Desperately Seeking You...Desperately Seeking Yourself

Listen up, mujeres. (That's Spanish for "ladies." Which makes that sentence "Spanglish." Yeah, I know...I feel cool for just having written it, so I can't even imagine how it feels to have read it.)It's been a while since I mentioned the anthology. Which is funny because I've been sitting here floundering in the Unpubbed Writer version of the After the Wedding Blues wondering what the hell I was supposed to be doing to occupy my time. No writing project keeping up till 3 a.m...now what do I do to keep The Muse busy? Keep myself feeling like I have a goal to work towards (other than not saying anything that rhymes with "Fuck" when I open rejections because Buttercup now believes "Truck it" is an acceptable phrase to utter when something didn't quite go her way. Okay, I'm kidding. Really, I am. But a little part of me wishes I really wasn't.) Where was I again? Oh, right. Me thinking I had nothing to do other than that Mom thing and that Wife thing and that Holding Me Breath While Query Responses Roll In thing and occasionally remembering to mention the Anthology thing on twitter in a lukewarm attempt to drum up interest for submissions and...wait a minute... That sounds suspiciously like a writing project. Maybe, because it is. *Faceplam*

And? So far, so good. I've received a few more submissions and have received word from two very respected writers that they are totally on the Baby F(Ph)at Band Wagon, which has me all kinds of giddy. Now, the only question is, when are you going to share your story?

Here are the updated details (also available in a bit more detail on this link).

I am seeking submissions from moms out there who wants to share their own stories regarding weight loss. I know I'm not the only mother out there who is wondering what the hell happened to her waistline after the baby came. Or the only one who's wishing Karma didn't take names when I was on the other side of motherhood and passing judgment on women I knew for "letting themselves go." Forget Hollywood moms and the fairy-tale disappearing baby pooch...I want real moms to come clean with their own stories. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me want to call you up and meet for coffee (sugar free and skim-milked, of course!). Make me connect with you as a mother and as a person. Just make it real.

So what’s the deal? I wrote Baby F(Ph)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, and Trying to Stay Sane…and that is my journey. I want to read about yours. How motherhood changed your perspectives about body image, weight loss, and getting into or staying in shape. I want honesty. I want to laugh. I want to relate. And I want it to read like a conversation between best friends over a few bottles of wine (after the kids are asleep, of course, which means you are totally allowed to swear.)

So far, I have a few awesome pieces which will be considered for the final project, and am in search of more.

Here are the guidelines:

* Stories must be between 500 and 1,500 words and be told in first person. This is your story…not your neighbors. Make sure to include a short bio with contact information.

*Essays should focus on the topic of weight. Suggestions include:

—Your expectations prior to becoming pregnant versus the reality

—How pregnancy changed your body

—How you lost the weight

—Acceptance of your new shape

—Balancing the needs of your children with your own

*Birth moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, grandmothers with custody...if you carried a child or carry the responsibility of raising one, your story counts, too. Motherhood changes all of us and how we see ourselves.

* No anonymous or author unknown submissions.

* Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. An exception to this rule is, of course, those previously published works to which you own the reprint rights.

* Submissions should be sent to aspiringmama@gmail.com with “Anthology” in the subject line.

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site’s Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site's Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

Deadline for submissions is April 6, 2011. Feel free to email with any questions. I look forward to reading your stories.

And that’s the deal, peeples. So who wants to share?

Baby F(Ph)at Winner #4: Being a Mom Means Never Having to Say You're Tubby

"You're lucky," my sister-in-law said to me as we stood in the baby-to-be's room, "you won't have to get fat." I made some kind of low murmuring noise and then changed the subject. She was right. We were adopting. I wouldn't have to deal with any of the unsightly weight gain, the bloating, the stretch marks. My daughter would be home within a month and, when she was only four-days old, I would hold her in my slim arms and walk briskly around the house without waddling or feeling the ache of stitches.

Wasn't that one of the benefits of adoption? Of course, I would have love to have carried my daughter around for nine months, but wasn't I glad that I would be able to retain my naturally skinny shape? It seemed like a gift. Yet, the idea of not being able to be pregnant, to not have the ability to get fat for my child, stung so much.

It wasn't just my sister-in-law who noticed my lack of motherly figure. A month after my daughter came home, she and I went to the zoo. We met another mom and baby near the hippopotamuses and stopped to talk.

