Part of being kind to ourselves, is watching the things we say about ourselves.
The word “fat” is thrown around so carelessly by some who are nowhere near the definition of such. When I hear, “I’m so fat”, I immediately want to ask people if they FEEL overweight because the following doesn’t automatically make anyone a fat person:
- if you love food
- if you’re pregnant
- if you can’t fit your clothes (you might need to buy a 6 or 14 instead of the 4 or 12 you’re forcing yourself into)
- if you’re not having a photogenic day and none of your selfies live up to your posting requirements
- if you’re out of breath after making several trips up the stairs with groceries
The list can grow amazingly long depending on how critical we are of our body and unfortunately, of others.
Growing up bigger than my sister (she was a 00 until she turned 17 and was a 3 until she got pregnant with my nephew at 18), my family considered me the “fat” one. My grandfather called her Po Gal, because she was thin, and called me Fatso, ONLY because I was bigger than her. I HATED THAT SHIT. My friends were usually smaller than me but they were also much shorter. Being a size 2, 4, and 6 is pretty normal when you’re 5"-5'5". I’ve been 5'7.5" since I was 12. Between the age of 12 and 18, I went from a size 6 to a 12. NORMAL. Between the age 18 and 30, I’ve been a 12-16. Most women (not all) will admit to weight fluctuating based on medication (see: birth control for #1 way to gain weight that has nothing at all to do with eating), hormonal changes, stress, menstrual cycles, and just plain old fashion growth. I was 29 when I got pregnant and a size 10/12. My pregnancy wardrobe consisted of sundresses and leggings. I lost 25 lbs the first trimester and didn’t gain it back until my last trimester, in addition to 20 more pounds. By the end, I’d only gone up two sizes. NORMAL.
Even though I lost all but 15 lbs of my pregnancy weight, I sunk into this ugly depression and stopped eating regularly. Started drinking a hell of a lot more and exercised even less. So I gained weight. I’m now a size 18, teetering close to a 20. I am going to lose this weight because I have back and knee injuries from when I was a teen that cannot sustain all of this...not because I think being fat is disgusting. I’m too heavy. Some days I DO feel fat because I AM fat. Other days? I feel fine in my fatness. Ashamed? Never.
Even though I’ve mentioned other things than pregnancy, I called this “being pregnant is not being fat” because that is how a lot of people in society view pregnancy. As a bunch of fat women who are unnecessarily overeating. When I was pregnant the doctor had to remind me to eat MORE because I wasn’t eating enough. The extra eating we do as a mom is not us being a “fatty” or a greedy “fat ass”. We’re feeding our baby, a living, growing organism that needs nourishment just like any other human being. And we gotta stop automatically associating eating food with being fat. People get overweight and obese from other things too and it makes us have unhealthy relationships with food.
But I get it, we can’t let go of how our bodies used to look prior to pregnancy. If our bodies didn’t change to host this growing tiny human, we wouldn’t be able to sustain all the changes and growth that will continue for nine months. Our pregnancy would more than likely terminate early if our body didn’t change. It adapts to bring another life into the world and as difficult as the change can be, we owe it to ourselves to be kind. It encourages other people to look at pregnant women different also. After giving birth, our bodies will take a minute to get back to something we might consider normal but if it doesn’t, it isn’t the end of the world. I had to accept that my boobs weren’t going to be those perky sweater puppies they once were. They were now full, low-hanging fruit of life. Not everybody gets to breast feed their baby because they don’t even produce milk. I could have fed an entire small country of children with all the milk coming out of these jugs. My stomach? Oh, the agony of stretch marks, right? I’ve had stretch marks since I was 8 yrs old because me and my siblings had ridiculous growth spurts. So the additions to my belly? They’re part of life. I don’t necessarily like the after effects of the c-section but I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl and she rarely gets sick, to this day.
We’re only born with one body. If we’re lucky and get some money to create another one, we get two. Kidding but seriously, this is part of treating our body well. Loving it in its entirety. Not calling ourselves things we REALLY aren’t and embracing what we truly are. The shit is contagious and it wouldn’t kill any of us to be a little less of an asshole and a lot more compassionate. Plus, we need to teach our children (girls AND boys) to be comfortable in their skin, not to paint or adopt mental pictures of themselves that aren’t true, and to love themselves.
Not unless we’re dead set on raising the future assholes of America.
it’s my hope that we choose to do better.