Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Acceptance (Celebration?) of Failure

So maybe you’ve noticed that I occasionally write about Baby Boot Camp and our MOLO (MOther LOve – what kind of acronym is that?) challenge.  Basically, I work out, and I work out hard, three times a week.  The MOLO challenge was designed to get us all to work out more, mostly at home, and to make good nutrition choices. 


I don’t work out at home, mostly because I don’t have time to work out at home.  I wear heels and skirts, or at least night pants, to work, so doing a one-minute plank every hour on the hour at the office is not going to happen for me.  As it is, I barely get dinner on the table, get the chores done, and have time to love my children every day – by the time they’re in bed, I slump onto the couch for an hour and every evening I hate myself for not getting up and going for a run or doing a workout video.  It’s a sad fact of motherhood that I am my last priority, and when I have time to be the top priority, I’m beaten down from a long day.  In a way, MOLO has made me feel worse about myself because here are these lists of things we should do, watch, or read every week, including workouts and movies and articles that I don’t have time to do, watch, or read.  I have spent three months with weekly emails and daily messages that seem to scream at me, “You will NEVER be strong or beautiful or a good wife or a good mother because YOU WON’T SACRIFICE ENOUGH DO THIS.”


When we do our fitness assessments next week to see how far we have progressed during the past three months, I have little doubt that I will have stayed static at every metric, save the one for weight.  I am pretty sure I have gained weight.  I’m trying to come to terms with that.  My abs are rock hard, I have strong shoulders and legs and arms, but there is a softness over all of it that is not going to go away unless I starve myself or cook myself separate meals from my family and give up some of the things I enjoy, like wine and cheese and chocolate.  And frankly, I’m not willing to do any of that.


Another part of the MOLO challenge was a goal that we each set three months ago.  Or many goals.  I honestly have no idea what goals other women in the group set, I only know that I had but one goal: to do a full, unassisted chin-up.  For various reasons, I felt it was a reasonable goal three months ago.  After all, I couldn’t set a goal for losing weight or working out more often (I’m at my limit for workout time, and we’ve already discussed the giving up food thing – still not willing), but I thought that, with work, I could do a chin-up.  Just one.  How hard could it be?


Well, I have failed to reach this goal.  I will keep trying, but I’m feeling rather defeated about all of it.  And when I feel defeated, I start to feel defeated about other areas of my life, too.  It’s a terrible spiral of self-hatred that starts in one spot and grows to include every single other aspect of my life ever. 


So how do I come to accept failure and move on?  Even better, how can I celebrate who I am and what I do and everything that I have accomplished?  The landscaping and furniture refinishing that I did make time for this winter?  The bubble-blowing with my kids in the back yard instead of the 15-minute standing ab workout video?  The books I’ve read instead of working out at 9 pm every night?


I guess it comes back to the giant struggle in my life: how can I love myself for who I am and what I do?  And if I don’t know the answer to that, how can I teach my children to love themselves?

1 comment:

Mom and Dad said...

I am not the best at giving advise, but I do feel strongly that kids will learn what they see. We all have habits we discover about ourselves as life goes on that were the same ones our parents had. Some we swore we would never adopt, others are good. The kids are loved, attended to, enjoy spending time with mom and dad and happy. That is the tribute you have to having done well. Good job!! We love ya