I'm Beginning To Feel the Years (But I'm Going To Be Okay)

(song: Beginning to Feel the Years/artist: Brandi Carlile)

This month marks four years since I graduated from Booty School, A.K.A the Beachbody test group for the Brazil Butt Lift infomercial.  Four years of being fit, working out, running races and maintaining an overall weight loss of 60 pounds. Four years of being Formerly Fat Mom. Great, what now? That is the question.

I turned 40 in March. On my 40th birthday I was in Paris - a bucket list trip my husband and I started planning on my 39th birthday. The morning of my birthday, I bundled up for a run through the streets of the 7th arrondissement. It was misting and cold and I was running alone in Paris and it was glorious. Just as the lady on my running app said, "Distance: 1 mile...", I stopped, rested my hands on my knees, and quietly cried. I was so happy to be in Paris with my family on a monumental birthday, but in that moment I was overwhelmingly struck with the thought, "What's next for me?" Last week my 7-year-old son asked me if I have a job. I felt a stab in my gut as I answered that I work at home but I "don't have the kind of job that makes money like daddy".  It's not that I don't value what I do as a housewife, it's just that...I don't value myself in general.  There, I said it.

Weepy 40-year-old American mom runs Paris.
Turning over the decade inspired some introspection about my choices. I keep saying, "I need something that's mine," but I don't actually do anything. Yeah sure, I run and I workout, but I'm ready to be defined by more than my ability to do a perfect squat. I've been very honest about my struggles to love my body, and now it's time for me to love my mind. I've always doubted myself -- I think I'm not smart enough, not learned enough, not outgoing enough...I never think I'm good enough for anything (or anyone). I've allowed that constant stream of fear and self-doubt to prevent me from discovering my potential. I'm ready to conquer that fear.

That moment in Paris was a turning-point of sorts. I want to believe there's more for me and that I not only deserve it, but that I'm capable of achieving it. I'm not sure what "it" is yet but I just enlisted a great therapist (yeah, I'm totally into that) to help me stay focused on my possibilities and eliminate self-doubt and fear as I trudge through my mid-life crisis. I realize that what I'm going through isn't all that uncommon for gals my age, but for years now I've generally felt that I suck. I have to get out of that mindset in order to progress. Certainly my fitness transformation in 2011 had a hugely positive impact on my low self-esteem, but there's more work to be done. I'm starting to think I may have something to offer this world. I intend to figure out what that is and make my mark. Stay tuned...

This Is 40.