Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Loving My Weight

Levis are omnipotent. At least, I have granted the four pairs of size 8 jeans sitting in my bottom drawer that level of power for the last 2 years and four months. They have had the power to make me miserable. They have had the power to give me extreme joy (they haven't done that yet) and they have controlled my self-esteem.

Come November, I plan to wrest their evil power from their too-small crotches and miniscule waistbands by DI-ing the dang things. I often think about burning them (along with my double jogger), but that would be wasteful, so I'll give them away.

I'm tired of wishing to fit into them. I'm tired of sucking my waist in and barely getting the button shut. I'm tired of "fitting" into them only to have my skin newly lined with aching cutmarks in a few hours. And I'm tired of endlessly kvetching about it to and with all the other healthy, beautiful, talented and with-it women that join me in throwing the smack-down to our bodies.

I'm done. I'm happy with my body. I want my daughters and the young women I teach and all the women around me to know that I love my body. I am healthy. I am 2 sizes larger than I was before I had children. I workout and I try hard to eat well. And I'm okay. I'm glad. I'm lucky. I work hard for my body and dang, I look good.

Why November? Since giving birth to Hannah the all-powerful Levis have mocked me from their throne, and I have been chasing an elusive ideal-- I would fit back into them. I would! I would! I ran a marathon. I ran a 19-min 5K (that was last year). I helped my team win a 24-hour relay race. I did two parts of a triathlon. I joined a gym. I exercised religiously. Off and on I've tried restricting my sweets and dessert intake as well. That hasn't gone as well as I wanted. I have a serious sweet tooth.

My weight fluctuates 5-10 pds above "ideal." And still the Levis sit in their drawer. And I complain. And I whine. And I say, "I'm just too fat. If I could just drop 5 pounds." And I'm annoying myself and probably everyone around me.

This contest I'm having with Mike, which includes a point a day for exercise, eating no sweets and scripture reading, is my full-health test and it ends in November. Besides exercising regularly I am truly giving eating healthy a good try. This contest is a good effort. It's an honest, maintainable effort as well. Come Thanksgiving, when the contest ends, I will know that my body is happy at whatever weight it is. That will be my new ideal.

In the meantime, I will refrain from falling into the trap of complaining about weight and "how I used to fit into those." And I will stop saying, "I see now why women get plastic surgery." And I will stop scrutinizing pictures to see how much fatter I look now than I used to. And I will think to myself, "Dang. I look good. I feel good. I am good."

And come November those evil omnipotent Levis will be gone.

I'm working on loving what I have. Won't you?

The butterfly does not wish to be a caterpillar again. Why should we as mothers wish for our old caterpillar bodies? :)

Other excellent posts about body image:
From the Segullah Blog
This entry, "Beauty in the Age of Plastics" is really though-provoking. I like the comment trail as well. Also, this CJane entry, "Sweet Cheeks" is a nice 'love yourself' continuation. It references the excellent "To Young Women" talk by Elder Holland
Next, from Mormon Mommy Wars we have "Insecure" by Heather O. Her invitation to name one thing you love about yourself is wonderful.


Kristina P. said...

Honestly, I would get rid of those jeans. They will haunt you forever. I finally got rid of clothes that don't fit. I will just buy new, better clothes when I lose weight!

The Girardo Family said...

Way to go Steph! Forget those jeans! I like what Kristina said, buy new, better clothes when you do lose the weight.

charbetrichey said...

I have decided to be happy with what I have. And, what I have is a perfect size 8 inside my body.
:-) I just don't want others to be jealous so I keep it hidden.

Hollyween said...

Thank-You! Is it so sad that I pride myself that I can wear the size 8 skirt in my closet that actually should be a size ten because when I was a size 8 it was way too big? But hey, the tag says size 8. So therefore, I am.

I think it's time to adjust my attitude. We moms do hard work and sometimes those hips just don't go back to the way they were. Ya know?

I'm all for applesauce if you're interested. But... I need a couple weeks at least.

Alisha said...

I'll be honest with you... you do look good. I have never once looked at your body and thought that it changed by having kids... you always look very thin to me, and beautiful. Work what you've got baby!!!

Em Russ said...

you go girl!! Great post!

Trevor and Liz Covington said...

Yeah Steph!!! I think you have a beautiful body too!! So healthy and fit! I remember that time we came to visit you guys in LA and I was thinking, dang that chic looks great in a 2 piece and she has like a 5 month old!! You go... and I think you're doing your world a favor by letting go of old ideal and embracing new ones. One of my older sisters was obsessively compulsive about weight (did I say was??) and I remember it really affected the way I viewed my own body!! So.. I've made the same vow.. I want my own daughter to have the freedome to be happy with herself! I feel like I've always been ok w/my body but sometimes I think other people think I'm too fat so I should pretend like I think so too!! (how crazy is that!) Good luck.. its not easy sometimes to be happy with what you have!! liz

Kathryn-nannygoat said...

Steph, I have the same pile of jeans in my closet reminding me I'm not where I want to be. I recently dieted and worked out daily to get into those jeans and I DID... for about 2 days. My body has carried 4 children and it has changed and I'm having to change my expectations. I too Love my body and if I could stay this size for the rest of my life I would be thrilled and if I gain a few more pounds I'll be just fine. More importantly I too think of my girls and the message I am sending them with how I use my time and what I talk about and focus on. When I think about THEM it changes the way I think about EVERYTHING!
One of my favorite workout ladies once said, " You've got to love those thighs, they've got to carry you a long way!" Amen to that.

Amber said...

Hurray for you! I'm still not there but I also haven't lost my pregnancy weight. No desire to fit into skinny girl clothes but health is always an issue!

Marcie said...

Man, I can't even remember the last time I owned a pair of size 8 jeans. I have had the same 4 pairs of jeans for the last 4 years and how they fit vary's from one month to the next but I just keep on wearing them. I think you look great, you look the same to me as you did pre-child. And I always love to read you running/marathon post while I eat Oreo's. It think you are beautiful and you take such good care of your body - be proud of it!

Marly said...

Good for you! Growing up my mom never told me I was fat but she was constantly on a diet and always told herself she was fat. I had the figure as her, what did that say about me?
I have been able to be at peace with my body for a couple years and Its so much better and I did it for my daughter. That doesn't mean I won't exercise and try to be healthy but I won't look in the mirror and point out all my flaws and say my body is ugly. I will accept my stretch marks :)

Dan, Tori, and Alexis said...

I just got rid of my too small clothes too (never mind that I'm giving them to a mother of 4 :( )! Stephanie, you're smaller than me, and way faster too. Does that make you feel better? I think you look amazing. I know you didn't write this post to get comments like that, but it's the truth. I do think we need to be happy with our bodies if we're doing what we need to do to be HEALTHY. Thanks for sharing!