I was 5 years old when I became aware my body and weight were not ideal. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as a mother of a 5 year old daughter and 3 year old twin girls, that sh*t is f*cked up.
I was posing for my first ballet recital photo and I heard a voice call out, “Suck in your stomach!” I did and the resulting photo shows my ribs and a plastered on smile. There is no joy in my face. To be fair, this could be because I hated ballet class (see picture above). Yet, at the super tender age of 5, with spindly arms and legs, I thought, “My body is not good enough.” And thus began my dysfunctional relationship with food and my distorted self-image (is this a rite of passage for all women in this country?)!
Fast forward 30 years and I feel differently (THANK GAWD). I look at my body and think, “Well, this is as good as it’s going to get, and I look pretty damn good.” I look good for being the mom of 3, most notably a mom of twins.
My stomach is where I am most sensitive and critical. Gee wonder why – see 5 year old Michelle above. But my belly carried an octopus (8 limbs between 2 babies), so at 35 years old, I just can’t hate. Logistically speaking, my body has done everything I needed it to do in this lifetime with panache!
My husband loves my soft curves and I totally see why. Who would want to be intimate with someone who feels hard and pointy? Do I look like the body double for a svelte co-ed? Hell no. But I NEVER did. There are days I’ll rock a two-piece bathing suit, but I definitely feel more comfortable in my one-piece (we all have bloaty days).
What really hit this home was the fact my weight has been within the same 3 lb range for the past 3 years. I went to my annual well visit with my primary care doctor, and saw my medical chart to confirm this. My weight has been consistent.
How much time and energy have I wasted trying to move the number on the scale when my body is clearly content where it is?
So I am done. D.O.N.E.
I’m waving the white flag on thinking about my weight. I’m surrendering and letting go of the stress and internal turmoil of weight loss. As far as my doctor and health indictors are concerned I am very healthy. My BMI is within normal/healthy range (<25, I am 5’6″ and 146 lbs), my cholesterol is less than 200, and my blood pressure is great. I’m hitting all the health makers, I’m knocking them out of the park.
So we can check weight loss off my “To Do” list. On to body acceptance (dare I say confidence?) and eating well without the cockamamie diet structure of restriction.
I am hyper-aware of the fact I am my kids’ role model in EVERYTHING. My oldest says she wants to work with me when she’s a grown-up (I can dream). My 3 year old was watching me eat salad, and then proceeded to bogart my bowl of leafy greens. I was overjoyed to share. My kid is eating salad!!
Message received: my daughters emulate whatever I do.
I am totally fine with being a “less than” mother when it comes to extra-curricular activities and educational outings, but having unconditional love and acceptance for yourself is where I gladly pour all my energy.
How I behave and the image I project to the world and to myself is my daughters’ blueprint for womanhood.
I don’t want to screw this up.
Stay tuned for Top 12 Things I have learned about weight loss and healthy living in the past 30 years tomorrow!