an epistle regarding masochism

I’m in week two of a program called Lively Woman. It is run by the lovely Emily Nielsen, who owns Balance Family Fitness. The program is six full weeks of Tuesday/Thursday 5:45am HIIT classes, two at-home workouts, a weekly run and dedication to clean eating (plus, logging everything you eat). I waffle back and forth between feeling motivated to change my life through Lively Woman to wondering why in the world I would ever want to set my alarm for 4:45am on a regular basis. 

Our homework this week was to write an “open and honest” letter to ourselves about why we wanted to take part in the program. Taking time to ponder this made me realize how eating and exercise are tangled into every element of my life, past, present and future. This is the letter that I wrote.


To the Rachel that I am:

I suppose there are a lot of reasons I could list for signing up for Lively Woman. The most obvious reason would be the weight I still haven’t lost from my pregnancy with Jasper. Unsurprisingly, the pounds don’t seem to want to burn themselves so I’m having to become proactive.

But there are other reasons. Reasons as simple as the fact that I am a badass. It used to be more obvious, back when I lived in inner-City Chicago and biked all around town. Back when I looked cool smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee at all-night cafes. But now I am a mom and I have softened. I wipe noses and search for baby dolls, make peanut butter sandwiches and sing silly verses of “The Wheels on the Bus”. Deep down, I am still a badass and this is giving me a chance to remind myself of that. Being pushed to my limits, making tough decisions and growing strong.

Another reason is the legacy that my mom left for me. Most of the attributes and traits that she passed along are things I hold so tightly to and cherish. But then there are the uglier ones, the ones that I would have been better off without. The sweet tooth (ok, actually sweet teeth), the unconscious way that I view food as a reward, the lack of portion control. I grew up with a role model who constantly battled her weight but was always ready with a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies. I don’t want to pass this legacy on to my children. I want to learn to curb my sugar cravings and to stop after a cookie or two. I want to care enough to bake with clean ingredients. I want a healthy strong body to be what my children see, not frustration over the fact that I’ve let myself go.

So carry on, warrior. You are still a badass.



One thought on “an epistle regarding masochism

  1. thanks for sharing this, rachel. i know it sounds cliche but: you really are inspiring. i’m finding it to be (predictably) hard to prioritize my health and well-being as a mom. i also really resonate with the desire to be a good role model to my kids, one that feels and is strong, not one that complains constantly about my body. looking forward to hearing about the rest of your journey!

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