“You are just the right size”

“You are just the right size”

This is a phrase I say to my four year old daughter. I happened upon it while we were cleaning out her closet full of clothes that she had outgrown. I watched her put on a nightgown that barely grazed her stomach. I said, “That shirt is too small” and thinking about all the articles I have read about mothers and daughters and how her relationship to her body starts with mine.. etc and added, “You are just the right size” because three years ago, people kept calling her chubby and chunky and it made me crazy and in some cases, it even made me cry.

Vivienne and me- 10 months old

I posted about it here and begged people to stop making comments to parents and their babies about weight. Full stop. Over or under— what do you know? How are you qualified to judge if a baby is too big or too small? You never know who had a weight problem growing up (hello, I did!) and what you might be triggering.

My love affair with my body started in 2014. Ironically enough, I planned to lose 75 pounds (actually wound up losing 50) and I planned a fabulous photo shoot to celebrate as my “reward” The photo shoot changed the way I look at my body, I felt glamorous and sexy, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Jessica Rabbit wrapped up in one package. Thank you, Lone Star Pinup!

Lone Star Pinup- Erin Shepherd-

The love affair grew with a show I did 3 years later called “My Big Fat Bahookie” a play all about loving your body EXACTLY as it is.

Note- This does NOT preclude the desire or action to change your current weight or look, as long as it’s because YOU desire a change, not because some bozo fat shames you on social media.

Madeline Reynolds- No More Diets Protester- Photo Credit Errich Peterson

But back to my daughter and this phrase, “You are just the right size”

Me and Vivienne- She’s 4!!!

It’s easy for me to tell her this because I believe wholeheartedly she is just the right size.

It’s a little harder for me to apply that phrase to myself, despite the aforementioned body love journey. It’s so hard when something you think you have conquered sneaks up on you and you are still affected by it, you know?

I have recently started dancing in my living room and finding it satisfying (thanks Lizzo!!) but there has not been the intention of weight loss added to it. It would be easy to freak out and go hard on myself and take things way too far.

That slapped me right in the face when I stepped on the scale at the doctor two weeks ago and found out that I have gained 26 pounds since my last time on a scale which was 6 months ago. It’s not hard to suss out why… um, can you say “global pandemic”? which led to gyms being closed, which means no child care for me while I swam in the pool which means I stopped going regularly in April, which was six months ago. There you go, Easy math for all.

In the part, I might have beat myself up, and planned out a diet which would be no carbs, no sugar, no chocolate, get this weight DOWN, but because “the body is not an apology” per Sonya Renee Taylor, I am taking it easy on myself, and simply paying a little more attention to what I eat, which is sometimes chocolate and sometimes apples. Neither is “bad” or “good” they are food.

I implore you, start saying this phrase to yourself, “I am just the right size” and if you have people in your life who are bemoaning their weight, up or down, join me, won’t you? Let’s turn the tide on fat-shaming and body dysmorphia that plagues people of all genders. At the very least, say it to yourself, and say it loud, say it proud, “I am just the right size”

I AM JUST THE RIGHT SIZE

Think About It.

Now, go ahead and post your “just the right size” photo and share this!

Do you love what you do?

Dear Readers,

A big part of what I do as a coach is ask a LOT of questions. It’s really important for me to find out where folks are, where they have been and where they want to go. It can be easy to skip over the “been” part. I have definitely been tempted because as a coach, I want to get you to “next” and then “best” but there is GOLD in those answers.

As Jon Acuff says, “Finding your true passion is a reunion, not a first date.”

How true that is, so many times I have the conversation with people and they say (when I see that light in their eyes) “Oh that? That was just a side job /volunteer / part-time while I was in school. I loved it but it was only for a few months.

The first part of that sentence is the one that matters. “I loved it”

How many people do you know love what they do?

When I was just starting out on my career path, before I even knew what that was, I did a little research and asked around. People rarely had a light in their eyes when they talked about it, it was usually very nonchalant how they “found” their job.

I decided while I might not KNOW what I wanted, I knew I wanted to be passionate about it.

Over and over again, I see people change careers and reunite with their passion and when they do that it doesn’t much feel like work, it feels more like a calling.

If you could do ANYTHING you wanted to do and you knew you would NOT fail, what would you do?

Think About It.

Meet people where they are…

Dear Readers,

I think I am pretty good at this and then something comes along to show me I still have a lot to learn.

In this case, it was my four year old.

Until yesterday, I thought she needed my help to reach the faucet or soap or towel.

Nope. I turned away to put her toothbrush back on its spot and by the time I had turned back she had the faucet on, soap on hands, was counting (1-20). Shocked by what I was seeing, I decided to see what else she could do on her own. She just kept on washing, (checking for that elusive bubble that sometimes appears between your two thumbs just like Mommy showed her) and drying her hands. I decided to continue to watch her instead of assuming she needed my help, she walked to the dinner table, got her spoon, and her yogurt, and let the dog out. My goodness, she’s practically a grown up.