"How old is she?" the woman asked, cooing over my child's adorably chubby cheeks.

"One month."

"You gave birth a month ago?!"

"No, my daughter was adopted."

"Oh," she breathed in relief. "I really felt bad there for a second."

While I was at home for three months with my daughter, the stress of taking care of a new baby, coupled with my anxiety during the months of waiting for her to come home, kept me thin. I ate almost as little as my child, who now topped out at four ounces of formula every few hours and who was rapidly gaining weight.

When I went back to work, I got lots of compliments on my appearance.

"You look great!"

"You're so thin!"

But they all seemed so undeserved. I was just the same. I hadn't done anything. Motherhood had not changed me at all.

It was a while before I started to notice a difference. I had always loved going to vintage shops. I would usually breeze through the store, buying clothes right off the rack without ever trying them on.

"That's weird," I said to my husband as I yanked up the zipper on a hot pink pencil skirt. "This doesn't fit."

He made a low murmuring noise.

"What did you say?"

"Nothing," he replied quickly, eyeing the fabric as it strained across my hips.

I began to notice the legs of models in magazines. They're so thin, I would think, as downed the last bits of my daughter's uneaten hot dog in addition to my own dinner. One night, I tried on some sandals in front of the full-length mirror in our bedroom.

"Do I have cankles?" I asked my husband.

"Yes. No, wait. What are cankles?"

"It's a calf-ankle," I explained. "It's basically fat ankles."

"No," he replied robotically, "you do not have cankles."

Just last week, I took my daughter and my mother out to lunch at McDonald's. My daughter sat and happily munched French fries while I took hungry bites out of my Big Mac.

"God, these jeans are so tight," I moaned, feeling the waist band cut into my stomach.

"Time for a new pair," my mother replied simply.

"They must be shrinking,” I assured myself, as I usually did nowadays.

She made that low murmuring noise.

"It's that or I'm gaining weight."

"Well," she replied, looking from my daughter to me, “these things happen. You are a mother now."

I just smiled and took another bite from my sandwich.

Lisa Galek is a writer and editor for a greeting card company who also happens to be searching for a publisher for her YA novel. She's also a very lucky wife and a proud mom to a two-year-old girl through open domestic adoption. You can find out more at LisaGalek.blogspot.com.

Baby F(Ph)at Winner #3: Gettin' Your Fitness On

Robin O'Bryant is hard at work making her writing dreams come true while dealing with the realities of Motherhood and Women's Sizes. Read her Baby F(Ph)at essay and nod your head in understanding. I know I did. Trying to get back in shape after having a baby isn't near as fun as it sounds. I only like exercising once I’m leaving the gym with a smoothie in my hand. But I’d rather be somewhat thin and miserable while exercising than fat and miserable every day, so I exercise. After having Emma, my second child in twenty-two months, I put the pedal to the metal and lost my baby weight plus a little extra padding I had been carrying around since college.  I worked with a fitness instructor and kept food logs. I went to the gym five or six days a week every week. I looked good, but I felt even better. It felt so good to have to buy new clothes because even my “skinny jeans” were too large.

Right before I got pregnant with my third child, we moved from Savannah, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina. I joined a gym the first week we were there. I didn’t want to give myself the opportunity to backslide. My self-confidence was at an all time high. I had two sweet healthy babies, my husband’s career had taken off and I was able to quit my job to stay at home with my girls, and could wear the same size clothes I wore in high school. Life was good.

I was flying high, until I walked into the gym one morning for a Body Pump class. I got all my equipment together and was admiring myself in the floor length mirrors, not too conspicuously of course, just thinking how fabulous I looked and how hard I had worked to lose almost forty pounds. When the fitness instructor sauntered up to me, leaned in and whispered with a cute little wink, “Did I see a little baby bump?”

Lord, help me. I felt all the blood rush out of my face and I stared at her in shock.

Was she raised by wolves? Did her Momma not tell her that you never ask a woman if she’s pregnant? I don’t care if the baby’s head is hanging out, you never ask a woman if she’s pregnant! Play dumb and if she screams, “I’m pregnant YOU IDIOT!!” Then and only then is it OK for you to say, “I thought I saw a baby bump.” (And quite possibly, not even then.)

