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The Mom Project

“Tell me something I don’t know”, I said to my husband of 20 years. He smirked, and said “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I actually like your Mom Bod”. In the moment, I found it kind of sweet. I’m 52, and what used to be a fairly athletic and toned body has given into the expansion of a jelly rolled belly and pasta arms. It’s good to know he still finds me charming, but the reality is that this Mom Bod is a direct result of indulgence in habits that have not served me for a long time. Leaving them behind would change the dynamic of a long standing routine, and I desperately wanted something different.

Our son wants to be a personal trainer. Bodybuilding is one of the few things that really inspires him. I’ve never been a fan of the overly muscular physique, and I don’t understand how bodybuilding could lead to a reliable paycheck. I now have some compassion for how my parents must have felt when I insisted on pursuing a career in the arts. I want him to be happy, and secure, so I’m overtly supportive, and covertly hoping he bends his ambition toward a more lucrative career, like ‘sports medicine’. I also understand that many, if not all, of my fears are based on my own lack of understanding. Regardless, I know that once he learns to respond to his alarm clock, he will succeed at whatever he does.

I leave for a three-week trip to India on October 3rd. It will be an inspiring trip, but not an easy one. I will be packing art supplies and gear for MFFC, and traveling long distances to remote areas. I don’t want to drag my Mom Bod, and the habits that helped create it, along with me. I also have a considerable amount of work to accomplish between now and then, and a clear head and strong resolve will be convenient. I’ve enlisted my 16-year-old personal trainer-to-be, and together we’ve developed “The Mom Project”.

The new blackboard in the kitchen maps out his expectations of me over the next 50 days. I’m doing my muscle-screaming best to oblige. I knew I had some core strength buried beneath that cozy layer of fat, and I believe I’ve found it. It hurts, and tomorrow I think the pain will be ever more present. My backside’s been dating gravity for too long, and my triceps were enjoying their state of non-existence – but no more! We are one week in and I’m feeling…joyous, hopeful, and bit sore. For the remaining 7 weeks Sir Liam will continue to dictate my mornings routine. I exercise. I read. I meditate – briefly. My days will still be filled with work and paint, but my evenings will find more music, more writing, more books, more walks… I’m leaving behind the red wine and the politics. So far, I don’t miss either of them.


11 Responses to The Mom Project

You go, Kelly!!

Posted by Janet Stevenson · via · 67 months ago

…and here I was looking forward to those evenings of wind and discussion of the days work with you in India! Guess I’m going to have to start ROWING back and forth between my boat and the workshop, not using the outboard, to keep up with you! Yikes! (do I get any leeway for being older???)

Posted by Diane Pool · via · 67 months ago

…and here I was looking forward to those evenings of wind and discussion of the days work with you in India! Guess I’m going to have to start ROWING back and forth between my boat and the workshop, not using the outboard, to keep up with you! Yikes! (do I get any leeway for being older???)

Posted by Diane Pool · via · 67 months ago

Write another comment . . .oh, forgive me and the horrible internet connections that defy understanding and patience when things are sent TWICE!!

Posted by Diane Pool · via · 67 months ago

Aren’t you amazed at your incredible body? I marvel at what miraculous machines we all are and what they are capable of accomplishing with relatively little attention. More attention to it just seems to be a window to more enjoyment of life as you alluded to in your extraordinary essay! Thanks Kelly!

Posted by Reed · via · 67 months ago

Thanks for the posts and the support Janet, Diane, and Reedo! The human body is amazing. The power of the mind, almost more so. It amazes me how a shift in perception can change so much on the inside, without actually changing anything in our external world, except for what you are bound to produce because your vision is more clear – or more clouded, depending on the direction of the shift. In this case, it feels great to leave some destructive habits in the dust. It’s also fun to see Liam excited about helping me.

Posted by kelly sullivan · via · 67 months ago

Good on ya – The Mom Project sounds awesome! Stick ti it girl. You will be so glad you did!
I not only remember you and your fantastic art but from yoga class as well. I am 63 and into the grandma project! I swear every year I am reminded I have to work harder than before to keep reasonably in shape.
Go for it girl!

Posted by Carole Lusser · via · 67 months ago

I have been wrestling with taking the plein air air workshop or not and wondering why you were calling it the mom project? I realize now that I read your latest blog that the two are separate issues. I was intrigued by your title because I have been stuck inside my own mom project for so many years. Between a teenager daughter that suffers from depression and a mother suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s! It is an exasperating place at times. Struggling to find my way back to a world with art has helped me keep myself level and ready for what’s next without falling into a state of “emergency”.
Stay strong. Be safe.

Posted by Jennifer · via · 67 months ago

Hi Carol Lusser – I remember you too! Thanks for the words of encouragement. My head and my body are feeling great, and I’m thankful that I finally just did it. It’s all better without that think vial of fog.

Posted by kelly sullivan · via · 67 months ago

Just an update on this project – I have been faithful to this “mom project” for almost 8 weeks. I feel great. I’m much stronger than before, clearer in my thinking, far more productive, emotionally steady, sleeping great, and wearing my skinny jeans. It’s been nice. I occasionally miss the 5 o’clock wine, but love my end of day tea, and the way I feel in the morning. I’m excited to work in India feeling at my 52 year old peak – happy to live on a vegetarian diet – sans alcohol – with daily yoga for the remainder of this ‘project’. Thanks for your comments and support – and much love and thanks to my son/trainer/motivator – Liam Sullivan.

Posted by kelly sullivan · via · 66 months ago

Noch nie haben die Photovoltaik-Anlagen und Windparks soviel Strom eingespeist, wie im ersten Halbjahr. Nach Angaben.

Posted by Strom eingespeist · via · 44 months ago


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