Friday, August 29, 2008

Genetics, The Zoo & Courage

I thought I would take a moment to tell a story about something that happened to me when I was 12 years old.

OK, picture if you will, two 12 year old best friends at ballet class. Not just any ballet class - but the class at which the the ballet instructor announces that the shorter, muscular, just-getting-womanly-curves dancer was the ONLY person in the entire city to pass her Intermediate level-4 exam. But what also makes this a special class is that one (over-bearing) mother is measuring every dancer for the costumes they will wear in the upcoming stage show. The above mentioned mother is extremely distraught that her tall, lanky, flat-chested daughter did not pass.

OK, now skip to the scene where this over-bearing mother is driving the two 12 year old girls home.

Mother: Laura, you must be so happy you passed your exam, I am sure your parents will be proud.

Laura: Yep. I worked really hard, I am very happy. Kathy, I am sure you came close to passing. You will pass next year for sure!

Mother: Oh, I have no doubt in that, Kathy has a long dance and preforming arts career ahead of her. You can see it in her eyes and with with her wonderful dancers' body, she will pass next year for sure. Kathy has the body of a dancer.

Silence.

Mother: That reminds me Laura, you may have to pay more for the costumes you need for the show. Based on your measurements, which are the largest of the whole group, I will need to buy extra fabric for your costumes. So sad that you inherited your father's big lower body and your mother's large chest. What can you do????? Genetics, I guess. You cannot do much when you take after your parents like that - I am surprised you have made it this far with your dance.

Silence.

Anger building in the athletic, but curvy 12 year old. Resentment building in the 12 year old who during the measurement taking session had to listen to this cow-of-a woman make over-exaggerated shocked noises after loudly announcing her measurements - and comparing each measurement to her daughter's measurements. Suddenly a feeling of courage began to swell in this girl. She was proud of her body and of her accomplishments.

Laura: You are very right Mrs. A. Look at you. You look just just like your mom and dad.

Mother: Oh, Laura my dear, my parents live in England, you have never met them.

Laura: Yes, I have...last week...at the Toronto Zoo...in the hippo pen! You look just like them!

S-C-R-E-E-E-E-E-E-C-H. Car coming to a halt 2 blocks from Laura's home.

Mother: Get. Out.

And that was the last time Mrs. A ever drove me home from ballet class!

I thought this was a good story to tell today.

I have struggled with my weight most of my teen and adult life. I have always been active, but during certain times in my life the scales have moved from a healthy weight to an unhealthy, even unsafe weight.

Back in 1999 I joined weight watchers and lost almost 80 pounds. I kept most of it off till just before I got pregnant in 2003. I was injured and could not continue my running, gym workouts or sports for an extended time. The pounds started to creep on. Then I became pregnant. I had a healthy weight gain, but never got a chance to take off the baby weight before baby number two came around. Then baby three surprised us. And the weight kept creeping on.

I am REALLY struggling right now.

I approached my doctor a few months ago and we started to investigate options to help me. I knew I needed medical help to get back in control.

We found a intensive core program offered at our local hospital. To participate, first your doctor has to apply for an application on your behalf, then you fill out a huge questionnaire and go for a few tests. Then you attend an application interview. Here, based on all the information collected, the medical doctor suggests possible programs.

Based on the information provided I was accepted into the (very costly) intensive, hard-core program. It is a year long commitment.

Yesterday, after lots of soul-searching, tears and out bursts of frustration, I called to confirm my spot in the group that starts in September.

I have the courage that 12 year old Laura had to mouth back to her friend's rude mother.

I have the courage and commitment that a mother of three wonderful children can muster up in order to not risk missing seeing her kids grow up.

I have the courage and desire that a wife has when she wants to grow old with the man of her dreams, who loves and supports her unconditionally.

I have the courage and want to succeed for myself - to better myself - to rediscover myself.

I have what it takes...and I will do it!

15 comments:

InTheFastLane said...

Good for You!!! All the way around! And I wanted to smack that mother that would say such things to a 12 year old girl!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

So proud of you! You will totally rock this program, I just know it.
And I am just in shock at that other mother, how utterly horrid.

Melissa said...

You are absolutely right, YOU WILL DO IT!!!

And we will all be here to cheer you on!!

WTG Laura!!!

Tara R. said...

wow.. you're feisty! I love that you told that heifer off. And good for you being proactive now! Good luck and you can do this!

Erin said...

That mother was so out of line! But yay for you back then and YAY for you now. You can do it. I mean if you could do that when you were 12, you can do anything!!

A Buns Life said...

YOU CAN DO IT! I'm so proud of you...now and of that 12 year old you!! I would have loved to be in the back of that van..... :) I about choked on my soda when I read that!

wheelsonthebus said...

You go girl!

Lainey-Paney said...

good luck in your journey.

Now---the 12 year old. You go you ballsy little fire-ball.
I would have totally been friends with you.

Pregnantly Plump said...

What a mean mother! I am so glad that you stuck up for yourself!
And that's wonderful about the program! It also sounds like you're doing this for the right reasons. Good luck!

forgetfulone said...

Sorry you had to walk home, but I'm so glad you stood up for yourself! Doesn't she know how hurtful her comments were, and especially at age 12 when kids suffer so much from self esteem issues. She was just angry that her own daughter didn't have the talent.

That was a good story. Get your "fire" back! I wish I was more disciplined. Maybe I should join a group.

3XMom said...

wow, CONGRATS! You can do it!!!

Barrie said...

You absolutely have what it takes, Laura. You will make it. xo

Don Mills Diva said...

I am so proud of you Laura.

And so disturbed that that horrible woman said that to you!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

That is a great post. Big hug to the 12 year old you for snaping back at that mom!!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

That is a great post. Big hug to the 12 year old you for snaping back at that mom!!