I was sitting in the bright green weight watchers chair. Irene was so graciously helping us work through our shit. We were talking about our closets. She said “I’m going to challenge you to get rid of the clothes that are too big. You don’t need them, and you’re not going back to them. Ever.” I thought “dang must be nice. I have none that are too big”. Colton is one year old next week, and for six months I’ve been stuck at a whopping 20 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. ‘Discouraging and depressing’ don’t even capture the feeling at hand.
She then said, “I want you to take this challenge to the next level. Get rid of anything that is too small. Anything that doesn’t fit you RIGHT NOW.”
Isn’t that the bane of my existence? Finally fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes? Finally getting to “shop in my own closet”? “Getting back to me. Getting back to feeling good. Getting back to that girl who can slide on a pair of jeans so effortlessly without having to…” well let’s not discuss what goes on when I put on a pair of tight jeans. *shudder*
Thennnnn…the light bulb went off. Irene saw the look on my face. She was looking out at about 20-30 women who come every week (or when they have the time/courage/tenacity to do so), and she zoned in on my expression. I always get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes at these meetings when something hits home. She could tell the light bulb had gone off. She smiled at me and nodded but kept on with her flow…asking questions and encouraging an interactive meeting.
Over in my little world (Colton was starting to act up in his stroller), I had received what I came there to get, and then some. I always get a week’s worth of inspiration and support when I attend, but this week I received something far deeper. A shift. An important shift in the way I view myself.
As women, we tend to lump ourselves (past, present, future) into categories. More often than not, these categories may include such things as appearance, size, weight, hair color, youthfulness, non youthfulness. I hear people say things like “oh, I remember that girl”, as if it were a different person. I hear phrases like “I can’t wait to get back there…140 lbs…running faster, agile, wearing a size 6…oh how I wish…I miss that girl” I hear things like “someday I’m going to wear that top again! I will fit into it. These are my all-time favorite jeans. I will get back into those!!”…”oh, that’s the “non-gray Jessica. I’ll never see her again!”
It’s exhausting. And these are the very things that are holding me back. Holding me back from moving forward as the woman I am today. I’m no longer “that girl”. I’ve evolved. I’m smarter, kinder, more selfless, richer with life experience and motherhood. Those jeans can kiss my ass. Yes!…My much larger ass. HAHA! They are hanging there staring at me every day saying “haha, your body doesn’t fit into me”. “Go ahead, try me!!” *evil small jean laugh*
I’m REMOVING THEM.
I’m starting over.
I’m going to continue to move forward as me.
When I fit into those jeans, I didn’t have Colton. Lie…I didn’t have McKenna or Macie, either. That’s right, I’ve been clinging on to those stupid jeans for six long years (well, they are timeless and they did fit amazingly at one time). But fuckit. Here’s a little letter to myself:
Dear Courtney (Courtney in the present),
Throw them away, lady.
And, by the way, get rid of ALL your clothes in your closet.
You hate them anyway. You go in there and stare. Just stare. It’s so pathetic. Why not keep a few essentials? You wear the same damn thing every day anyway. Say good bye to those jeans and that one dress. That dress makes you feel like shit every time you see it. WHICH IS EVERY DAY. So get rid of it.
You’re no longer “that girl”. And you don’t want to be. She was perfect in the time she “was”, and you are perfect today.
Four children call you ‘Mom’. You don’t sleep much. Your youngest isn’t even a year yet. Stop torturing yourself over the fact that you’ve “been stuck” at 160 lbs. Maybe once you do, you will let go of that negativity and have more positive energy to love who you are…Who you are today, as the woman you have become from all of your life experiences…Who you are to your family, your new and old friends, your husband, Scott.
They love you, the “you” you have become over these years in your hard work and sacrifices and loyalty to your family. They love you for your ability to stop and allow laughter to seep in to those non perfect cracks in your lives.
Love the woman you are.
It’s okay to have goals. But make them about you, today. And move forward. Don’t make them about “getting back” to a person of whom you are no longer. Don’t make them about trying to fit into a mold that you’ve already transcended. Accept your present spirit and embrace the hope of your future self.
P.S. Thanks Irene!