Okay, not really, but you get the point, right?

I was NOT meeting her where she was, I was still “helping” when she is totally capable of doing some things by herself.

It’s just a little hard to think of the little girl in the picture below

Me, Mom, Vivienne

as this strong, smart, and capable girl who is growing up before my eyes.

Cheering for Equality!

It’s a great reminder of the very first time my mother of choice, handed me something to do, she didn’t offer to help me, she didn’t ask me if I knew how to do it, she just handed me a project to do and let me “handle” it.

How much better off would all of us be if we waited for someone to ask for help, instead of assuming they need it or want it?

Think About It.

Amplifying Black Voices-Shirley Chisholm

Interviewer- “Was there any noticeable change in how your colleagues treated you in Congress? (After her presidential campaign)

Shirley Chisholm: They didn’t realize I was so smart. The men, some of them approached me and said, “You have a brain!” I’ve always had a brain

She was the first black woman to be elected to Congress in 1968.

This woman was amazing and someone to be emulated, not belittled.

Think About It.

Einstein failed math- True or False?

Today I was reading an article containing a widely known fact about Albert Einstein. In his life, despite being a genius, he failed mathematics.

How many of you reading this think it’s true?

How many of reading this think it’s false?

How many of you really don’t know ?

Well, I was one of the people who believed it, until today when I did some digging and found out it’s not true.

It’s one of those things that I heard one time and it made me feel 1000 times better about my struggles with math. “Well, if even Einstein struggled, I don’t feel so bad. Let me take another crack at solving that formula.”

It was useful to believe it when I was trying to motivate myself to rise above a problem so if it comes up, I will say believing this lie helped me, and I now know ít to be false.

It got me thinking about other things that I might be “certain” about, but are in fact, “dead wrong”?

Could it be there is a political issue or belief you hold about certain groups that isn’t actually true, it’s just a habit to keep believing something that isn’t true and no longer serves you?

Think About It.

Happy Birthday Vivienne!

Dear Sweetpea! You are four years old today. I can’t believe you are four!

You have changed so much and learned so much in just a year.

Let’s talk about that, shall we?

First, you can now count to 30 all by yourself. We are working on counting down with you. You can sing the alphabet song and you are learning and saying SO many words which makes Mom and Dad so proud and happy! You get frustrated sometimes because you are on the cusp of figuring out so many things, and the look of satisfaction you get if you do is so amazing.

You have started praying with us and every night we do a “nightly check-in” and talk about what we accomplished that day, what we are grateful for and what you enjoyed doing. You also are learning yoga and showing Mom all your moves (your favourite is palm tree) which is a new position for me, so yay!

You love doing puzzles and you are so good at them whether it’s on Mom’s phone or a good old-fashioned box puzzle, you have such an innate understanding of how things fit together. You still love to color and playing with your tiles, you have such an imagination when it comes to what color things are and are not, for example this is a picture of you “drinking” a box of juice.

You have an amazing memory and recall most of what we have read to you. Your Aunt Keya has given you an awesome science book with 15 scientists and you know all of them and even what they are famous for doing or creating.

You have also picked up the Mom and Dad habit of learning and repeating movie quotes, most notable among them are “Why didn’t you tell me you had a pet dinosaur?” from “Meet The Robinsons” – On current movie rotation, you love “Zootopia” , “Cars” (which you call Racing Cars) and “Monsters University” Your current favourite food is pasta and your favourite thing to do is watch movies and read books, and snuggle with Mom and Dad!

You also like to go outside and now that it’s not so blazingly hot (sorry kid, we live in Texas) now we can!

We took our first trip to the lake and you definitely made Dad laugh and we giggled a lot too! Despite your best efforts, we did not find any mermaids or unicorns there.

You are strong, smart, and cute and love to rock dresses (with pockets, of course!) just as much as shorts and tank top.

You are super silly, no idea where you get that from….

You love to help us with laundry and dishes and we are teaching you all about love languages including “acts of service” (Dad’s favourite) and “words of appreciation” (Mom’s favourite). I wonder what yours will be?

You even helped us come up with a family motto- “We’re gonna have a good day”

You love music and singing, and pretty much “dance it out” with Mom every day.

You recently went your dentist appointment and were so excited to be there you squealed with delight, and the entire staff were charmed by you.

We also visited your pediatrician’s office and you saw Nurse Gladys who was amazed at how tall you’ve grown and how much you are talking!

You have an amazing imagination, just yesterday, you pointed to a cell phone tower and said, “Look, the Eiffel Tower!”

I can’t wait to show you the real one some day soon.

It’s been a wild and crazy year, and we are delighted every day that you were born!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Love,

Mom