Friday, May 7, 2010

Just a little something - Ladies, be proud!

I've been hearing a lot in the news about skinny vs. fat, healthy vs. unhealthy. I see the Us and People Magazines where we highlight stories of celebrities who had babies and lost the baby weight in eight weeks. I was relieved today when I saw a picture of Heidi Klum in a bikini and yes, she looks fantastic - but her body has definitely changed since having her four kids. And I thought to myself, she looks good and she's proud of her new body - why can't we all be that way?

I applaud Glamour magazine for their awesome move in having plus size models. Now, I say plus sized loosely because plus is considered anything over a size 12 and yeesh - that seems like a small size to me. But hey, they're making a step. More of their models have curves, have an average weight, and even have - gasp - rolls!!!! (There's me, on the left, in college. Yep - never getting that body back.)

And have you seen the Lifetime channel's new show, "Drop Dead Diva", about the spirit of a skinny model that gets put into the body of a chubby girl, and how she deals with that? Yes - they cast a non-size-two model in a show! And it's a hit! Maybe because us big girls finally like having someone we can relate to on television. And through this strange skinny-girl-in-big-girl-body, the viewers can see what it's like to not have the body you used to love. It's how I feel since I had kids - I'm stuck in a body that really isn't mine, but guess what? It's permament, and so you learn to deal. Her inhibitions creep up once in awhile when it comes to men or colleagues who she believes think less of her because she's big. Like she's not important. But you can see people are drawn to her, because she exudes this confidence and strength and carries herself well - and it really is a great role in a show.

I remember watching Fried Green Tomatoes the first time, and crying during the part where her grocery bag rips and spills, and someone calls her a fat cow. How inconsiderate! No one ever, EVER, deserves to be treated like that. When did we all become so convinced that we are defined by what we look like? Just like my favorite little thought, that diamonds are only worth alot because someone somewhere along the line said they were. So just because in America, someone somewhere decided a size 2 was beautiful, that doesn't mean it can't be changed. We just have to start thinking differently about it.

And I'm not picking on fit or thin girls - if I could be a size 2 I would. And I some amazing fit friends who have never treated anyone any differently because of their size. I'm not saying that we should all eat junk food and beef up either - that's not the case. But you can still be and eat healthy and not be a size 0. (That's me right after college.)

And we should be proud of ourselves and our bodies. Just like Glamour put it - they are not going to turn around and use all plus-size (I really hate that term) models, because the magazine is about WOMEN and women are all different shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures. We need to be the same - we have to start being happy with who we are, because we are all great to begin with.

I'll admit, I haven't been thrilled about my bod the past few years. With my first born, who came along in 2005, I gained alot of weight. 70 pounds - unbelievable! And I publish that in the hopes that others will listen and not do what I did. I thought it was great, I was pregnant, could eat what I wanted and the weight would melt off later -- and I was so wrong!

I wasn't thin before (a size 12 - plus size apparently) - but I felt so fat after the baby. Your stomach does this jiggly thing because there's no bundle of baby in there, I had stretch marks - it was a mess. I can remember looking in the mirror the day after my baby was born and thinking, how would my husband ever find me attractive again?

Baby #2 came three years later, and this time I did much better - 40 pounds (and I had a lot of extra fluid in my stomach, so that accountd for alot of the weight). I lost most of it right away, and am back within 2 pounds of my weight before ever having kids.

But I am not a size 12 anymore.

Your body changes when you have babies. Your hips widen, your feet get bigger. Strange, odd stuff. And some of it will never go away. Try feeding two babies the natural way and see what your beloved chest looks like after it's all done - definitely not like it did as a youngin'!

I'm working on getting back in shape, but I'll let you in on a little secret:

I don't have a personal chef or personal trainer, nor do I have 8 hours a day to work out.

I know - it's a shocker! If I did, then I bet I could be in those magazines touting my accomplishment. But as a full-time working mom, I get up early with the kids, get breakfast on the table, drop them off, go to work, pick them up and in those few precious hours I have at night with them I like to be WITH them. Playing games, going on walks, watching a Disney movie or coloring. I don't have time to be in a gym for an hour or more trying to look like the person I was.

(There's about six years ago - a collarbone. And no wrinkles.) And I shouldn't even phrase it that way - the person I AM. Because I am the same person, I just look a little different. And I thank God for my husband because he loves me no matter what. Do I wonder if secretly he wishes I looked like I used to? Definitely. But he's never made me feel like he does.

