When I think about who I was before kids compared to who I am today, the changes are staggering. Maybe some of them just have to do with age but everything from my approach to life to my physical appearance is different.
Five years ago I wrote one of my favorite posts called My Motivation Turn Workout Partner when The 9-Year-Old was turning 4 — go a head click and take a peek, the photos alone are worth it. Back then I realized how the changes I was working on myself were directly influencing him. It was easy to see as he mimicked my behaviors like running or parroting back to The Husband how soda was bad for him.
Now that he’s a little older I can see more and more of the person he’s going to become. He still doesn’t drink soda and tries to get his dad to stop (no soda in the house for the first time ever this week!) but his food choices would be far from stellar without my naggy reminders. I love the he loves to run cross country meets with his friends and play soccer, but like many of us, he needs a little coaxing to get off the couch and practice. The appeal of the computer is just too strong (don’t I know it.)
This is what he and I looked like when I started this blog in July 2005.
And this us (And Little Bean) last month.
I’ve learned so much about life because of these two boys but The 9-Year-Old has taught me the most important thing and he doesn’t even realize it.
I can’t remember a time I haven’t filtered myself in some way. Maybe, at a young age I freely danced or sang or let loose, but truth be told, I was a shy, hide-behind-my-mom’s-leg kind of kid. Even in elementary school I remember being more of an observer than a participant. I have always felt like there was some kind of barrier between the person I am inside and the person I projected outwards. I have always been afraid of being myself even though I normally conveyed a silent confidence.
I used to blame fat for feeling that way. I thought it was the shame I felt about my body that was holding me back. You know the “Once I’m Skinny ” Syndrome:
Once I’m skinny I’ll do all these things I really want to do and be the person I’m meant to be!
Guess what, the weight came off and I still felt pretty much the same way. I just had a lot more fun clothes shopping.
Well, that’s not exactly the whole truth. Losing weight started the ball rolling for me. Actually, how I lost the weight started the ball rolling for me. By pushing myself more and more out of my comfort zone — wearing things I thought I shouldn’t wear, sharing things here on the blog, signing up for events, traveling alone, etc. — I started to peel away the layers of mental and emotional crap that have been holding me back my entire life. Fat was a byproduct of those barriers, not the other way around.
Thankfully the 9-Year-Old doesn’t seem to have those barriers.
When I watch him in almost any social situation or environment his personality shines through. There’s no filter. He will do almost anything in the moment to make you smile or to defuse a stressful situation.
I recorded this other night while making dinner…
It’s what inspired this post.
I know this may sound silly to some of you but it’s a big deal for me. When I watch that video I not only laugh, I’m inspired. I want to be goofy and live in the moment like he does. I want to dance like no one’s watching, sing like nobody’s listening, and live unfiltered.