Oprah Winfrey is my spirit animal in many, many ways. Not the “you get a car!” multibillion-dollar-world’s-most-powerful-woman-way, but in the warm-hearted, soul-connecting, weight-fluctuating “I-LOVE-BREAD” way.
I hope every mom has experienced the same Wonder Woman, holy-moly-my-body-is-a-freaking-miracle moment when she sees her tiny baby and marvels at her body’s life-giving ability. I’ve been lucky to have two, and they both occurred in the hospital, about a day after my girls were born, when I saw their chunky bodies curled under their tightly-swaddled blankets and gawked “THAT was just in by stomach, and THAT just literally passed through me! And now my boobs are making MILK. I make LIFE! I FEED LIFE! RAAAAWWRRR!!!!” Okay, maybe I didn’t get so Katy Perry about it, but the point is that I had a newfound respect for my body and felt gentler and more affectionate for my sagging tummy, boobs, and cellulite. That cozy confidence stuck around though, and my comfort zone grew by 25 pounds.
After the birth of my first daughter in 2014, it took THREE whole years to get those 25 pounds off, and the journey was long because I had no problem “stopping to smell the roses.” We had just moved to Charleston, a tourist city whose backbone is made of grits, fried chicken, and bacon fat. I hated looking back at photos of me with my precious, growing little girl and seeing myself in a body I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t used to being 25 pounds heavier, and I certainly didn’t expect to hold on to that weight for so long. I steadily dieted and joined a gym, and I fell in love with exercise. I loved working hard and getting stronger, but I also loved indulging in the delicious food our city offers. By the time my daughter turned three, I had FINALLY reached my pre-baby weight, and I felt more comfortable in my skin than ever. In addition to hosting life, I gained a beautiful appreciation for my body, its skill, its endurance, and its reformation. And even though I wasn’t the skinniest I’d ever been, I was definitely the strongest, both physically and mentally, and I finally felt I could let go and be happy and enjoy my newfound confidence…juuuuuust in time to get pregnant with Baby Girl #2.
Now, as I approach my second baby girl’s first birthday, I’m reminded that I don’t want it to take two more years to feel confident in my body again. I’ve been active and working out since she was six weeks old, and even though I’m technically physically stronger with the best endurance I’ve ever had, I’ve still got those 25 pounds, and I refuse to let them linger. What’s holding me back?
Early Bird Diner. SOL Southwest Kitchen. Halls Chophouse. Minero. Jack’s Cosmic Dogs. Avondale Wine and Cheese. Swig and Swine. Hometeam. Paige’s Okra Grill. Bottomless Mimosas. Nighttime porch drinks with neighbors.
I love this city, and it’s making me so happy but so fat. I’m so #blessed to live in a food city; to have friends to go out with; to have neighbors that grill out and invite us over on a Tuesday; to have a husband who likes taking me on dates and splitting a bottle (or two) of wine with me. And that’s what’s holding me back. I have food and drink FOMO. And like Oprah, I. LOVE. BREAD.
So this is why I’m joining the motherhood: women who hold me accountable, encourage me, and work with me. I’ve loved every minute of being a part of FIT4MOM Charleston, and I’m looking forward to their help on my quest to stay strong - and deny the damn bread. And this is why I have signed up and committed to Body Back Transformation!
Disclaimer: I adore Oprah and would never reduce her identity and influence to her weight and wealth.