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learning to love (guest post)

Thu, Aug 19, 2010

Guest Posts, Uncategorized

Learning to Love

I’m sort of an emotional person, and if you’re one of the people who I’ve chosen to love, you get all of it… all of me.  I’ll do whatever it takes to keep your heart safe if you trust me with it.  It’s just a part of who I am.  I love unconditionally… except, it seems, when it comes to myself.

For years and years I couldn’t love myself.  I could list some things I liked… I’m smart, I’m funny… but there was always a much longer list of things I hated.  I hated my thighs, my hair, my nose, my stomach… and on and on.

This picture is me (with my adorable husband!) when we were in high school.  I remember buying that dress and then fretting for weeks over whether or not it made me look fat.  (Please hide your eyes if shiny shiny tights make you queasy…)  I was tiny, itty bitty, but I remember trying on tons of dresses before finding one with a looser skirt so that my “fat thighs” didn’t show.

For years, pictures of me were all carefully (and often awkwardly) cropped to remove as much of my body from the photo as possible… but then something changed.  As so often happens in our lives, it took a huge, monumental, life altering experience for me to be able to reset my thinking.

Here I am in 2007, nineteen weeks pregnant with our son.  I was thrilled, overjoyed, loving every second.  I felt fantastic and alive, full of energy.  I was a little disappointed that I’d started out the pregnancy already overweight, but I already knew I’d change it as soon as he was born.  Funny though, that’s not it… that’s not the moment that changed it all for me.  This was:

On October 7, 2007 we said goodbye to our son.  And it was then that things began to change.  I didn’t get control of things right away.  In fact, I spent months grieving, far too lost in the dark to be thinking about food or exercise.  But losing our son was the beginning of a gradual but definite sea change.  I began to see life, love, the universe, myself in a new way.  If I could survive that, I could survive anything.  If I could outlive my firstborn, I could see my way to a healthy life.  I started working on my health, and by the time I got pregnant with my daughter in the end of 2008, I’d lost thirty pounds and developed a lot of fantastic habits.  I learned that I could make healthy choices on a regular basis without feeling deprived.  I found that I could eat well, move more, and actually enjoy my life MORE than I had when I was treating my health so flippantly.

Once my daughter was born, it reached a whole new level.  I wanted to make the best choices every minute.  I wanted to get and stay healthy as quickly as possible so that I could be a role model for her as she grew older.  This wasn’t just about me any more, but about raising a strong, smart little girl who loved her own body and was comfortable in her own skin regardless of how she looked.  She is teaching me how strong my body is, how much I have to give, and just what I can do.  She is teaching me how much I love to laugh and smile.  She looks at me with awe, which has taught me a long overdue lesson… I am awesome.

Eating healthier and making exercise a regular part of my life isn’t a chore anymore, it’s a blessing.  It’s a chance to make sure I am living life to its absolute fullest, because seriously… don’t you want to spend as much time with her as possible?


Heather is a mom, freelance writer, and graduate student.  She writes about health and weight loss at Skinny Sushi, about being a mom and a student at Yummy Sushi Pjs, posts recipes and writes about food & wine at Examiner, writes and edits articles and content about wine for VinoList, contributes to a group blog at Over the Fence, and blogs about fashion at Touch of Fabulous.

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21 Responses to “learning to love (guest post)”

  1. moonduster (Becky) says:

    Your daughter is adorable in that photograph!

    And this is a great post. Living a healthy lifestyle is a great way to show that we love ourselves and to treat our bodies with that love and repsect that we didn’t when we were stuffing our faces and lounging on the couch.

  2. MrsFatass says:

    Heather! So happy to see you post here! And your story is beautiful. Your shift in the way you were living or loving is a great tribute to your baby boy.

  3. Skinny Sushi says:

    Thanks for all the love!

  4. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Thank you for sharing this story & I hope others learn from it & also learn to love themselves. I am a work in progress!

  5. Joanna Sutter says:

    You really are awesome. Miz always says it’s all about the journey. She’s right, isn’t she?

  6. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    Wonderful story. I constantly hear that having a baby makes you take everything in life more seriously or at least puts your healthy living goals over the edge.

  7. Yum Yucky says:

    Skinny, I’m so glad that you shared your story, especially today. It’s not even 10am yet and I’m already mentally fried like burnt bacon. Your story brightens me up, though. xoxo

  8. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    I love you and your story. You seem to be in such a wonderful healthy place right now. I’m proud of you and your adorable button.

  9. SalinaLivingActive says:

    What an amazing post. Love it love it love it! So good, it deserved 3 loves up. :)

  10. 'Drea says:

    Thanks for sharing and I’m glad that you are living life to the fullest…

  11. charlotte says:

    Oh Heather - Having lost a baby myself (a daughter, also my first child) I can really relate to your story! Thank you for taking the time to share both of your beautiful children with us as well as your journey since then.

  12. Patrick says:

    Great story, your strength comes out and your results are inspiring. The use of the word ‘flippantly’ was a great treat too :-)

  13. Foodie McBody says:

    Heather, sending hugs. We lost our first and only son as well, and now I have two almost grown daughters. It’s always a heartache though, and looking back now I was in a fog for a long long time, and using food as a comfort and a distraction.

    That picture of your daughter is just PURE JOY.

  14. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve had 3 1st trimester miscarriages and a 2nd trimester loss. Horrible.

    You are very inspiring.

  15. Skinny Sushi says:

    Thank you everyone, so much, for the comments. I love our fitness/health community… so much support.

  16. Sagan says:

    Hugs - your strength is inspiring.

  17. jord says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Heather. I agree wholeheartedly with everything that you said. Your daughter is adorable!

  18. Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul says:

    Heather - Thanks for sharing your struggle and triumph! Your daughter has an excellent role model (and is so freakin’ adorable I want to eat her!!) And what a prolific writer you are =)

  19. Debra says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your daughter is beautiful!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention learning to love (guest post) | MizFitOnline -- Topsy.com - August 19, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by carla birnberg, FitnessDoc, Gretchen Glasscock, Gretchen Glasscock, Pamela and others. Pamela said: Fantastic! RT @MizFitOnline: New post: learning to love (guest post) http://mizfitonline.com/2010/08/19/learning-to-love-guest-post/ [...]

  2. Hey, look over here! | Skinny Sushi - August 19, 2010

    [...] posting over here today, so please head over, show MizFit some love, and read a little of my health/fitness back [...]

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