Fat Mom

I knew I was getting really fat when I couldn’t fit in the desk at school. This was last January. I asked my professor to switch classrooms. He did. We were reassigned to a lecture hall. It probably seats 500. There were six of us. I still couldn’t fit. I managed to sit sideways all semester, on one butt cheek. I would sit all the way on the left of the auditorium, perched to the right, so my body language read, “oh, do tell me more about statistics!” In reality, my body was screaming at me, “You don’t fit. You are enormous and you must be stupid to be this fat.”

Last night at graduation my gown wouldn’t zip closed. I had grownups asking me if they could walk all the way back to their cars to get safety pins. What good are Masters’ sleeves if you can’t close the robe? How can I focus on 200 students’ successes when I am desperately trying to hide my one failure.

I only bring up my fatness because it has become very real, and I do not feel like a good mother.

You know this meme? I used to laugh about it all the time. But it is not funny, now. I really thought I was fat when I was younger, and now I know I was absolutely taught to be ashamed of my body. I can remember my mom asking me to go on a diet with her. I was 12, the same age as my eldest daughter. My mom wasn’t fat, and neither was I. I honestly think she just wanted someone to do the diet with; we were not fat. It was the late 80s. I think it was something to do.

The first time I thought I was fat was the spring of 9th grade. I had finished playing a season of soccer where I started and played every minute of every game. The team had an end of the year party at someone’s pool. Most girls wore two pieces, I wore a one piece, and a few girls wore t-shirts over their swimsuits. One of the girls was reading Cosmo aloud and said, “It says that the average American woman is 5,4″ and weighs 140 pounds.” Everyone started laughing about how much 140 pounds was. They started shouting out their weights. 118. 109. 112. 123- but I have boobs! I shouted out 127 because I, too had boobs. I weighed 150 pounds. I felt like a criminal, and I started subtracting at least 20 pounds from my real weight, just because…. Every time after that, I felt empowered stating my weight aloud. Eff the haters! I’m healthy! I’m more than a number! I’m… lying and disproving the idea that a number can’t define me.

I can tell you how much I weighed at every milestone in my life. First time in love? 160. Losing my virginity? 170. Getting married? 191. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter? 212. Teacher of the year in my school district? 240. Pregnant with my second daughter? 260. And now? Jesus. 308.

Did I mention that my wife was a personal trainer and we used to own a health club? Yeah, so there’s that.

I’m now going to try to put into words how I feel as a fat mom: Stupid. Oh. I guess that wasn’t hard. I am stuck feeling like my daughters must understand how brilliant they are; they are both miracles from God. I want them to delight in their bodies’ abilities to run and learn and play instruments! I want them to feel beautiful and confident no matter what. I guard what they watch, read, listen to, and we have “talks” about everything that may eat away at that purity and beautiful confidence. But I doubt how effective my “talk” will be if I am not walking the walk. I feel like a fraud.

Up until recently, I have felt like a pretty good role model. I sort of don an “Eff the haters” attitude, and I take pride that I can move my own sofa. I ran a 5K last year (slowly) with my daughter. I weighed 286. It’s telling that I have zero recollection of my finish time, but I know my weight. I have always worked out off and on, more off than on. I know calories, Weight Watcher Points, and glycemic indexes for hundreds of foods. I am pretty sure I can design a workout program fit for celebrities of all shapes and sizes. I’ve used a FitBit, RunKeeper, Couch to 5K, Spark People, Fitness Blender, Daily Burn, and I bought P90X. I’ve joined gyms and taken Zumba classes. Also, Tae Bo. This has been going on for 3 decades. I know every app, program, diet and plan works. I just don’t do any long enough or regularly enough. I can’t seem to muster the will to begin and stick with a real lifestyle shift.

