100 Days of Yoga has been interesting to say the least. I’m learning a lot about myself and my priorities. I’m learning even more about being mindful and living consciously. What is kicking my butt the most though is the fear. 100 Days of Yoga is terrifying and not for reasons you may think. It’s not the commitment or the physical activity that freak me out- it’s something horribly vain and kinda ugly. In my best effort to live my life out loud I gotta talk about the fugly.
100 Days of Yoga is terrifying because of the Social posts. Yep. Good old Social Media. (insert eyeroll) Everyday I Insta and Snap a pose of my yoga practice for the day. Here’s the problem… Have you ever seen a curvy Italian chick, 7 months post-partum with still a little junk in the trunk do yoga? I promise you, it ain’t all Lululemon and Lily Lotus models… It’s more like, “How do I duck tape down the boobies and make sure the bum of my pantalones don’t rip apart? Also, does this pose make me look fat? And where did that fat roll come from!? That’s not there when I stand up.” These are real thoughts that happen in my brain.
So here’s the thing I’ve realized. When I come to the mat, there’s no good downward-facing angle and selfie stick to accompany me. While I may be able to manipulate the Insta filters a little, at the end of the day, there is still a full-bodied full-body pose in that frame. That full-body pose full of imperfections laid out for all the world to see. For a girl that takes (probably) a little too much pride in her appearance, that’s terrifying to think about.
Each meeting with my mat brings me one meeting closer to being comfortable in my own skin. I am clinging to the verse in Psalms that reads “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works my soul knows it very well.” Note that I didn’t say I’ve mastered living that phrase… Just clinging to it, white knuckles and all.
I have come to peace with the fact that I am the proud owner of legs that resemble a running backs. And if we are being super honest, I will probably never in my life have a thigh gap. The thought of admitting that seemed terrifying but now that I actually typed it, I dig it! I thought this whole 100 Days of Yoga thing was just going to help me reshape my physical body… Turns out, it’s imploded my idea of what it means to be sexy and it’s reshaping my soul.
Habits. There are good ones and bad ones. Super beneficial ones and super quirky ones. We all have them and if we are being honest, we are creatures of them. We all have weird habits about the way we do life from waking up in the morning to how we interact with the world around us. Lately, I have been paying attention to these habits. Stopping the old habits that don’t serve me and incorporating new ones that do. In light of this, and totally by chance, I had a conversation recently with a friend and the 100 Day Project came up. While neither of us were currently participating, we did start brainstorming all the things that we could do for 100 days. I walked away from that conversation inspired. I was in that glorious space of not yet committed but definitely dreaming about what I wanted to do.
The glory was short lived… Because well, my sister. We all have that person that can literally talk you into anything… For me, that person is my sister. I don’t know how I feel about actually admitting that out loud. From waxing my arms when I was 11 (I’m Italian and boys are jerks at that age) to training for my first 25K run (I detest running). My sister has this profound ability to make me think the worst idea ever is the best thing since sliced bread… And let’s be super honest, I love me some bread.
Fast forward a few days from my crazy-inspiring conversation with my friend to a rainy Sunday FaceTime with my sweet sister. I made the mistake of telling her about my 100-Day conversation and how inspired I was. This is the spot in the blog where I allow you to insert a facepalm and call me a “Dummy” because I should have known better. By the time I hung up the phone I was completely and utterly on the hook for 100 days of Yoga. There was no rebuttal that could get me out of this and no excuse that she didn’t completely demolish.
So here we are… Day 1 of 100 Days of Yoga. My sister and I are doing it together so we are pretty excited for sister poses! If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting daily on Insta and Snap (@dezmelfi). 100 Days of Yoga begins today… Cheers to habits. Breaking them but more important than that, starting new ones!
Dear Sweet Baby Boy,
Today is my first Mama’s Day with you. Yes, I celebrated this day last year but it was different because I hadn’t yet seen your face. You were still growing and moving in my belly. This year though, I celebrate with you! I thought I had a happy and full life before God blessed us with you but I can honestly say it pales in comparison to what I have now. Sweet baby boy, you are my blessing.
