When my brother told me I’m starting to look like my mom now that I’m losing weight, I was surprised — and happy. My whole life, I’ve been instantly identifiable as my father’s daughter — an identity I’ve always worn with pride. I love being recognized as a member of the (MyLastName) crew without even having to introduce myself. But part of me always secretly wished a little bit more of my mom was visible in me. You see, I carry so much of my mother and my father in me, from the way I approach life and family to the way I approach my work, that I wanted that also equally recognizable on the outside. And now it is. I still have a hard time seeing her when I look in my face, but if I look really close and pay attention, she’s there — a reflection of the woman who’s such an important part of my life.
I don’t think I would have had the strength to lose weight if I didn’t have my mother in my corner. When I started this journey, I had 120 pounds to lose. I couldn’t even imagine that number in my head — it was way too big to grasp. And I was pretty sure it would be next to impossible to lose it. So what clicked that finally made me do it? I don’t know. But I had to try. I didn’t make it widely known. I figured it wasn’t anybody’s business. But I knew I had to tell my mom — without her support, it wouldn’t be next to impossible, it would be impossible. And what was the first thing she did? She sent me a card that I still have sitting on the shelf above my kitchen sink. It says, simply “I know you can stick with it. ILYTM. Mom.” (ILYTM=I love you too much.) Every time I think this is too much work or I have a fleeting “I’m-not-worth-it” thought, I see this card sitting above my sink and know that I can do it — that I’m worth this.
Mom is my first phone call after I weigh in each week, and she always listens when I get stressed about this weight-loss journey. Even when she’s in the middle of getting dinner ready for my dad or chasing my nieces and nephews around, she takes the time to listen to me complain about a gain or a difficult food situation. And she’s always ready to celebrate victories — big and small — with me.
I don’t know if she even realizes how much her support means to me. Her support and encouragement are like my Energizer batteries that keep me going and going. They give me the power to do the things I don’t think I can do. It’s not just in my weight loss, but since that’s the focus of the blog, that’s the focus of this post.
And it’s not only because I know she’s in my corner. It’s because she sets such an amazing example of what a strong woman truly is. My mother has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. But, you know what? She doesn’t let it get in her way. Sure, she has bad days when the pain is a lot to handle. But she gets up in the morning and chases her five daycare kids (all around 2 and 3 years old) around. She takes care of my dad and makes sure he has everything he needs. She never says no (even when she should) and she gives every bit of herself to her family — and there are six of us kids, 10 grandchildren (or 13, depending on how you count) and a great-grandson. She volunteers at her church and helps out in the community whenever she can. My mom truly is a superwoman. And because she does all of that, she gives me strength to do the things I don’t think I can do.
My mom is what every person wants in a mother and a friend, and I’m lucky enough to have her as both.