Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving. Not my favorite.

Thanksgiving.  It’s just not my favorite day.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am extremely thankful for the blessings in my life and I certainly know what they are.  In fact, “gratitude” is probably the underlying message in my parenting.  We are trying to raise our kids in a home where the word is not only used but also understood.  I would venture to say that 80% of the time my kids are in trouble- its for not expressing gratitude when they should.  We are aware of the gifts we have been given, the life we live and our family and friends.  I am personally so grateful for this life and I don’t think I need a day to express it because I hope I live it. 

Battling an eating disorder for so many years of my early life, a holiday centered around food was a nightmare.  It was never a day to look forward to but more of a day of high anxiety and dread.  Fear.  It wasn’t about family and thankfulness, it felt like a day to see what Lindsay would do.  A day in the spotlight. For about 13 years in a row, it was a day set up for failure. So, ten years later, I still don’t love Thanksgiving.  But, I do love Florida so that’s where I try to spend it.   

This day each year is sort of a marker in my life and what I’ve been through and also overcome.  The date of “Thanksgiving” has no significant value but rather it was always a hard day for me so each year I feel reflective on this day.  Recently, I’ve been very grateful for my body.  Not what it physically looks like but what it actually does.  I tortured this body for years and years and years.  I made it operate and function with no fuel.  I pushed it to limits it shouldn’t have sustained.  But, it did.  Exactly 10 years ago this month, I was told that I had reduced function on the left side of my heart.  My bones were brittle and were in the beginning stages of Osteoporosis.  I was in a wheelchair and on a feeding tube in the random state of Oklahoma all by myself without my family or friends.  It was probably the 19th or 20th time I had left home for treatment but this time was different.  This time was on my own account.  This time I wanted to save my own life.  The details that followed over the next 4 months in Oklahoma are not important.  It was a painful medical and psychological journey back to health.   I was supported by those who love me and I was tough enough to endure the battle.  During that time, I was also told that I might have done too much damage to have children.  I have three.  Again, my body deserves some major gratitude and not just on Thanksgiving.  This thing is a machine and will rally when it needs to!

Everyone sees a lot of posts about my fitness.  It’s more than vanity or a hobby.  It has turned into a way of life.  I believe in it and I believe my body and mind deserve to reap the benefits of what fitness does.  I’ve always been “skinny.”  I’ve made sure of that.  Lately, I’m navigating through a new goal.   I want to be strong.  I want to be tough.  I was thinking about it.  Anyone can be skinny.  Now STOP!  It’s really true.  Anybody can be skinny.  All you have to do is be hungry.  Its science.  You don’t put calories in your body- you will lose weight.  Trust me on this… I tried it.  What some people may lack is the willpower it takes to be skinny but you can certainly lie on your behind and literally do nothing (including not eating) and be skinny.  I don’t want to be just that.  I want to be something that takes effort.  Serious determination, commitment, fight, and most of all, mental toughness.  When I leave this Earth, I hope I am remembered as a capable human.  In order to do that you have to have the mental toughness.  This can be tested in many different ways.  Throughout my life I’ve been challenged often.  The obvious being able to overcome a disease at a late stage.  Another time was when I was ordered to bed for 5 months of complete bed rest while pregnant and not even allowed to shower daily!  I still can’t believe I did that without becoming certifiably insane.  Then there was the ultimate test of almost losing my Easton.  Being mentally tough was imperative to not fall apart and fight with our baby. Thankfully, my latest craze is less dramatic.  It’s  fitness.  Getting over my fear of not being the skinniest person I know.  Trying to ignore the number on the scale and focus on what this crazy body will do.  Throwing weight greater than my actual weight over my head and diving under it may not be a skill you have to do in life, but the fact that I can do it is kinda badass and I happen to be thrilled about it.  I want to be clear.  Everyone wants a body they think looks good.  I have already accepted the fact that I will never be happy with the way I look.  I will always wish something were different.  I’m getting over that.  The reason I workout the way I do is because of the challenge.  Every single day I go in for a workout and think to myself, “I’ll never be able to do it.”  Then, I do.  Usually even better than I thought.  The urge to want to quit when it’s too hard, too heavy, too long, too whatever is the challenge I feel good about.  The reason:  I’m not a quitter.  I get it done.  I leave with a sense of accomplishment.  For me, it’s not about beating people (unless its Matt) or about lifting more than someone.   Honestly, I’m just lucky this body still works at all.  It’s deeper than that.  It’s where I have come from, where I am trying to go and how I will maintain along the way.  I'm a lifetime away from ten years ago and I can't imagine where I'll be in ten more.

So, Thanksgiving.  Still not my favorite day.  However, I’m grateful that my lovely husband took the kids to the movie so I could actually get my thoughts out.  I’m also grateful that my three kids might be the cutest on the planet, that my sister finally had a baby girl, that my parents never gave up on me, that my husband refused to marry me until I was healthy, that my Kimmy moved from Cali, to lululemon for making comfort cute, for God and his many blessings and for sunshine in the sky.  

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