I looked that skinny little tramp with her twelve-pack and toned thighs, straight in her eye and said, “NO, as a matter of fact you didn’t! But thank you SO much for asking!” She gasped and took a step back.

I ended up staying in class partly to punish the little wench and partly because just getting to the gym with two toddlers is such an inconvenience.  You have to pack everything your kids may possibly need or want for the hour you will be exercising. You also get the pleasure of discussing every grunt and/or nuance your children might have and interpret these communications to a nursery worker who can't quit texting her boyfriend long enough to pay attention anyway. On one of my first visits to the gym after our move to South Carolina, I took Emma, then around eighteen months, to the nursery. I hopped on the treadmill and started to sprint...OK, jog. I was five miles into my run…fine, one, when the nursery worker came out to tell me Emma had a dirty diaper. "Her diaper bag has her name on it," I said as I gasped for the extra oxygen I needed to keep my pace and talk. "Oh, we don't change diapers." I stopped so abruptly on the treadmill I was almost flung across the cardio-room, "I'm sorry. What?”

"We're not supposed to change diapers." I had to get off the treadmill to change my child's diaper. My child, who had just stopped crying for the first time since I had left the room. She clung to my leg and screamed as I tried unsuccessfully to extricate myself to finish my run. Wouldn’t it just have been easier on everyone for her to change the diaper? “What exactly are these people getting paid for?”  I wondered. Shouldn't they change the sign from “Childcare” to “We're Just Going to Make Sure No One Dies While You are Exercising?” This is something I would like to have known before I signed a contract that included “childcare.” Seriously, half the reason moms go to the gym is so someone else will take care of our kids for a couple of hours and we don’t end up in a padded cell or on the 11 o’clock news! For this and many other reasons, I have purchased hand weights and an exercise ball to exercise at home when it's too much trouble to leave the house. I prefer to go to the gym; I need someone yelling at me to work harder. Left to my own devices, I would stop at the first beads of sweat, pat myself on the back, say “good workout,” and head to the juice bar. I got the weights out recently, and started to workout. Aubrey, my four-year-old, and Emma, her two-year-old partner in crime, jumped right in with me. As we started doing sit-ups, Aubrey said, “Look Momma, it's easier if you do this,” and propped her elbows up on the floor underneath her.

I laughed. “Yeah, but that’s cheating. You can't use your hands.”

Aubrey glanced at me then put her hands under her head mimicking me. After about two more crunches Aubrey said, “But Momma, this HURTS my tummy. Can we stop now?”  It sounded like somebody was ready to hit the juice bar.

Robin O'Bryant is a stay-at-home-mom, humor columnist and author. She's got a hilarious blog, a twitter account you must follow, and book and an agent, so I'd suggest keeping my eye on this Southern Mama-Belle. Me thinks she's going places.

On losing things...

I lose my keys on a regular basis only to find them at the bottom of my purse. I had Lasik a few years ago, but was known to lose my glasses...while on my face.

My blackberry gets lost in my bra on a regular basis. Don't ask. Because if you do, I'll be forced to dedicate a blog post to the very subject.

I've even lost the parked mini-van in the mall parking lot once and was wandering the lot long enough for mall security to take pity, offer me a ride, and drive me to the opposite end of the mall where it became apparent I had exited the building on the wrong side.

The Husband had a brain-glitch a few months back and told me to go buy myself that pair of Oakley sunglasses I had been drooling over and by drooling, i mean I knew I was never going to have them because I used to lose $5 gas station sunglasses every time the sun set so I grabbed they keys when I found them and ran out to the mini-van I knew where it was this time and drove to the mall Dont worry, I have a file in my blackberry for where I park now before he regained his senses. I've lost these bad boys a few times and have had panic attacks until they turned up again in the diaper bag, the mini-van glove box, or, not surprisingly, on the bridge of my nose.

The point is that I lose things. Without effort.

This brings me to two questions.

#1 Why haven't I lost the baby weight yet? Buttercup's blown out the candles on her third birthday cake. Self-imposed deadlines have come and gone. And I'm still trying to earn my MILF card. And the kicker is that I've been trying...like, for realz.

#2 Who was the jack-hole who decided to coin the term "weight loss?" When an individual needs to or desires to see a lower number on the scale for whatever reason, why is it that they have to "lose the weight?"

