Goodbye Fat Lady

I’ve always been fat. Not just overweight, but fat. Growing up maybe not as much and in high school not nearly what I am today, but I was never the skinny girl. I was thankfully not ever one to let it get in the way of most things I wanted in life but there have been a few stings here and there that kept me in check regarding how I really looked in the mirror. Sadly those have come more from my parents than teasing classmates, which I’ve never understood. They must think I’m blind in both eyes and never look in the mirror. But I’ve never been in denial, I’ve just never let it be something that I let depress me. But I’ve also never really taken much care of the situation until a few years back.

In 2005, after a  life-altering car wreck, I decided it was time to make some changes in my life. Not just my weight but my entire outlook on things. I completely changed my diet and began exercising. It was so liberating. I changed my way of thinking and became more positive. I dubbed it, “The Year of the Bac.” I saw dramatic changes in my overall health and the scale began to move down. I completed something I’d never thought possible: a triathlon, and came in next to last. Still, I had won in my eyes by completing it and was moving in a new direction.

With the above changes came the love of my life and the next few happiest years of my life. I had a job I wanted and had dreamed of, the man of my dreams, a nice home that I owned and the knowledge and power to make myself be who I wanted to be. I never became skinny-mini but I felt and was healthy. And now looking at pictures, I know I was in the best shape I’d been in since high school.

We all know that getting married can sometimes equal weight gain and I slipped into some old habits like a comfortable shoe. Slowly, weight has crept back and I’ve found myself with no excuses for why I quit working out. I had a baby and actually Lost weight believe it or not so I can’t say it’s baby fat lurking around. And now that my husband is back on the day shift for working AND I have a free gym membership in my same building at work, I can’t really pretend there is any other reason for why I’m not working out.

The thing is, I do love working out. I love the feeling of power, I love the competition with myself and I love the results. I know nothing worth doing comes easy and I am not looking for a quick fix.

So with knowledge comes power and because I have already been down this road before, and know it is possible, I am not afraid. It is more that I HAVE to make some changes if I want to be healthy for my baby and attractive to my husband. I know he loves me no matter what but I want to feel my best for him and myself. And now, I do not.

So I’m going to make 2013 the Year of J B Clark. (Since the Year of The Bac is already over). But it will start in 2012. It just might take a few months into 2013 to really see results, hah. I’ve joined Weight Watchers at work,, which is going well. I’m getting back in the pool, on the bike and walking. And most important, I am going to do another triathlon next spring/summer. I’ll chronicle my road to my success year here. Day one in the pool begins in a few hours. Sadly, I doubt I’ll swim more than a 500. But you gotta start somewhere, right?

Planning a Weekend Staycation with C.

This weekend, Thursday actually, my husband is descending on a three-day/night camping trip with friends at the coast. it’s a guys’ getaway and one that I am sure will no doubt be memorable for them. As they celebrate a friends’ birthday on a deserted island, I know they will have a blast leaving their wives and children behind for a few days to probably act about the same age as they were when many of them met, grade school. All kidding aside, last year i was the mother of a two-month-old when this camping trip ensued. I rode down with my husband and stayed at my sister’s so I could have some help. Being a first-time mom with a two month old, a weekend alone seemed like an eternity to me so I needed help.

This year, i am actually looking forward to our weekend alone. One of my best friends is coming over for a girl’s night and pizza and movies. Saturday I’m hitting up the Farmer’s Market downtown to sample some good local food and music. Then hitting up the nearby park for some exercise and playtime with C. Later that day, going to C’s girlfriend’s house and my close friends’ house for some football and poker. Should be a great mix and busy day perfect for wiping out a 14 month old. Sunday we’ll go to church and I’m excited to check out the children’s museum in town. Apparently it’s the 10th biggest in the world and just 15 mins away!

