Confidence. That word is kicked around a lot. The only confidence I can count on is the ability to settle a constant dispute between toddlers. Barely. Confidence. What does it mean? I own this room. I landed that job. I made that sale. Is it being completely comfortable in your own skin? I think about it a lot. I scribble, “work on confidence” on the top of my carefully selected 2017 planner. My guide to a beautiful life, it promises. The flower pattern on the cover is too irresistible to pass up. I want to work on my confidence. I have been meaning to do that for a while now since it has been a long struggle for me. Somewhere, I will always be that twelve-year-old girl who was the butt of unattractive jokes. When I am feeling especially down on myself, I can hear whispers of past classmates, loser. Adolescence came at me pretty fast; I wasn’t prepared to be a woman. I was happy just being a kid. I was perfectly content to hang out at my friend’s pool wearing a neon pink bathing suit that my mom picked out, not thinking twice about how it makes my boobs look or whether or not I should have shaved. Last year brought a lot of that feeling back. The fourth baby was a total shocker. I wasn’t prepared to be a full-time working mother of four. And like my sad attempt to hide my blossoming sixth grade chest in a sports bra under my uniform white tennis shirt, I wasn’t fooling anyone. And dwindling amount of confidence I had going into 2016 completely faded by the end of the year.
I look at my barely readable pink scribble. Confidence. How do I work on that? Hmm, maybe recognize and overcome insecurities. I am going to start with my darn woman body that has been an issue for me since fifth grade. My woman body that I could never quite get comfortable with has become my biggest block once again. The birth of my fourth child official put me in the “overweight” section of the BMI calculator. And my pants tell me I am at least twenty pounds over weight. When I sit, my stomach piles its self on top of my legs. My arms jiggle and my chin now has a twin. My clothes so are painfully tight, I have abandoned the pile of “when I hit my goal weight” dresses from a former life. I look sadly at my closet, full of confidence boaster dresses and trendy tops. If my loyal readers wonder why I haven’t posted an outfit picture for a few years – that is the reason. Two more children were not kind to my slowing metabolism. I was working on losing that weight from Jackson when I got pregnant with Cece. I start cycles of eating healthy and losing weight, and then bad habits get in the way. Every bad food decision took me steps back from getting to my goal weight. I started the year working really hard. At the beginning of April I was twelve pounds lighter. Then the stress started and the diet took back seat to binge eating and way too much drinking. I rang in 2017 with eleven of those twelve pounds.
Aside from being a full-time mother to pack of four, and a living pile of anxiety, I am a dreamer. I cannot continue to beat myself up over things that happened. I realized that the negativity and the overall feeling of being a slumpy middle school loser was really getting me down. I wore sweats for three days in a row and quit wearing makeup. Not because I had any less time, but because I generally didn’t care. A few days ago, I put my slippers on and contemplated wearing them to run to the store. They were tucked into a pair of leggings with a yogurt stain along the side. I wrapped an oversize sweater around a faded (not in the sexy way) T-shirt and tried to twist my greasy hair into a topknot. I ducked away from the mirror on the way out but it found me; and I felt disgusting inside and out. Am I here to inspire or clean toilets? I laughed.
It was unseasonably balmy this week. Fifty and sixty degree days in Ohio in Mid January? I will take it, if not only to get the stir-crazy toddlers out of the house for a few hours. I went for my morning run. After, I debated if I should wear the ensemble to the playground rather than thumb through my wardrobe for something that doesn’t make me feel like a whale. My legs were still buzzing from my first try at a twenty-five straight interval. My stomach feels slightly tighter, and I stand just slightly taller. Then I stopped and pulled out my stretchy curve hugging skinny jeans. Instead of my normal oversized T-shirt, I added a blouse. It tied right over the top of the high-waist jeans (Mom jean chic). My stomach may peek out a bit. I stared. Confidence. I kept reminding myself. I knew it wasn’t about where we were going; but that I was finally ready to do an outfit picture. So here I am, a work in progress; a dreamer; wearing an outfit that I would have loved in high school -Black bird blouse and best of all, red Dr. Marten Mary Janes in my post-post pardum mombod.