I will never forget the sound of your first cry. Your Daddy and I looked at each other behind that big blue sheet in the operating room with tears in our eyes. 19 months of trying, 9 months of growing, 27 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing and more prayers than you will ever know, you arrived! You took the world that your Daddy and I spent 14 years creating together and flipped it on its head. Everyday since your World Debut has been an adventure. There has been more laughing, joy and excitement than I can fathom sometimes. If we are being totally honest, there have also been tears and more “WTF am I doing” moments than I should probably admit. What can I say kid, Mommyhood isn’t always sunshine and roses… Thank God for His grace.
Baby Boy, the moment they laid you on my chest I looked at your alert little eyes looking back at mine and I made some promises to you, Mommy to her Baby Boy:
I promised you that I will be far from perfect, but I will always give my everything to be the best Mama you could ask for.
I promised I will make a million mistakes, but I will do my hardest to get it right.
I promised that I may not always like choices you make in your life, but my love will never waver and it will be given to you without conditions.
I promised that Daddy and I would raise you guided by 3 things: Jesus, Rules and Grace. Jesus because he is our everything. Rules because though I have spent most of my life thinking they were made to be broken, turns out they are a helpful boundary for being a good human. Grace because we are all imperfect, make a lot of mistakes and at the end of the day, in dire need of it.
Sweet boy of mine, while I know Mother’s Day is about celebrating being a Mommy, I can’t help but celebrate you. My joyful, inquisitive,
little very large bundle of love. You made me a Mommy and my life will never, ever be the same. I praise our Jesus for the incredible gift of Mommyhood. You, my son, have changed my life forever and it is the Best. Thing. Ever.
Dear Pretty Girl Ahead of Me In Line at Target,
You probably don’t remember me. I pulled my carts up behind you in line at Target. Yep that’s right, I said carts as in plural, as in I had two. They were stacked to the brim, literally overflowing with diapers, formula and baby gates for the new house. Child-rearing necessities for this season in our life. I had the Cartwheel app opened and coupons in hand… It’s possible to say that Hubbz loves me extra when I save ridiculous amounts of money. I looked at you with your oh-so-cute sandals and pedicured toes. I made a mental note that I really need a pedicure… And at least a quick coat of polish on my nails. I hear myself breath deep and sigh because, uhh, I haven’t even showered yet today. I watch you as you unload your cart. Don’t worry, not in a creepy way, but definitely kinda staring (sorry, not sorry). Your purchases looked glorious. A big floppy straw hat, some makeup that looked uber fun, a cute welcome mat with a pineapple on it… Giiiiirl! I like your style. Maybe in another life we can be besties because well, floppy straw hats, makeup and welcome mats with pineapples. ::Swoon::
I adjusted my baseball cap and looked back down at my two carts full of necessities. I laughed to myself because I used to be you, Pretty Target Girl. Never leaving the house without primping and makeup. Buying fun hats and cute welcome mats because, duh, why not! I watched as you gathered your things and imagined the amazing day you were off to have with your floppy hat and pineapple mat. I wanted to yell after you “Have so much fun with your floppy hat!!! It’s glorious!” but I didn’t because let’s be honest, that would make me a friggen’ weirdo.
I got home to find Hubbz and our little boy having Gigglefest 2017 on the living room couch. I laughed to myself as I remembered you and your put together appearance and how my life has COMPLETELY morphed into Mommyhood. I wouldn’t change not one thing about this life of mine and I would never go back to life before Mommyhood, but Pretty Target Girl, I do have some unsolicited advice to share:
Enjoy the solitude. I would give up eating sushi for the rest of my life for some solitude. While that seems a little dramatic, I can assure you that it’s not. I don’t want a lifetime of solitude… Just an hour. Being able to sit and enjoy a DVR without being interrupted 73,942 times would be the raddest thing that’s ever happened to me. I lust over an aimless afternoon laying in my hammock reading a book with zero cares given. Also, I miss pooping without being interrupted. While this may seem like TMI, I have birthed a child. Zero things are TMI anymore. I digress. Pretty Target Girl, wholeheartedly enjoy every moment of solitude.
Take vacations. Hubbz is trying to talk me into some insanely romantic fancy vacation for our ten year anniversary this year. I keep telling him I am unsure because I am a Mommy now and worrying is my pastime. “What if’s” get the best of me sometimes and I just can’t even fathom being far away from my son. What if we are gone and he gets sick? What if we are gone and he does some amazing milestone like walks or talks? What if we are gone and the End of Days happens and we get stranded in Bali and can’t get home. THEN WHAT!? See Pretty Target Girl, when you and your eventual Hubbz have a +1, your priorities shift and though you desperately need to be skinny dipping in an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, Mommy Guilt kicks in. So for the love of all that is glorious, any chance you get, grab a slightly too strong Pina Colada and get all toes in the water, ass in the sand. If not for you, do it for all the Mommy’s who need that right now.
