I have abused my body. I have eaten crap and not exercised and been lazy beyond belief. Yet when I look in the mirror I criticize my poor body for something it has no control over - the insane woman that it's unfortunate enough to house.
I used to be skinny. I HATE that word but it's true. Even when G will say something about how skinny I was when we dated (and not in a mean way, more in a "wow, we have really changed way") I have a hard time not saying I was never "skinny" just not as big. Sadly enough that's because it's how I saw myself. The reality is I wore a size 8/10, and sometimes a 6, and had a 27 inch waist when I got measured for my wedding dress. My wedding dress was a size 8 and when I wore it on my wedding day it was actually loose. I kid you not. Yep, I was skinny and didn't even know it!! Looking back at pictures and videos of that time of my life I want to shout at the silly girl who saw such imperfection in the mirror and tell her to love yourself. To appreciate the beautiful body she had while she had it and revel in it's wonderfulness. Ugh. To be young again.
A few years into marriage and things had gone down hill. And by down hill I mean a weight gain of about 60 pounds. I think I threw up a little in my mouth just writing that down. Wow that sucks. So I gained weight and I got fat. Not morbidly obese but I was definitely in a comfortable 14 at that point. Then my dad died. That started a pretty bad cycle of depression, although I couldn't see it at the time, and bad eating. And by bad eating I mean not always eating much during the day. Over the next year and a half I lost about 45 pounds of the 60 I gained and LOVED the way I looked. I was looking and feeling hot. Go me.
You think that lasted? Of course not. G and I decided we wanted to get pregnant - yay for us! That enthusiasm didn't last long. We were trying and trying, which was fun of course, but nothing productive was coming of it (please pardon the phrasing - he he). Then I was diagnosed with PCOS and went back on the pill. That discouraged me so much, I just wanted to be pregnant and didn't want to face the possibility that it may not happen. For the next 1.5 years I was off and on the pill, hoping we could trigger ovulation and catch it at just the right time for something great to happen. During that time I was not taking care of myself, quite honestly. I was taking a prenatal vitamin but otherwise eating anything I wanted and not really exercising. For a woman whose family is prone to weight problems that is not a good combination. In February 2006 I got my very first BFP. The joy was overwhelming. It had finally happened - I was PREGNANT!! That joy was short lived as I experienced a miscarriage a mere two weeks later. That pain, which sadly so many women know, can only be described as a horrible, private pain that no one should have to go through. So what did I do? I fed my pain with food. And it was yummy, greasy, fatty food too.
Then something amazing and wonderful happened - I got knocked up again and this one didn't end right away. As a matter of fact it was fabulous and perfect. I had morning sickness, which resulted in my losing about 10 pounds but that was just fine by me. Once 20 weeks hit it was smooth sailing to Aiden's arrival. By the time he got here I was only about 25 pounds heavier and pretty darned happy about that. By the time I was 6 weeks postpartum I was within 3 pounds of my starting weight and thought for sure that meant that I would be well on my way to a great weight loss. Who was I kidding?? I used breastfeeding as an excuse to eat anything I wanted, which it so is NOT. Here my body was doing this amazing thing by nourishing my son and I was throwing junk down it.
By January 2008 another miracle happened - I found out I was pregnant again. I was shocked and happy but oh was I fat. When I went for my first check up with the midwife I found out I was starting this pregnancy at almost 20 pounds heavier than I started out with Aiden. Yes, you read that right, I weighed almost as much at the start of Olivia's pregnancy as I did at the end of Aiden's. That was a slap in the face like no other. Given that I didn't want to turn into a major blimp I did try to at least watch some of what I was shoving in to my face and managed to only gain about 15 pounds with Miss Livi. At least that put me at a healthy weight gain and I was lucky enough not to have any blood pressure or blood sugar issues.
I said all of that (and thank you for hanging in there if you were kind enough to read that information dump) to say this - I have been abusing my body. I'm currently at my heaviest weight outside of pregnancy and it sucks. I have been lazy and gluttonous to a body that has been so good to me. This body has carried me through life and kept me going. It has carried two amazing, beautiful babies. It has sustained one baby for the first year of his life and is currently sustaining the other one. I'm done looking in the mirror and hating the swollen, sagging breasts and stretch mark covered, jelly belly that looks back at me. Instead I'm going to get on the elliptical we bought 3 years ago and actually use the thing. I'm going to quit eating crappy McDonald's and put things in my body that nourish and reward it for the amazing vessel that it is. If I'm lucky enough to lose weight doing it then so be it but if I just feel stronger and better then I will be happy. No more abuse, I'm done with that.
*If any of this sounds at all familiar to any of you out there that watch the big "O" talkshow daily, it should. I had a bit of an "ah-ha" moment yesterday and I want to honor that and start doing the things I know are going to make my life better.