Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened...

not on the way to the forum, but it was funny nonetheless.

I have spent many many years of my life hating my body. I was always the "chubby" friend. In part this was because my friends were teeny tiny, but I have always been the big girl. I towered over everyone in my third grade class except for one black boy who was only taller than me because his hairstyle went two inches above his head. That was my profile.

In psychology, it is a commonly accepted fact that in this society, girls who get big fast have a harder time than those who stay small longer. The reverse is true for boys. In our society (and probably in many societies) boys should be big and strong and girls should be petite. I learned this for the first time in one of my classes and my only thought was, "duh!" Well, that and, "I pay to learn this stuff?"

I did everything I could think of to control my body so that I would look decent. After I got married, I started counting calories and riding my bike regularly, and that, combined with my job teaching horseback riding (which included riding horses and cleaning the barn) got me down to a size 10 pants. Woohoo! I was thrilled. And still not content. I still hated my body.

Fast forward to pregnancy... I apparently looked better than a lot of girls do when they're pregnant. I had many people tell me I didn't look pregnant even at 6 months. But I still got pretty large. After Cara was born, I didn't lose the weight. I had gained 30 pounds, and didn't have a way to work it off. I still have a belly. I have flabby skin and stretch marks. I don't fit into 95% of my clothes.

And somehow, for some bizarre reason, right now I love my body. I don't necessarily love that I'm flabby and out of shape, and I get annoyed that I don't fit into my clothes, but I love my body. I've tried to get back into hating it for the past 5 months, and it didn't work. Then again, hating it into submission before pregnancy wasn't the most successful thing I've done, either.

Maybe I just knew that I was going to lose control of my body for 9 months, and so during that time I let my hate fade. Maybe my emotions know more about what's important than my logic does, and is applauding me for using my body for something better. I really don't know what's going on. It's really wierd.

Regardless, I kindof like it. It's like a guilty pleasure... loving my imperfect body.

Oh, I'm not giving up. I'm still learning what I can about eating healthy, and I'm doing what I can to exercise right now. I recently saw a friend who went down to a size 2 from her familiar size 10 and looked absolutely amazing. She's my inspiration right now, and I find myself daring to think that maybe I could get all the way down to 150 pounds. That would mean losing 55. Who knows? Maybe my body will feel the love and work that much harder.

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