Relish your sleep. Sleep is the most glorious and beautiful thing on the whole planet. I am unsure the last time I slept for 8 hours straight but I can assure you it was amazing. Right now in my life there is nothing on Earth sexier than getting a glimpse at the inside of my eyelids for a good 6 hours. Pre-Baby, sleep was like basically my favorite thing ever. From post-work naps to long weekend slumbers. The dark circles under my eyes were non-existent. Now, are they there or do I just have an amazing cover-up technique? You will never ever know! Pretty Target Girl, enjoy your 8-10 hours of uninterrupted shut eye. More than enjoy it, relish it, because before you know it you will be soothing a crying bundle of love at 3am wondering if you will ever sleep 8 hours at a time again.
Pretty Target Girl, I have a million more tidbits of advice to share but for now, these three are the most important. I love this role of Mommy but there are things about LBM (Life Before Mommyhood) that I miss sometimes. Missing those things used to make me feel like an awful human but sweet Hubbz assured me that it’s totally normal, plus there are things he misses too. We decided the most important thing to do is to work together to keep the things that we loved before still on the radar. I am glad I saw you today, Pretty Target Girl. You sparked great conversation and mindfulness plus you did inspire me to dig out my big floppy straw hat for our walks this spring and summer so thanks for that!
This one is for the mommy’s. For you ladies holding it down. The jobs, the weight loss, the food prep, the yoga, the heavy lifting, the poopy diapers. The child-rearing from the home or from the road. For you holding down the marriages and the happy husbands while making dinner, making the beds, doing the laundry and doing your hair. The Mommy’s rocking their career while rocking their babies… This is for you.
I’m sitting on the exam table again. Oh this table. This table that I have this love-hate relationship with. This table that comes with pain and purpose. I feel the paper crinkle under my butt and I offer up a little thanks that there are pantalones happily on my bum for this visit. (For a girl who makes her life choices based on if she has to show up wearing pants or not, the gratitude makes me laugh a little.) My doctor walks in and offers the biggest hug. I love and adore this woman. She pulls up her chair and gives me the results to a recent test. All is great and I breath a sigh of relief. God is good! Then it happens. She looks me dead in the eye and asks how I am. It’s the kind of how are you that you can’t lie to. You can’t give it the same canned response you offer to most of the world on any given day… Though I give it a valiant effort. I say a confident “I’m ok!” with the best “no, really, I am ok” smile I can offer…
Then I feel it.
My eyeholes well up and before I could blink away the tears, I feel them streaming down my cheeks. She looks at me and smiles and offers me the tissue box. I tell her I have no idea why I am crying (still trying to keep the “I’ve got it under control” gig going). Then she says “Ok, what’s going on?” I can’t smile my way out of this… I take a deep breath and I blurt out the truth… “My husband said I needed to start wearing lipstick!”
Rewind to the night before.
I had put our little guy to sleep and was cuddled on the couch with Hubbz, talking and catching up on our day. He did one of his pauses when he is thinking thoughtfully about something and he started to twist his beard. When Hubbs is beard twisting two things happen. One, it’s super hot. Two, he is waist deep in some serious thought. I watched him for a minute until he turned and faced me and said he needed to talk to me. He then, in the sweetest, gentlest, most loving way possible dropped a bomb on my cabeza “Babe, I think you should start wearing lipstick again.”
I stared at him.
Billy Madison piped up and started talking in my head, “I see your lips moving, but I can’t make out the words.”
Start. Wearing. Lipstick. Again.
The words began to mesh together to make a complete sentence.
I think you should start wearing lipstick again.
I sat there motionless staring at him and then I felt my expression soften and my eyes get super surprised. OH. MY. GOD. THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE MOMENT I GET TO MEET ASHTON KUTCHER BECAUSE I AM TOTALLY GETTING PUNKED RIGHT NOW!!! I looked over my shoulder at the front door, half waiting for Ashton Kutcher to open it all swagtastic and be like “Ahhhh!!! You just got punked!” I sat there until it became kinda uncomfortable and realized Ashton wasn’t busting through the door. The room was silent and I turned to look back at Hubbz who was sitting there looking back at me, now kind of wide-eyed, because no words had come out of my mouth for entirely too long.
