Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Mommy, You're Getting Fat."-A Journey in Learning to Love My Body

Words you never want to hear your child say to you, "Mommy, you're getting fat". Especially when you have been working with a personal trainer for the past two months; literally killing yourself to look and feel better. Now granted, I did eat Zaxby's fries for dinner last night, and those suckers are loaded with salt, so there may have been massive amounts of bloating going on, but still...she cut me deep. She cut me real deep, Shrek.
Obviously, she had no idea how hurtful those words were. I ignored what she said, and told her to finish getting ready for school. I was at a complete loss for words.
I have never been a Skinny Minnie, by any stretch of the imagination. No one has ever used the words, "bean pole" to describe my physique. I have what you would call an athletic build. Which has always suited me just fine, since I have always been an athlete in some form or fashion.
 I played basketball from 3rd grade all the way through college. I also played softball, volleyball and ran a little bit of track...very slowly I might add.
As an adult, I run long distance. I have participated in several races, and have done alright in some. Winning gift cards and trophies here and there. So, even at the age of 32, I still consider myself to be an athlete.
I never had any issues with how my body was made until recently. 
I don't know what triggered it, but it has certainly been a difficult thing to endure.
I can't help but nit-pick all of the areas of my body that I could improve upon when looking in the mirror.
 My husband isn't the root of the problem. He is always so complimentary of my shape...especially now that I am  working out at the gym like a boss. But even when he compliments me, all that comes to mind is The Princess Bride movie when the wife of Miracle Max comes out screaming, "Liar, Liaaaar!"
This poses a problem. A BIG problem. If I cannot be comfortable in my own skin, how in the world do I teach my children to be, especially my daughter? How can my husband desire his wife when she isn't confident in how she was made. 
The answer is, it can't be done.
Our children and our spouses can see right through us. Even when we think we're hiding our feelings, they know.
Our society is so focused on appearance that you can't turn on the television, read a magazine or book, or look online without running across something that has to do with our bodies.
This time of year, when everyone is making their New Year's resolutions, weight loss is usually at the top of the list. It's so difficult to be surrounded by this day in and day out if you have body image issues.
As I have gotten older, I have tried to make an effort with my appearance. I dress nicer, I wear make-up(which my husband hates), and I fix my hair.
When you have spent most of your life in a gym, those things usually get put on the back burner. I mean, how awesome is it to wipe the sweat off your brow, and then look at your hands and think, ew gross, why is my hand an off shade of "fairly light neutral".
Now that I am not running up and down a court everyday, I try to look presentable.
While I am in the bathroom meticulously applying my eye liner, my daughter is at my hip watching my every move. When I am getting dressed, and checking, and then re-checking myself in the mirror, she is there, memorizing everything I do.

How do I know she is memorizing these moves? Because when I watch her dress herself, she does the exact same thing I do. My own little mini-me. Her outfits never match, but she has taken ever so much care to look exactly the way she intended to. Just like mommy does. And once she is done, she looks up at me with those big beautiful brown eyes, searching for my approval.

She almost always get the response she is hoping long as it's weather appropriate and modest.
Should she be seeking so much approval on this particular subject though?
She's 5 for Pete's sake.
Everything that is important to me, she makes it important to her as well. So as her mother, if I don't want her to worry over such things, then I can't worry over them myself.
Easier said than done, right?
I am going to have to make a conscious effort to celebrate who I am, and be grateful for how God created me.
My thoughts shouldn't be self-centered, but outwardly centered...focusing on how blessed I am to have a wonderful, and caring husband who works so hard every day so that I can stay home to raise our two VERY healthy children. Believing him when he tells me that I look great, instead of doubting him.
I should be grateful for the loose skin that doesn't even resemble a tummy when I lay on my side or the wide hips that will never go back. The loose skin and wide hips are evidence of two of the greatest gifts that I will ever receive.
I shouldn't be put off because I have dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. Those circles are there to remind me that I was the one they came to when they needed to be comforted after a scary dream.
So today, I start my journey of retraining my thoughts and actions. Thanking God everyday for the health He has blessed me with. Thanking Him for the ability to raise both of my children from home, and to teach them to be grateful and proud of the gifts that He has given them.
I will take care of my body with a healthy lifestyle, but not obsess over it like I have in the past. I will help my family to be healthy as well, so that hopefully some day when I am not preparing the meals, they will know how.
And as long as I am happy and healthy, the words "Mommy, You're getting fat" shouldn't cut me as deeply.
Isn't that what we want to be anyway? Happy and Healthy?


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Looking so beautiful. Everyone want looking smart specially than others. On thing I do not understand that you will help your family to be healthy as well, so that hopefully some day when you not preparing the meals, they will know how???

Kopi Luwak

Jan Baker said... Best Blogger Tips

It seems like every where you go and everything you see wants to make you doubt yourself and make you seem like less. You daughter sees it all the time on TV. Listen to your husband and see yourself as he sees you.

Leanne Helums said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks you for writing this. I needed it. You're beautiful inside and out.

Jenn said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, I'm sure just about everyone that reads this can relate to it in some way. It is brave of you to talk about it. Good luck in your journey of love. I appreciate how you have made changing your attitude the priority here, not your body. I am on a similar mission myself; to love what my body can do and the amazing gifts it has given me (two wonderful children) and not to nitpick my troublesome areas. (BTW you look beautiful!)