There is a benefit to being a fat teenager (although when you’re a teenager it probably doesn’t seem that way): if you are a fat teenager who becomes a skinny adult, you have first-hand knowledge of how much it can suck to not be considered attractive, and that tends to keep you humble. Most of the people I know – myself included – who have slimmed down considerably since those awkward high school years are infinitely more confident than we were…but we never really evolve in to self-absorbed, vain assholes.
Assholes like that made us miserable during a very vulnerable time in our lives. We don’t want to be them. Ever.
But as difficult as it is to be overweight (in myriad ways), it’s devastating to get thin and develop a sense of pride when you look in the mirror…and then fatten up again.
Now I’m not saying being thin is a requirement for having self esteem. I’m just saying for some people, it sure as shit helps. I am one of those people, and I’m not ashamed of it. I am happier when I am at a smaller size.
So when I not only got pregnant but got pregnant with twins, I got big. And I got big quick. And I got bigger than I probably should have because after the girls were born, I still had sixty pounds to lose. I was basically the same weight I had been in high school and one by one, I packed away the articles of clothing I was once able to wear, telling myself I’d wear them again. When life wasn’t so hectic. When the girls were walking. When my schedule at work changed. After the holidays.
Three years later, I wasn’t any smaller. I wasn’t any bigger either, but I definitely wasn’t any smaller.
I thought about it every day, wavering between telling myself I was okay with it, that I had kids so it was understandable, and being thoroughly disgusted with myself. It consumed me.
And then, one day, I stopped. I stopped thinking about it. I stopped beating myself up. I stopped focusing on every bulge and roll and how wide my thighs were when I sat. I just stopped giving a shit because I didn’t seem to have the motivation to fucking do anything about it. I stopped having internal conversations with myself that mirrored the things all those fucking cunt girls used to say to me when I was fifteen. I just…stopped. Because the more I tormented myself over how I looked, the less I cared about changing it.
But then I changed anyway. I dressed up more. Wore makeup more. Put more effort in to myself. I wore jewelry, perfume, and smiled when I entered a room like I owned that bitch. I wasn’t dieting or exercising. I was just not giving any self-pity steeped fucks. And the bulges and rolls and and thighs and belly were all slowly, gradually, little by little…going away. And they went away because I stopped giving so much of a shit about them. I stopped letting them control me. They were just one facet of myself. They were fixable, should I get the will to fix them through hard work and dedication – but if not? Well fuck you, I’m still pretty. Maybe not to you, or her, or him, or them, but to me? I’m still fucking pretty.
Four years after my girls were born, I was nearly back down to the size I was before I became a mother. Not quite, but almost. I could probably be there again if I lost a measly ten pounds…but I don’t give a shit. Five years ago, I hated my body as much as I did in high school and it wrecked me. It made me sad and bitter, and that made me dislike who I was as a person. And that’s not in the least bit motivating. Today, I am perfectly comfortable with the way I look – even knowing I could stand to do a few crunches.
Now I’m pregnant again, and I’m aware I’ll probably have around 15-20 pounds to lose after my son is born. Bring it the fuck on. At 24 weeks, I can still fit in (most of) the clothes I wore six months ago. I still wear makeup and perfume and dresses (without heels). I still look in the mirror and see one good-lookin’ broad, with or without the giant basketball I appear to be smuggling under my shirt. There’s a good chance I’ll never have the body I had at nineteen, and you know what?
I don’t want it. I’m not nineteen anymore. I’m almost 30, I’ve had three kids, I partied in my early twenties, I love the fuck out of high quality, rich food, I don’t like physical activity, and fuck you, I’m cute anyway. If you don’t agree, that’s cool.
I’m the only one who needs to believe it to be happy.