I Learned It From Watching You

Tonight I decided that I will no longer participate in any conversations about weight- my own or anyone else’s. The big exception to that being with my doctors (and my therapist) of course.

I just wanted to take a moment to explain myself so you don’t find me rude if I change the subject or move into a different conversation when you bring up your new diet, or the 5 pounds you can’t seem to loose, or how the cheese that we are eating is going to go straight to your thighs.  It’s not that I don’t get it.  In fact, the reason I feel the need to draw this line is that I get it too much.

It is far too easy for me to look at the numbers on a scale or the way my clothes are bunching around my waist and think how much better, how much happier I would be if I could just make that little bit extra of me magically go away. I can go back through my blogs and read One Hundred and Thirty Pounds and see that being skinny was a far cry from being healthy, but that doesn’t mean that the impulse to blame everything that is wrong in my life on my weight has just disappeared (see One Hundred and Fifty Eight Pounds.)

So I am taking action.  I am not giving that seed room to grow. My beautiful girls will hear enough of that from the world around them.  I refuse to allow them to hear it from me.

And talking about what’s wrong with our bodies is like a competitive sport for moms.  And even if we think those conversations are just between us grown-ups and our mommy juice, our little ones see and hear much more than we realize.  I am going to step on out of that race. I don’t want to ask my daughters one day where they learned to hate their perfect bodies and have their answer be, “I learned it from watching YOU Mom!!” (Cue the 80s PSA music.)

So I’m not going to do it anymore.  I won’t judge you if you want to have these types of discussions, but I will do my best to bow out of the conversation.  I am writing this publicly so that if you hear me breaking this new rule for myself you will gently correct me.  “We don’t say bad things about our bodies,” will work just fine to help me remember my resolution.

I took a bath tonight.  I read a book.  And as I got out and I rubbed lotion on my much- scarred belly, my thighs dimpled by cellulite, and my breasts that will never look the same after nursing twins, I made an important decision.  I am going to really work to love this body- broken and imperfect as it is.  Because a healthy body-image is something I would be proud to have my girls learn from watching me.

i-learned-it-from-watching-you

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One Hundred and Fifty-Eight Pounds

I was going through my old blog posts and came across One Hundred and Thirty Pounds.  It’s good timing for me because I just tried on a dress I was planning to wear and can no longer fit into, and was starting to feel a little bit down.  I have been wondering lately if most people notice and are annoyed by the way their stomachs roll up when they sit down.  Or if it is just something that has been foreign to me for so long that I have forgotten what it feels like to be a normal, healthy weight.

At my last doctors visit I weighed one hundred and fifty-eight pounds, which is pretty great considering that a year ago I was still at 130 with the doctors trying to make me drink Boost and Ensure just to get a few more pounds on my skeletal frame.

But I have those moments.  Those moments when my skinny clothes don’t fit, or I can feel my skin rolls and see the fleshy bits under my armpits again.  And in those times I think, well maybe I’ve put on enough weight now and should start trying to go back down again.  Not all the way to 130, but I felt pretty good 10 pounds ago.  Maybe if I just start eating a little less I will see those scale numbers drop again.

But then I catch myself and realize what a slippery slope that can be.  Because trying to loose 10 can turn to 15 or 20.  I know, because I have already been there and done that, and it’s no way to live. I don’t want my kids growing up with a mother who is always worried about her weight.  I want them to see me love and enjoy my body, broken and scarred as it is, and not measuring my worth on a scale.

Because I look at what else I have gained with those 28 pounds: energy and stamina to be able to get on the floor and roll around with my girls while they still think I’m the coolest person in the world (I have no doubt those days are numbered,) a sense of my purpose, and a love of myself that I would have never dreamed possible.

Every day I know that I am doing good.  In this messed-up, and broken, and combative world, my suffering allowed me to see people that needed help and then actually do something about it.  And no matter what my kids think, that is cool.

So yeah, I rocked a size 4 a year ago.  But my one hundred and fifty-eight pounds are pretty much made up of awesome.  And wine. And I think that I’m ok with that.