What better time to look down and remember that you have gained 15 to 20 pounds than when you are making preps to travel home for a family reunion.
I’m going to be the fat one of the family, I thought to myself jokingly as I thought of my brother and sister and how they looked to have dropped a few pounds.
15 to 20 pounds isn’t the end of the world. But it makes a big difference in how your clothes fit and how you might feel about yourself. And I tend to be pretty self-conscious anyway.
Scale weight isn’t the biggest part of it, I’ve also lost a lot of tone. My husband and I did a hard-core workout program together a few years ago and we had a lot of success dropping pounds and inches.
A few months after we finished the program I found out I was pregnant. I remember when I posted an announcement on Facebook, someone commented “Oh no, just when you got in shape!”
It was a well-intentioned comment but it turned out to be true. I held back on the hard core workouts so I wouldn’t injure myself or cause complications, and we were blessed with a beautiful healthy baby boy of 9 pounds 6 ounces.
I felt like I deserved a lot of food rewards as I survived the trenches of a new baby, so I didn’t continue disciplined habits and I went a little rogue. Or a lot rogue, actually.
So here we are nearly 3 years later, I have gained all of the original weight back that I had lost, and I haven’t tried very hard to lose it.
But I want to be sure to stress to you that my spirit is good.
I feel really good emotionally and spiritually though I am not overly thrilled at the reflection in the mirror. I went to the reunion and I smiled for the pictures and I wore a swimsuit in front of everyone as I swam in the pool with my kids and nieces and nephews and cousins.
My swimsuit is old and unflattering, but I had fun. I truly enjoyed myself.
I also went to a splash park with the kids toward the end of our vacation and I didn’t bat an eye. There were a lot of moms on the sidelines.
Did they feel self conscious too? Did they admire my grit or think I looked ridiculous?
It didn’t matter. My kids liked me running through the sprayers with them, and that’s all that mattered.
I might pull self-consciously at the shirt that clings to my belly as I hold my two year old on my hip, but I’m going to be in the pictures with him and smile.
I’m sure people noticed that I lost that traction on the weight loss. But it was likely nothing more than a few seconds worth of raised eyebrows or thought before moving on. Or maybe they didn’t notice at all.
Or didn’t care.
All I know is that this is one of the best seasons of my life, and though I was not in peak physical condition at the reunion or the pool, I was there, and I made great memories. And we captured them on camera. And my family got me. Every last bit of me.
I like to look back through old photos and see how things have changed, how we all have changed. For better or for worse. I look back on old pictures with fondness and maybe an “oh wow” or two and a smile. Even if my appearance is more of a “before” nature at the moment.
I even look back at when I was massively pregnant and I wish I had taken more pictures of myself then. I wasn’t comfortable, but it was a special time worth remembering.
Old pictures are the best. And to me, those “oh wow’s” are far more important than the extra pounds. I’ve gained weight, but I’m getting in the pictures anyway.
Audra Rogers is a consistent burner of grilled cheese, and a freelance writer for hire specializing in Parenting, Personal Finance, DIY and New Adventures. She used to compete and compare until she saw what love could do. She also proudly featured a mechanical bull at her wedding reception.
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