This post is part of YummyMummyClub.ca’s support of the Dove® Unstoppable Moms for Unstoppable Girls Contest. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. Go to www.UnstoppableMoms.ca to enter by sharing how you inspire girls to reach their full potential.
A little over 3 years ago I was a very active woman, at the age of 36 I was quite proud to be training for my first half-marathon and identified myself as an active Mother. All of this came to a screeching halt in February 2010 when I was involved in a car accident. At the time of the accident I seemed to have minor injuries, a concussion and whiplash wouldn’t stop me!
Within a few weeks it became clear that this horrible pain I was living with wasn’t going away anytime soon. My life had gone from one of rich family time spent hiking, biking and many other activities to me lying down watching life pass me by. My gorgeous little 4 & 6 year old girls were missing their Mommy and begging me to do things with them that I just couldn’t. It was heartbreaking to lie on the couch as my wee one would come and ever-so carefully lie beside me so she didn’t “hurt Mama”.
Over the years, with many doctors and learned professionals I’ve learned to cope with chronic pain and daily migraines. I’ve had to curb my expectations of myself and watch as my darling daughters have done the same. Going through this experience has been humbling and yet enlightening.
No longer can I jump up on a whim, pack the girls and their bikes into the car and hit the trails….I’m somewhat a prisoner of my limitations….but within this I’ve found a positive perspective.
I Decided to be Unstoppable!
I may have gained weight, I may be much less physically active and yes I’ve experienced deeply dark times where I’ve hated my body but I refuse to hide from life!
During one of these dark times when my self-image was in the gutter my daughters wanted me to come swimming with them, such a simple request but so difficult at the time. As I looked at myself in my swim suit, glaring resentfully at the new cellulite, my skin which was sagging from lack of muscle tone, the rolls bulging from the waistband… I was inclined to refuse. Something within me wanted to go and hide from my the world, hating the thought of what others would think of the way I looked and how little I could do.
It was then that my youngest burst into the room wearing her swimsuit, babbling excitedly about how she was going to show me her new dive. In that moment I knew I had to stop hiding and get back into life. I had to grab that flame of joy from my daughter’s eyes and stoke the flame.
I had a choice; either sit in the muck of my own making or step up and get real. That day I went swimming! I didn’t perform a swan dive of epic proportions but I did get moving and enjoy the time being active with my girls.
Sharing That Our Bodies Don’t Define Us
Since then I’ve had very real discussions with my daughters about my self-image, I’ve realized that by not participating I was conveying a message which I didn’t want my daughters to embrace. We have been able to discuss the reality of my limitations and how that has made me feel and my daughters have watched me persevere through the difficult times, to me this is the message I want to share.
These days we celebrate our achievements, rather than celebrating my 10 pound weight loss we celebrated the day I was able to go on a 10 minute walk. There is beauty in our lives as we seek to keep improving, no matter how little the progress feels. By maintaining an open, honest dialogue we have become empowered to harness the power of positive forward-movement.
Our journey is by no means at an end, there are ongoing challenges which we face daily because of my disabilities but these days my girls know that their Mom will never give up; that she will find a way around the limitations so we can experience as much as life has to offer!
What do you do to empower your children? Are you UNSTOPPABLE?
Are you an unstoppable mom? Share YOUR story about a time when you thought about quitting an activity you loved because of how you felt about your body and let them know how you think moms/role models can better support girls to participate in activities. You have until June 13, 2013 to enter. You could win $2,500 for yourself and $2,500 will be donated to help raise a girl’s self-esteem.
Check out more stories on YummyMummyClub.ca about amazing unstoppable moms: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/family/mummy/unstoppable-moms-for-unstoppable-girls