A lot of you are asking about my body transformation, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The changes I made really amount to one thing: believing I’m important enough to show up for.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch a Facebook Live about how to start showing up for yourself everyday.
It was last year.
I felt tired, overwhelmed, bloated with stress and last night’s martini overindulgence.
The cycle had gotten me once again.
Kid stress, eating and drinking. Waking up feeling even more tired than before. And time to start another day.
I wasn’t thriving. I was barely surviving.
I was tired of feeling this way. But I knew if I didn’t do something before getting out of bed, I’d feel the exact same way, at this exact same time, tomorrow.
I strained for my nightstand, got my phone and texted my boot camp instructor. Could she work me into her personal training schedule?
After a few texts back and forth, she did.
I took a huge gulp.
There’s no backing out now.
I have an appointment. I’m committed.
In our first few sessions, we went over so much. It wasn’t just lifting weights and weigh-ins. It was ‘what’s making you feel this way’ and ‘what do you want your life to look like in a year?’
All of a sudden, all our discussions amounted to one internal question that I couldn’t escape, no matter how hard I tried:
Why am I not important enough?
I spent 2 hours cleaning out my kids’ closet. But I wouldn’t budget 20 minutes for a hot bath to regain my sanity.
I spent $400 on football for our 3 sons. But I balked at spending $80 on workout clothes that would make me feel fresh and put-together.
I spent an hour making dinner and cleaning up. But I wouldn’t set aside 10 minutes to cut veggies and make a salad that would make me feel good.
I wouldn’t do it. Why?
Because without realizing it, I didn’t think I was important enough.
As the idea sunk in, I started sobbing as my mind drifted to my bathroom cabinet. (I realize it sounds crazy to cry about a bathroom cabinet but bear with me.)
I pictured the exact shelf where I knew there were 4 face masks that had been sitting, untouched, for over a year. They’d been given to me by friends, a stocking stuffer from my mom, a gift for my birthday.
‘I don’t have the time.’ ‘I’m too tired.’
But most of the time, the true tragedy is, taking care of myself wasn’t even a whisper of a thought.
The thought of treating myself to a 10-minute bathroom escape was totally void in my mind.
Why am I not important enough?
The face masks made me realize that I am short-changing myself by not showing up for myself.
The face masks helped me see that showing up for me matters. Like, a lot. In fact, I believe my happiness is the most important of anyone in my home.
Not because I’m selfish.
But because I set the tone.
And if I’m not getting what I need to thrive, I can’t show up in my full glory for everyone else in my house.
(*pause for laughter over a stay-at-home mom in her “full glory”* I’m not even sure what that means but I love it so I’m keeping it.)
The face masks were undeniable evidence that I didn’t care enough about my health, my hygiene or my mindset.
The face masks were huge.
So I started changing.
And it was all mental.
First, it was the idea that what I was spending on a twice-a-week personal trainer was unacceptable. Nope. It’s actually the best money I spend all week because it’s investing in me. And I need to be thriving to take my best care of the family I love.
Second, it was the fear that I didn’t have time to exercise, eat well and take care of my emotional wellness. Nope. I look at my husband who is so great at carving out margins in life for his priorities. He can do it. Why can’t I?
Third, it was the idea that taking this time was selfish, because it would take time away from my other commitments, like Bible study. And it meant I’d have to find childcare for my daughter 2 mornings a week. Nope. I’m worth it, she needs me to be whole, and I’m doing it.
The last thing was the physical changes, and those have honestly been the easiest.
I simply decided to start showing up for myself.
And I just kept doing that.
Every single day.
Small decisions that amounted to one big thing:
I matter. And I am showing up for myself every single day.
That means that when I’d pause to make a salad, I thought of it as a gift to myself rather than another thing on my long list of to-dos.
That means when I wanted to workout on Christmas Day, again, that was my gift to myself. After the dozens of hours I’d spent making cookies, attending class parties, shopping, decorating and more. This was my 40 minutes for me.
Each time I said ‘no’ to something because it conflicted with my workout, it cemented my resolve even more.
I am important enough to show up for.