Ok, so this is a super tough subject for me and I’m completely torn by my words, my inner feelings,and memories of past. ie. during this pregnancy, and probably the last two, I’ve had countless sweet, beautiful people ask me how I’m doing. My reply, “BIG”, what I really mean, is ” I feel great, full of life, curvy, sexy and beautifully feminine” but instead I shorten it and by default what comes out of my mouth sounds ridiculously negative. Do I feel fat? Absolutely not! I’m very keenly aware of the fact that I’ve gained weight, as all healthy preggos who want to grow a healthy baby should. Have I ever felt fat in my life? Truly felt fat. No. But have I ever eluded to the fact that I’d rather be skinnier, of course. Does this make sense? No.
Let’s back up. I’m tall, 5’11, I’m muscular, I am, after all a yoga teacher, and I have HUGE feet. I’ve always been taller, even when I was in elementary school, I was head and shoulders above a lot of kids, I have never been fat. Everyone gets a little chunky right before and during puberty, that’s normal. But when you’re growing up with a female role model who subscribes to every fad diet known to man, calls herself fat, and most certainly let’s you know if and where you’ve gained a few extra pounds it’s nearly impossible to escape with a healthy sense of self let alone body image. So I spent years of my life assuming she was right. Eating disorders, diet pills, excessive exercise, self deprivation, drugs. You name it, I did it, and I absolutely got skinny but my heart, health and head paid the price. Fast forward a few years and I had two babies and was in an absolutely miserable space, 7 years of unhappy marriage, a shit ton of wine and baking sweets had transformed my once, knock out frame to squish, I wasn’t fat, I was soft and unhappy. As soon as I detangled myself from that unhappy relationship and pried the wine bottle out of my hand I instantly dropped 20-30 pounds. My yoga mat was my therapist not a magnum of sauvignon blanc. I met Jake and fell in love and was ( and still am!!) truly happy for the first time in my life! He has always been in excellent shape and his good habits rubbed off, I quit eating so much crap, I started working out, but most importantly I heard how beautiful I was to him! I still had that same horrible self language but I was, and still am, learning to get rid of it! The point is I felt better about myself. I saw the strength and the beauty he sees. I get the opportunity to channel my words to match my true feelings, it sounds super easy but it’s really hard.
Last winter I got hit with the flu and bronchitis on top of which I learned I had asthma, I couldn’t get out of bed for three weeks and dropped about 30 pounds that I didn’t need to lose. I caught myself really liking how skinny I had gotten, I obviously didn’t want the flu, or to lose 30 pounds but I hate to admit, it felt good. Now fast forward to being 5 months pregnant and looking in the mirror to see a fuller figure, I have to stop myself from freaking out. I’ve been pregnant twice before, I’ve lost the baby weight twice and I know I can do it again, this extra stuff is not only temporary but it’s necessary. So it’s still a constant struggle to maintain balance, to tap into self love and compassion, but I’m not just doing it for myself, it’s for these three little angels who look up to me, I refuse to pass along that body shaming to my daughters!
So what if we all changed the way we spoke about our bodies? What if we all chose to see our strengths and positive attributes, what if we all decided to pass along that nugget to our daughters and sons instead of the F word?