What Was Your Defining Moment?

by Cate on March 28, 2010

To Do List

I didn’t have the kids this weekend and my days consisted largely of one giant To Do list, which doesn’t make for fun pictures for you today, although there are a few at the end.  But how about we talk tonight?  About defining moments.  You game?

When I was a kid, I was as skinny as Nick and Madeline, and I remember my pediatrician saying that I had to gain weight.  By the time I got to high school, I had caught up, and was then faced with having to lose a few extra pounds.  I remember my father getting after me, telling me that it was only five or ten pounds, and to just get on the ball and take care of it then before it got to be more.  Of course I didn’t listen.

When I got married, I purposely bought my wedding dress two sizes smaller, to give myself a goal for the big day.  I bartered with a local personal trainer and lost 30 pounds in roughly two months.  I felt amazing.  I felt like a new person.  I remember people asking me then … do you think you’re going to stick with it?  I thought at the time that was a silly question.  Of course I would!  It wasn’t a diet.  I had made a lifestyle change.  It was as much a part of me as anything else.  And then I went on our honeymoon.  Came back to work.  Got swept up in life stuff and forgot about what was important.  Taking care of me.

The weight crept on again, and I was right back where I started.  Then add in pregnancies, stress of carrying two houses on more than one occasion, you name it, it distracted me.  Even though I wasn’t focused on it, it was never far from my mind.  Truth be told, I thought (and now think) about it on a daily basis.  But I just couldn’t get myself back on the program.  Get myself back to where I was.  To that feeling.  That feeling of being invincible.  Then this January came.  And something clicked.  I had a defining moment.

People can preach about diets, about exercise, about fitness until they’re blue in the face.  But until something clicks for you, for me, none of it matters.  Until you’re in the right space to receive, whatever that’s said will fall on deaf ears.  A friend made a nice comment about me back in January, and for whatever reason, something clicked again for me.  All the sudden, I wanted to get that feeling back again.  I remember clearly how amazing I felt then.  And I wanted that back.    Now.  The time was now.  I can’t explain why it clicked for me this time.  Why the defining moment came.  It just did.  Sometimes it’s only a question of timing.  Planets aligning.  Being in the right mindspace to hear something a little differently.  In a way that moves you.  Inspires you.  Calls you to action.

The very next day I took the kids down to a local gym and joined.  Since then, I’ve been heading there a good five days a week.  Although I had relatively good eating habits before, I revamped what I was doing there too, and cobbled together a program that works for me.  Something that I can stick with, without feeling deprived.

I can’t properly explain how good I feel.  As corny and cliched as it might sound, I feel like I can see in color again.  Everything is different.  Things that I shied away from before, I don’t.  Things that used to intimidate me before, I embrace.  I definitely have more energy, and being a single mom of two young children, this is certainly a good time for more energy!  I don’t want to say I’m a completely new person (because I’m pretty fond of the old version too!), but I consider it Cate Version 2010, new and improved.  If you had told me last year that I would be doing a 5K, I would have laughed.  In April, I’m doing two.  If I don’t get to the gym on a day that I was planning to, I am seriously disappointed.  It has clicked again for me, and it just seriously feels amazing.  Everything is different.

The same friend and I had a conversation recently, and he asked me, “Why did you let go of the wheel?”  I had never thought of it like that before, but it’s true.  I did.  I let go of the wheel.  I lost sight of what I was doing.  Lost a bit of the control I had.  The power I had over my own vehicle.   No more.  I have the wheel again.  With both hands.  Gripped tightly.  For me.  For my kids.  For everything.

Enough about me.  What about you?  Defining moments can apply to anything … a huge career change.  The decision to get married.  Or divorced.  To have kids.  Or not.  To mend a fence.  To go back to school.   I’d love to hear about your defining moment.  Don’t leave me hanging.

My Kiddos

Back to the Paint Can

The next painting project is underway.

Vanilla Salted Peanut Cookies

Brown Rice Chicken Stir Fry

Teen in Training

Whenever I can’t find my iPod, I don’t need to look much further than the Naughty Monkey. She can now identify four songs by the first few notes and a big smile splashes across her face as soon as she hears them. I love that. Unfortunately she has also learned that she can now hear them on demand with my iPod.

