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Welcome to the hectic years

Hi, I'm Mindi.

And this is our Hectic Life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The mirror

The other day Gwen said something that made stopped me in my tracks. Literally. She looked at me and told me that she was getting fat. That she had to exercise more.
Coming from any one's daughter this could be alarming, but Gwen has absolutely no fat on her body. Anywhere.
I told her that she isn't even close to being fat and that she didn't need to worry about her appearance, that she was beautiful no matter what. Because real beauty comes from the inside, not the outside.
However, Gwen is only six years old, and I knew that she wasn't getting this from other girls her age.
She was getting it from me.
Ever since I had Lex my body has not been my own. Lex was a very large baby, 10lb 11oz. I'm not quite 5ft3in tall, so to carry him my stomach had to expand. A lot. It was almost like having twins that were a healthy 5lb each. After having him I struggled for well over a year to lose the weight, and I truly only succeeded after I was pregnant with Callie and morning sickness eliminated my appetite.
Of course, at 10lb 7oz, Callie wasn't much smaller than Lex. And after a total of four kids, my body has become alien to me. As though it belongs to someone else. I've tried a variety of diets. I've avoided certain clothes, and I'm constantly saying that 'when I lose the weight' I'll do certain things. I'll go shopping. I'll buy nicer stuff, I won't be embarrassed to wear a bathing suit. We'll finally spring for a family picture with a real photographer. But only after I'm no longer ashamed to look at pictures with me in them.
For over a year I've said these things to motivate myself, to really try and lose the extra baby weight. But while I didn't see the harm in it at the time, I was harming my daughter, and perhaps my sons as well. Teaching them that bodily perfection is something to shoot for, that having four kids is no excuse to not look like you walked out of the pages of a fitness magazine. That external appearance is more important that what is inside your heart.
I decided that I had to stop my attitude about my appearance immediately. To really watch what I say about myself around the kids, so that they don't feel as though their mom is unhappy with who she is.
Of course, thinking it and doing it are two different things. It will be much harder to change my inside perception of how I look. To exercise not only to lose weight, but to feel better. To eat right not only for my body, but my health. To love who I am not only because of how I look, but who I am inside. But by changing the way that I see myself, I will hopefully influence the way that my kids see the world. I want them to love people for who they are, not what they look like.
I still want to lose weight. I want to feel better, not like I'm trudging through quicksand. But I'm not going to let life pass me by simply because I'm not happy with the way that I look in the mirror. Because Kevin has loved me through it all. He sees nothing wrong with the way that I look.
Now I just need to see myself through his eyes, and remember who is watching me, as I look in the mirror.


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