Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If I was a celebrity, the news of the week would be that I finally hit my pre-pregnancy weight this week, two and a half months after Daphne's birth. But, since I'm not a celebrity (whew!) I can shout from the rooftops that it is a freaking miracle for me to already say I hit that beautiful number on the scale so soon. Honestly, it took me by surprise, and I can only credit my giant daughter who breastfeeds non-stop for the accomplishment. And don't think I don't thank the Lord for Spanx every day also. (I'm not even joking).

But, don't hate me so fast. And stop rolling your eyes.

The truth of the matter is that I gained some weight RIGHT before getting pregnant - so it is a bit easier for me to exclaim this truth sooner (sneaky, I know!) So, I'm not at my "goal" weight - just my pre-pregnancy weight. And let's face it - usually we all have a "goal" weight that is somewhere between unrealistic and a hot fudge brownie...and that brownie almost always wins (darnit).

I know what you're thinking..."Emily, who cares?" I get it. If you are female, if you have kids or not, chances are good that you are either trying to maintain your weight or trying to lose weight, or at the very least praying that the pumpkin spice latte you had this morning won't stick to your thighs the way it stuck to your blouse when you spilled it on your way into work this morning. Am I at least a little bit right? We all think about our weight. And it totally sucks.

Let me see if I can peg you down even further. (We are in this together now, so hang on.)

Weight is a very personal and touchy subject. (duh) It has most likely fluctuated over the years for most of you, and we all commiserate in the fact that it will continue to ebb and flow as we get older. (Sigh).

We all have a couple friends in our lives who absolutely can eat anything they want (is she scarfing down another bag of Cheetos? and is that regular Coke?) and never gain an ounce, and we pride ourselves in the fact that we don't claw their eyes out every time we see them cause we are just so gosh darn jealous of their stupid metabolism.

We cringe at the sight of those ridiculous skinny jeans - the ones that are obviously meant for toddlers and not grown women - and wonder what the statute of limitations is on that belly band still at the top of our underwear drawer just in case we're having a "bloatish" day.

We are almost always in the mood to shop for shoes or jewelry, because, frankly, they won't make us want to strangle the retail associate in the store after we try them on.

And, we love to watch makeover shows because we never ever look nearly as bad as the "before" and we truly believe somewhere deep inside that we could absolutely pull off the "after" if someone would just watch my kid for a good three hours so I could dig out that curling iron from underneath the bathroom sink somewhere among the 8 bottles of firming lotion that promised me a new rear end (and lied).

So yeah - it gets touchy when some chick who just reached her pre-pregnancy weight has the gall to blog about it and open up a cavern of insecurity among those who may or may not be turning her picture into a dartboard right now. (What is she trying to say? Get to the freaking point, blog girl.)

Ah yes, my point. This could be a post all about how kindness comes in all sizes and so do we - so let's all get along and if you can't say anything nice...then shop online, I guess. But, it's not. Honestly. Because like it or not, in reality, we aren't at all concerned about whether so-n-so fits into her jeans from high school or not. We couldn't care less what who's-her-face ate for lunch. And we don't have the time to listen to what's-her-butt go on and on about how she is giving up sugar for the zillionth time. We are all far to concerned about our own selves! It's nice to get compliments from others, sure, but it's worth so much more to actually believe them...and (dare I say it?) compliment ourselves.

Pat yourself on the back. Go ahead. (Really, no one's looking, do it.) You are average - and awesome. Tada! But, don't take my word for it, take your own. Chances are, you are smaller than some people you know, and larger than others. Some people consider you skinny, others might think that skirt you're wearing is doing you no favors (heyyyy! sorry.) And truth be told, almost no one who looks at you can tell the difference between your "good looking" days and your "shlumpy" days...but you. See - nice and average! Hooray!

I may be delightfully surprised to have reached this pre-pregnancy weight before I thought I would - who knows, maybe I kept low expectations so I could celebrate more easily. (I'll be writing more in the future about body image and how our views shift through pregnancy and childbirth, by the way.) And as much as I strive to stay realistic, balanced, and happy - I'm not immune to the lies that if I don't look a certain way I won't be "good enough". So - I have to vaccinate myself against those lies. Counteract them with truth, relating to others, and simply believe that my worth is not found in an unattainable stack of size 6 jeans at the GAP.

We got flu shots this weekend. (Warning: obvious analogy ahead.) And just like I don't want to get the flu, so I get the vaccine - I don't want to slip into the all-consuming thought process of watching numbers on a scale go up and down and up and up and down (and so on) each week, quietly judging myself between meals and outfits. UGH. What a waste of mental energy. That is so "1997" for me - and I'm in my thirties now (thank you very much) and I'm just not into the whole self-loathing bit anymore. But you can't just take a shot of truth and suddenly feel great about yourself all the time. Maybe not. I'll admit it is a life-long process for myself and for most of us gals out there.

So, in the meantime - of us all learning how to love ourselves and our imperfect bodies - let's take the time to believe one compliment someone tells us this week. C'mon - someone is going to compliment you on something this week. Believe them. And here's one for starters...my, you read that blog so well and didn't throw one thing at the screen when she talked about her weight - good for you! :)

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

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