Monday, April 20, 2015

Now Presenting...the Amazing Girl!

My girls spend a good share of each day pretending...pretending to be princesses, cowgirls, doctors, supergirls, and even the occasional cat.  They dress up in their leotards and tutus, act out plays with absolutely no plot, and enact puppet shows (also with no plot).  But one of my favorite times to watch them is when they begin a spontaneous song-and-dance routine.  Noel will stand and say, "Now Presenting...the Amazing Girl!"  At that line, she runs out of the room, waits 1.2 seconds, and runs in to entertain us.  Soon after, Juliet also begins, "Now Presenting...the Amazing Girl!"  And when she begins singing, I can tell that she truly believes she is amazing.  They both do--they have this unshakable belief that they are beautiful, smart, talented ballerinas and princesses and beloved daughters.

Jump to me.  Every morning, I get on the scale.  One morning, the number was ten less than the day before.  I was elated.  Not just for that moment, but for the rest of the day.  I thought I was amazing.  It turns out that our scale was broken, and I re-gained those 10 pounds a few days later.  That day was horrible.  I felt ugly, my clothes didn't fit right, and I avoided every mirror in the house.  And for that reason, I want to throw away my scale.  I don't want my image of myself to be directed by the number I see on the scale.  I want to get up in the morning, and say, "Now presenting...the Amazing Girl!"  I want to really believe it, too, just like Noel and Juliet believe it.  The thing is...they don't just believe it about them, they believe it about me.

I read somewhere that a daughter looks at her mother as the most beautiful woman she knows.  The mom is essentially the queen in this little girl's world.  And when that beautiful woman says she is fat or ugly, it wreaks havoc on that little girl's image of herself.  That little girl eventually becomes a teenager, and when the same mother tells that girl that she looks beautiful, she doesn't believe her.  How can she be beautiful if the number on the scale is too big?  And she feels that her value is intrinsically attached to a number on the scale, just like her mom does.  I don't want my girls to go through that, so I'm trying to change now so that I see myself as beautiful, and so that they never doubt their own beauty. 

So, guess what?  I'm trying something new.  I get out of bed in the morning, and have a little chat with myself in front of the mirror.  I stand and tell myself that I am strong and beautiful--and that the tummy which is more round--is also the same tummy that held three little babies.  And those legs that don't necessarily fit in skinny jeans are the same legs that chase the kids up the stairs in a game of tag.  They are strong and useful, and dare I say it...beautiful?   And before I walk away, I look straight in the mirror and say, "Now presenting...the Amazing Girl!" Granted, I feel a little silly.  But feeling silly makes me smile, and I start laughing, and I remember that I'm kind of a funny person.  Mind you, I'm no Lucille Ball, but it's much better to start my day thinking "I'm a funny person" instead of "I'm no good because the scale says that I weigh xxx pounds."  And because I'm a funny person, I end up playing circus events with the kids at lunch, throwing grapes into my mouth, or doing Animal-Yoga with my kids, or even pretending to be the cat in their play (still with no plot).  I don't sit around, berating myself for how I look or what size I am. Instead, I am funny and helpful, engaged in my own life.  I become that Amazing Girl.  

Here's the catch:  I know that number on the scale needs to go down so that I can be healthier.  I'm eating brown rice and cauliflower and spinach to be healthier, and I am succeeding on that front.  But none of that will matter if I don't first see myself as a strong, beautiful woman today.  I can make sure that I'm checking in with myself for a dose of image-reality, and not letting a number dictate how I feel about my worth.  And for that reason, when tomorrow morning comes, I won't get on the scale.  I'll stand in front of the mirror and say, "Now Presenting...the Amazing Girl!"  The cool thing?  I'm starting to believe, too. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Sheepish.  Exultant.  I waffle between these two feelings...a result of recent spur-of-the-moment and in-my-sleep actions. 

First:  Sheepish.  A week ago, I was watching an infomercial.  I've seen it 3 or 4 times, and this time they were so convincing.  It was for the 21-Day-Fix, and trust me when I say, I needed to "fix" my eating habits.  When you are eating Golden Oreos between every meal, it's time for something drastic.  So when the lady kept saying, "It's just so can eat anything that fits in these containers", I believed her.  Suddenly, I was on the phone ordering that 21-Day-Fix.  The guy taking my order was over-the-top polite, complimenting me on my lifestyle change, asking if I would like to upgrade to the "Ultimate Package".  Turns out the Ultimate Package was sixty dollars, and luckily, I heard Scott's voice in the background, "What is this sixty dollar charge on our card?"  So, I kept to the basic package for the poor folks, and waited patiently for the package to arrive.

Later that day, I was putting Chaim's carseat in the car and torqued my back.  As in:  seriously hurt it.  For the next 4 days...I laid on the floor with Epson salt compresses on my back, slept in the Lay-Z-Boy chair, and ate Golden Oreos.  When the package arrived, I didn't open it for two days, because I couldn't lift it off the ground.  Finally, when I opened it, those seemingly huge containers turned into teeny-tiny boxes.  That box sat on our kitchen table for another 2 days.  It was easy to avoid while eating Golden Oreos and driving to the physio-therapist for yet another appointment.  Finally, I could walk on Saturday, and I enjoyed celebrating Easter by expanding my food choices to three different varieties of cake (supplemented by an occasional oreo).

I went to bed on Sunday night, thinking "I'll start that 21-Day Fix later this week..." Sometime during the night, I had a dream that I was on my diet.  I stopped eating oreos.  I filled those teeny-tiny boxes with broccoli and cauliflower.  And when I woke up in the morning, the idea was fixed:  I was healthy.  It was like my own little version of Inception--and the idea had firmly planted.  And this is why I'm exultant--there is a half-eaten bag of Golden Oreos in the pantry, and I couldn't care less.  I am, however, excited for my plain oatmeal with cinnamon for breakfast, which fits in the little yellow box.  Exultant.