Isn't this the funniest picture ever?
I think we all feel that way sometimes.
I've never really struggled with an inaccurate perception of my body.
Even as a teenager, when I had several friends starving or barfing themselves to death, that just wasn't my scene. That kind of self-destruction never appealed to me. I knew I wasn't a twig. I knew I wasn't fat. I was 5'9" and 135 pounds of fitness. I knew I wasn't gorgeous, beautiful, eye-catching. But I knew I wasn't Quasimodo, either. I just worked hard on being the kind of person I wanted to be on the inside, and usually that warded off any feelings of body-loathing. Now don't get me wrong, I had as much self hatred as any other teenager. It was just all directed at myself, not at my body.
Then, like any woman, I was astounded at the destruction done to my body after I had K.J. It was hard to deal with. I didn't feel like my body was strong or fit anymore, but I worked hard to get that back, and it wasn't too terribly hard. I no longer had that teenage body of awesomeness, but I was 5'9" and 145 pounds. Then I had Olivia, and somehow the stretch marks became even more impressive and the tummy got even saggier! Incredible. I didn't like that too much, but what do you do? Plus, the problems my body had after I had Olivia were enough to scare anybody into regaining as much fitness as possible. And enough to make me love having my body at all. I was 5'9" and 145 pounds, and I felt comfortable in my own skin, especially with clothes on.
Then 2009 (let's call it: the year all heck broke loose in our lives) came and brought with it ten pounds of sheer angst that didn't want to leave. Ever. Then I ditched five of those pounds so I felt like I wasn't abusing my body by getting pregnant.
The interesting thing is, with Katelyn it hasn't bothered me at all what bringing her into this world has done to my physical appearance. I earned that extra skin that gravity is pulling down to the earth. I even feel beautiful, because my body was able to grow her and bring her here to be with us, and that is so amazing. I couldn't be happier with that gift. The stretch marks are sort of like my badge of honor, baby. I am woman, hear me roar.
But now the struggle to become fit again takes on a whole new meaning. IT'S NOT SLIDING OFF, MAN. For some mutinous reason, my body wants to hang on for dear life to this 35 pounds! Note to self: gaining 61 pounds per pregnancy may or may not be the way to go when you think about it.
I'm kicking the crud out of myself, but it's not racing off of me. And that brings me to self expectation. What am I really after here? What society tells me is okay, or what my body tells me is okay? Don't get me wrong, I know the weight I am at right now is not healthy. I want my liver to function. I don't want diabetes. So I'm working hard. Zumba and I are almost dating at this point. So I should not hate myself for something that is a process, for something that will take time.
I'd like to be 145 pounds again. I would feel down-right hot. Thankfully, my wrists and ears are already hot right now. Phew! That's a relief.
And finally, a word on body types:
In real life, I wear a size 12. A 10 when I am super-fit. Once, at the end of my junior year of high school, I wore a size 8. But that's not going to happen for me again, and that's okay. And when I read on people.com (my #1 news source) that a size 8 is a plus size, I want to go beat Satan up. 'Cause that's not fat. That would be super skinny on my frame. I'm 5'9", man. My sister is 4'10", and that would look super hot on her, too. We should all love ourselves. That's my point. We should be healthy. We should eat right. We should exercise. All in moderation.
And then, we should just love the shape the good Lord gave us.
I'm gonna work on that.