Losing things is easy.

Losing weight? Dropping the baby f(ph)at? Not so much.

Now...where the hell did my last nerve go?

My song

The first time I heard the term "Beta Reader" I thought it had something to do with the fish. Shows you how much I knew when I started writing my book. But I've learned a little since then. And gotten brave enough to start sharing my work with people I actually interact with, even if those interactions are limited to 140 characters per message. And so far? So good. I'm getting great feedback on little things I missed, like scenes that didn't connect or using a certain word too many times in a paragraph.

And the typos. Let's not forget those.

All in all, though, the beta reading process has been eye-opening and exciting. There's always that little bit of terrified anticipation every time I have hit send with a manuscript (and I have a few in the works and multiple almost ready for agent queries) and even more when a response is received.

But nothing compares to the email I just sent.

To my personal trainer.

Can I just say, "Holy Shitballs, Batman!"

Let me explain.

I walked into this new little gym a year ago with great expectations and a plan for a book. "I'm fat and need to lose weight and want to share my experience with other mom's tired of being fed the company line about how easy it is," I explained to the man nodding his head as he took notes for our introductory meeting and the woman who leads my Zumba classes. "How much weight do I want to lose? Oh, 40 pounds. I'm 236 right now...hoping to get as close to NOT being 200 pounds as I possibly can by the time I write "The End."

I explained I had PCOS, hypothyroidism, and karmic vengeance kicking my ass. I also explained that I was a doormat, raised to put my family before my own needs so there was a high chance making dinner and QT time with The Husband might be a barrier I needed to work on. But that I wanted this to happen and that I needed this to happen. Not just for the book, but for my own sanity.

Fast forward to the present.

I've lost a grand total of 10 pounds. To be more precise, I've lost something along the lines of 30, but each incremental loss yo-yo'd me right back to Holy Hell status. I eat right: no pop, minimal processed foods (Ben & Jerry's  is my kryptonite), trim the fat off my meats, serve fruits and veggies with almost every meal, have learned to love my coffee black and my eggs minus the gooey yumminess of the yolk. I avoid all food items with the so-called "bad oils" and stick to the good ones, and spend a small fortune on organics each time I enter the grocery store.

I might not work out as often as I had planned, but I do work out. Zumba, hour long walks in my hilly subdivision, tae bo, pilates, and that Spanish Inquisition torture thinly disguised as a workout known as P90X (No, I did not make it 90 days because it was too X for my jiggly ass).

But still...

My nephew visited recently from out of state and was shocked to see how we eat. What I buy. How I prepare it. I honestly think that he (and the rest of the family) assumed I ate like I just didn't give a damn because well, I don't exactly look like I eat like I do. I try. Each and every day. Some choices may not be the best (like the PMS-inspired Chicken Marsala at the Olive Garden tonight) but I'm not sure how much more I can do in the little time I have left in my year of discovery short of cashing in my chips and denying a tummy tuck and lipo, Hollywood style.

All of this is in my book. And every word about to be read by the husband-wife team who have followed up on their end of the bargain. They've done their job. I'm just not sure I've done mine and well, that's why I am all cluster-beeped in the nerves while waiting for their reaction.

Then I saw a tweet from @writersblocktips.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song--Chinese Proverb

I don't write because I have an answer. I write because I have a story. And I need to share it.

So I am.

And for my next trick...

To whom it may concern: I would like to put my name in the running for the next Non-Celebrity Skechers Spokesperson. I'm specifically interested in pimping your Shape-Ups line of footwear and believe you will see the benefits of a partnership.

For simplicity's sake, please refer to the following list:

1) I can make the unbelieving believe. Up until last week, I thought your shoes were the footwear equivalent of the Pontiac Aztek on the Ugly Scale. And frankly, I still do. But I'm not 21 anymore and more willing to see the reason in comfort over fashion. Want to break more walls down? I'm your girl.

2) Your tag line: "Get in Shape Without Setting a Foot in the Gym," doesn't exactly ring true for an overweight mom like me when you've got Skinny, Long Legs, and Super Cute attached to the product.

I'm not saying to go and fire your current models. I'm sure they're perfect for your glossy fashion magazine ads, but if you're reading this it means you want to Use the Power of Social Media to expand your reach. That means me, other mothers, and plenty of cellulite.  Want more sales? Put a face (or my blog) with your product that your target audience can relate to and you've got magic.