As cheesy as it sounds, I’m looking forward to some uninterrupted time with my son and me. My husband I’m sure is looking forward to some uninterrupted time with his friends, as I think that is very healthy for a marriage and parenthood. I’m sure by Sunday i will be welcoming the help, esp since we don’t have much of a napper in our kid. But i’m finding myself looking forward to discovering all of the family-friendly places in town this weekend and checking them out. I’m not sure who will have more fun. As a mom, there is nothing more exciting than seeing something through your child’s eyes. Yesterday we had 10 mins of laughter about a light switch and how turning it off was so neat. It’s the little things like that that are so funny and i never would have expected.

i used to look forward to the weekends for sleep and late nights and intoxicated conversations. I probably still would look forward to that if that were my weekend agenda but having a child takes that away, at least on a regular basis. But now I’m finding myself enjoying this amazing weather and looking forward to the time my little chubby-yet-itty-bitty-boy and I can spend together. We’ll see after Sunday if all of my plans come to fruition. I might need to just spend some hours relaxing with him as well. But a girl can plan right?

Anyone But Me

Working on a college campus keeps me young. Yes, I realize I am automatically old by even uttering those words, but I get to see the hip new trends (not that I ever really adopt them) and reminisce about my college years on a regular basis. I work with students everyday who are so intelligent and amazing that I feel like such a loser sometimes when I think back on my college experience.

But then I think back about all the amazing times I DID have, and I am so honored to have experienced them. I was a timer for the men’s swim team and met some of my best friends and witnessed some amazing swimming. I was a lifeguard and was happy to work on campus for several semesters. I was a nanny to a family that became my second mother for a while. I switched majors to creative writing from advertising and made some awesome contacts, mentors and friends who shared my love of Chaucer, Shakespeare and transcendentalism. I wasn’t captain of this club or a member of eight honor societies but I sure felt involved most days.

But besides walking across the stage (I almost missed it too bc of being late!) my most favorite thing about college is the friends I made. Many today are my lifelong friends and others have come and gone. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendships and relationships and why some work and some don’t. And why some aren’t the same after many years no matter how hard you try to hold on to them.

It’s weird when we hit our mid-30s and have kids and try to find a balance between hanging out with couples, single friends, friends with kids and no spouse, couples with no kids, friends from various groups. Sometimes it feels so effortless to make fun happen, and other times it feels like a delicate dance to keep people happy. It has made me wonder if we hang onto relationships bc we feel like we always thought we’d be friends forever. Like the friend we met in first grade, our neighbor, our church friend or our best friend from high school. I tend to compare new friends sometimes with friends of old and feel like perhaps bc someone didn’t know me during this time of my life, they don’t truly know who I am. But then I think about my husband, who is quite easily my best friend, and how he knows most of me through story only.

Thankfully for him I can be an animated storyteller, but he did not know me in high school singing in church plays or playing basketball or my swimming days. He did not know me in college, going to poetry readings, concerts, parties, pondering the meaning of life at 2am over Vic and Bills burgers. He wasn’t part of my Tennessee pride and therefore doesn’t sing Rocky Top quite as loudly as I do. But he WILL sing it, and he WILL withstand the endless stories that I tell.

So maybe it’s okay that people don’t know me from all walks of life. And maybe friends I make today represent where I am in my life now whereas some friends represent where I was 10 or 20 years ago. In middle school I had friends who loved new kids on the block. In high school, it was friends who liked playing music, eating at Stax, were in my classes and swam on swim team. In college, I may have bonded with someone over a shared love of fiction or music and today it might be the same wine or baby product (the juxtaposition of those two are rather interesting wouldn’t you say!). But I’m thinking that it’s okay if things shift and we all change. It happens.

Thinking about my son, I now know that he will know an entirely different version of me. I will probably be ANYONE but me to him, ha ha, because he will know me as mother, teacher, disciplinarian and hopefully the definition of unconditional love. But then again, maybe that is who I am today. At least a part of me. But he might not know all the stories and secrets that others do. And I’m okay with that. Our souls can be easily divided into chunks of time and pieces of who we are and once were, and I think that is what makes us whole.