And here's another little secret:

I wouldn't trade the body I have now if it meant never having had my beautiful babies.

I call my stretch marks my badges of honor. They remind me every day that it's what is (or was!) on the inside that counts. And that I have had the privilege of having carried two beautiful children for 9 months, when so many women will never get that chance. And that for awhile, it housed two angels who went to heaven too early, which brought about a renewed emotional strength I didn't know I had. I wouldn't change that for all the skinny in the world, because it has all made me understand how very blessed I am and how very strong I am.

I'm doing my best now to eat healthy and get in exercise, but I know that at the rate I'm going, I'm not going to have that 25 year old body back - and so I have to learn to be okay with that. I hear women at the stores when I'm trying on clothes and they're talking about how they're fat or ugly and I wonder, why do we let ourselves feel this way? No one's opinion but our own should matter. I know that's a lot easier said than done in today's world, but it should be a daily truth. Just like life is what we make of it, we are who we make of ourselves, and I think all women are pretty darn beautiful!

I even hear my friends saying things, to which I say, ladies, you are all beautiful, and you all have traits that I wish I did.

Take my friend Donna, who is awesomely adventurous when it comes to hair and always has such cute cuts or color - she's about to dye her hair a funky shade of red, and I love her sassy attitude about it!

Or Cathy, whose smile lights up her face every time I see her (and I mean every single time), and you can't help but smile when you're around her. She doesn't know it, but sometimes when I call her it's simply for the reason that you can feel her smile through the phone, and sometimes I just need that.

Or Patty, who has this awesome curly hair - I'm not kidding, I'd pay a thousand bucks if my hair would turn out curly like that. I'm sure like most people with curly hair she doesn't always love it, but I always have.

Or Carrie, who has the world's best laugh. It's hilarious! And I get to hear it every time I see her and I just love it. She is one of the happiest people I've ever met, and it rubs off on you.

Or Kelli, who has this bigger-than-life personality. She tells you how it is and has no regrets - what a strong trait we should all possess. She isn't rude - just honest. And I LOVE that about her.

And they are all moms who will all attest that your bodies change just like over time our thoughts and likes and dislikes and expectations change. That's just life. But I think all of these ladies can say they are pretty good people who have done really well for themselves, and their busloads of friends will confirm it.

(Here's me now - NOT a size 12 anymore, and thinking I look pretty darn hot, lol!) At some point in time, I've heard all these women, myself included, say something negative about themselves: "I'm too fat" or "I don't like my (fill in the blank)." But here's the fact - we are who we are. We're not all size 2, nor should we be. We all have these great qualities that we should be proud to recognize. Maybe we just all think we'd sound conceited if we said what we liked about ourselves out loud, but it's not - it's just being honest with ourselves. I love my smile - I laugh at how my eyes get squinty and my nose usually wrinkles a little. I love my smile because it means I'm around something or doing something that makes me happy, and I think as long as we have that, we're all okay.

So to every woman out there, remember that no one has the right to make you feel like less than who you are. Don't think about what you looked like 10 years ago because guess what? It just doesn't matter. Unless someone finds the fountain of youth, we're never getting back there! Focus on who you are now, and what's great about you, and you are going to find that other people like you for all the things you think you're not.

And remember that for every person out there who puts you down, there is another who adores you for all the reasons someone else doesn't. It's up to you who you choose to listen to ;) How can we expect others to love us if we don't love ourselves first?

3 comments:

  1. How did you know I needed to hear that?
    I think we all need a litle reminding sometimes that we're beautiful regardless of the size on our clothes.
    Here's something I wrote a few summers ago.
    http://crazywonderfullybusy.blogspot.com/2008/06/turning-lemons-into-lemonade.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like what you wrote Natalie! I totally agree. This whole idea of how we "should" look is forcing so many of us to stop living! how often have we not gone swimming or cried while getting dressed up? ugh! we are all pretty and all hot and damnit, people better start recognizing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, Al. I've gained about 40 or so pounds since I graduated from high school and it's really setting in that I'll just never be that size again. But do I really want to? With those 40 pounds came a much more womanly shape that my husband loves, and you know what, I love (most of) it too. Plus in high school I spent 10 hours a week chasing a soccer ball or a volleyball or dancing. Now I'm lucky if I can get in 1-2 hours a week of running.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails