“Why are you fat, Mommy?”

I have said this before and I will say it again, my son is honest, candid, and doesn’t intentionally mean to be hurtful.  Keeping this in mind, it is still extremely hard when he asks such personal questions.

Two years ago, after my husband lost 50 pounds on his mail route, my son started asking me, “Why are you fat and the rest of us are thin?”  I would look at my small plate, with the smallest portions in the family, and say, “I don’t know.”

Last year, when I found two exercise classes that I loved, and committed to, he asked, “If you exercise, and eat healthy, then why are you still fat?”

Once again, my response would be, “I don’t know.”

“Why should I exercise if I can still be fat?”  He inquired.

“Because even if I don’t look the way I want, I want my body to be healthy.  When I get tests done at the doctor, my blood says that I live a healthy lifestyle.  I don’t know why I still look like this.” I said on my lips, but inside I cried.

Anyway, through my weight loss journey, my kids have watched me.  They have seen me come home from the gym sweaty.  They see what I eat, and they notice that they eat more than me.  They noticed right away when I quit eating gluten (wheat products), and they ask lots of questions along the way.  We are glad they ask questions, because we share genetics.  Who is to say they won’t have their own fitness journey someday.

This week, I learned the importance of working out in front of my kids.  I love my spinning and Body Pump classes, but I needed more exercises in my week that worked with my new work schedule.  Scott and I bought Insanity, so we could get toned together.  We have completed one month of this program, sweating, crying (at times), and getting through each intense workout.

The other morning, Scott wasn’t feeling well, and 5 minutes into one of the most intensive workouts I have ever done, he left me to do the hour-long workout ALONE.  I was sad and frustrated.  I tried to make my body do things that it has never done.

About 55 minutes into the workout, I was spent.  Done. Tired.  READY to be done.  It was too much.  Sweat was pouring off of my forehead.  I ran out of water ages ago.  Every single muscle in my body ached.

My over critical son, who is famous for pointing out the obvious walked into the room to watch me complete my workout.  I kept waiting for him to say something like, “You don’t do it as good as they do.”

INSTEAD he yelled, “YOU CAN DO IT, MOMMY!”

That’s all it took.  My muscles started working again, and I completed the last exercise before the cool down.  I finished the tape and have completed two more videos since that morning (with Scott).

My body might not be perfect.  I have MANY workouts before I am the size or the shape I want to be, but at least my kids KNOW how hard I am trying.  That is the lifelong lesson I want them to remember.

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That Moment You Realize Your Life is a TV Show

I grew up loving The Cosby Show, The Facts of Life, and Growing Pains (Ok, I watched Full House too – don’t judge me!).  Then came the Wonder Years, Saved by the Bell, and eventually Friends.  In the early 2000s, when no one was watching sitcoms, I loved Scrubs.  (Scott and I still quote it on a daily basis.)  Now of course, I love The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Happy Endings, Whitney, and The Office.  Those shows make me laugh out loud.

I love to laugh.  I love happiness.  I love sitcoms.  I do, I really, really, really do.  There’s enough junk in life to take seriously, but give me 30 minutes in someone else’s reality, and that is 30 minutes in Heaven to me.  Of course, I don’t watch as many sitcoms as I would like each week, but when I do get to see them, the laughing makes my heart sing.

Sometime, in the past 24 hours, I realized something.  It’s not a huge something or a profound something, and if I were a comedic blogger I would even know how to make this funny to anyone other than me.

I am not sure if I realized it when I caught my 7-year-old son, watching election coverage while reading his Presidential Encyclopedia for fun.

Maybe I realized this when my husband decided to actually do some housework at the idea that someone might come over and see the wreck we live in.

Could I have realized it this morning when my daughter chose this as her outfit?  Of course, this was compromise after a few wardrobe changes.  (She has her own style that is for sure!)

Or maybe, it had something to do with me, running around, trying to find everyone, feeling like I am in a constant state of wreck and disorganization.  Seriously, some days I think I am one small step away from a real nervous breakdown.  Why?  Who knows?  I think it’s because I am actually crazy, but everyone is too nice to tell me.

Anyway, when you put our family’s quirks together, but take away a “cool jock” you will see that we are the Hechts through and through.

Old Picture from this summer 🙂

While we dream of the perfect vacation or holiday, no trip is complete without a real misadventure or “lost in the Bronx” story.

The mom does too much for her family, is too involved with her kids, and is so annoying that I want to punch her in the face.

The dad, owns flannel and while he cares, he is work a lot of the time to get too personal with the family.  All he wants to do on a Sunday afternoon is watch football, and can sleep through the annoying noises of the kids.  In fact, he can sleep like a baby through almost anything.

The 8-year-old is a tad quirky, and loves to read.  He is interested in things like Presidents, politics, and grown up issues.  Has a tendency to get obsessed with silly ideas, but he has no idea that he’s obsessed.

The daughter ignores what others think about her.  She does her thing, has her own style, and is so happy in her own little world, she refuses to notice that she is a bit on the weird side.

Now, as you are reading this, you must be wondering, “Is she talking about the TV family or her family?”

See, there’s the thing, I don’t know….Was I describing the show or the real characters in my life?  Gosh, the two are so alike…

You take our quirks, put us in some obscure small town in the Midwest that no one actually cares about, you will see that we live in The Middle!

Kids Give me Hope

I am so tired of campaigns, negativity on TV, news, and in social media.  It’s enough to make one crazy enough woman scream.  So, lately, the tv is off, Facebook is ignored, and life continues on.  I could sit back and think about the issues.  I could go on and on about how people’s view of education is wrong.  I could stand on a soapbox about many topics, but I won’t, at least not today. 🙂

Instead, I choose to focus on the little notes I have found lying around the house.  Ok, I finally picked them up off the middle of the floor after they had been there for too many days.  (Oh, the working mom’s house is back, and probably not going anywhere.)  I don’t know when they made them, but they did it all on their own.  These notes, give me hope, and make me smile.

Our country and world will be fine.  Education will be fine.  Our futures are bright.  Those are the lessons that working with children teach me everyday.

“I wish that there will always be freedom.” – McCartney

I can’t find the note that says, “I hope McCartney will always be my brother.” -Ana

“We all live in a yellow submarine.” -Ana 😉

“For Mrs. Beck, I like the Beatles. Paul, George and Ringo” -Ana

 

 

 

 

 

Be Gone, Double Chin!

Yesterday, Ana hijacked Scott’s iPad and took countless photos of herself in Photobooth.  Upon discovering this, I did what any good mom would do, I jumped in and played around with her.  It was so fun and silly!  We laughed, and I think Ana’s side almost split open a few times.  I almost wet my pants. 🙂  It felt amazing to laugh and laugh with my little girl.

However, that amazing moment isn’t what this blog is about.  As we were fooling around, I noticed something, my double chin is gone.  I mean, that I had to drop my chin way to my neck to even get a semblance of one.  Even in college, when I was at my lightest (which is 20 pounds less than I am now), I had a double chin.  It has been around since I hit puberty, and I completely thought no matter what I looked like, I would always have one.

“You have a round face.  Some of us just have that full look.” Are phrases that I heard years ago when I complained about my double chin.  I stopped whining about it, well because, what’s the point.  My double chin was on my “When I win the lottery I am getting plastic surgery” list.  Well, I am not saying I will never get plastic surgery, but it definitely won’t be to remove my double chin.

I hope you don’t think that I am bragging or anything, well I guess I am kind of bragging….  It’s just that for years and years I gained weight steadily, despite hours and hours of efforts.  I have shed countless tears and hated my reflection period.  I felt like the real me, was lost.  A few short months ago, I feared that I would be overweight, or possibly obese for the rest of my life.  At 33 that is a terrible feeling.  I desperately wanted to be found; to look like the face I wanted to see in the mirror.  I have worked hard for this weight loss. And lately have been taking insane measures to get to my goal size and I can’t wait to get my free t-shirt!  I have given up my vices, and my favorite foods forever.  (Now, I might even have to give up cheese and dairy because my body is not responding well to cow’s milk products any more.) I don’t care, well I do care, but I accept it.

I have given up so much, including my double chin.  Everything is, and continues to be worth it.

(No need to comment, this post is written 100% for me.)

Shame on you!

So, only days and days after the really funny moms started a mom shaming campaign, I finally was inspired to join. (Click here for the other shaming posters). Basically, a bunch of blogging moms from our atomic reach tribe, Blogging While Mom, are admitting our sins and shaming ourselves for the whole world to see.  I am sure it was inspired by this dad’s story and the public out cry because of it.  I see it as funny, and I understand that others don’t, but whatever.

Anyway, this week, after thinking really hard, I started feeling like, “Whoa, my mom sins aren’t that bad.”  Or “I don’t lie to my kids, yay me!”  I was just about to give myself a nonexistent You are an Awesome Mom award when this happened:

After school, I emptied the kids’ backpacks full of worksheets and projects from school this week. After oo-ing and ah-ing over each little star, (they were watching a movie, but I am sure they could feel my pride in them,) I did what I always do with their school papers: Buried them deep into the recycling bin.  I continued on with my day.

Later, Ana, seeing that her backpack was opened, said, “Mom, what did you do with all my papers from school.”

(Knowing that she wanted to keep each one, and they would then end up all over her room, creating another fire hazard, until they were ripped to shreds, and then I would have to ask her a million times to pick up her room, where she would cry and whine about hard it is, until all fun activities were threatened, and her room would finally get somewhat clean, and those precious papers of today would end up in the recycling bin in a few short days…) I said, “Hmmmmm, I laid them somewhere.  Where have you looked?”  We then looked around for a total of 2 minutes when something shiny caught her eye and said papers were forgotten.

See, I don’t lie to my kids, but that doesn’t mean I am completely honest either!

What are your sins as a mom?  Come on share them, we ALL have MANY!

Check out these funny moms on Facebook.  Click “Like” (on Facebook) if you like to laugh! You can also “Pin” the Top 35 Most Pinteresting Moms too! (And the shame continues…)

Magic of Childhood

My children, who talk about dead presidents and God with the frankness of adults, fully believe, with their heart and soul in magic. They believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairies, ghosts, witches and wizards.  They believe in the magic of life, the possibilities that anything can be true.

They have faith in God and the goodness of people.  They believe they should serve others, and follow Jesus.  They don’t cry out of worry, because they know that God takes care of them.  Their faith is strong, unbendable, unbreakable.  Have faith, is their simple belief.  Why do we grow out of that?

Yesterday, laying on my bed reading, Ana said, “I hear God’s voice at rest time at school.  I miss talking about Jesus at school.”

“What does God say to you?”  I wanted to know.

“I don’t know, but I hear Him and voices that say ‘Ana’ at night. Maybe it’s angels,” she said.

I love it that my daughter is thinking angels and not monsters. (Of course, she thinks of those too.)

To me, children are the real magic. Anything can happen, there are no limits, if you believe hard enough. They believe hard enough for us, with their whole entire heart.

People have told me, “I don’t know how you find the patience to work with kids.”

My reply, “When you take the time, to see the world of possibilities the way children do, how can you NOT work with kids?”  Working with kids is the chance to feel magic each day.

When you believe in magic, anything can happen, even a simple note from the Tooth Fairy appears.

Childhood is magical and perfect. Us adults have a lot to learn from those little wonders that surround us.

Mommy’s Make-Up

Yesterday morning, in the chaos of getting ready for school, Scott found Ana in the bathroom trying to put on my eye liner.

“No, no, Honey.  Don’t put that on,” Scott said in his gentle, yet firm voice.

Ana burst into tears. “I’m sorry!  I just wanted to be like Mommy!”

“You don’t need make-up, you are so beautiful just the way you are,” I heard Scott say.

I stepped in and quickly washed Ana up.  As a little girl, I remember wanting to play with my mom’s make-up and I know this is a natural stage. “It’s OK, Ana.  Sometime, this weekend, when we aren’t going anywhere.  I will put some make-up on you.  It is fun to play dress up.  Five year olds don’t leave the house with make up on, but it’s OK to play.”

While cleaning up her face, before school, I was transported back in time, to when I would stare at my mom’s tiara from her pageant days.  I remember looking at her in her wedding photos, and pageant folders, thinking that no woman on this Earth could be as beautiful as my mom.  I remember wondering if I would ever be as beautiful as her too.

Later that day, Scott told me that he is worried about her self-image, if she already wants to put on make-up.  “No,” I insisted, “this is a natural thing.  For Ana, make-up is an imitation of Mommy, not a wanting to change anything about her.  It’s ok.  I will play with her soon, so she won’t get into it again.  I did this too.”  While I comforted Scott about the situation, it was a wake up call for me.  More and more I am understanding my importance in her life.

As I watch my little girl, and I am in awe of everything she does.  I love her spirit, her life, her caring about others, and there is nothing about her I would change. I even love her spaciness, although it can be frustrating.  I also find her absolutely beautiful on the outside too.  I love her eyes, and smile, and the glow about her.  She is a person that many love, just for being her.

Of course, looking at how much she imitates me and tries to do the things I do, I know it’s time to keep my promise to God.  Six years ago, before I was pregnant, I watched an episode of Oprah.  The episode was about young girls and their self-esteem, or actually their lack of it.  Of course, the ones who had a terrible self-image, learned it from their moms.  I promised God, in that moment, that I would learn to love myself.  I promised Him that if he blessed me with the baby girl I always wanted, I teach her to love herself, and she would learn it from not just my words, but my actions.

Well, I don’t make promises that I don’t keep, and I admit, I have been working on it, but not really holding up my end of the bargain.

I also remember as a young girl hearing from so many people (and I still do), “You look just like your mom.”  Some people would also say something like, “You both are so beautiful.”  I also remember my mom telling me how special and beautiful I was and then looking at herself in the mirror and frowning, hating what she saw.  When I was a teenager, I remember saying, “Why do you tell me I am beautiful?  I look just like you, everyone says so, yet, you hate how you look. How can you say I am beautiful?”

“You do look like me, Honey, but I do look different than you too.  You are beautiful,” was her reply.  I can tell you now, that while I wanted to believe my mom, I didn’t.   I admit, my love of my body, face, and features has been nonexistent for years.  I don’t blame my mom for my self-esteem, I feel what I feel, and I take full responsibility for it.

However, I understand what the message a mom’s self-hatred can do for a young girl and I don’t want the cycle to continue.  I am really making a commitment to learn to love what I see in the mirror, although it is not perfect.  Most importantly, I am working really hard at accepting compliments, and being comfortable in my skin.  I love Ana so much, that I desperately want to give her the gift of self-love, even if it is hard for me.

I made a promise to God.  He gave me a daughter, and I intend to keep my part of the bargain.  Ana is worth it.

Thanks for reading,

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