Trust me on this. Now please proceed to #3...

3)  I'm writing a book about my quest to find my waistline (and the ass I once thought was fat but now really, really miss) and well, this is just an opportunity to get in on the ground floor. You know, while I'm still nowhere near famous and will be happy with just a pair of shoes.

4)  I have a jogging stroller, a dog, and live in a subdivision hilly enough to piss me off in regular running shoes walking at a snail's pace. Just think of the blog posts and segments in my book dedicated to your shoes, my ass, and how I just can't wait to get back outside to tackle the next hill because Shape-Ups are so flippin' comfy?

Seriously, how much more of a perfect guinea pig can you get?

5) I have no shame. Seriously. Have you read my blog? I'm probably going to be purchasing a pair of my own Shape-Ups tomorrow, with my own The Husband's money, but I'm not opposed to allowing Skechers to sponsor my monthly Baby F(Ph)at Essay Contest. One winner a month. Lots of exposures. Still a hell of a lot cheaper than Carrie Underwood.

You do the math.

6) Do I really think this is gonna work? No. Do I care? Not really. But I've spent the last 48 hours debating on what color combination to buy myself and well, you just sending me a pair would really speed up the decision making process.

7) It would also allow me to regain some dignity as The Husband cannot guilt trip me for not spending money, right? So really, you'd be doing me a huge favor.

8) I'm a sucker for staying true to a brand once I've gotten hooked. Go ahead. Feed the addiction.

9) My posture sucks, my ab muscles shot to hell in a hand basket once I pushed my baby out, and my thigh and butt muscles all need major work but I can't afford plastic surgery. This reason alone is probably enough to have me back at the mall tomorrow buying my own pair because I really don't know the definition of patience, but I'm not opposed to expanding my shoe collection before I've even started it.

10) Honestly, I really don't have a tenth reason. I just needed a blog post tonight.

Baby F(Ph)at Winner #2: Skinny girls don't run marathons

I started running the first time I thought I spotted cellulite on the back of my legs in 6th grade P.E. Cellulite, an evil word that infiltrated my vernacular through a stolen conversation between my two older sisters—who, for the record, did not have cellulite on the back of their legs, either.

This self-deprecating illusion haunted me through my adolescence and into adulthood.  At age 25, I was a slim, Gap size 6, but I still couldn’t squeeze my quadzilla thighs into a snazzy pair of slacks at Bebe—unless, of course I was willing to double that size 6.

No thanks.

Years later I would uncover the truth—Bebe is a fashion house for size zero circus performers on stilts.

Shouldn’t I have been suspicious that there were no pictures of my mother with child? What are the odds after four pregnancies, not a one exists?  No matter.  I was my own person…a registered nurse, for Pete’s sake.  Genetics would have no influence on the quality and quantity of food I was going to put in my mouth during pregnancy.

“McDonalds value meal #1—Big Mac, large fries, and a Diet Co…oops, I can’t have caffeine, so make it a chocolate shake…and Super-size it!”

“Hey, who ate the last cherry Pop Tart?  Sweet, I forgot I bought 3 boxes.”

“Honey, on your way home from the restaurant, can you drop off a banana cream pie for my coworkers and me…okay, just for me?”

I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I ate all night long—sometimes to stay awake at work, sometimes to fall back to sleep at home.  I ate breakfast at work, and breakfast at home. I ate lunch while out shopping for dinner.  I ate dinner before work and dinner while at work (which completed the circle, just three hours before my first breakfast).  I even ate when I felt nauseated—a wasted opportunity for conservation.

Did I mention I stopped running 30 miles a week?  Cold turkey.  A problem that evolved into a sizeable big-booty-Judy within the first month.

I was growing right along, feeling strong, excited to look pregnant and wear maternity clothes, including those heinous frocks that made me look like Holly Hobby on steroids. I was euphoric.  Then something terrible happened—my first trimester doctor’s appointment.

“Egads! Twenty-eight pounds!”

The look on my doctor’s face said it all.  The lecture was coming, hard and fast.  My fight or flight instinct was telling me to fly but I couldn’t make a run for it—I was wearing one of those paper drapes that only covers your top half and the rest of me was naked under the sheet.

