"I'm not as thin as I used to be, but I look like the woman I'm supposed to be."
I recently updated my profile picture on Facebook, and in staring at it I realized a couple of things. Number one, I’m definitely not the girl I used to be, ie I’ve “grown” quite a bit over the years. And number two, I’m Ok with that.
I used to have a complex when it came to my weight, stemming from being the skinny girl in high school everyone always picked on. Yes, I was actually picked on for being skinny, can you imagine! In addition to being called an Ethiopian poster child, my best friend happened to be larger in size than me and everyone called us Pork and Beans. Around eighth grade a nasty rumor was started that we were lesbians together, and being that we went to a small country school where our graduating class was 54 students, the rumor stuck for a number of years afterwards. It was the most horrible time in my life between breaking up my friendship with my best friend since kindergarten, screening prank phone calls at home and avoiding eye contact with anyone at school for fear of being made fun of. In my earlier blog post about Bullying, I mentioned kids could be cruel. For anyone who has ever been picked on you can understand how I still bear the scars from those tender days.
The interesting thing is, when I got out of high school and got older, I unknowingly made keeping myself thin as important as breathing. Luckily, I always had a fast metabolism so I was always able to eat anything I wanted and could burn the calories off later. And then I had children.
Children have an interesting way of turning your body (and viewpoints) completely around. My children changed me, and for the better. I became less conscious about trying to stay thin and instead turned my focus on being the best mom I could be.
Today I’m pleased to say I no longer worry about my weight (other than doing occasional sit ups to keep that body fat from becoming a muffin top) and keep my focus on the more important things in my life; My husband and children, my writing, family and friends. It took me many years to overcome the shadows of my past to become the person I am today, but in the end, it was a journey well worth the effort.