Shirt purchased from Ali Edwards
So listen y’all there’s been a struggle going on in my heart and my life lately. And I haven’t talked about it here…well because I haven’t talked about much of anything here and also because I haven’t talked to ANYONE about it.
But I’ve been going over and over it in my head.
GRACE VS. ACCOUNTABILITY.
Specifically using the former as an excuse for the latter.
I’ve been walking a thin line between being gentle with myself and giving myself grace and not holding myself accountable or taking care of myself. I’ve used the give yourself grace, girl! line to give myself an excuse. Lots of excuses actually. Every excuse in the book on repeat. And others (meaning well) gave me the power to believe these excuses because every time I spoke about wanting to feel and look better someone told me “Girl, you’ve had five kids!” “You’ve had TWINS!” “Love yourself just the way you are!” or “Be gentle with yourself!”.
The truth is-
When you are taking care of everyone but yourself…
Eating whatever you want, whenever you want…without regard to healthiness or if it’s 10:00 at night…when your girls bake cookies and you eat six or when you make mac and cheese for your girls and then stand at the stove and eat what’s left in the pot (and it’s a LOT)…well then there’s a problem.
I couldn’t reach my toes. My hair was starting to fall out again. Yes. I’ve had lab work done. It’s not my thyroid or my levels of whatever. It’s my life choices, y’all.
My skin was getting bad again, I couldn’t take my wedding ring off of my finger, and I was waking up more tired than when I went to sleep. My back and hip and knee was hurting and I was having stomach issues and ocular migraines. I was having to take a nap literally every single day. And I was NOT being a very nice mama.
I thought I was good b/c I was going to the YMCA and taking group classes 2-3 times a week. Truth? Not enough. Not when I was undoing all of that work by eating whatever I chose (and I mean literally NO thought to what I was eating and how much of it I was eating) and drinking wine every night…yeah. Not much progress happening there.
Listen up friends. It’s not about a number on a scale. I will never be the same as I was at 25. I’ve had five children. I’ve changed. Yes, I know that thin isn’t the goal. And that muscles don’t equal a lower number on the goal. I’ve got all that.
I promise. I’ve got it. I have a very healthy relationship with food and a positive self image for the most part.
But that number? It does matter. A little bit. It matters because it is showing me right now that I gave up on myself about 11 years ago. And that’s not who I am. That’s not who I want to show my girls. I don’t want to tell them to pour themselves so much into someone else that they forget about themselves.
Here’s a hard truth. When I can’t keep up with my girls or bend over to tie my shoes or paint my toenails without my midsection getting in the way…when I feel like crap all the time..there’s a problem.
When I’m hiding (in photos, behind flowy clothing, literally in the back of the room)…there’s a problem.
But, you see, I have five little girls watching me. I refuse to count and restrict and obsess and scrutinize. Food is not the enemy. It’s not a reward or a punishment. It’s fuel. I forgot that. I lost that. I stopped caring about that.
It has affected me. My happiness, my mood, my soul. And it has affected my marriage, because the way you feel about your body has the power to do that. Those are hard words to type but they are true.
2 weeks ago I decided something had to change.
- But I’ve had five kids!
- But I need to give myself grace
- But I need to be gentle with myself.
Yep. Those things had turned into deflections, excuses, pretty words. Nothing more. They were getting in the way of me taking care of ME. I had a choice. At 40 years old I could either continue to internally obsess, debate, excuse myself, and feel miserable OR change it. If I just continued to do nothing I figured I’d eventually just give up and decide that this was just the way I was going to feel the rest of my life. Slow and tired and unhappy and hurting.
Progress > Perfection
What am I doing? I downloaded Kayla Itsines’ BBG plan. It’s basically just circuit training/reminds me of my CrossFit days minus the competition. I follow it religiously. I also still take Body Pump and Spin at the gym.
As a FAMILY we have started making better food choices. Jimmy is making this change with me too and I’m so grateful for his support.
Whole, clean, paleo, whatever you call it… I mean honestly I am just PAYING ATTENTION to what I’m eating. For the first time in my life. And the change in the way I FEEL? Well it was literally almost instantaneous. I don’t think I ever ate breakfast. Or noticed that I was snacking on crap almost all day. It feels so good to just pay attention to ME.
Someone please tell me why it took me 40 years to learn this?
So why am I putting this out there? I guess it’s a way to hold myself accountable. And also connect with those of you who are struggling with the same thing.
Grace is being dang proud that I can only do ten pushups on my knees vs. not being able to do one a year ago. Grace is NOT allowing myself to wilt and become a shadow of myself meanwhile accepting that that’s just who I am now.
Grace is having cheat days and eating the damn cookie when my girls come to me with cookies they made. It’s NOT allowing myself to eat whatever crap I want because I’m a mom of five.
Have any of you ever realized you were using something as an excuse? How long did it take you to realize it and what did you do to change it? Please tell me I’m not the only late bloomer out there.
If you are reading this and you are in the same boat as I am…I want to tell you something. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. But it is IMPORTANT to be your best self and feel like your best self. If you want to change, I am 100 percent behind you and I won’t feed you excuses or make you feel bad if you say you want to be different. I won’t tell you to be kind to yourself or go easy or make you feel like you aren’t accepting yourself. Well unless you are talking ugly to yourself. You’ve gotta love yourself even when you are feeling yucky.
I have your back. Fully.
Whew! That was a brain dump.
Love to you all!