Although I have mentioned running more than once in my blogs, I haven’t really talked about how or why I have done this… mostly because I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing or whether or not it would “stick.” But, I am confidently here to say that since February 2016, I have made major, maintainable lifestyle changes.
I kept thinking about that mud run in April 2015, which you may remember reading about in one of my newsletters from that time. “I am 33 years old. It is completely unacceptable that I can’t run a race with my nine-year-old daughter.”
Later that year, I shared about how I was burnt out and it was becoming painfully obvious that I needed to make major changes in my life. Around that same time, I went in for Lucy’s nine-year-old check up with the fabulous Dr. Gotthold, our beloved pediatrician who has cared for Lucy since she was two days old.* He seemed to agree that I had a healthy, radiant, intelligent, and properly developing girl. He also, in his ever-so-sensitive and discreet way, brought to my attention that her weight had made a jump on the growth charts. “Probably just the ever-so-common pre-pubescent stores,” he implied, “but we never want to assume that is what it is.” He did this so beautifully. His message was completely unbeknownst to Lucy (near miss for the body image). He made me aware of a potential problem without alarming me.
Essentially what he said was, “You are doing a knock-up job of mothering, Katie, but are you bringing your 100% A-game to the ‘teaching a healthy lifestyle’ part of parenting?”
No, Dr. Matt. I wasn’t.
I spent a few months feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t want this to be it. I didn’t want it to be the moment of ultimate accountability. The moment when I am a critical part of what is shaping my daughter’s self image and healthy habits for life. It is so important. So, so important. And I have been dreading it since I was twenty weeks pregnant and learned she was a girl. Don’t. Fuck. Her. Up.
I didn’t change much after that appointment in November 2015. I ate my way through the holidays and I wasn’t running much at all. I felt terrible. I got lightheaded often from drinking too much coffee and not enough water. I ate until my stomach hurt on a regular basis.
Then came the final motivating factor: We were going to Hawaii in January 2017 for Joe’s brother’s wedding. I decided then and there that if we were going to Hawaii, I was going to look my absolute best.
Then came the accidental opportunity: coaching girls on the run.
So why did I make these changes? I made them because I knew Lucy needed her mother to model healthy habits and self-love, but ultimately, I did it because I wanted to be my best self. I wanted to prove something to me.
The reason why we do something is as important as what we are doing.
That reminds me of something… Oh, yeah… breastfeeding.
Over the next few weeks as I explore my journey of incorporating self-care into my daily routine, taking care of my needs both for myself and for my family, I encourage you to think about your motivating factors and your goals. Why are you dedicating so much of yourself to breastfeeding? What can you prove to yourself about how incredible you can be? And how can you use this journey to help you become your best self?