“Mommy, why did you take off that pretty outfit you had on.. you looked so pretty?”
“Because it made me look fat. I need to lose weight. As of monday, I start my diet”- my mother responded.
Nothing my mother ever put on made her happy with her body’s reflection in the mirror.
She would almost always wear black because she said it made her look “thinnier”
She would (and still does) have a strategically placed pillow on her lap when she sits on the couch.
To hide her thighs.
I realized from a very young age that I should be very body conscience.
I will NEVER forget getting on the scale at the age of 9 and seeing triple digits.
I weighed 100 lbs.
I started to cry hysterically.
I ran to my mother to tell her about my bod’ys growing numbers.
She told me not to worry, and that one day100 lbs will seem like a small number.
I don’t recall her often telling me I needed to lose weight.
I was pleasantly plump.
I went on my first diet when I was 10.
I remember telling my best friend about it, and she was in shock.
I was one of the first girls in my class to even utter that word.
Those were not kid words, those were adult words.
I didn’t exactly know what a diet was. I thought it only meant no junk food.
But that didn’t last long.
What kind of 5th grader can resist snacks?
And so the weight started to pile on.
I gained an additional 50 lbs by the time I hit 12.
I had developed.
I had growing mountains on my chest.
I hated my body.
I remember having to wear my mother’s clothes sometimes.
I also remember being called out about that by the most popular girl in class.
I was mortified.
As the years progressed, I gained an additional 40 lbs.
I was overweight.
My BMI was too high.
I had a 14 cm growth in my uterus and I didn’t even know it because I had a fat belly.
I was out of touch with myself.
I hated myself.
I blamed my weight for being the reason why boys would date me but not publicize it.
My weight consumed me.
After the cyst was removed I started losing weight.
I realized what healthy eating was really all about, and the weight melted off.
I was thin.
For the first time in my life, I was a thin adult.
I was 23.
Even though you lose weight, it takes A LOT of time for your mind to catch up to your reflection.
I knew I was thin, but I also told myself that I could have been thinner.
I berated myself.
I never allowed myself to wear a sleeveless top.
I never allowed myself to wear a bathing suit to the beach, because I had cellulite, or because I still had some extra lbs to drop.
I loved the water and I didn’t let myself go swimming.
I would tell people that it was because I didn’t like the beach, or the water.
But it was a lie.
I didn’t like my body.
Not being able to get pregnant didn’t help my body image issues.
When I finally did become pregnant with my beautiful daughters, it was as if a light switch had turned on inside of me.
I was loving my growing body.
I was creating life… with every pound I had put on.
I gained 60 lbs.
Normal for twin pregnancies, but my girls weren’t full term.
And after they were born it took me a long time to lose most of that weight.
I am still NOWHERE near what I was prior to becoming pregnant.
I still have about 15lbs to lose.
But you know what?
I am OK WITH IT.
I am, for the first time in my life…fine with my weight.
Fine with my body.
I no longer obsess.
This past summer, I got up one morning… shaved my legs (which is a feat in itself).. put on a SLEEVELESS TOP, a swimsuit underneath and took my daughters to the beach.
And after the beach, we went to the pool….
I wore a bathing suit (albeit one that looked like it came from the 1920’s)- and got in the water with my daughters.
I had NEVER felt so liberated in my life.
Because at the end of the day- at the end of the day I am my daughters role model.
It is I who will help mold their body image.. their body confidence.
And you know what?
I don’t want them to remember a mommy who refused to put on a swimsuit and get in the water…
I want them to remember a mommy who proudly wore her 1920’s swimsuit and had fun with them… body image issues by damned!