Lately though, I've been asking myself - "where am I in all of this?" Not necessarily as a wife, or as a mother, but me.
I am a wife, I am a mother - and I am also me.
And I realised that I don't actually know who I am apart from being a wife and a mother. There is nothing else for me anymore. Everything I do is about my husband, my children, and my home. I have allowed those things to consume me, because the truth is that I'm afraid to take the road of discovery. What if all the carefully constructed details about me that I have held so tightly turn out to not be me at all?
Here's the thing though: I am tired of not knowing who I am, what I want, and feeling weak and weary. I am tired of feeling defeated and depleted.
My weight is the highest it has ever been. A couple of weeks ago, I weighed the dog, by first standing on the scale without her, then with her. Even my husband was shocked. For the record, he finds me as attractive as he always has, but couldn't believe I was carrying that much weight on my frame. The shock didn't hurt as much as the fear in his voice. The precise fear that I so much wanted to prevent when I started this blog three years ago. Fear that my lack of self-care had possibly led me to the point of ill health irrevocably altering our life together. He didn't say it, but I heard it.
So I knew then as I know now, dear friends - that it had to change. Which brings me back to the starting point.
For a start, I went back on my multivitamin until my nutrition is up to scratch. As well as an Omega-3 supplement, and iron supplement (I was dreadfully low when I had my daughter 6 years ago, and since I never addressed it I just went ahead and started one.) Interestingly the multi combined with the iron puts me above and beyond my vitamin C requirements, but since my immune system is abysmally weak these days, I figure in the short term that's not so bad. I've visited my doctor, who's ordered blood work to check my iron, cholesterol, liver function, thyroid and blood sugar. I figured, and he agrees, that it's a good idea to know where the starting line actually is. I go on Tuesday, and see the doctor again on Wednesday. He gave me instructions to do some research, and advised me that I didn't need to go out and spend money to address the weight. I don't want to do any type of programme, because eventually, I'd have to stop it and then what? "No" I said, "I just want to eat real food, but in more reasonable amounts, and to be more active."
I said to my husband that I want to remember the woman he fell in love with. Not physically, because after four babies in five years, that ship has sailed. Plus, I'm in my forties - I'm not going to ever look 29 again, and that is completely fine with me. It's superficial, but I cared about my appearance. I put thought into what I would wear, not because of how it looked, but because of how I felt. Sometime after "I do", I stopped caring. He loves me regardless, but I stopped trying to even feel good about myself, thinking it was selfish. What it actually did was to give him a wife who looks tired, feels empty, and can't cope with daily life. So I'm making more of an effort to dress how I want to feel. Even on days when I actually feel horrible, I get dressed, put on my shoes, and shower. I want to go back to the gym, and he agrees. We both remember how strong and confident I felt last year going to the gym before my surgery, and we both think this will boost my energy. This won't happen until next week when the kids are at school again though.
I don't know how long it will take to get to the destination of excellent health. I don't particularly care, as long as I never make the return trip to here. I have about thirty kilograms to lose (66 pounds), but honestly, that's not a finish line. This isn't about a temporary change. I have a lot of life left to live, and I want to live it well. That's why I'm doing this. Not because I want to wear a bikini (I don't!) or because I want to run a marathon (NOT HAPPENING). But because I was created for more than just hanging on by a thread. I was created to live a life of freedom, not a life of bondage.
Breaking my chains, one link at a time.
Love and strength to you,