I had an interesting conversation with my daughter. She asked me what my cheerleading goals are. The question made me pause for a few reasons. For one thing, I’m entirely impressed that I have a daughter who thinks in terms of goals. Anyone who knows me in real life knows I live for goals. Goals to me are life’s road markers. I set goals, I aim for them, and when I hit them, I set new goals and set off to hit them too. So, cool. My daughter wants to know my goals. And she thinks it’s reasonable to state them. Gotta like that.

There’s another cool thing here. She’s asking me to set athletic goals. Until I did the TC10K this year, I had never set an athletic goal in my life. So here’s my child telling me to set an athletic goal. Just wow. How cool is all of that?

For the last two years (-ish), I’ve been on a mission to create a better body. My weight loss has been success, followed by plateau, followed by success, followed by some small regression, followed by success. I don’t just want to be thin. I want to be sustainably healthy. Cheerleading is a part of that. It’s pushing me to work harder. I love that.

So here’s my daughter asking me what my cheerleading goals are. I’m as proud as heck that she asked that and I wanted to make sure my answer respected her question. I paused and after some thoughts of things like being a flier or being able to do a cartwheel filtered through, I said, “I want to be able to wear booty shorts and a sports bra to practice. I’m dying in the heat wearing a tshirt.”

Visions of my cute little booty-licious backside in tiny shorts with a midriff that didn’t stick out as far as my chest filled my head. Ah. To wear cute sports gear and to know I don’t need to try and suck in my thighs while I did it. That would be a dream come true. I was mentally calculating how many calories I’d have to burn to drop down my next ten pounds. I wanted to wear cheerleader clothes. That’s my goal.

And then Brigitte, my child, my progeny, the woman who has passed me in wisdom said, “But Mom, you can already wear that.”

“No, no,” I said. “I’m too fat for that.”

“You might think there’s a rule on that, but it’s all in your head. You can wear that stuff now.”

But Mom, you can already wear that.

My child: faster, slicker, and smarter than I am, knows my body type. And she said that anyway. The rules of fat-shaming, of draping my extra weight in clothes that reveal nothing, do not apply. I am an athlete. I run races. I work up a sweat cheerleading. And even if I didn’t, the rules that say I need to cover up the tub are all in my head.

I’m not sure what is more of a revelation here. It is amazing to me that my goal was achieved in less than five minutes, entirely through my daughter’s words. It is amazing to me that my limiting belief was not accepted as fact.

I am in awe. My daughter has passed me in wisdom,

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