Where my competitive mamas at?!?! **Raising my hand so high I may have torn my rotator cuff**
After I decided to stay home with my first borne, I often felt empty. I remember so many conversations with my husband trying to explain how I felt like I had nothing to work for anymore. Of course he would tell me that I was doing amazing work and I had so much to work for by raising our child, and I knew that was true, but there was just something lacking (let’s be honest, a lot of things were lacking, but I’ve already addressed discovering myself again along with a few other things, so hear me out on this one). As he was pushing himself to continue climbing the corporate ladder, I was pushing myself to continue climbing the jungle gym for the 100th time. As he had motivating deadlines in front of him, the closest thing I had to a deadline was getting that diaper changed before we had a real mess on our hands. We wonder why so many moms get concerned about when their babies are rolling and crawling and walking and meeting every other milestone (when we’re fully aware that, assuming no underlying developmental issue, each of our children will do all of the above listed things)? Or why so many moms are running ragged around Disney World with kids in tow from one end of the park to another because, ‘BOOM BABY! Just scored us another fast pass!’ What else do we have other than making sure our child wins the fastest baby crawling competition and we ride EVERY. SINGLE. RIDE….twice?!?! I had NO idea I would finally be able to pinpoint exactly what that tiny but mighty missing piece of me was during my first Body Back session.
It was Sunday. Our Body Back assessments day. It was shortly after I got a little teary and begged for a friend that one of the Body Back instructors said there would be weekly challenges posted in our private Facebook group. *I’m listening.* For each challenge completed, you would receive a point and the person with the most points at the end would receive a very generous prize. *Tell me more.* The first challenge was to acquaint ourselves with the Body Back Recipe Book and post a picture of each new recipe we tried from the book.
Y’all, looking back I’m not proud of this, but I threw out all leftovers because there was NO time to be eating leftovers when I had new recipes to try and points to earn!!! There was this fire inside of me that I hadn’t felt in so long. All because I was going to earn a point for trying a new recipe! (My husband thought I had completely lost my marbles at this point.)
Each week thereafter was a new challenge. This session our challenges have been the recipe book challenge, choosing your LEAST favorite exercise and doing it daily for one minute (my first round was the dreaded ‘B’ word-BURPEES-which are now one of my favorite exercises!!), and completing the food log daily. They are never challenges that take loads of time, but rather, just little things to push you a little bit further on this overall health and wellness journey. Which you then discover are very simple changes to your overall lifestyle that can have huge impacts and be part of your daily routine forever.
I specifically remember a handful of times sitting in my bed at 10:30PM trying to chug a bottle of water because I had to get in ‘X’ number of ounces that day to earn my point! It was then that my husband apologized for thinking I had lost my marbles and congratulated me on finding yet another missing piece-something competitive to push me and motivate me. And let me be clear, at no point did I view this as a competition against the other women in the group, but rather a competition against MYSELF. Something to prove to myself that I still have determination and guts and will power. I may not work in corporate America and I may not play competitive sports anymore, but dangit, give me a challenge and I’ll prove to YOU and to ME that I can do it. I’ve kept two kids alive now for 4 and 2 years and if you think you’re going to tell me that I can’t hold a plank during a commercial while binge watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for a week, you cray!
If I might also add, I have VERY high expectations of myself. I often put completely unnecessary stress on myself because I don’t think I’m doing a good enough job, which then leads to arguments with my husband because I project my own feelings onto him and get irritated with him that he has such high expectations of me, when in fact, he actually thinks I’m doing a great job! It’s a vicious cycle. And one that has improved SO much since starting Body Back and if I’m being honest, I think it’s because I have an outlet for my competitiveness. I no longer have to “prove” myself at home because I’m able to “prove” to myself through Body Back how much drive and determination and commitment I have.
Stop mentally competing with yourself over things that may not bring true joy and start competing with yourself to be the BEST version of you that you can be! You won’t regret it.