around the neighborhood, joining Curves, trying out personal trainers and fighting against genetics to stay slim.
I haven’t always had the best relationship with my mom; I was a loud and rebellious teenager and hated everything she stood for, as most girls at that age do. And in my subconscious, I feared that I was destined to end up like her: On a hamster wheel of weight loss and weight gain. Always striving, never arriving. One step forward, ten steps back. A lifetime of battling my body.
In high school, she would try to encourage me when I wanted to lose weight, but any comments were met with defensiveness and hurt. Who is she to judge me when she struggles with the exact same issue? I thought. Your mom is supposed to love you regardless of whether you are beautiful or hideous, massive or tiny.
A couple of years ago, though, it clicked for me. She didn’t want me to have to battle the same things she did. She had already gone through struggled with it, kept fighting even when it seemed like donuts were the answer. She didn’t want her daughter to have to fight the same fights she did. She had the same fears for me I did—but they were born out of love, not spite.
Once I realized that, things changed. My mom is now an inspiration to me. When I know she’s tired and overwhelmed but still gets up and goes to the gym, it reminds me that she is 54 and still making sure she lives the best, healthiest life she can. I saw a picture that one of her friends posted on Facebook a few months ago and I barely recognized her. She’s so radiant and gorgeous and her waist is about the size of my wrist!
I remember being younger and her saying that one day she wanted to be able to shop at Banana Republic with me. Now, we shop together everywhere from Anthropologie to White House/Black Market to Banana Republic. It’s a really fun thing to share clothes with your mom (although she would disagree!). I’m so overwhelmingly proud of her hard work at achieving her weight loss goals, and it makes me want to keep working hard to get to my best body.
This gene pool we have is not going to go away. We are never going to be the type of women who can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. We are women who have to work for it, every single day of our lives. Yes, she may have given me my genes, but she also gave me a determination to keep going even if there’s no end in sight. And that is something I am proud that I got from her.
Weekly Wrap Up
- I was on staycation this week to get ready for my new job. I didn’t work out as much as I planned to, but I did take care of a lot of major life events like purchasing a car and organizing my home. I cooked for myself several meals and had some friends over for a dinner party made solely with Skinnytaste recipes. Win, win win.
+/- = I was down -1.5 lbs this week and I’ve already been to the gym 2 days. It’s a downhill slope from here!
Total = -2.5 lbs.