When I turned 29, I made a decision.
No more hating my body.
I had spent the past 21 years not loving my body. Yes, you did the math right. My first memories of wishing I was thinner are from when I was 8 years old. I really wanted a flat stomach and I have never had one. Well, never that I remember.
At 8 years old I had a little pooch under my belly button and at 8 years old I hated it.
I wanted to have the slim, straight figure of the girls in the Mattel commercials on TV and in the clothes and bathing suits in the Sunday circular ads.
At 8 years old I thought I’d be happier and better if I was thinner.
That is so sad.
I spent the next 21 years dieting on and off. Always worried about sucking my stomach in and not letting my thighs fully squish down when I was sitting next to someone else. Especially someone whose thighs were smaller than mine.
(Andy actually had thinner thighs than me in our senior year of high school. Mind you he was a wrestler who was always worried about making weight. And he was a buck forty five soaking wet. Not a good comparison, but it drove me crazy.)
I’d kill for my “senior year thighs”. They were awesome.
I decided when I turned 29 that enough was enough. I was done with self-loathing. I was done with obsessing about my weight. I refused to waste any more energy hating my body. No more diets to make me thinner so I would be happier, prettier, more successful…fill in the blank with any other crazy thing.
I wanted to get a handle on that nonsense before turning 30 and I did. I decided to eat better to be healthier, more energetic, and stronger. I decided to work out because I loved how it made me feel and how it boosted my mood.
Sure, I lost a few pounds as a by-product, but my motive was pure. I realized that being thinner would not make me better.
I realized that being thinner would not make me better.
I also realized that complaining about being overweight wouldn’t do anything to change it. So I might as well be happy with myself rather than complain without being willing to make a change.
I was not at my high school weight
or my wedding weight
I lived. I loved the body that I had because it was strong and healthy and beautiful. Not perfect.
Fast forward 2 years and I’ve definitely struggled. I’ve been pregnant, I’ve breastfed, I’ve stress eaten to medicate my working mom woes. I’ve quit the gym to save time and money.
I’m not where I want to be.
But, I’m not giving myself permission to go back to the hatred.
I want to be an example of beauty and confidence to my little Grace. I want her to know it’s important to be healthy and active, but that value and beauty are not determined by the number on the scale or the size on the tags.
I’m going to love these droopy boobs, thick thighs, and muffin top. I’m going to make decisions to eat healthy to show her how it’s done. I’m going to keep riding my bike and going for walks and doing workout DVDs with Andy because it’s good for me and I enjoy it.
I’m not going to fall back into the trap. She deserves better than that from me.
Heck, I deserve better than that from me.