I had a vision of a young girl walking the bustling city streets with her friends. Her hair blow dried straight in a side part of perfection, her skinny jeans, silk blue top and yellow purse connecting together like a photograph out of a fashion magazine. Pink cheeks radiating confidence from her face and glowing in bouncing waves around her.
I had a vision of a young girl....
I realized that was the image of how I viewed my younger self. It seemed to be a simplistic time in my life when the focus was searching for the perfect outfit. Clothing was the fascinating adventure of expressing my personality and enjoying life.
The wide leg dark jeans with unique button snap pockets that I danced in almost every Saturday night that gave me the confidence to feel care-free.
The beauty of my pastel flower printed Boho top that ignited my courage to wave over my future husband.
The first purchased outfit that would be worn the night of my marriage proposal.
I have a long list of memories revolving around the outfits remembered and the memories cherished.
The years swiftly moved forward and farther away from that vision of a young girl that I fondly recalled. The clothing adventures of my life shifted from fabulous into the consistent sentiment of -get this "baby weight" off of me. In the midst of the Mommy stage of life post baby number three, I questioned whether I would ever feel like that girl again?
I motivated myself to exercise and carefully monitored my eating lifestyle. I convinced myself that if my physical body returned, I would have better luck at connecting to that young girl again. The day arrived and I joyfully strolled into my most valued store. I took this next step alone with my previous courage and self-confidence, although without friends due to mild trepidation of ultimate disaster.
I stepped onto the upward escalator looking forward to the potential outfits that might create new memories. As my heart pounded with excitement I grabbed the bold colors, new patterns and shorter skirts that I desired for the new vision of myself. My hands were layered with clothing as I saw my reflection in the fitting room mirror. I was several zippers and multiple buttons away from finding the next perfect outfit and rejuvenating my inner self.
Then it happened- the exact moment I feared. The tears clouded my contact lenses as my self esteem plunged into the depths of my soul. The clothing looked beautiful and fun, but why didn't I feel the same? I had done my due diligence to prepare for that moment, and I was mystified because my "baby weight" was off of me. I quickly pulled the new clothing off worried that my tears would stain the fabric and sat half naked looking in the mirror in front of me.
Sitting on the fitting room floor I saw these valuable moments in a flash.
I saw the happy free-spirited child playing with her dolls quietly sharing a room with her older sister.
I saw the polite child living with a single mother and being content just getting hugs.
I saw the girl who loved her older brother and sister for loving her without fail.
I saw the smile of the teen that knew to pick up the phone at 7 pm sharp because that was her dad's thing.
I saw the 20 year old girl dealing with the sudden loss of her dad and the regret and loss that overwhelmed her.
I saw the girl who was pushed to go out to a party after weeks of mourning.
I saw the girl who was surprised that another door opened to finding her true love that same night.
I saw the girl that felt so lucky to have the comfort of love that she questioned if she truly felt enough loss?
I subconsciously introduced fear into my life because I didn't want to lose anything valuable again. My passions and aspirations, like painting and writing, had gone into hiding in hopes that they would stay safe far away from disappointment and lack of achievement.
I followed a career path that was free of passion, so if I failed it wouldn't phase me. As a physician assistant for nine years my only reason for caring were the friendships; the co-workers that made me laugh and continue to stay by my side, the patients that confided in me with their troubles and fears and for whom I still hope their dreams come true.
As my tears slowed and my stomach calmed, I finally saw the true reflection of myself. Not the girl from my past, but the girl I transformed into after all these years and finally able to understand.
The loss as a young girl, the early miscarriages, and babies born changed and altered me physically and emotionally. When I sat in the fitting room examining my inner self through clouded eyes. I believed that if my body looked the same as pre-birth, I would travel back to a time pre-baby, or a time that I felt like my real self.
My body did reverse back to my youthful self but, did I lose the real "Baby Weight"?
As the physical "baby weight" vanished, I still embraced the intangible emotional weight of my past experiences.
The years of inner -pain- struggling to understand why I couldn't hold onto a pregnancy.
The moments of -sadness- thinking I might not deserve a baby and perhaps that’s why I don't have one yet?
The -fear- of what the future might hold for me?
The -heartache- of lost love, and having to explain that.
The -anxiety- when life seems to be changing for the better and that it might suddenly fall apart again.
The - unexpected- bizarre ailments that you are told happen to everyone, but you feel like the extreme outlier.
The -sudden-nose bleeds in the middle of the night while my husband questions the drainage seeping from my eyes.
The swollen ankles, sleepless nights, leg cramps, headaches, strange nightmares, extra acne or new hair growth in places unlikely.
I could forget those physical annoyances and begin to laugh slightly, because that was not the real weight I was carrying.
My only outlet became my notepad in my phone. When I felt tired, disrespected or ashamed I documented it into my notepad. This writing experience turned into two years of a detailed journal of mixed emotions. Some words were shared and made my husband and best friend laugh but most were kept secret.
The years of writing opened up my mind to reconnect with the person I lost and kept in hiding, since the loss of my father. As I reconnected to my true self, my family-especially my daughter, connected to me more. She was proud of me, and I wanted to be proud of myself.
I was sitting in a quiet fitting room looking into myself and I knew I didn't want to go back and feel like the younger version of myself. I struggled, learned and changed so much. I want to embrace my loss, my milestones and my personal journey. The intangible weight filled with fears, pain, sacrifice, and courage. I will hold onto my past and take it with me into my future journey with new-found confidence. I am proud to carry a "Baby Weight" that created the woman, friend, wife, and mother I am today.
I had a new vision of myself....
I had a vision of a mommy walking with her family. Her hair naturally curly tied up in a messy bun of perfection. Her black exercise leggings and stretchy pink top connecting together like a happy memory. Pink cheeks radiating confidence from her face and her invisible "baby weight" glowing in bouncing waves around her.