The Road to Self-Acceptance

It has been nearly a month since I gave birth to Kylie. Time sure flies with little sleep. You know the kind, where the days blend together and you can’t remember the day of the week or the date for that matter. This morning, we had to take Isabel to the dentist for a check up and when it came to filling out the date for that COVID-19 form asking questions like “Have you traveled outside the U.S. in the last month” and so on. I could not remember the date, even though I knew the answer prior to walking through the door. Does forgetfulness continue post pregnancy?

The hardest part about post pregnancy is the comparison I make towards the old me. You know, the one who would be running a lot or at the gym every day. Not that there is anything wrong with staying in shape, but I tend to be an extremist at times. It is something I’m working on not repeating. I would spend a few hours at the gym, have enough time for a short nap before working for nine and a half hours staring at a computer screen inputting data for a title company. Underpaid and unhappy I took my frustrations to the gym or running. Being fit and unhappy wasn’t the balance I promoted on my old Instagram account, but it sure looked good. I realize that I am my worst critic and I have to constantly give myself permission that I’m doing well where I’m at. Self acceptance is a hard pill for me swallow, it always has been.

The break I took from social media has brought to my attention the lengths I would go to make things look better than it seemed. Going from fit to not fit in a matter of months was a huge blow to my ego. There are days where I struggle with looking at my own reflection. I try not to be self critical around my kids, because I don’t want them to have the same sort of hangups.

I want to be fit again and I want it now. I am like a kid waiting for the tooth fairy to come. I really can’t think of a better simile. There is the pain and then the pay off. (Side note: I thought I was doing well when I would find $.25 under my pillow. Can you believe the tooth fairy is giving $3 per tooth these days? At least that’s what the tooth fairy’s assistant is telling me, aka, my husband.

I’m not one to dwell on a problem without creating a solution. A week after Kylie’s birth, Anthony and I started walking. I have also started a weight lifting and calisthenics regiment. The walking hasn’t been tough and I even started running a few days ago. Losing the weight could have been much easier post baby, but my motivation to run while pregnant dwindled fairly quickly when the nausea set in as did working out at all. The cycle of giving into cravings and eating healthy was also a constant battle. Even after the nausea subsided, I still didn’t like the idea of running. Of course, by the end of the pregnancy I anxiously waited for the moment I could put on my running shoes without having to struggle around my preggo belly.

The road to getting back into shape is the same. There is no quick pill or shortcut. I have learned over and over again that consistency and determination is the key. Getting back into ultrarunning is not about who I can impress, it has more to do with proving to myself that I can and will be able to do it again. When I told my friend, Nancy, that I wanted to run Azalea 12/24 Hour in November (possibly the 50), she told me to take it slow. Wise words that I will heed to. I don’t plan on running 100 miles this year, but I’d sure love to do another epic run when I am ready. There are times when Badwater 135 and The Vol State call my name, but I have learned that establishing a hard date when I’m not ready, makes the process even more frustrating. The lesson that I continually revisit is to take the scenic route and enjoy the journey.

Peach Cobbler and More…

If I can’t laugh at a situation, I would be crying.

As this pregnancy begins to wind down, I have gone into full on nesting mode. I am 33 weeks along. There are days when I felt like I lived in the kitchen, but I’m sure you are realizing now that this post isn’t just about peach cobbler.

We have lived in our current rental for over a year and a half, but it hasn’t really felt like home until now.

There have been so many changes since 2018. My kids and mother have had to adjust to having Anthony in their lives. The adjustment to Step dad and then being called Dad has been at times an intense process, but a loving one. He loves my children as his own and shows it daily. He goes above and beyond looking after their needs and their well-being. They will always go to him before me when they need to talk or need some advice. I am forever grateful for all that he does.

I have come to realizations time and time again that a marriage cannot simply be based on a religious preference or a hobby (for me it was running) it must come straight from the heart. I didn’t understand the true meaning of loving someone until he came into my life. He continues to teach me things every day.

During my first marriage, I was ridiculously and meticulously religious. Judgemental much? Yes, all the time! I was concerned about what others thought me, my husband and my children. Individually and together. I wanted my children to dress in clothes that matched (not to their liking) and with perfectly coiffed hair. Being a mother of 2 daughters, they weren’t having it. It resulted in them getting a bob haircut. Easy to clip back and to brush out. My dreams of having children with hair nicely braided or ponied was a thing of the past. They would dress how I wanted them to dress, but how they acted at times and how their hair would look when not freshly brushed was beyond my control. I thought people were judging everything on the surface, like the house I lived in and what we drove around in. It’s a funny wake up call when you realize that people weren’t all that concerned about you, but about themselves.

I used to laugh and a giggle at EVERYTHING (even things that aren’t meant to be funny), which psychologically speaking, says an individual who does that is really unhappy. I have always said if I couldn’t laugh at a situation I would be crying. That alone could not be further from the truth.

Anthony made me see how I really was. I was selfish, self-centered, short-tempered, and controlling. I’m sure that I still am all these things, but just less intense. Let’s just say I am more aware of my shortcomings. Not running and my addiction to it made me finally turn around and face my issues head on. Our road together has NOT been easy, but there’s no other person I would go through this life than with him.

Peach Cobbler Recipe

There are many variations to this family favorite. I have used, peaches, pears, and a frozen bag of triple berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). When using canned fruit/frozen fruits with no additional sugar added. You can use a 1/2 Cup of sugar for every cup of canned/frozen fruit used. If using frozen fruit, place fruit and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until fruit is thawed and sugar is dissolved before pouring it over the batter.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 350 degrees for 45-55 min.

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Cup Flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 C. Milk

1- 29 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup

Cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 F .

  1. In a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish place 8 tbsp in dish and put it in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and sugar and slowly whisk in milk.

2. Take out baking dish from oven and pour in batter.

3. Gently place peaches and syrup over the batter.

4. Sprinkle cinnamon and bake until top is golden brown. It took mine 55 minutes. Put on a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of ice cream and enjoy.