Thursday, November 1, 2012

How my Journey has given me a Best Friend. // Joelle L.

Before getting pregnant with my daughter and before making this decision to find my way back to a healthy weight, my mom and I had the typical Mother-Daughter relationship of "Mom tries to look out for me, suggests things that she really means well about, and tries to shield me from mistakes". I reacted like the "typical teenager/early adult" that I was and was always highly annoyed. Yes I love my mother, yes I respect her, but I did not want her to tell me what I already knew. Because what I knew was going against every single thing I was doing. She would try to nicely let me know that I was gaining weight rapidly(my words, not hers). She would encourage me to go workout, or not overindulge in the junk food. This just made me want to go against it even more. She tried to involve me in weight loss challenges she was a part of, I would do them(1 I even won!), but soon after I would go right back to eating the crap. Who Cares? I was out on my own, didn't have to answer to anybody, I could do what I wanted!
After college and moving back to my hometown, and many arguments and fights later with her, I got pregnant. Granted I was engaged, we were 3 months away from our wedding. She was NOT happy with me. Had I been in her shoes I would have felt the same way. Here she had spent almost a year making decorations, plans, and I had just derailed everything. There were a few days where we didn't speak. Mainly because I was afraid to hear she was disappointed in me. But she never told me that. She was scared for me. I was not healthy, we were not financially stable (we still aren't, but we have home we own and food on the table), and we hadn't even had a day of Marriage under our belts. To top it off, I had just gotten the job of Pre-K teacher at my former school. A Catholic School. Oops!!! So we had to hurry and have a wedding within 2 weeks of notifying the principal. (It rips me up when I have to look back and remember that one of the first people I had to tell was the principal, because I was afraid of having my job revoked). Anyways, after the quick, but still beautiful, wedding we were married. My husband graduated from the Police Academy that Friday, and we were married Saturday. Busy weekend!! Things calmed down, I still had my job, and my mom was able to outwardly express how excited she was to be a grandma.
Through that nightmare pregnancy my Mom was always there for me. When my daughter was born, I could see a whole new chapter of her life beginning, and it was awesome. There really is nothing like seeing your mom holding your own daughter for the first time. This began the different relationship that we now have. She has been there every day since. She calls and begs to keep Lenae for me when she knows I'm on a stretch of a few hard days. She drops her plans to run to me when I am sick or when something is wrong with Lenae.
One day, after many many health issues and family tragedies, and after seeing some pictures of a Color Run, my mom made the comment "I really want to be able to do one of those some day." I thought about it and said, "Me too. Let's find one and start training." We started the C25K program. We kept each other accountable. I had time to talk to my mom(during the walking intervals), I had time to realize that she wasn't just my mom, she had her own life and own issues. Who would have thought? My mom didn't just think about my siblings and our problems all day every day? She had her own? :) I figured out that having my mom to talk to and hang out with, is actually less drama filled than hanging out with my somewhat-kind of friends, whose lives didn't contain time to deal with a friend who had a baby. So this was better. I actually now listen to her when she made comments about "You probably shouldn't eat that". While they are still a bit annoying :), I now know they are out of love. I now know the uninhibited need to protect your child from any and all potential threats. I do not want my daughter to go through the weight struggle I have had. I want her to see me eating right and running, so that maybe she will accept this as a lifestyle. I know now the need to want your child to outlive you, not watch them slowly eat themselves into the ground. I love my mom even more for how she tried.
We have to date, completed 3 5k's. 2 more than we originally set out to do. What's better? I have one of the BEST friends I think that I have ever had. That is better than any lbs lost, or race completed.


For more of Joelle's journey, follow her at personal blog, Journey Back to Half of Me.


  1. Thats absolutly wonderful!! Happy to hear all that about your life! Keep up the great work and tell 'mom' hi! ...unless you are like a lot of us and keep this as your little secret!! ;)

  2. Amazing! Who better to have as a best friend than your mom! Congrats on your THREE 5ks!!

  3. I love this! Congrats on the 3 5ks!

  4. What a great story. As a woman who has already said goodbye to my mom as she transitioned from this world to the next, I cannot say enough how important that relationship is! Kudos to you.

  5. Very sweet story! There's nothing like a mother/daughter relationship. Treasure every day you have with her!!


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