single mom

The First Step

Any time I have ever run into a brick wall an obstacle, however big or small, my entire family always suggested taking things “one step at a time”. Being of the overzealous type, I stubbornly figured I could leap over things without consequences. Admittedly, I have come back like a bad dog, tail between my legs and brokenhearted many, many times.

“She has to make her own mistakes,” they would say, “Live and learn”. Looking back, I feel like shaking myself for continually making the same mistake over and over. I am my own worst enemy most of the time, but I’d like to think my ability to see this counts for something.

A year ago, I walked down the aisle, made promises and vowed vows in front of God, family and friends. Today, I’m sitting alone in my bedroom, separated from my husband and feeling like I can take over the world. The first few weeks were horrible. I lost my appetite, my zest for life and I felt like a ghost of myself. My son was the glue that held me together.

One day, in the midst of feeling sorry for myself, I had decided to clean up the TV room. Plates were piling up, the floor was unswept, coffee mugs were everywhere, toys on the floor. It turned into a clean up of my entire house, one end to the other. In the process of cleaning, I came across a box filled with Wii accessories and games – namely, Zumba. I stood like a bump on a log staring at the game. He had bought it for me. I thought seriously about throwing it out, but decided to put on some tights and a sports bra, and give it a go. I fell in love.

The following week, when I went to the grocery store I stocked up on eggs, fresh vegetables, milk, and tofu. I had fed my broken heart enough crap. It was time to treat my body right. And guess what? It helped me heal.

As I lost weight, I gained confidence and respect for myself. I felt strong, jubilant and alive again. The best part? I could turn on Zumba, blast the volume and just dance. Sometimes my son joined in, sometimes he watched and other times, he ignored me altogether. I fed my body the way I fed my son and my stomach aches lessened. So did my heartaches.

In the midst of our busy lives, it is so easy to put our health and wellness on the backburner to attend to the “important” things, like our careers and our homes. We work towards strong, healthy, caring relationships with our partners, our parents, our children anad our friends – but what about with ourselves?

I loved J very much on our wedding day, and a part of me always will. Were it not for our relationship, inspite of it’s many downs and fewer ups, I would not have F. I would not have become the person I am today. While I am wary of saying our marriage a mistake, I am able to say that we were both trying to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. I don’t believe we were ever meant to be together, but we tried. Am I sorry we got married? A little, but what I’m really sorry for was forgetting who I am, who I want to be and what I want and need from life.

The first step towards getting yourself to where you want to be does not have to happen from a dark place, like mine did. The first step might seem like the biggest one you will ever take, and it will feel that way, but as you make your baby steps, you’ll find them growing as you grow and transform into the person you want to be.

Me, 20 pounds down in April. Now, in September I am down 38 pounds and feeling amazing!

Be strong, stay positive and love yourself.

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