After having Sam, I tipped the scales at over 300lbs. I remember thinking when I was in the lower 200s that if I ever crossed 300 I’d just kill myself and be done with it. What a silly thing to think! Why wouldn’t I decide to get healthy instead??? Because it was too hard. Too hard to cut all carbs when I didn’t know what they were really about. Too hard to just drink a shake every meal while my family ate “good stuff”. Too hard to starve. So the best option was just be done.
That’s how low I got. I was done being a mom. I would cringe at the word mom. I was staying home with them all while their dad worked 12 hour days. We couldn’t survive so I had to start watching kids in our home. I hated it. The extra kids would leave and I’d be so spent but still have three needing me. I remember getting to a point that I’d collapse on the couch after tossing them a bowl of cereal for dinner. I’d park them in front of the tv and count down the minutes to bedtime. I was miserable. Once bedtime came, we’d all pile in my bed and I’d hurry them to sleep so that I could crash before their dad got home. I dreaded the thought of him needing me too.
After being completely at the bottom, I decided enough was enough. I couldn’t live that way and my kids barely had a father so they absolutely needed a mother. We got a puppy January 2013 and I was committed to walking him every day. As he got bigger, we started jogging. Once I was in a good routine of walking him, I added in actual exercise. Weights and cardio. I’d wake up and get Reagan to school, come home and immediately start our routine. A 30 min jog then 20 of the other. For that 50 minutes I didn’t allow them to interrupt me. I didn’t change anyone’s diaper. Didn’t fix food. Didn’t get drinks. Nothing. That was my brief time in an entire day and it was MINE. Eventually I started eating better. Of course they came with constant protest and I was making more than one dinner for dinner. After a few times of that, I laid down the law. You can eat what I fix OR you can clear your dishes and head to bed. Period. No arguing no bargaining no promises of dessert. Eat or go to bed. Guess what happened? NONE OF THEM PERISHED!
I begged their dad to get on board with me. Exercise. Eat healthy. Let’s do it together! He refused and would bring home donuts, candy, and cookies taunting me. Eventually I lost 80 lbs. I was able to swing with my kids. I was able to run all the way downtown from our house near the post office. I was doing things I’d never done before bc fear of being the fattest one in the room or simply not fitting in a chair held me back.
I found myself on that journey. I realized just how strong I was. But I also realized how mentally sick I was too. You see, I went from being addicted to food, to being obsessed with the scale. I’d weigh myself every single time I’d walk in the bathroom. Which at the time was a lot of times bc I was taking a lot of kids pee. I’d beat myself down if it moved an inch. I was so hard on myself…telling myself how disgusting I was, how fat I was, how I shouldn’t be happy bc I still wasn’t where I needed to be. All in front of my kids, bc face it besides my 50 min workout they were up my ass.
Eventually I parted ways with Alex and just got comfortable being how I was. I let exercise slip again and started smoking to skip meals. I was able to maintain that way at least….didn’t matter I have asthma and could never breathe. Before I knew it, I had Brett and a baby on the way so there went smoking. (Liam my angel baby…he saved my life in more ways than one.) I was so worried during pregnancy that I’d go back to the old fat girl. I was terrified this new baby was going to ruin my relationship like having babies did before. I dreaded his birthday. Everything was going to change.
But guess what? It didn’t turn me in 330 lb Amber and it didn’t ruin our life. It didn’t because I was determined not to allow it. When Liam came home, I hugged and snuggled and did all the things new moms do. But I also let him cry. If he wasn’t hungry or wet, I laid him down as soon as I was tired of holding him. I never did that before. I thought I was supposed to give my entire self to these kids. They had taken over my bed, my brain, every ounce of me was given to them. I refused to let them or Liam steal me away again. I set aside time to just be Amber. Just be Brett’s lover. Just be someone’s friend. It’s been an amazing experience. Liam is relatively independent because of this. He’s an extremely well behaved baby and has gone to bed by himself since day one. It took some training with the other three, but they’re on board with new mom too.
Now I say no. I explain to them why we can’t do something….sometimes we don’t have the money and somethimes I just don’t want to. I cater to myself more than I ever have. I do my nails and buy new clothes. I’m very selfish with my time with my husband. Do you know what’s happened as a result? My children are happier. I’m happier. They’re learning basic skills that they didn’t know such as chores, saving money, and true quality time. The other night I sat at the table and did a puzzle while one kid folded laundry and the other did dishes. It was magnificent. And do you know why? Because I AM NOT THE MAID! If you don’t want to help around the house, that’s ok….take a book and lay on your bed until bath time. I wasn’t given these children to sell them my soul. It’s not my job to keep them entertained 24/7 or to buy them every toy they think they want. They’re not my number one priority. Since making these adjustments, we get so much more time together bc I’m not running ragged cleaning up after everyone. I’m now working out again and I make them help me meal prep for the week. We’ve even had laundry parties where we dump all 83 loads in the floor and fold away while watching classic movies. And if you asked any of my children who they would rather live with, every single one of them says “mama…she spends more time with us and we do fun stuff together.” So putting myself first has made me a much better mom and wife. One day they’re going to leave me and I’ll be stuck by myself with Brett. I won’t have to worry I’m stuck with a stranger because I dated him and loved him all along the way.
So ladies, let your kid cry. Give them a chore to ease your burden. While they’re doing a chore, take your hubby upstairs and have wild monkey sex. Take time to be YOU again. You remember her? She’s worth it and she’s not just a mom.