The one with the gifts we'll one day wonder whether we should toss or not? Mine's a marigold that hasn't yet sprouted and a clay bird.
There were bagels (cut in quarters) with cream cheese. There were pretzels. There was fruit salad. There was lemonade and water.
Then there was cake.
The Beans were instructed to serve us our beverage of choice and to get a plate of food for us to share. The Bean did.
There was cake.
As I sat at a table with 2 other mamas, trying desperately not to eat The Cake (I failed), lamenting the cake, one of them said to me,
"But you're so skinny you can afford to eat cake."
I would've stopped dead in my tracks if I'd been walking.
As I told her "It's hard-fought. Very hard fought," and then we went on to talk a little about my Weight Watchers journey, my left-hand column was going a mile a minute: I'm that mommy. I'm the skinny mommy in skinny jeans at pickup the other mommies "hate" because she's effortlessly skinny.
I felt embarrassed. Or was it guilty?
I "hated" me not that long ago.
The other mommy relaxed a bit after I told her about Weight Watchers. She'd thought, she said, that I was one of those people who worked out 2 hours a day. She'd thought I was That Mommy. But once I told her that I struggled - am still struggling (see earlier statement about The Cake) - she felt better. Visibly.
What is it about weight and body image that makes us feel better when we know we're all in the same boat? Why would it not have been ok - or at least less ok - if I were That Mommy Who Plays Tennis and Lunches and Is Skinny?
Why is it more ok that I'm struggling with this #healthyme journey of mine?
I suppose the answer is, at least partially, that we all like to feel alike. We like, as a society, and especially as American women, to feel like we're all "in it together." No matter how much we say we want to be different, we don't like it when "one of these things is not like the other." Especially when that one thing is us.
One of the reasons I chose to write about my journey here on my fashion blog is for exactly that reason. I, like so many others, struggle with my weight and my health. At a seemingly superficial level, I struggle to fit into the beautiful, fun, and interesting fashions I admire daily on the interwebs. At a less superficial level, I wanted - want - to like how I look and to be That Mommy.
My initial steps in the journey have been faster than many. In my Weight Watchers Online community (and my unfailing support through this whole venture), I've "met" people who have struggled with their health for much longer than I have, and are still fighting to lose even a few pounds, when I've hit my goal weight in less than a year.
But part of what this journey and this community have taught me is that it is all relative. We all have our struggles and battles and have to fight them as we are able. We have to be ready to fight them. Just over a year ago, I was. I was ready. So I started My Fight. The person next to me may not be ready for years - or ever. What is a battle for me may not be a battle my neighbor is even interested in fighting.
We judge so much in our world (yup, going high-falutin' for a few). We judge others. We judge ourselves. We judge ourselves in comparison to others. What we really need, though, is more patience. It's one of the hardest things to find, I think, yet one of the most useful and rewarding practices. "Be patient with yourself" and "be kind to yourself" are two comments that fly readily in the Weight Watchers Online community that has become yet another online home for me. Often, we're not. Often, I'm not. When we're not patient with ourselves, we get frustrated and become unproductively negative. When we are patient with ourselves, we begin to make choices, one-by-one, towards whatever goal we've set.
I'm not good at it. No one is, I think. But I will keep telling myself to be patient with myself - and with others. Then maybe being That Skinny Mommy won't be so scary. To me or to others.