Michelle’s Journey of Self-Discovery: Guest Post

Today’s guest post is by Michelle. Michelle is a thirty-something mom to two kids (9 and 5) who came to Arizona from New York (by way of Minnesota).  She is a colon cancer survivor, avid advocate for early cancer testing and prevention, and recently learned that she is addicted to running (in spite of her many claims to the contrary all her life).  You can read more about Michelle at her blog: http://michellewillwin.blogspot.com.  

Like most women my age, I wear many hats.  My biggest and loudest hat is my “Mom” hat – I have two young kids (9 and 5).  I work full-time, run a part-time business out of my home, and I have a husband who travels all week long.  It’s my favorite hat; my most fun hat.  I wear other hats that are important — wife, daughter, sister, employee, business owner.  I wear them all at least once during the day, and while it’s sometimes hard to balance them all on my head, I do it well, if I do say so myself.

Like most women my age, I have forgotten the most important hat — that most basic one that defines who I am at my core.  I often forget that, while I am all of those things, I am still me.  I am still Michelle.

I tell you this because I’ve recently *finally* gotten the idea through my thick skull that, if I don’t take care of ME, I can’t take care of anything else.  This epiphany comes after 5 surgeries, two children, and a bout with cancer. You’d think one of those might bonk me over the head and make me realize this.  But no — it took back pain.

Something so simple has caused me to finally take notice of what my body is telling me, and reminded me that if I don’t take care of this machine, it won’t work.

D’uh.

If you’ll allow me to, I’d like to take you on my journey of self-discovery.  This won’t be a journey of miracle diets, or crazy workout schedules, or giving up food.  This will be the journey of a mom, raising her two active kids, working full-time, building a part-time business, and trying to figure out how to take care of herself along with all the other things that need to be done.

It’s not going to be easy.  It’s not going to be pretty.  There will be ups and downs.  There will be weight gained, weight lost, good things, bad things, healthy foods, not-so-healthy foods.  But, there will be progress because I’m taking care of myself, physically.  When I do that, I’m also taking care of the mental.  Always a good thing.  🙂

I took a big step today — I wrote my measurements down.  For most women, this is a daunting task — the thought of finally seeing those numbers on paper is terrifying.  It was for me — but, I needed to have a starting point.  Now that I have those numbers in my head, they will be a source of inspiration.

My other inspiration?  My kids, especially my daughter.  I’ve fought with my weight my entire life — I’ve battled being the fat girl in school, the chubby friend, the overweight girl trying to hide her body in oversized clothes.  I don’t want to be that anymore.  But, more than that, I don’t want to be defined by my weight, and I don’t want my daughter to think that the number on a scale is more important that focusing on her health.  I want to be a good role model for my children — active, eating right, and just enjoying life.

And that, my friends, is my journey.  While smaller clothing, better fitting jeans, and compliments from friends and family will be nice, setting that expectation and example for my children is the most important goal.  I may not lose any weight, and I may not get to those goals I’ve set.  BUT, if I can show my children (and others?) that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be at the bottom of your list, you can make it a priority.

Ready for the ride?

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One response to this post.

  1. Yes we need to take care of our self first.
    But the confusion also happens when taking care of some others will benefit our self. Everyone wins in those cases and we can’t forget that.

    The shift in thought may take a long time if our childhood programming was the other way around. Where taking care of others came first all the time.

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