Two Stories: A Letter to All of You

It’s storytime, guys. Gather ’round.

Story #1

Back after I had my first baby, I was discouraged with the excessive baby weight I’d gained and that was not melting off as easily as I’d hoped. I decided to try out running, and found myself REALLY enjoying it for far more than the calorie-torching benefits. I loved how it made me feel. So after a few weeks of consistently running 3 or 4 days a week, I decided I wanted to do something crazy: I was going to run a half marathon.

It was March. I read up on training plans, the kind of shoes I’d need, and how to fuel up on long runs. I found and printed dozens of free training plans and finally settled on one that I thought I could handle and that could get me to where I could run 13.1 miles without dying. I was PUMPED.

As any runner knows, it really is worth the money to invest in good running shoes. It just so happened that there was a specialty running store in my town, and I decided to go there to get fitted for shoes. So I bounced on in and told the man in the store that I’d began running, had printed out a running plan, had a goal to run my first half marathon in the fall, and needed some good shoes.

He looked me up and down then snickered. “You’re going to need a lot more than a training plan if you’re going to try a half marathon,” he said.

My cheeks burned and I fought back tears as he smirked at me. I regretted walking through that door—no, even Googling the words “half marathon.” Who was I kidding? I was packing around 30 more pounds than I ever had in my life and was totally new to running. Of course he was laughing. I was laughable. Pathetic. A joke. After an embarrassingly long silence, he grumbled. “Well, let me show you a few options.”

I should have walked out on him, but I was too mortified to do anything but nod numbly as he pulled a few models off the shelf to show me. Once he’d showed me three or four, I mumbled that I’d maybe come back another day and shuffled out the door. I felt like garbage. It took me another week to even work up the motivation to go running. I did eventually buy myself some running shoes (but not from that store!) and went on to complete that half marathon that fall as well as several others in the years since.

 

 

But even so, I’ll never forget how stupid, how embarrassed, how crushed I felt when that horrible man at DeBoer’s Shoes treated me that way.

Story #2

Back at the end of November I bought PIIT28. It looked awesome. I tried a few of the workouts, and it WAS awesome! I was so excited to jump in. I wanted to get strong, blast off my remaining few baby pounds, and earn the cute finisher tank so that every time I wore it to work out I could remember that I finished something I started.

Then it got hard and the holidays made healthy eating tough, so I stopped for a few days then decided to jump back in.

Then that happened again.

And again.

It’s now mid-January. I’ve been posting daily on Instagram as part of the requirement to earn the PIIT28 tank top. I had a similar “I’ve-been-eating-badly-so-I-should-quit” freak out to my similar ones and decided to restart PIIT but just keep going with #piitstagram because it’d be WAY to embarrassing to admit there or on this blog that I had failed AGAIN. I told myself simply keep going with my 28 days of posts and then send away for the tank but then only let myself wear it once I actually finished all 28 days of workouts.

But it felt wrong.

I have a lot of shortcomings, but I don’t think being a liar is one of them. And I couldn’t keep posting away on Instagram and pretending everything was great and I was rocking my workouts if it wasn’t true. So I came clean on Instagram and announced that I was in fact starting over even again though I felt like a total joke for doing it. And what happened next amazed me.

You guys were all SO NICE. Look at this screenshot of some of the comments I got!

I can’t even believe how kind the POP Pilates/PIIT community as well as the readers of this blog as a whole are. The supportive, sincere, nonjudgmental encouragement that has come pouring in has completely floored me. I thought people would write me off as the non-committed loser I feel like I am. I expected the kind of snickering response I got from that awful running store man, but instead found that I have a whole flock of friends cheering me on and believing in me.

Thank you, thank you all for your example. I want to be kinder because I know you all. And I want to keep going with PIIT28 so I can announce to you all on February 11 that with your support and love, I made it! Thank you for helping me believe in myself and be kind to myself, because those are 2 things I still struggle with quite a bit. You are all incredible. Thank you, thank you for being in my life!

Love,

Sarah

Raising Healthy Daughters

You guys probably know that I’m a mom of three daughters: Sophia (5), Aurora (3), and Scarlett (3 months). I love love love being a mama of little girls. They are so sweet.

raising healthy daughters

But I worry about them a lot too. In this crazy world where Photoshop, plastic surgery, eating disorders, and fad diets run rampant, how on earth am I going to succeed at raising healthy daughters—girls who are not just physically healthy but mentally and emotionally okay as well?

I wish I knew.

The other day I popped little Scarlett into her Bumbo. I put her up next to the bathroom mirror while I threw my hair in a messy bun and slapped on my bare-acceptable-minimum level of makeup since I had to be somewhere in 15 minutes and still looked like I’d just rolled out of bed. And what I saw melted my heart.

Scarlett grinned and gurgled and cooed at her reflection for a full five minutes.

raising healthy daughters

First off, that’s just adorable. I mean look at that girl! But my next thought was that we should all look that happy to see ourselves in the mirror.

I did the same thing the next morning. And guess what? It wasn’t a fluke. Scarlett had the exact same response. She was clearly tickled pink by that cute baby in the mirror, crazy hair and multiple chins and all.

I want my girls to stay that happy, that in love with themselves inside and out. Maybe that’s not realistic. But I at least want them to be grounded and resilient enough to cope with their insecurities healthily.

My next few posts are going to be about things I’ve been doing with my girls to, I hope, stave off some of the problems I faced as a child, teen, and then young adult. Just to be clear, my parents were (and still are!) awesome. I don’t mean to come across as critical of them in any of these posts, because I don’t see my past issues as their fault in any way. But I do think that raising healthy daughters in 2017 and onward is going to require an even higher level of effort, awareness, knowledge, and love than our parents needed to raise you and me.

So anyway. Indulge me in a bit of rambling and reflection over these next few weeks. Love you all!

–Sarah