I've always struggled with my body image. I grew up in a house where I was constantly told how heavy I was. I blame my mother, she blames her father. My grandfather bought my grandmother a new car when she lost 50 lbs. That's just a little back story on how important weight/size was in the family growing up.
My senior year I had slimmed down a bit, yet I still thought I was too big (and I was larger than most of my friends in the “in-crowd”). I wish I knew how small I was and felt better about myself then.
|My senior year (2004) with my sister|
My husband is much smaller than I am. While dating, my grandmother asked me many times “He's okay that you're so much bigger than he is”? and similar questions. This isn't because my she's against “fat” people, but because my grandfather has always treated her as though it's awful that she's “fat”. When I answered “he's happy with me just as I am” she would say how nice that is and good for me for finding someone that's okay with my size.
We're going to skip ahead to more recent times. I gained quite a bit of weight- about 60 lbs after high school. I tried weight watchers and that worked well when I stuck with it. Mostly, I think I just need to exercise. I went from playing 2 sports in high school to being a bump on a log basically.
|My sister and I in 2011|
Everyone talks about making sure that little girls grow up knowing that the media is not an accurate representation of what women look like. What we forget is that our boys need to learn this too. I still have serious issues with the way my body looks (and that was before having 2 children via c-section). One thing I have to remember though is that I'm raising the next generation. We need the boys of that generation to know that women are beautiful in every size. I do not want my boys to hear me complain about how fat I am or how I wish I looked like this or that. Charlie is repeating everything Mommy says lately (and usually things he shouldn't). I don't want him to learn this habit and think that other girls are fat because that's what mommy said. He needs to know that Daddy loves Mommy and that Mommy loves Mommy. This awesome body has carried two children, it hugs them, and nourishes them. When Owen sees Mommy, he's not going to think, “Wow, mom could lose a little weight”, he's thinking “dinner”. And Charlie's not comparing me to every other woman he sees, he's thinking he wants to cuddle and sit on my lap.
I may not be proud of my body, but I will not teach my boys this. Hopefully they grow up thinking mommy is beautiful and confident. Hopefully they will see me as a good example of how to treat themselves and how to treat the future women in their life.
This is advice I need to remember to take. I need to remember that my boys look up to me- in more ways than the obvious.