I felt a lump forming in my throat but I managed to ask him what he meant- clearly trying to buy time to formulate the best excuse known to mankind as to why I had let myself become frumptastic. He tried to explain what he meant but I was already a mess of uncontrollable tears. Completely mortified at the conversation, I mumbled something about putting forth more effort to wear lipstick.
I laid in bed that night, wide awake and unable to sleep. My mortification slowly transformed into anger. I mulled over the things I really wanted to say to him but didn’t… Wear lipstick? I don’t even have time to shave my legs most days and you want me to wear lipstick? Is this a joke? When should I wear lipstick? When I am feeding our baby at 2am or when I collapse on the couch at 8pm? Should I wear lipstick while I am meal prepping so I can try and lose this baby weight or when I am trying to cram in workouts between child rearing and having a career? Should I wear it when I am making our protein shakes in the morning or when I am folding laundry at night? I went on and on in my head for longer than I care to admit. I may or may not have placed a little-too-large 1 a.m. Sephora order because, well, if he wants me to wear lipstick… Oh I will wear lipstick! And while I am at it, treat myself to some makeup! And I might as well buy a new perfume too! Ahem… Not one of my Wifey-of-the-Year moments, I know.
Fast forward back to the exam table. “How am I supposed to wear lipstick when I am Frumperella!? My clothes don’t fit but I can’t even begin to find the time to workout on the regular because work, baby, life, wash, rinse, repeat! And let’s just be super honest, it’s hard enough remembering to eat let alone eat healthy!” My doctor looked me dead in the eye and said “MMM MMM Oh girl! Go buy yourself a new black dress.” I looked at her dumbfounded. A dress? She said “Honey, why do you keep trying to fit into your old black dress? It’s not for you to wear right now. Don’t get rid of it. Save it and put it in the back of your closet. You will get back there and wear it again, but right now, embrace this role and go buy yourself a new black dress. For our men, when we wear lipstick, earrings, and look like the put together women they married they know we are thriving. They get worried when they see us not our usual self. Don’t stress yourself out trying to fit into the old black dress. For the time being, get a new one.” I took a deep breath. I let that wisdom sink in. The most perfect advice for my unsettled heart. I felt the stress start to melt away a little.
Hubbz wasn’t saying he wanted some glamified Diva raising his baby, he just wanted to make sure his cute, funky wifey was still there and thriving in her new roles. I got so wrapped up in learning how to navigate this new role of Wifey meets Career Mommy that I kinda gave up on taking care of me. I became obsessed with keeping it all together (or at least appearing to!) I became afraid of doing it wrong because then what would people say!? Newsflash… A) People are going to say things regardless of what you do and B) Most people are too worried about what others are going to say about them, that they aren’t even paying attention to you!
I got home from work that night and I didn’t change into sweatpants and an oversized hoodie per usual. Instead, I picked out my cutest yoga pants and a fitted tee. It was a little snugariffic but like the stress, the fat will melt away too- it just takes a little more time. I pulled out my MAC Train Case that holds all my makeup (that really did have a little too much dust on it for my liking). I picked out the prettiest subtle nude liner, lipstick and gloss combo and finished the look with a spritz of my favorite perfume. It wasn’t a special occasion, it was a random Monday night, and I had a very special Hubbz that I still want to impress.
As I stood in the kitchen that night sautéing veggies, I watched Hubbz feed our baby boy in his highchair. He looked at me and gave me a smile and told me I looked pretty darn cute. I took a deep breath knowing that it’s not always going to be perfect but with a little bit of effort and some lipstick it can be our version of perfect. I guess sometimes you just need to hang up the old idea of how it all should be in the back of the closet- or if the time is right, get rid of it completely- and start creating the new version of you to fit into that new (slightly curvier for the moment) black dress.
P.S. It’s better late than never, I suppose. I am a little behind on the blogging but I hope you enjoyed this #TBT from two months ago. Massimo was four months old and I was newly back in the swing of things getting back to work, phasing out the breast feeding and trying to figure out how to successfully be Wifey and Career Mommy. Let’s not pretend that I have it figured out yet, but we’re getting there and enjoying the journey! #praise