A compliment – “You look great Heather”.
The sentence resonates.
“Must be your running. Have you lost weight?”.
The clothes in my closet tell the story.
Trips to Goodwill to drop off bags that contain old suits, jeans, dresses. The ones that no longer fit and now need a new home.
How many years would I have killed to hear those compliments; marched cheerfully to rid myself of clothes two sizes too big.
I was never “overweight”. I maintained an added layer. A layer that put me squarely in the healthy category on the BMI chart, but one that also represented to me years of failing to be the perfect women.
And then, one year ago this month, life changed.
I turned to running as a means of survival; my daily meditation.
Food was no longer the focal point of my day. No more counting calories or debating what foods would enter my body. I ate when I was hungry. I stopped eating when I was full.
For the first time in my adult life I began cooking at home.
Now food was a nourishment not a punishment.
Dance parties around the kitchen island and conversations with my girls turned the focus to what was truly important – the gift of being together, our family around our table not the food placed on it.
So the layer is gone.
A leanness has emerged.
I share this not to make anyone feel less than perfect, but because when I took away the shame of perfection and lived in the moment, life revealed itself in the most amazing ways.
I hope now that when my girls hear someone bestow a compliment on their momma they hear a woman who accepts that compliment with a “thank you” and a gracious smile.
I hope they see a momma who runs because she radiates joy after miles logged.
I hope they remember countless nights around the kitchen table laughing over the day’s adventures not a momma agonizing in the supermarket aisles over the calories she is or is not placing in her shopping cart.
I hope that day, months, years lost thinking about weight that was or was not there will be the education their momma needed to teach three beautiful souls that the weight they carry is not a burden but a blessing of a life lived.