I feel strongly about skinny

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I have strong feelings about this issue of body image and self worth, because I’ve always had strong feelings about this issue.

I was four the first time I asked my mom when I could start losing weight.

Twiggy

I grew up with a mother who grew up in the Twiggy era and has spent much of her life unsure if she was good enough or pretty enough because she was never sure that she was thin enough.

And I think a lot of us where raised with those similar experiences.

As a high schooler,  I was a bitter combination of beginning anorexia and bulimia. I would dance, go to school, run at track practice then head to play rehearsal until 10 at night and attempt to do this on a daily basis on one piece of peanut butter toast, an apple, and a hollowed out bagel with cream cheese on half. Then on weekends, or evenings I was home early enough, I would attempt to run on our treadmill until I could throw up.

By the grace of God I was never successful at this. Turns out, I was a terrible bulimic because I hardly had any gag reflex and could never successfully make myself throw up.

But that didn’t stop me from trying.

Nor did it stop me from running to the farthest Safeway I could find, in my freshman year of college, to buy laxatives. Then turn and run the same distance home to take half a box. The result was so awfully uncomfortable and dramatic that I swore off of laxatives. Still, I fought the feelings of hating the food within me and desperately wanting to be thin enough to achieve my dreams.

How my weight and dreams came to correlate with one another is complicated. As it is for each one of us. I think it’s part the family you live in, part society and culture and part how you respond to those things internally.

Even still, after all of these years of health and working so hard to be more than my body, more than my weight, it still smarts when I hear my friend with a 5 week old say she only has nine pounds left to lose when I, with a 13 week old,  still have double that.

That old rush of embarrassment of my big appetite and a deep need to lose weight flashed across my mind and through my body as I felt my heart sink. Then I felt my heart hold my mind accountable for all of the work I’ve done over the years to be healthy and accountable for all of the words I say here. So instead of crying in the shower, I ate half of the bar I was emotionally eating and put in a little time on the elliptical.

If my goal is to be the healthiest, most engaging, kind, laughing woman I can be then I made the right choices today. Though, in truth, the feelings of not losing this baby weight fast enough are still smoldering a little.

Jessica Alba 3 months postpartum with second child

The battle for emotional security in a world steeping with images of taut post pregnancy tummies is a battle fought daily by most of us. Some days I lose the battle and walk around in silent shame because my clothes still don’t fit, but today I won one for us.

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Go out, be more than your weight, more than your body and win your battles today too!

Or at least put up a hell of a fight trying.

 

 

 

 

For more information on eating disorders please go to the National Eating Disorders Association and  if you have an eating disorder yourself, tell someone. Telling someone saved me from falling into patterns  that I would have never recovered from. Tell someone and get help.

Screw Skinny

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Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
That’s a damn lie.

Thin equals pretty.
Also a damn lie

Your weight is who you are.

One of the biggest damn lies I cant think of.

Little girls on a scale

Did anyone see this today?

Lada Gaga’s Stomach

Lady Gaga looking emaciated with her concave stomach and xylophone of ribs. Why is this beauty? And don’t tell me art because that’s crap and its dangerous.

The images being put out for us to see and gawk at and try to emulate are false. It is hard work to be a woman, what with all of the plucking and waxing and make up applying and hair to be done. It’s fun work to be a woman and I think it’s innate in us to want to look and feel beautiful. My daughters are 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 and the moment their nails are dry they are shoving them into their baby brothers face asking him ” Do you like my nails?” and ” aren’t they pretty?”

So I’m not bashing beautiful nor the desire to be and feel beautiful. I’m bashing the skinny is everything crap that we and our daughters are fed day in and day out from the likes of Lady Gaga to Brooke Burke ( yes she is stunning. But lets not pretend that after 5 kids that body put itself back together like that without a good team of doctors and lasers) to Kim Kardashian who won’t even be seen outside of her house until she has attained the unattainable postpartum body through in home personal training, night nurses and meal deliveries.

Weight matters when it is unhealthy. Your looks matter if you are unhappy with them. What doesn’t matter, or rather what shouldn’t matter, is perfection. Tracy Anderson, trainer to the stars and who’s DVDs I own and use from time to time and find to be a good hard workout, claims that she has found the method ” that makes perfection possible”. According to her method, that means two hours of working out a day on a 700 calorie a day limited foods diet. Now you can bet your bottom dollar you’re going to lose weight and few dress sizes on something like that.

But what are you really gaining with this type of “perfection”? Are all of your deep seeded insecurities gone? Is your marriage fixed? Are you all of the sudden happy with who you really are?

Because if the number on your scale or on the tag in your pants is what you base those things on your screwed. If your entire happiness or self worth is wrapped up in how much you weigh and how you look, best of luck to you, because you won’t ever be truly content, happy, or satisfied.

But, if you can come to grips with the shape of your hips and the freckles on your face you just might still come out on top. If you put your efforts into being a well read woman, a kind woman, an interesting woman, a strong,steady and wise woman you will be the winner, year after year after year. You will triumph over those doubts and insecurities, find success in the broken relationships and truly get to become exactly who you want to be regardless of your dress size or weight.

Go out and be beautiful! Try the new skin care line, play with makeup and hair colors. Enjoy fashion. Do your workouts for fun and health and because you like how it makes you look and feed. Always opt for the uncomfortable but fancy shoe and screw skinny, for the sole sake of being skinny, to its sticking post. Be healthy, if that means losing weight I love weight watchers and Paleo. If it means gaining a few pounds I prefer lemon drop martinis and chocolate.

And by all means, be careful what you say to yourself and about yourself in front of you daughters.

Girls on Stairs in summer

Because she might grow up to look just like you.

Revolving Nap Time Door

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There is a revolving nap time door in my house from about 11:30-2:30 every day.

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It starts with the meltdowns at lunch over who has more apple juice and whether or not I put water into the juice cup of #2. This is quickly followed up by quips from #1 about how she has more and as a side note, she will also be the first one done. About this time #3 wakes up from the cacophony of whines and complaints and begins to chime in with his own hunger needs.

Clearly it is nap time.

For naps to happen in this home #2 must go down first. Must. If #2 refuses to take the nap that I would trade my second favorite pair of shoes to take, all nap demands by me are futile. #2 will cry, #1 will boss her around endlessly with “get back in your rooms” and “don’t look at me’s” and #3 will be left to cry in some moderately safe place until I can sit still to feed him.

So begins the revolving nap time door.

I give #2 her beloved pacifier put her into her bed.

Go get #1 settled into her rest time chair, say my silent prayer to God above that she falls asleep.

Reach for #3 but get sidetracked by having to put #2 back in bed.

Repeat this process 4 times.

Finally sit down and feed sweet baby #3. Halfway through his feeding realize that I’ve been bamboozled and go put #2 back into her bed, again. This time threaten to take away whatever afternoon activity she is telling me she is ready for.

Find #1 trying to pick up #3 because she is “his teacher Mom!”. Smile and thank the lord that he is such a mellow little mister and finish his feeding.

Find myself cautiously hopeful as #2 is actually asleep and #3 is on his way.

Lay sweet baby #3 down twice before he stays asleep.

Come out to find #1, again, not in her rest time chair, but in the pantry pleading for snacks right now because she’s so hungry. Know thats not true and return her to her chair and invite Dora to come babysit for a few minutes while I grab more coffee and check on my two sleepers.

Hazel and Bo Nap

By the time #1 is asleep #2 is up…which means she will ensure that all three team members are back up with her in order to fully enjoy the afternoon.

The revolving nap time door is a squeaky one that leads me to eat chocolate in the pantry.

At least its dark chocolate..so its totally healthy.