I’m not really, but that’s the only “first step” I know by heart. I might, however, be a carb-a-holic, or mild foodaholic, or whatever the word is for someone who pokes fun at themselves for the things they silently hate and resent about themselves (self-deprecating-aholic?) I can tell you what else I’m not too….I’m not one of those people who “forgets to eat lunch” or loses weight when they’re depressed (Ben & Jerry got me through my mother’s death without having to pay one copay, or get one referral, thank you very much) or loves working out. But I’m teetering on the precipice of 50 (about 16 months from now) and I truly believe that words matter, so I’m changing my speech to start talking about what I AM.
For some background to this journey, I’ll be brief (that’s in the “not a strong suit” category with ‘plays well with others’ and ‘thinks before speaks’). I’m 48 years old, a mother, a wife, a business owner, and a pretty loyal friend. I’m also half Italian and half Irish, and from the East Coast where eating is a sport (Those two things alone give a whole new perspective on the word “Hangry”.) I love food, I love to cook it for friends and family, I love to try it in new cities, and I love how the smell of it brings memories flooding back to me like nothing else. I also simultaneously hate the battle I’ve had with it since I was a pre teen whose mother forced her to wear something akin to a maternity suit while all the other 13 year olds were wearing bikinis. (Imagine the paratrooper look I had jumping off the high dive….oh the horror). That’s a topic for another time, and perhaps another referral and copay.
I’m also someone who takes risks. I’m not afraid of much (besides birds aka rats with wings) and have taken risks from an early age. What I haven’t done is take a whole lot of physical risks. That one summer of the belly button piercing aside, I’ve done my best to treat this temple with care. I mean, how can I hate my body almost every day when the sun comes up if it’s bandaged, casted, and in ruins, right?!?! Right! This body has had to endure a lot of mental arrows from me, so I couldnt’ let anything else hurt it.
Until 2005. After several glasses of wine (where all of my good AND bad decisions have started) I was lured in to doing a marathon. All six girlfriends were going to complete it, and I was the only non-runner. I was also the only one that completed the goal….I was about 18 months from turning 40, my mother was going through chemo, and I thought “As long as I can walk, I can do this”. I completed it in June of 2006, with my mom waiting at the finish line, four months before she died.
Here I am, 10 years later, staring down the barrel of 50. It’s time to take another big risk. I was inspired last year with a long time childhood friend who worked hard and completely changed the shape of her body. I thought “If she can do it, I can do it”. My gym has agreed to train breast cancer survivors for a bikini competition next summer. I thought “If they can do it, I can do it.”. Both of those thoughts came not from a place of arrogance, but from a place of inspiration. I have so much, I am so lucky, my life is so blessed. If amazing women around me are willing to put it on the line and sweat, and grow, and be challenged, then I had to ask myself “Who am I, not to do that?” I have a daughter that I want to be a good role model for. I have a reflection in the mirror that I want to be a good role model for. I want to roll into 50 loud, and proud, and with all of the energy, love, and commitment that the good Lord gave me. It’s gotten me this far, and I think it can get me to June 11, 2016, with a slimmer, stronger, spray tanned, sparkle bikini wearing body. Join me for the journey.