Monday, June 9, 2014

Girl Named Not Skinny Mom

Okay, this post is pretty hard for me to put out there, it's almost like I'm publicly admitting that I know I'm fat. I've always been overweight, but it's never really bothered me. I have what I like to call "reverse anorexia" because instead of looking in the mirror and seeing a fat person, I look in the mirror and see someone much thinner than I actually am. I've always thought that my personality and intelligence would get me far enough that I don't have to be "skinny". I have a Master's degree, a great job, a beautiful family, I consider myself quite successful, and my weight has never been figured into the equation. I never though having abnormally high self-esteem would be a hindrance. 

Before I got pregnant with Chloe I had lost 40 pounds running and doing Weight Watchers (and was still considered overweight, but I thought I looked pretty darn good!) and ran a half marathon. Running is something I love, and have completed many races of all distances. While I was pregnant I gained about 55 pounds, and still have 35 of it left to lose. I'm currently 4 sizes bigger than I was last May. I have found it hard to find time to run with a new baby, but I owe it to myself to get back into it again. It frustrates me because I feel like I worked so hard to lose it, and now I'm losing the same weight all over again. But I did it once, I know I can do it again. It's just so hard when my family is eating ice cream, or cheeseburgers at a BBQ, or pizza, and I know I shouldn't eat those things but I splurge so I can eat with them. Then I don't lose weight. 

That brings me to what prompted this post. Friday I was driving with the girls in the car. We passed a pool with a waterslide, and they asked if adults can go down the slide. I told them yes, they can. Then Claire said "You can't go down it because you will break it. It's only for skinny moms." Now, she's 4 years old, so she just speaks the truth. As I tried not to cry in front of them, I tried to kindly explain that people come in all shapes and sizes. That just because one person is bigger than another doesn't mean they are any better or worse. The main thing that matters is being healthy (which although I'm overweight, I get yearly physicals and every level is perfectly healthy), what matters is how you treat people and if you're a good person or not, and we should never judge anyone else because of their physical characteristics. I know overweight people that are absolutely beautiful, and "skinny" people that are quite ugly, simply because of how they treat people and their personalities. It hit me hard though, because although I've never really worried about my size, it never occurred to me that my girls have noticed that I'm bigger than other moms. I don't want them to have the "fat mom", I don't want them to ever be embarrassed of me. I want them to be healthy and to have me as an example of being healthy (regardless of what size "healthy" is). 

Then I thought about it, and I don't have any friends that are overweight (and I have a lot of friends, if I do say so myself). I recently connected with a friend that does, and she's been a great support. Every one of my other friends is thin, an acceptable weight, a few are what I think to be too thin! My point is, I don't have anyone to talk to, anyone who knows the struggle of trying to lose weight and project a healthy body image to 3 daughters. Then when I have friends that are really thin talk about how they need to lose weight, it falls on deaf ears. I do know that every woman has their own body issues, and I am by no means dismissing theirs or saying they should be happy with their body, I just mean it's hard for someone who legitimately needs to lose weight hear someone that is so thin talk about losing 5 pounds. 

I also don't want my husband to have a fat wife. I know that he loves me regardless, and he knows that I'm losing baby weight, but it doesn't seem fair for me to do to him. He didn't marry a fat person, so it's not fair for me to stick him with a fat wife 12 years later. The bottom line is, while I was losing weight already, I'm now even more motivated for my family. It's just SO hard, because I don't want my girls to always know me as being on a diet, and always trying to lose weight. I'm careful not to mention anything about being heavy, or trying to lose weight. When I do talk about it, I emphasize being healthy, eating healthy, having more energy, etc.

There. I've put it out there. Now that I've said it, you all know I'm overweight ;) But now I'm more accountable because you all know, it will help motivate me to lose the weight so I can show everyone it's possible. 

Have any of you struggled with this? Does anyone have any words of encouragement or tips on how to deal with this issue with your children? Do you think you can be happy if you're overweight or will society not allow it?  

P.S. I think this girl is awesome, and I want to be like her when I grow up! :)

Plus Sized Pole Dancer

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