I say I hate gyms, and hate running laps around a track. I prefer to run different routes...through neighborhoods or woods. To see different things. That I think gyms are horrible places. He says "don't be so naive, it's the knowledge, not the gym" I ask what that means. His response:
"The knowledge of knowing what to do to be a healthy individual. It translates to your children and life in general. Just look at Riley's midsection. It's a direct reflection of how you view life."
My response is horror. Anger...no RAGE. Riley, my daughter, is 9. NINE.
I tell him to fuck off. That his midsection shows that he is an arrogant, vain, asshole.
"Truth hurts but it needs to be said. Children need exercise! A foreign concept to you but crucial to her development. Oh and for Milo and Luna too. Your anger and laziness is pretty sad!"
This was a text conversation which started with my brother-in-law's 21 year old girlfriend, by me, happy that I had lost 6 lbs and mentioning I was starting running. She said it would be better to run on a track. and I should take Riley. It ended with my brother-in -law saying the above.
Do I need to mention that they don't have children?
I am a 33 year old mother of 3. I had a baby 11 weeks ago. I am writing this with one hand, a baby nursing in my lap. I eat healthy. I also eat because I LOVE food. I love baking and cooking and sharing those treats. I have lost 31 lbs since the baby was born. I have about 15 to go. In order for me to run, I have my mom come to my house and babysit my kids. Running isn't something I love, but it is the least miserable form of exercise I have found and I truly enjoy the fresh air and time to myself. I have run, on and off, since I was in 8th grade. I have run half marathons, a 10k, 5k's. My goal, since this last pregnancy, was to slowly get back into it and run another half marathon this year.
"How I view life"....oh the implication that me, being fat and lazy, and thus a horrible mother...view life in a negative way is laughable. But for the record, I have an amazing life. I have so much love. Such joy and meaning from my children, from being a mother. I get to spend my days with a man I adore and children who give light and meaning. They enrich everything. I love my life. And yes, it does show through my body and my children, but certainly not in the way he implied. It shows in our love, support and dedication to each other. And it shows when I rub butter all over myself and my husband licks it off.
I have come to terms with my anger about this. Because it did hit me hard.
After the dust settled, a small fire in me was lit. I have some important things to say about this subject....even if no one reads it.
First, I believe he just wanted to hurt me. And in that he was successful. But, my fight is not with him. Don't get me wrong, he will never set foot in my home again. He is a sad, pathetic, prick who not only left his wife for an 18 year old girl he coached, but who also has a different definition of "health" than I do.
So I want to focus on that. Health.
Mothers: having a baby is hard. It is hard on your body and it is exhausting at times. Please don't feel rushed to get your body back as soon as you can. That pressure is coming from assholes like my brother-in-law and there is no place for it in the first few months of mothering a new, tiny life. You need calories for breastfeeding and you need to let your body heal. There will be time to lose weight. Those first few months fly by so fast and someday you will miss having a newborn. Savor it. Love your body for what it accomplished. That, is HEALTH.
Here is Riley, age 9, after running her second 5k with my Dad who is 66 and a cancer survivor.
Here she is in our backyard, where she jump ropes for hours, does amazing hand stands, and hula-hoops like a maniac.
One of my fears with having daughters, has been how to protect them from the poisonous thinking that in order to be attractive, pretty, desirable, or worthy, that they need to look a certain way, be a specific size or weight.
I want her to be healthy. And to me that is defined by this: that emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically she is happy and fulfilled. That she looks in the mirror and is happy with who she is and how she looks. That she enjoys living, and is able to achieve anything she wants for herself through hard work, practice, patience, and learning.
If she has a little tummy or is a few pounds overweight, it does not define her or how much she values life. It does not define her health. I want my children's self value to come from much greater things. I want that for them, and I want it for myself.