Three years ago, I had a roadmap for life. After the birth of our second child we quit our jobs, moved from California to Texas and became landlords of a 27 unit apartment building, just as the Great Recession got into full swing. Though my official title was CEO, my husband ran the business and I became something I dreamed of becoming – a stay-at-home mom.
I made friends quickly with other mommies and Regina became my new best friend instantly. Our house was the biggest we could afford; we had two years living expenses saved in the bank and life was good.
Two years ago, life went to hell in a hand basket. I got lost. Turns out being a landlord is really hard, especially when you don’t speak the same language as your tenants, the building is falling apart and you blow through your life savings without a profit in sight.
Being a stay-at-home mom was way harder than I thought it would be. While I loved spending time with my children, I hated the never ending monotony of household chores, lack of adult conversation and not making any money.
Resentments built between my husband and me. I was mad he made all business decisions unilaterally and never helped with housework EVER. He was mad that I suddenly had a flock of friends while he was isolated at a thankless job all day and that my “down-time” was spent on chairing a fundraiser for Rylee’s nursery school instead of clipping coupons for our family.
We should have talked but it was easier to watch TV and eat chips. I gained weight. I felt like I was useless. We hurt each other in ways that only married people can do.
Eight months ago, I had enough. I was tired of being fat. I was tired of feeling marginalized. I wanted back the power I had so easily given away. I decided to shock my system and try something radical: enter a bikini completion at age 38 and size 14.
I thought female bodybuilding would just mean lifting weights and eating healthy, but that’s like saying getting pregnant just means your belly gets a little bigger. It was a life changing, jaw dropping experience for me. Mentally, physically, sexually, emotionally, everything changed.
I never realized how many emotions were tied to my food consumption. I never realized how many lies I had told to myself to avoid facing hard truths about my life. It took a trainer to call me out on every single bullshit excuse before I broke though my own mental blocks.
Today, I’m back in the driver seat, the road blocks of the past in my rearview mirror. At size 1, I’m in the best shape of my life. I stand tall, proud of my body, proud of my marriage and kids, proud of the active role I reclaimed in our family business.
I feel like Rocky. Only in 5 inch heels and a bikini.
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