I saw him. He saw me. I double blinked. So did he. I waited. He looked away. I asked myself, “Why is he acting funny like that?”
I was in Nashville at the mall while the baby in this picture dragged me from store to store to spend his Christmas money. (Did I mention it’s a 90 minute drive and all he bought was some headphones from Radio Shack? Kids sure do get cheap with THEIR money but I digress….) I KNEW this guy but I couldn’t pinpoint from where. See, I used to live in Nashville. Got both my degrees in Nashville. Was married and divorced in Nashville. My son was born in Nashville. But he recognized me or he wouldn’t have given me that look. Why didn’t he just approach me? (Well, I guess the fact that my husband was with me could have had something to do with it but….) Then it hit me…..
He probably only “partially” recognized me. Fit Tasha is an Alabama thing. Hot wing eating, happy hour frequenting, plus size shopping Tasha is a Nashville thing. And sometimes I let myself forget. Not because I am embarrassed. But because I never give myself credit. For anything. Just this morning at the gym (yeah, it’s Christmas Eve and I was at the gym working out), I turned sideways at the gym and got majorly discouraged at the size of my thighs. Just as the tears started to burn in my eyes, I heard the music coming from inside of the main part of the gym, “Girl, you’re amazing just the way you are.” I paused for a minute. I started thinking, “Am I?’
See, to most people in my life (who don’t workout), I am a total fitness rock star. I run races. I am a national trainer. Lots of people come to my classes. I can fit in a single digit size clothes. My arms look good in sleeveless clothes. I do not have major food issues/cravings anymore. Oh yeah, and I have lost close 90 lbs. (more than once). But, in MY world, I am surrounded by people who run MULTIPLE marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons, Cross Fit maniacs, people who do 1,000 burpees a day, real athletes who get cool, free stuff from companies just because other people will wear it because they see them in it, people whose butts fit into their jeans without effort, people who look pretty in their pictures from the gym, people with flat stomachs and no stretch marks even after having 50 kids…..In MY world, I am no athlete, nothing special. Just some woman who wants to be able to breathe to keep up with her kids.
And then I paused. I AM amazing. And I SHOULDN’T forget. Because the truth is I’ve worked my butt off. Literally. I cannot and WILL not put myself in a category with anybody else because no one else has lived my life. When I look back and think of all of the things I’ve had to conquer to get to this point, I’m BEYOND grateful. Grateful that God took my messed up life and gave me a ministry. The women who allow me into their every day lives to help them on their journey couldn’t care less about the size of my thighs right now. They are inspired because I KEEP GOING.
Sure. I’d LOVE to look great in a bikini. The truth is I probably wouldn’t wear one because my son is fifteen and I wouldn’t want to embarrass him. Sure. I’d LOVE to stand in front of the mirror naked and be like “POW!” But every day I see those stretch marks, I remember that I have had three children, I am working every day to be healthy for my family and for God to use me (yesterday, in church, I just privately surrendered my body to be used in God’s kingdom). I look and say, “WOW!” I am thinking “Thank you, God! Thank you!” Because I was on the path to killing myself. Food. Pain medication. Leisurely sex. Depression. And a plethora of other things. All of it. I’m still here.
And I will never forget again.