Have you seen the sign that goes something like this, “In Our House . . . we say I’m sorry, we do forgiveness, we never give up, we make mistakes, we give second chances, we say I love you.”? Most of us have. I was sitting at a girlfriend’s house the other day and looking around at her imperfect home with toys piled in the corners and a cobweb hanging from the light fixture. I wasn’t looking around her house with a critical eye or judging the messes. I was looking at it lovingly for the reminder that our lives are found in the imperfections. Our kids were bouncing back and forth between the basement and the kitchen table where we were sitting. Not much playing was actually happening it was more of a ping pong of them coming up to show us a toy or request a snack refill and us shooing them back to the basement. It was sitting at that table when I noticed the cobweb and reading her sign when I was struck with the realization that I treat her home more graciously than I treat myself.
Since 2010, I have had three children, a surgery to remove two tumors, a hysterectomy, and an ACL reconstruction. My youngest daughter is three years old and only started sleeping through the night about 6 months ago. I have spent the majority of my adult life either working hard to morph my body into perfection or hating it because my body doesn’t look the way that I think it should. I have spent the years since my last child was born repeating that cycle on hyperdrive. I’m tired. My body is tired. I have little time to myself and most afternoons I just want a nap. As a mom to 3 young girls, I realized that I cannot teach my daughters to love their bodies through every stage of life if I am consumed with hating the lack of perfection of my own?
So, I killed the scale about 6 months ago. I was a college athlete and my body has competed at some of the highest levels of athletic competition yet somehow this business of health and wellness as a mom has thrown me into a tailspin. I chronically feel overwhelmed by the information and inadequate at the workouts. I realized that I was giving those 3 little numbers on the scale too much power; power over my mood and power over my daily existence. Power over my sleep, my day, my emotional wellbeing. About six months ago, I wanted to reclaim that power. I wanted to show my body the same grace that I felt towards the beautifully lived in home of my friend.
I want to speak to all the mothers that are just doing the best that they can. The ones with 5 things on their plates and only enough resources for 4. And while speaking to you, I am hoping that these words ingrain themselves like seeds into my brain, too.
I want to speak to the mom who wants to apologize to the world for the imperfections of her body and for not having lost all the baby weight.
You are enough
I want to speak to the mom who it sneaking a 10pm spoonful of Nutella or a donut after morning carpool because it’s there and its yummy and it is a delectable moment of indulgence.
You are enough
I want to speak to the mom reading the list of foods that “make you fat” or its sister list of foods that “make you thin” and alternatively wants to punch the screen and purge her pantry.
You are enough
I want to speak to the mom who’s finished a long walk and remind her that nature is healing and walking is exercise.
You are enough
I want each and every one of you to know that you are enough. You are more than macros and you don’t need a scale to give you worth. A healthy lifestyle is important, but to me, a healthy lifestyle is one that doesn’t relegate us to a formula. It is one that takes into account those little slivers of life that give you enjoyment. Its baking with your kids or for your church. It’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while exploring the backyard. Its snuggling in on Saturday morning or a bike ride with my seven-year-old and maybe skipping the workout at the gym. Its popcorn at the movie theater because it’s a family pastime. It’s trying to recreate great-grandma’s biscuits in the kitchen because it’s your favorite memory of her. It can also be managing your macros but giving yourself some loving grace when you choose the impromptu ice cream at the creamery on a busy summer day. It is knowing that a long walk in the sun is just as healthy as going to the boot camp class that you missed when your life got in the way.
I need you to know this, I need me to know this, but most importantly, I need my children to know this. You are more than a calculation. You are more than a formula.
YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.
Coming soon, I am going to start weekly Video recordings to give you an idea of how I am working hard to show myself the same grace that I am preaching here. It will be called my Weekly 4 G’s. Stay tuned and Quit Being Ugly