Mini Chicken Meatballs

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 29, 2010 at 6:11 am

Good for you Cate! I think you’re so right that especially when it comes to weight loss, but certainly with any lifestyle change, it needs to be your decision and you need to really want to do it. I had a moment like that in college where I woke up one day and realized. Oh my god. I hate the way I look. So I lost fifty pounds. (Fifty much needed pounds…okay well maybe 45 much needed pounds and an extra five by accident that I then gained back).

You being this active is going to set such a good example for your kids and do wonders for them in the long run. I’m so proud of you!


Sarah Caron March 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

You are so totally right! My wake-up-call moment was seeing a candid photo of me from a fall trip. I couldn’t believe I looked like that … and it totally made me rethink everything. Good luck on your journey!


Kalynskitchen March 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

How wonderful that you’re on a roll with the exercise program and feeling good about yourself. I don’t always stick with exercising 100% of the time myself, but I know how good it feels when you are making it a priority. Wishing you all the best! I’m always impressed with how you manage to be on top of the challenges in your life.


paula March 29, 2010 at 10:38 am

Wow did your post ever speak to me. At the beginning of the year I was exhausted. I was literally falling asleep at the wheel to AND from work – with my little guy in the car! I was fat, out-of-shape and probably depressed. I knew I would never lose the weight unless I figured out the source of my unhappiness which really wasn’t a secret I was keeping from myself but up until then I didn’t want to face it.

But now, divorce papers have been filed and although I have a new set of problems (custody, support payments, etc), I have HOPE for the first time in a decade. I’ve lost over 20 pounds already and I have so much energy. I felt like the best part of my life was over but I’m excited about the future again even though I haven’t a clue what it will bring.


Ramona March 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

My latest defining moment was when I realized how much I missed riding and showing my horses. Due to divorce, remarrying, surgery, building a house, a severe ankle injury and participating in my hubby’s hobbies I let my own go.

I love my husband – but, I let my love for him make me do what he liked (fishing and hunting) more than what I liked. I still like to fish and hunt – but do it a whole lot less now.

When I ride, work and train on my horse – it makes me very happy.


Claire March 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

So glad that you’ve hit that point again where you WANT to do something for yourself! ONE of my defining moments was when I decided that going to medical school was what I wanted to do. I was in college majoring in chemistry and didn’t know what I wanted to do, though med school was in my mind. BUT I knew I wanted to get married and have kids. HOW was that going to fit in to being a doctor? Hmmm! Well, I kept struggling with what to do but I kept feeling like God wanted me to go to medical school. Finally, one day I just said “Okay, God! Okay…you want me to be a doctor, to take care of kids and their families. Okay! I give, I’m going to medical school!” My goodness…the peace I felt after that was amazing. It is TOTALLY what I was/am supposed to do and it took struggling through my own questions and uneasiness and then then just obeying what God wanted me to do to get there!


The Sister In-Law March 30, 2010 at 7:34 am

Kudos to you! I so know the feeling.



Laura March 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

I can totally relate to this. As a mom of three, I fell off the priority list. My own mom got me a gym membership this year. I have yet to get in the groove of it since I’m volunteering at school, or I have a couple of sick kids at home, or I’m generally taking care of everyone but me. It’s easy to get into the frumpy mom rut. I’m trying to climb out, but it certainly is a big hole to dig myself out of! Kudos to you!


Shannon March 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm

hmm, i’ve kinda been in a year-long slump and have been waiting for this moment… i just need to believe in myself, and it will come!

getting active with the monkey and nick will be great for everyone :) and fun!!!!


Tara March 30, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Hi Cate with a ‘c’…love it. So glad you posted on my blog because now I am reading yours…and getting very hungry. But this post reminded me of how much I love running…started two years ago after falling in my hole. It makes me feel powerful. And I can still enjoy food…good food…delicious food…like your recipes!!


Suz April 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

Good luck!!! I know exactly how you feel. Many years ago I lost quite a bit of weight and managed to keep it off for years. And then 2 years ago personal issues caused me to forget to focus on myself and I quit going to the gym and started eating things I normally wouldn’t. In the last few months I realized that no matter what life threw my way, I had to first and foremost focus on myself. I am not exercising every day and back to eating healthy. I feel great and I’m doing it for me – nobody else – and that’s what makes it all worthwhile.


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