Hot Stuff

Forget the Cheese Fries
How I’m going to become one of the ‘hot mamas’

By Tiffani Hill-Patterson (originally published at FemmeFan.com, Nov. 2006)

Talk about motivation.

I went out to lunch with some gym acquaintances. All of these women are in shape and good-looking, and, except for one, they’re all mothers, too. I’m taller and heavier than all of them, so I usually feel out of place.

My running partner is friends with lots of women at the gym, including several instructors, and she invited me along for a lunch to celebrate three of their birthdays. Most of them are at the gym every day, teaching or taking two or three classes. Out of the nine people at lunch, only three knew my name.

But that’s my fault. I get to the gym about twice a week now and hit the treadmill and weights on my own, and I take only one class. No wonder no one knows me.

I’m 34 years old. I have a wonderful husband and daughter and a successful career. I’m not in junior high, so why is it that I let myself feel inferior? Sure, they’re all in better shape, but I’m working to get there. And they’ve all been nothing but nice to me and have included me other events.

It’s silly, but I doubt I’m the only woman who feels this way. So I’m using my inferiority complex as motivation to get in better shape and be one of the “hot mamas” (literally) at the gym. Here’s my plan:

* Make better use of my mornings by scheduling gym time and writing time before my workday starts at 2 p.m.

* Be consistent with my running. Stop making excuses.

* Stop being such a sissy and push myself harder, whether it’s on the road or in the weight room.

* Be more outgoing at the gym. Turn off my iPod every once in awhile and see what’s going on with everyone else.

* Let the instructors know when I enjoy their classes. Ask them for advice. What can I do when my motivation starts to wane?

* Next time we all go to lunch, lay off the cheese fries and indulge in a salad instead.

If I use these strategies, I’ll be feeling—and looking—like I belong in no time. And the best part? I’ll have new friends to turn to for support and good times.

(Update: Alas, I’m not thinner or in better shape now than I was then, but when school starts, it’s back to the gym for me. LOL)

Later …

Daddy’s Hands

I watched a slideshow of my 4-week-old nephew today (he’s gorgeous and sweet and beautiful) and after seeing a photo of my bro and his wife holding the baby in their hands, I noticed something: We have our dad’s hands, wrinkly knuckles and all. Thankfully my fingers are a bit slimmer, so they don’t look like man hands. 😉

We may never be hand models (well, we could be the “before” pictures), but our hands have been there to hold on to through some tough times. Like my dad’s prostate cancer, my mom’s recent heart scare, finding out Riley was deaf and her cochlear implant surgery, my brother’s hospitalization for dehydration when he was playing college football. They’ve also been great at high-fiving one another: after my brother’s many touchdown runs and 3-pointers, or my triples and strikeouts (I was a pitcher). After my dad’s retirement. After my mom finally became a grandmother…and for the second time. After our kids were born.

It’s funny how you can know a person forever and still discover new things. I’ve never noticed that our hands are the same until tonight. My brother and I are very different in a lot of ways: he’s way cooler than I am. 🙂 But we’re both great parents, good athletes, smart, and we love our family. We may disagree on politics (actually we’ve never discussed it in depth, so maybe we do agree!), we may not like the same kind of music, we may disagree about money and schools and cars, but there’s one thing we will always agree on:

WE ARE FAMILY, and we’ll always be there for each other, wrinkly hands and all.

Later,
Tiff