Why I Exercise…

The message said something like…‘why are women like you so obsessed with being skinny? I just don’t get it. And I have three kids. I don’t have time to go to the gym.’

It went on from there. They always do.

I’ve been thinking about that message for days now. Especially every single time I squeeze my fat ass into jeans that are too tight or feel my bra fat bulge when I pick up one of my kids.

Being shamed for exercising. That’s new one.

Heck yes I want to by skinnier. I’m 30 pounds overweight and on the wrong side of 35. These days I eat an apple and gain 3 pounds. I would love to effortless put on clothes and not latch my pants together with a hair tie. And don’t even get me started on my unhealthy love of maternity jeans. I mean, my babies only 16 months. So…it’s fine right?

But honestly, I don’t work out to be skinny. I don’t work out to get a six pack or for smaller jeans. I don’t take sweaty selfies in the gym to look cool.

I work out because I need to live forever.

I work out because this morning I carried my 100 pound son on my back when he was struggling. He needed help. And that’s my job. So, I bent down with my thick tree trunk thighs so he could climb onto my back. And I will do it until I can no longer lift him.

At the grocery store this morning I chased him up a set of stairs when he eloped. He saw an open office door and colorful flyers stacked on a desk and he was gone. And he’s fast my friends. Some people run for fun or because they enjoy it. I run so I can catch my son. At age 9 and at age 25. I will chase forever.

We visited the park today. I lifted his butt as he climbed up the ladder. I was the strength that he didn’t have. And my arms never wavered. I climbed up after him to the top before sliding down the slide. I’m that mom. In the tunnels, on the swings and climbing with the toddlers.

A few days ago, I held his legs when he kicked at speech therapy. I smiled and laid my body on his while tickling his sides. My weight stopped the kicking. My whispers and kisses stopped the aggressions.

Before the appointment was over, I used my chest to block his head from hitting the wall. They call this self injurious behavior. I call it devastating. So, I use my body as a shield. My overweight, old, tired body.

But I’m proud too. I can run. I can climb. I can protect. And I can take a hit better than a boxer these days. That is my life. And it will be for as long as I can muster.

I work out so I can care for my son. So I can try and live as long as I can and protect him from a world that doesn’t understand him.

I wish I worked out to be skinny. Good golly that sounds like a dream. I don’t have that luxury. I’m in a race against time and my body needs to carry me through forever. Because while I am getting older, my son is only getting bigger, faster and stronger.

This special needs parent thing is no joke.

Please don’t criticize women for exercising for whatever reason. Or for bettering themselves. Or for practicing self care. Or wanting to look better in jeans or using their precious free time to go to the gym. Or worrying about needing to live forever.

Just don’t. Try saying good job. Try saying you are bad ass. That sounds so much better.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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