“It’s all about choices,” she said diplomatically.  “You only need about 300 extra calories a day, so don’t go eating Big Macs all the time.”

Had she been following me on my daily excursions to the Golden Arches?

Deep down, I knew I wasn’t eating healthy, but the fat-salt-sugar fusion was beyond delicious; it was divine!  My baby needed it, right? Like an addict, I remained happily satiated in denial, creating flexible boundaries to justify my vice. And inverse relationships can be a beautiful thing.  With every pound I gained, I lowered my standard of comparison, finally settling with my husband.

Surely I would never outweigh his strong, fullback physique…right?

The day I delivered my beautiful, healthy baby girl, I weighed four pounds less than my husband on the hospital scale, which usually added seven to nine pounds to whatever my bathroom scale read.  Not too shabby, I thought.  I did not echo those sentiments two-months later when I had only lost nine pounds.

I was breast feeding, pumping between feedings even, waiting for those extra pounds to fall off, but the only thing falling was my flabby gut over the waist of my jeans.

Ironically, I didn’t love breastfeeding. The fact that I lasted two months was the direct result of a conspiracy between the doctor, my husband, and the damned La Leche League—two of who had never breast-fed.

They rallied, cheered and told me to keep milking them utters, promising that weight loss was on the horizon. But as fate would have it, my daughter was just as unhappy as I was.

Eighteen poopy diapers a day is not normal.

I stopped nursing; optimistic that something positive would come of my daughter having to drink toxic baby formula. Maybe growing a third eye in the middle of her forehead wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe I would be less glutinous with food. Month three: a lack-luster twelve pounds of total weight loss.  Drats!

During my exile in maternity clothes (nothing sexy about Holly Hobby), the style of jeans changed. Hope!  I ventured to the mall to sample the new look, which was actually an old look from the seventies that I rocked quite well in my kindergarten picture—perhaps I would rock it again.

But $175 designer, low-rise, skinny flares do not hide 40 pounds!

I was determined to diet. And the cashier at Target knew my diet was a bust before it began.  A case of Slimfast in the same cart as a bag of Doritos and box of chocolate covered cherries is an omen of failure.

My older sister, whose svelte body had not yet been ravaged by the horrors of pregnancy, said I needed to regain control, find strength in moderation, and suggested I seek spiritual guidance. But my sister was not referring to Jesus; she was referring to my Inner Skinny. The WWJD mantra was replaced by WWSD—What Would Skinny-girl Do?

I let vanity rear its ugly head.  I stared longingly at a picture of my bikini-clad self in St. Lucia on my honeymoon—belly ring and all.  I marveled at a slope-side photo of me dressed like Nanuk of the North—looking rather slender despite the puffy layers.  And in moments of absolute, sheer desperation, I pulled out a picture of me from my baby shower. It’s the one where I closely resemble Mama Cass—not Mama Madonna.

Guess what? Visual trickery…I mean visual imagery worked!  I traded deprivation and binging for moderation and consistency and joined a first time marathon-training group.  Over a long, exhausting six months of training, I ran that big-booty-Judy right into the ground, and completed my first marathon, my 11-month-old daughter waiting at the finish.

When I looked at my finish line photograph, I saw a fit, strong, beautiful young mother, me—not Skinny-girl.  After 26.2 miles, I realized not only did I shed the pounds I gained during pregnancy; I also shed the disparaging, false image of myself.  Skinny-girl would never have had the character, strength, or grace to run a marathon, much less raise a daughter. But I did.

I loved the new/old me so much that I went on to have three more children. Even though I shunned all food that could be handed through a window, I still gained the same amount of weight.  (About those genetics—to this day, I have never seen a photograph of my mother pregnant.  Do you smell a cover-up?)

Making a commitment outside myself worked for me.  Although I am not the ‘group therapy’ type, I found myself enjoying the support and company of my running group. I don’t remember the pain and sacrifice of training; all I remember is seeing my kids along the course waving signs that said “Go Mom! You’re a Rock Star!"

Now that’s inspiration!

Stefanie Generao is a writer working on her first young adult novel.  When not commuting with her laptop, she mothers four  children, attempts to save lives as a Trauma Nurse Practitioner, and runs a very, very slow marathon.