Friday, May 1, 2015

The Many Shapes of Me

"You would look so much better if you just lost ten pounds."

"I baked a cake today. I saved you a piece without icing."

"No, you can't get the dress! Fat girls shouldn't wear dresses like that!"

I heard the above comments and many variations of them growing up in my grandparents' home. They formed my opinion of myself and stuck with me.

When I was growing up, I was always bigger than my friends. Looking back at pictures I realize that I wasn't much bigger than most of them, although I felt huge. I had wider shoulders, a curved belly, and round thighs. By the time I reached high school, I was curvy and feminine looking, but all I could see was fat. By the time I graduated, I had gained thirty pounds. Looking back at pictures, I think that is when I finally reached a weight that reflected the way I felt inside - fat and out of shape.

It wasn't until I got married and moved out of my grandparents home that I finally lost weight. I started exercising regularly and bought healthier food for my pantry than what was offered to me as a child.

That is when the rollercoaster of weight loss and weight gain started.

I read this article, The "After" Myth, last week. I agree with the author wholeheartedly. After is a myth.

I have been "before" and "after" so many times. It is ridiculous.

Here is a truth I want you to know: The numbers on the scale and my pants' sizes have never made me happy. Never. "After" never truly came because there was only the now and now never seemed to be good enough.

I spent years feeling not good enough. My shoulders were still too wide, my belly always curved, and my thighs would never gap. Add in the fact that my body, my female body that was meant to conceive and carry babies, would not work in the way that it should. Years without a pregnancy or miscarriage after miscarriage, I would work through the pain with either food or excessive exercise.

The scale would go up. The scale would go down. The hormones would shift. The scale would go up. The scale would go down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And I would never be happy with any of it.

Here is a truth that I finally understand: I am not a weight. I am not a shape. I am not a size.

I am smart, shy, sensitive, and funny. I am lazy, creative, talkative, and moody. I am friendly, faithful, honest, and understanding. All of these things I have been at every weight, size, and shape.

I am me, and my body contains me, but it does not define me.

I finally get it. And it feels good. Right now is good.

Right now, I eat healthy foods and have dessert. Right now, I run and do yoga because I enjoy it. Right now, I look in the mirror and smile because I like what I see. I see me and me is good.
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