Thursday, June 24, 2010

Body Image

I posted here about joining Weight Watchers. And I am doing pretty good. To date I have lost 22 pounds, so I am a little over halfway to my goal weight. I picked my goal weight based on what is considered healthy. Ever since the birth of my fourth baby, I have been struggling with high blood pressure, I am hoping that by losing weight it would reduce my need for medication. I also had become uncomfortable in my own skin. I would look at photos of myself and think, who is that old, heavy woman? Well it was me!

Some background info for those that don't know. I am tall, 5 ft 11 inches to be exact. When I was little (up to when I was in junior high), the neighborhood kids used to tease me and call me "stork" because I was so skinny I had bird legs. You know what those look like? Skinny, skinny legs where your knees are knobby and are bigger than the rest of your leg. When I was a kid, I hated to wear sandals with my shorts, I would wear big thick socks and gym shoes, thinking they made my legs look less skinny. I remember I used to pray to God that he would give me normal legs.

Then as I started to "develop" my hips took all my growth hormone my chest however is still sadly lacking. My sister and I are convinced that our hips wouldn't look so big if our chest was bigger, it would balance things out. My grandma used to tell me I had "birthing hips" and that someday my hips would come in handy.

Well guess what, grandma was right. Turns out that being this tall and having monster birthing hips really is a good thing. Where most of my friends had to push forever, I think the most I had to with my first was 5 times, then with each one it became less and less. Then finally, I think my 4th one just slid out. Good thing too, since it was a natural childbirth (no, not by choice) and he weighed in at 8 lbs 13 ounces. Thankfully much smaller than the 10 pound boy they were predicting.

Any-hoo, I love being pregnant. I love every minute of it, including the birth. I mean, I can't think of another reason you actually go into the hospital and come out with a precious gift. However, pregnancy has NOT been kind to my body. I have so many stretch marks that quite honestly I would have to wear a turtleneckini bathing suit. You know how they have tankini's? Well I would need one of those, but with a turtleneck attached. I have some areas of my belly that very much resemble Freddy Krugers face. You know, the guy from Nightmare on Elm Street.

The only time I have breasts are when I am pregnant. So after 4 kids, they have turned into little deflated balloons. Thankfully there are wonderful bra's out there to hide these imperfections.

Not to mention, I am 37 and varicose veins very much run in my family. I am starting to have those, ever so slightly, but they are there. Soon I won't need built in navigation in my vehicle. I will simply use a ball point pen and keep track on my legs.

So clearly I don't have alot to work with when it comes to my body. But somewhere in the back of my brain I had delusions that as I lost the weight, all of those problems would go away. Um, really? Did I have a fifth of Jack for breakfast? If anyone knows about weight loss, it is that when you lose weight, the skin becomes even more loose, as there is no fluff to fill it in. But I am exercising, so some of my "fluff" (as my kids call it) is being replaced with muscle.

Although it seems that no matter how many crunches I do, six pack abs just aren't in the cards for me. Nor is a bikini, not in my non dreaming hours anyway. I once had a co-worker tell me that moms are supposed to be squishy. I will never forget that profound statement. That is so true, how else are you going to hug your babies and comfort them, if you don't have a little fluff? I don't remember how awesome my mom looked in a bathing suit, but I do remember how her hugs used to make me feel so safe and loved.

I have earned those battle scars, there is a reason that we have the babies. We are made for this job. And I for one, wouldn't trade my four kids for anything. Not even an awesome bikini body. After all, life is about enjoying it and being able to laugh at your self.

So I will be excited with my weight loss, as I have been working really hard at it. But I will give myself some slack if for the rest of my life when I run, I have jiggly things moving, hey I'm trying right? Or if even after I reach my weight goal, my kids can still play the game where they stick their finger into my belly and it disappears. I never get tired of that one. After all, I earned those. It is what makes me a mom.

Now if you'll excuse me,  my 15 month old is hiding in the pantry trying to eat some potato chips. Little does he know that sound travels.


  1. Oh Jen I accepted a long time ago I would never be the skinny girl I was once. The last time I was thin I was 18! Now as long as I am not too overweight because lets face it when you are short weight is never forgiving I am quite happy with my squishy bits and saggy boobs. Of course I keep toying with the idea of a breast lift and tummy tuck but I doubt I will ever go through with it. I can't even get a tattoo what makes me thing I can go through major surgery?! LOL ((hugs)) Oooh that Drew is a mischievous one isn't he?

  2. I would love a tummy tuck but would never do it. Just a day dream really.