Ugh. No one told me that I would have to wade through my biggest, crappiest issues to be a good mom. Why is being a mama so hard? Seriously. I am deep in the crud here. I have 40 years of very large baggage (saddle bags? Ha ha!). I suppose admitting I have a problem is the first step. Maybe the parenting role model part comes in the persistence? I’m pretty sure the Mamma Tech community of “technology and parenting” will provide real, practical ideas or thoughts to get me going and keep me going. I’m smart. I value technology’s usefulness. I believe parenting is the greatest (hardest, most exhausting and hilariously frustrating) prayer God answered in my life. I’m confident you feel the same way. Help me, y’all.

5 Podcasts You Should Listen to This Month

YOU GUYS! I just discovered one of the coolest, most mind-blowing concepts that is new, hip, and something that you will not want to miss. Are you ready to find out what this ingenious, two-syllable concept is?

Podcasts!

They are called podcasts!

Oh, you already know all about podcasts and have been listening since they first gained their popularity back in the early 2000s? Well then carry on, cool mamma!

Yes, I know that I am way behind on the current trends (despite being told numerous times by numerous friends how wonderful they are to listen to around the house), but now that I have started I just. can’t. stop! There is literally a podcast for anything you could possibly be interested in, from current events to fashion, movies to parenting.

Since I am ALWAYS looking for recommendations on what to listen to, I figured that I would share with you all what I currently have queued up on the old iPhone:

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Amazon Prime: What’s Included and is it Worth it?

Amazon Prime was first launched over 10 years ago and boasted two-day shipping on numerous products for a flat fee of $79 a year. A lot has changed in those 10 plus years; now a yearly membership is $99 (or you can pay $10.99 a month). Read on for a break-down of all the goodies tucked in to see if Amazon Prime is a good fit for you.

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Mother’s Day Gifts for the Techy Mom

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and we’re all asking ourselves what we’re going to get mom this year. And maybe your mom isn’t actually super techy, but she might want a few things in her life to make things flow better. I know everything on this list are things that I would want! (hint hint, Jason!)

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Helpful Autism Awareness Resources

A few months ago I was in line at the grocery store. I stood behind a woman with three children, two boys and a girl. They looked to be between the ages of 8 and 12. One of her sons was having a full-out meltdown. He did not want to walk. He did not want to get in the cart. He did not want to hold Mom’s hand. He just wanted to sit and rock in the aisle. He wanted to look at the little toys for sale on the rack. I was desperate to show this mom support, but I did nothing more than smile at her, and her children.

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5 Great Techy Toy Options on Kickstarter

With all kinds of amazing projects on Kickstarter, it has made us here at Mammatech wonder about what sort of projects are currently on Kickstarter for kid’s toys. So I’ve spent hours and hours this past week getting sucked into the amazing things that everyday people have invented and are currently looking for funding. The following five recommendations are each a techy toy I would buy for my boys! Read more

A Buyer’s Guide to Brookstone

Alright, mammas; it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane!

Do you remember B.A. (no, not Bad. Ass., but Before. Amazon.) when we actually had to put on pants, get in the car, and DRIVE to the mall to buy stuff?

It was a dark time, I know, but stay with me! When you got to the mall and wandered around for awhile, you probably stumbled upon a futuristic-looking store with oversized massage chairs that just beckoned you to come in, take a seat, and put up your feet for awhile… Remember?

Of course you do! It was Brookstone and it had the coolest, most-overpriced gadgets of any other store in the mall! Good news; Brookstone is still going strong and you can still purchase their overpriced gadgets via their stores (yes; malls are still a thing!), website, and catalog, which is where we recently did our shopping.

Curious as to what Brookstone sells in 2017? We were too, so here is a quick buyer’s guide to all things Brookstone:

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Wind, Water, Earth, Fire; Your guide to renewable energy options for your home

Alternative home energy options are now within reach. Whether you are building a house or supplementing your local system, these choices could save you money. And they are renewable, to boot! Renewable energy is not longer something far off in the future. The time has come for serious consideration and implementation of these earth-friendly systems. Read more