Friday, May 7, 2010
It's big doin's around here . . . Sunday is Mother's Day (just a reminder for anyone thinking about getting me something fabulous), and today is the half-way point of this crazy vegan experiment I put myself on. I'm two months in, and, at this moment, I can't imagine changing anything after the next two months are up.
noticed more energy,
lost 14 pounds,
dramatically increased my intake of fruits and veggies,
tried (and enjoyed!) new foods, and
tackled intimidating recipes.
I'd tell you that I've also been happy to experience an increased libido, but that might embarrass my husband, so I won't mention it.
The amazing fact is, I haven't felt deprived living as a vegan. On the contrary, because I've finally made the commitment to cooking healthy meals, all the Beetniks are eating better than ever. Who knew I could love pizza without cheese? But, I do! I really do.
Something just clicked with me two months ago. Maybe it's because I put a time limit on this idea. I figured I could tolerate just about anything for four months, right? But, I really wanted to try this way of eating, and my main goal wasn't to remove meat from our plates, but to make room for more fruits and veggies.
But, really, the best outcome, which I didn't list, has been learning to love myself again. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still a long ways from truly embracing the Beetnik Mama, and all her wobbly bits, that I am today. But I have two constant reminders of why I need to do just that.
I don't know when I stopped loving, and started loathing, myself. But I will do everything in my power to keep my daughters from ever feeling such self-hatred. I strongly believe in the influence of role models, and I don't want them to grow up watching a mother who avoids her own reflection. So, it seems we'll be building our healthy self-esteem together.
And beyond appearance, I don't want them to grow up with a mother who doesn't eat well or exercise. It may sound silly, but I imagine us to be that family who enjoys being active together -- whether it's hiking or riding our bikes or just walking around the neighborhood. And I can't do those things very easily until I get healthier.
Oh, little girls, I love you so much. I am protective of you with such a fierceness -- and that may be where this desire to change myself originates. I want to shield you from any hurt, no matter where it comes from, but especially from the most painful source -- your own psyche. I want your little spirits to always be filled with the light and glow and strength you have now. To hear you say, with the most supreme innocence -- "Look, I'm pretty!" as wholeheartedly when you're 32 as you do at age 2.
You are my reminders. I'm certain god, the universe, some power greater than me, saw that giving me two beautiful daughters would bring a clarity and purpose and fulfillment to my life that I could never find any other way. And I know that this enormous responsibility cannot be taken lightly. I've been given the opportunity to help you become as incredible women as you are children. Women who love themselves as fiercely as their mother loves them. I will do anything to make that happen.
As I contemplated my role as a mother, I remembered a poem I wrote to Eloise two years ago. Yesterday, I found and read it for the first time since I wrote it. And I realized that it sums up my feelings about motherhood. So I'll share it with you, and wish you the most wonderful of Mother's Days. May you and your own little pretty ones embrace the joy that comes from just being together.
Look at that.
Five perfect toes on the end of a perfect, chubby foot.
I could stare at those toes all day.
And, to think, her father and I created those.
And, I carried her inside of me for months, and she thrived there.
And then I nourished her with my body.
We are one.
And, yet, each day that passes, she becomes more and more her own little spirit.
How did I exist before this?
Would I have believed someone if they told me I wouldn't be able to get through Goodnight Moon without crying? So overwhelmed by the scent of her head resting against my chest? That I would be so overcome with love that I could barely stand to put her down and leave her for the night?
No. I wouldn't have believed it.
And, yes, the days have never been as long,
But the air has never been as sweet.
I kiss the sweaty little folds of her neck as she turns her face into mine and rests her head on my shoulder.
Her eyelashes brush my cheek.
I am breathless . . . just feeling her heart beat next to mine as we sway together.
Sweet dreams, precious baby.