A Belated Mother’s Day Post

I’m 23 years old and have lived as an only child with just my mom for the majority of my life. There are a few years in between where we shared a house with my grandparents, but it’s been mostly her and I. Being an only child of an only child, people often referred to us more as sisters than mother and daughter. I would always scoff at the notion. Maybe it was because I always looked older than I really was and mom always looked much younger. She really did, it was quite amazing, frankly. In retrospect, I think the thing that made me look so much older when I was a kid was the fact that I was always so much heavier than the other kids. I was also taller, though I stopped growing in sixth grade when I hit 5’6”. But this post isn’t about me.

I didn’t give my mom credit often enough when I was growing up. She worked (sometimes two jobs) to be able to provide things for me. She went back to school and finished her degree amid health problems (her own and those of family members.) She became caretaker for my two aunts, my grandfather’s older sisters, who had no one else. She did all of things and never forgot about me. Though I didn’t want many toys or play things as a child, she always made sure that I had enough. She stayed up all night beating Super Mario World with me during the Blizzard of ’93. She encouraged all of my geeky interests and never criticized my idiosyncrasies. And most of all:

She’s always had my back.

In 2005, I made the decision to come to Lexington for school. She knew I’d get it, just as she knew that I’d be able to do anything that I set my mind to. She constantly supported me and made me go back even though I contemplated not returning after my first year. She’d had surgery and had to go on dialysis due to a sudden, freak kidney problem in the summer of 2006. I have tried to stand by her through all of her health problems, even sleeping in the waiting room of the intensive care unit at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital because my grandma wouldn’t leave. Mom spent two weeks in a coma over Christmas and New Year’s 2008-09 following another surgery. I couldn’t leave, just as she has never left me.

Six years after I made the decision to come to Lexington, I haven’t completed my degree, but her faith in my hasn’t wavered. (I haven’t been in school that entire time, by the way.) I feel like a failure because of just how much faith she’s had in me. My output of success vs her faith hasn’t been that high. I know that everything happens for a reason and that if things are meant to be, they’ll be. But if there is one thing I can give her right now, it’s my weight loss. It’s been a long time coming and she said I’ve already made her proud of me. (Though I have a long way to go.)

This year, I couldn’t see her for mother’s day. Grandma was working (she’s been a Walmart people greeter for over 20 years) and mom didn’t feel like driving to Morehead where we have our weekend lunch dates. So, I hopped on my computer and recorded a song for her a capella. This song means a lot to us. We heard it when we were out for a Sunday drive on Mother’s Day probably 7 or 8 years ago. We listened to the song and we cried, just as I’m crying right now writing this post and still not expressing all of the love that I have for my mom, and all of the appreciation that I’ve had for all of her sacrifices over my last 23 years.

I love you, mama. I can’t tell you how much you meant to me in only one day.

The Wilkinsons – 26 Cents
She sat alone on a bus out of Beaumont
The courage of just 18 years
A penny and quarter were taped to a letter
And momma’s goodbye in her ears

She watched as her high school faded behind her
And the house with the white picket fence
Then she read the note that her momma had wrote
Wrapped up with 26 cents

When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I’ll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There’s nothing I’ve got that I wouldn’t give
And money is never enough
Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

A penny and a quarter buys a whole lot of nothing
Taped to an old wrinkled note
And when she didn’t have much she had all momma’s love
Inside that old envelope

When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I’ll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There’s nothing I’ve got that I wouldn’t give
And money is never enough
Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

Oh its been years since momma’s been gone
But when she holds the coins she feels her love just as strong

When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I’ll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There’s nothing I’ve got that I wouldn’t give
And money is never enough
Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

Sabotage

I wonder if sometimes we sabotage ourselves. It doesn’t really matter the situation, weight loss or just happiness in general. Sometimes we have a good thing going for us then just mess it all up. I made the decision on Wednesday that I wasn’t going to track for the rest of the week. I was going to eat whatever I wanted and not care, then start over on Saturday, my weigh in day. So, I did just that. I had pizza, potato chips, alcohol, and didn’t even care. Today, I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and the scale said 5.8 pounds. I expected a gain, but honestly not that much. I began to wonder if I didn’t just screw up all of my hard work. Honestly, taking my break didn’t even suit me all that much. I was having horrible migraine headaches and was sick to my stomach for 3 days. I’m feeling better now, but now I know that eating healthy is just good for my body.

Then, my best friend reassured me. Yes, I’ve been working so hard, tracking almost to the point of obsession. I needed a break. I needed to cut loose, if just for a few days. So, I did. And now, my head is on straight, I’m going back to the gym tomorrow and I am going to be a tracking machine once again. I know what I have to do and what I need to do to get there. I didn’t really sabotage myself after all.

Born This Way

I’ve had a lot of people tell me in the last week that they can really see a difference in the way that I look. I’ve been fixing my hair more and wearing more makeup and in general just feeling prettier. I’ve begun to see myself in a different light and I’m liking what I’m seeing more and more each day. It’s hard to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and not recognize the person that is standing before you. Before I began my weight loss journey, I didn’t like to look at that person because she seemed like a stranger to me. I finally think the real me is emerging.

This week’s episode of Glee really hit home to me. “Born This Way” was all about accepting yourself for who you are. **Semi-Spoiler alert** Emma Pillsbury comes to terms with her OCD, Dave Karofsky apologizes to Kurt and the Glee Club for bullying, and it’s revealed that Quinn wasn’t always so perfect. Because of this, I started thinking a lot about if I stopped losing weight right now, could I truly accept myself. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that I could.

First of all, I’m not comfortable enough with myself to share my weight with the world. Is it because I’m ashamed? Well, frankly, yeah. I’m ashamed of what I let myself become. I never was a very active child or teen, but in recent years I lived such a sedentary lifestyle and was ordering out almost every night of the week. It was my actions (or lack thereof) that caused me to gain weight.  I got to thinking about what Santana said: “If you don’t like something about yourself, then change it.” That’s exactly what I’m doing, though it’s through non-surgical means. I wasn’t born fat. I became overweight, and then obese, over time. Unhealthy, fat Tasha is not the real Tasha. It’s taken me awhile to realize it, but I’m glad that I finally have.

I met my mom for Easter dinner at our favorite place in Morehead, KY which is half-way for us. She told me that she was proud of me what what I’d been able to accomplish thus far. And she said that while I should I have listened to her in the first place and done this a long time ago, she’s glad that I’ve taken it upon myself to turn my life around. She told me that she was very scared for me and I guess I never really admitted it, but I was scared too. I was so unhealthy and I was afraid of dying young. Now, while I might not be the healthiest I can be yet, I’m much better than I was before and a lot of my risks have decreased.

I’ve been bad this week, though. I didn’t go to the gym at all and maxed out my points every day. I’m going to do a lot better next week, but for now I take comfort in the fact that I am being the change I wish to see. I will see my true self emerge some day.